The parliamentary spokesman for the PSOE defends, together with Salvador Illa in Barcelona, the abolition of the crime of sedition and accuses the PP of being “gasoline” for the independence movement
“They told us that we kneel before the terrorists and we won. Now they say that we are selling out to the independence supporters and we are going to win over the independence supporters and coexistence in Catalonia”, Patxi López proclaimed today at an act together with the leader of the PSC, Salvador Illa, in Barcelona. The PSOE has decided to pull one of its main figures in the battle against secessionism, who was ‘lehendakari’ at the time ETA announced the cessation of armed activity, to defend the last and controversial decision of the Government of Pedro Sánchez in relation to the protagonists of the ‘procés’: the elimination in the Penal Code of the crime of sedition, for which they were convicted, and its replacement by an aggravated crime of public disorder that reduces the maximum penalties applicable for criminals from 15 to 5 years. events of 2017, embezzlement aside.
Today’s spokesman for the socialist parliamentary group in Congress wielded, as he had done the day before, shortly after registering in the lower house the legislative initiative that will be processed urgently and without reports from advisory bodies such as the Council of State or the General Council of the Judiciary, that it is a “courageous” measure that will help, on the one hand, justice, which five years ago, argued, “was not even clear what crime or what penalties to apply” and He found that from other European countries they denied him the extradition of leaders who had fled such as Carles Puigdemont “because there was no homologous crime, the double criminality requirement was not met” and, on the other hand, he is going to contribute to “coexistence” in Catalonia .
In a harsh speech against the PP, (which gave him support in the Executive) the Basque politician boasted of what, in his opinion, the PSOE has already achieved in his land. “The normality that the socialist government installed in the Basque Country is such that not even the nationalists now dare to back down,” he defended, “because they know that citizens are not willing to retrace their steps.” Against this he opposed the rise of Catalan independence during the PP governments.
“We are the fire extinguisher”
“Politics disappeared. Dialogue, the search for understanding. And the possibility of providing solutions. Today with the Government of Pedro Sánchez and the good work of the PSC and Salvador Illa, without having resolved the problem completely -he conceded- the situation is very different; Catalonia is not the main problem that Spain had and it breathes differently. There is institutional and political dialogue and, if something has been broken, it is the independence movement that has lowered its expectations. “The reality is that the PP is gasoline for political life in Catalonia and we are the fire extinguisher,” he stressed.
“If it occurred to someone to do it again, the rule of law would be applied and the Catalan socialists would once again be on the side of the rule of law. Generosity all, ingenuity, none, “says Illa
Illa, for her part, made an effort to deny that the agreement reached with the Republican Left of Catalonia leaves Spain unprotected. “The behaviors of 2017 have criminal classification with very important sanctions, in coherence and in line with neighboring countries and 155 of the Constitution remains in force,” he stressed. There is no amnesty or anything like that. And I want to be a little clearer still: if someone were to think of doing it again, the rule of law would be applied and the Catalan socialists would once again be on the side of the rule of law. All generosity, naivety, none.
The leader of the Catalan Socialists, winner of the last regional elections, also warned that people “want to turn the page.” «I am not talking about hearsay; I see what is happening in Catalonia, I listen, I touch the feelings », he said. And, in his opinion, both the reform of the Penal Code and the pardons for those convicted of the ‘procés’ contribute to that end. “This,” he argued, “is what a serious ruler does: he acts and moves.”
Catalonia is for the PSOE an important territory in which there is also a lot at stake electorally. His great national victories have always been based on good results for the PSC and in Andalusia. But now that the Andalusian Socialists are in the doldrums, the support of the Catalans is even more essential. One of the priorities of the party in the next municipal elections, moreover, is the Barcelona City Council.
The ‘pact of the persecuted’ ends in López-PP war
LOURDES PEREZ | Madrid
The exchange of reproaches between the socialists of Pedro Sánchez and the popular ones of Alberto Núñez Feijóo that these two pages illustrate also exemplify the blowing up of the bridges, already very weak, between the ex-lehendakari Patxi López and the first opposition party. Long gone is the spring of 2009 in which López starred in a historic succession at the head of the Basque Government by dislodging the PNV from power, relying on the Conservatives, who instead became president of the Parliament of Vitoria. ETA still persisted in its terrorist threat after the truce that blew up with the Barajas car bomb and Juan José Ibarretxe had not relented in his sovereignist plan.
What came to be known as the ‘pact of the persecuted’ became, for many threatened Basques and for many other citizens outside Euskadi, a symbol of resistance against the ETA organization and also a foot in the wall against Ibarretxe’s self-determinist purposes. Today, 13 years later, the end of the violence has settled, the independentist Catalonia went much further in its challenge than the exlehendakari peneuvista and López and the PP confront harshly in the middle of the ice moon. With Sánchez placing the Basque leader as the spokesperson in Congress to try to counteract the right with one of the moral referents of the PSOE, the gap around the sedition has ended up leading to a bitter dispute between those who shared dark times for the group from the country.
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