Conservative leader accuses Socialists of 'political corruption,' Vox compares Sánchez to Hitler

Alberto Núñez Feijóo criticizes pardons to Catalans involved in independence push

People's Party leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo speaks in the Spanish Congress
People's Party leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo speaks in the Spanish Congress / Javier Barbancho
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Madrid

November 15, 2023 04:39 PM

November 15, 2023 07:20 PM

The leader of the People's Party (PP), Alberto Núñez Feijóo, responded to Socialist Prime Minister candidate Pedro Sánchez after his speech during the first day of his investiture debate. 

Feijóo, whose party received the most votes in the general election in July, attempted to be elected as prime minister in September, but failed to garner enough support to form a government. 

The conservative leader used his speech on Wednesday to criticize the proposed amnesty law signed between Catalan pro-independence parties Junts and Esquerra Republicana and the Socialists, in exchange for their support in Sánchez’s bid.  

Feijóo has accused Sánchez of "political corruption" and branded the amnesty bill a "fraud." 

"Sánchez did not obtain the support of anyone, he bought it. The pro-independence parties squeezed it out of him," Feijóo said. 


The PP leader widely repeated the slogan 'Not in our name,' as he declared himself the voice of the Spanish people against the amnesty.  

"Sánchez’s discourse today was not a speech, it was delusional. The majority of Spaniards have not lost their reason. I will not abandon the constitutional majority of this country," he said. 

Feijóo added that millions of Socialist voters would not approve of Sanchez's amnesty law and called for a new election. 

"This investiture has already been signed, far from this chamber, outside of Spain, sneakily [...] It is a joke," he said. 

He also announced that he will promote a "constitutional loyalty" law to ensure the Constitution is met and said he will bring the matter to European courts to ensure Spain's separation of powers is respected. 

The PP leader ended by saying that he was "committed" to the Spanish people and that Spain "will not give up." He left the chamber to a long and sustained applause from his supporters and chants calling him ‘president.’ 

Sánchez's response

Pedro Sánchez then replied to Feijóo, arguing that he only spoke of the amnesty bill, and ignored other matters such as the economy, social rights or the climate emergency. "The PP does not have a political agenda," Sánchez added. 

Referring to Feijóo's accusation of 'political corruption' for reaching a deal with Catalan pro-independence parties, Sánchez reproached the PP leader, saying that he too contacted Junts when trying to garner support for his investiture.  

"Only when the PP wins, do they consider it a legitimate government," the Socialist candidate said. 

Regarding the constitutionality of the amnesty bill, Sánchez said that political pardons are perfectly legal, and they can improve coexistence with Catalonia. 

"[The amnesty law] will not break Spain, nor the Constitution, nor will it sink our country. The Constitution has proven to be strong, as evidenced by the past five years of political breaches [the PP] and yet democracy continuing to prevail," Sánchez told Feijóo. 

Far-right Vox compares Sánchez to Hitler 

Leader of the far-right Vox party, Santiago Abascal, struck an incensed tone from the beginning, railing against Sánchez and his manner of finding a majority with pacts with Catalan and Basque parties. 

Speaker Armengol reproached the Vox leader for describing Sánchez’s majority as a coup d’état, reminding Abascal that “this country knows very well what a coup d’étatand a dictatorship is.”  


Comparisons of Sánchez’s investiture with a “coup d’état” ended up being struck from the official record of the Congress, and following Abascal’s speech, Socialist spokesperson Patxi López briefly spoke to outline the party’s position that the Vox leader’s words were an insult to the Socialist Party, to the Congress, and to intelligence itself. “The Socialists have always opposed and faced up to all types of dictators,” López said.  

When López began speaking, Vox MPs all left the chamber, and Sánchez rejected the opportunity to formally respond to Abascal, instead declaring that López’s words spoke for him.  

During his speech, Abascal said that Congress should not allow an amnesty law to pass which could “repeal” the Constitution. The far-right leader repeatedly called Sánchez’s majority a “coup d’état” and “the beginning of the end of democracy,” saying these weren’t his words, but instead those of the majority of the judiciary who have come out against the amnesty law.

“To become prime minister tomorrow, Sánchez has formed pacts with a fugitive of justice in another country,” Abascal said, referring to former Catalan president and Junts leader Carles Puigdemont, currently living in exile in Belgium.  

The far-right leader also compared Sánchez to Adolf Hitler, pointing out that the Nazi leader came to power by a democratic vote.  

Abascal also quoted former Socialist ministers and spokespersons as well as Sánchez himself as saying in the past years that an amnesty is “not compatible” with the Spanish Constitution. An amnesty is “illegal, unconstitutional, and incompatible with the Spanish judicial system,” Abascal quoted Sánchez as saying in the past.  

“You’re going to give amnesty to loads of people who have committed very serious crimes. You’ve already humiliated Spain with the pardons, with the reform of the penal code, the removal of the crime of sedition, and the same thing is happening now with the amnesty law.” 

The two-day debate will conclude with a vote on Thursday, in which the Socialist leader is expected to win an absolute majority, gaining the support of 179 MPs out of the 350-member chamber. Sánchez made a series of pacts with various political groups, including Catalan pro-independence parties Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and Junts. 

  • You can watch the debate here: