It is already final: Pedro Sánchez has confirmed that he will approve this Tuesday the pardons to the nine prisoners of the you process who still have a sentence to serve. The president has announced it in Barcelona, at the Liceu, in an act somewhat lackluster due to the shortage of public – there were about 250 guests in the audience and all the rest were empty – and the absence of the highest representatives of the independence movement and the Generalitat, which did not accept the invitation of the Government. At the entrance, a small group of pro-independence protesters carrying some flares forced the Mossos d’Esquadra to place the police vans as a parapet to avoid problems. Sánchez and the guests entered with boos and whistles.
Photogallery: The protests, in images
The external environment did not therefore facilitate an atmosphere of harmony, but Sánchez has argued the pardons in the same line in which the legal texts that will be approved this Tuesday will go: as a message to reconcile Catalan and Spanish society after the tear of the you process. “We are going to restore coexistence. Not from oblivion, but from respect and affection, ”Sánchez insisted. During the event, the president suffered an attempt to boycott an independentista who managed to sneak into the event; at the end, when a woman among the attendees demanded a dialogue rather than a monologue – only he spoke – the president went with her to an area of the theater to talk.
Sánchez explained the pardons in line with the justification that will be approved tomorrow in the legal texts that will be approved by the Council of Ministers. And also appealing to the spirit of the Transition, which made it possible to agree on the Spanish Constitution and the PSOE continues to defend, although it is open to changes. The grace measures are, according to the Government, an instrument to solve the Catalan problem and not a favor to the prisoners. “The fundamental reason for pardons is their usefulness for coexistence. Getting these nine people out of jail who represent millions of people is a resounding message of harmony. This decision does not affect them, it is addressed to the whole of society. It is a message above all for thousands of people who supported them and feel in solidarity. And for the thousands of people who disapproved of his conduct, but consider the punishment sufficient. With this act we get nine people out of jail, but we add millions of people to coexistence ”, the president insisted.
Sánchez is aware that there is a lot of opposition in the rest of Spain to these pardons, especially because the independentistas have not expressed any type of repentance. And there he has tried to explain the usefulness of this decision. “We do not expect that those who aspire to independence will change. We do hope that it is understood that there are no paths outside the law. That nothing is legitimate if the other part of society is run over. The cost of continuing like this is very high. We want to recover dialogue and coexistence with millions of Catalans who feel emotionally linked to those in prison. Spanish democracy is strong. Convincing is the most durable way to win ”, he finished.
The president, who rejects the opposition’s argument that he is only taking this step to consolidate his parliamentary majority and stay in power, vindicates his decision as a gesture of courage. “Almost always, to reach an agreement, someone must take the first step. The Government of Spain is going to take the step now. We will take advantage of any reason to promote the meeting. The confrontation has not served to solve any problem. We want to resume the political dialogue where the roads parted ”.
Sánchez also rejects the idea that pardons are unconstitutional. Unlike. “The pardon has been regulated since 1870. It neither questions nor revokes the sentence. It is another plane, not judicial. We are in a position to ask everyone to at least recognize the full legality of the measure and its constitutionality. It is in the essence of the Constitution. It was the Constitution of Concord, which means with heart. In the next few days, Spanish democracy is going to take a big step to unite us. It is from here that we have to start the road to regain coexistence and normality ”, the president has argued.
Sánchez argues that based on pardons, it is possible to try to build a different, more united country. “It is about offering a route where we can all move forward together. My proposal is to step into a new country project. A new space free from the mistakes of the past. We have already wasted too much time on old lawsuits. The new world that is born after the covid is not going to wait for us. This is the opportunity to create the new country together for the new generations. It is not the rupture, it is the union that is the great instrument of change. The Constitution cannot be petrified. The best democracies are made in a spirit of dialogue and harmony. We want a new country project that is expressed in Spanish, Galician, Basque, and Catalan. We could continue with the memorial of reproaches, we could continue indefinitely with a single sad toy, as Juan Marsé says, discord. Or bet on harmony. That is what the Government has decided, “said the president, who this Tuesday will complete the most difficult decision of his mandate and has ended his speech with a” we cannot start from scratch, but we can start again. Catalonia, Catalans and Catalans, we love you ”.
Sánchez’s complete speech
Sánchez began his speech with a few words in Catalan. “I som on som. I som on som, says the verse of the great Miquel Marti i Pol, ‘And we are where we are’, and continues: It is better to know it and say it and put our feet on the ground and proclaim ourselves heirs of a time of doubts and resignations in which noises drown words ”. The president has filled his speech at the Liceu, which has lasted about half an hour, with words such as concord, democracy, legality and the Constitution. He has explained the reasons for the Government’s decision, insisting on the idea that it is a step towards a new stage in Catalonia. “The fundamental reason for the pardons that we are preparing to approve is their usefulness for coexistence. And I am convinced that getting these nine people out of jail, who represent thousands of Catalans, is a resounding message of the desire for harmony and coexistence of Spanish democracy ”, he pointed out.
You can check out the full speech below.
If you cannot read the full speech, you can download it here.