Spanish president evades rejecting pardon for jailed leaders
Ciutadans head says meeting between Spanish left-wing leader and Catalan incarcerated politician was regards “privileges and impunity” and not on budget
Pedro Sánchez avoided stating whether he would refuse to pardon the prosecuted Catalan leaders if they were sentenced to prison in the upcoming trial.
In a debate in Congress on Wednesday morning, Sánchez did not answer a question posed by the unionist Ciutadans party leader, Albert Rivera, who referred to the pro-independence jailed and exiled officials as “members of a coup d’état.”
Rivera urged him to commit to not pardoning the leaders once they are tried and criticized the meeting between left-wing Podemos leader, Pablo Iglesias, and the jailed Esquerra’s head Oriol Junqueras, two weeks ago in prison.
Despite being in the opposition, Iglesias had previously agreed on the 2019 Spanish budget with the Socialists and Sánchez; but, for the spending plan to succeed in the Congress, pro-independence parties were - and still are - needed.
"I'm sure that in that prison there were no negotiations self-employment rates, but on pardons, privileges, and impunity"
Albert Rivera · Ciutadans leader
For Rivera, the meeting held in the Lledoners prison paints “the image of the disgrace,” while possible agreements reached between Iglesias and Junqueras “humiliate all Spaniards.”
“I'm sure that in that prison there were no negotiations on self-employment rates, but on pardons, privileges, and impunity,” he said to Pedro Sánchez in Congress.
The Spanish president did not address the question of the pardons at all, and instead called on Ciutadans to “defend a solution including strengthening self-rule, building bridges and not using Catalonia to get new votes in Spain.”