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Pardons for jailed independence leaders will be ready in 'two or three weeks'

Vice president Calvo says they will "soon" be a reality for nine imprisoned politicians and activists


15 June 2021 11:37 AM


ACN | Madrid

According to Spain's vice president, Carmen Calvo, the pardons for Catalonia's nine imprisoned independence leaders will be ready in "two or three weeks," thereby confirming that they will not be announced on Tuesday as some had speculated.

The Spanish justice ministry is yet to "finalize" the pardons, which will "soon" be a reality for the politicians and activists behind bars, Calvo said on Tuesday morning in an interview with Canal Sur Ràdio, stressing her cabinet's "firm and harmonious commitment to the future of Spain with Catalonia."

Spanish government paving way for pardons

The Socialist-led government has been paving the way for a decision in favor of the pardons. 

Sánchez has been saying in the past few weeks that he will make the decision in accordance with the constitutional values ​​of "concord, dialogue, understanding," while rejecting "revenge." 

His government has repeatedly said they want to "move on" and open a period of dialogue between Catalonia and Spain – this willingness for talks matches with the strategy of the newly elected Catalan government: sit at a negotiating table with Madrid, and bring up the issues of amnesty and self-determination.  

Sánchez and the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, will meet at some point in June after an ice-breaker 40-minute "productive" call on June 4.

Right-wing opposition fails to find widespread support

The executive in Madrid was facing internal opposition, from the Socialist party, but this has waned somewhat after one of the jailed leaders, Oriol Junqueras, suggested in an op-ed that he would accept the pardons while maintaining that an amnesty remains the priority.

The politician also said that dialogue with Spain is the only "viable" way out of the conflict, cooling to the idea of a repetition of the unauthorized 2017 independence referendum.  

Yet, the Spanish right-wing parties are still fiercely opposed to the pardons – the leaders of the People's Party, Ciudadanos, and Vox attended a rally in Madrid's Plaza de Colón on Sunday. But the protest was not successful enough to make Sánchez reconsider his plans to release the imprisoned officials.  

Around 25,000 people attended the demonstration – roughly half the number of protesters at a similar event in the same place in February 2019, where the right got together to reject the first efforts of dialogue between the Catalan and the Socialist-led Spanish administrations.  


  • Spanish vice president Carmen Calvo (by Fernando Calvo/Pool Moncloa)

  • Spanish vice president Carmen Calvo (by Fernando Calvo/Pool Moncloa)