Socialists file amnesty law in Congress after deal with pro-independence parties

It was expected that parties backing Pedro Sánchez's PM bid, such as Junts and Esquerra, would also sign the text

Socialists leader Pedro Sánchez on October 2023
Socialists leader Pedro Sánchez on October 2023 / Miquel Vera
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Madrid

November 13, 2023 07:16 PM

November 13, 2023 09:13 PM

Spain's Socialists submitted the amnesty law absolving Catalan pro-independence figures to Congress on Monday, November 13.  

The law was expected to be registered on Monday by the Socialists together with the parties supporting Pedro Sánchez's candidacy for prime minister.   

However, the left-wing Sumar, the Catalan pro-independence parties ERC and Junts, the Basque nationalists PNV and Bildu, and the Galician nationalist BNG did not sign the text.  

Spanish Presidency Minister Félix Bolaños said after submitting the amnesty bill that it is a "giant step to normalize the political, institutional and social situation in Catalonia." 

"We are convinced that the [amnesty] bill is fully constitutional and that it is a great law for our country and will be recognized as such. That is why we are submitting it," he added. 


The amnesty law was a condition for the Catalan pro-independence parties ERC and Junts to support Pedro Sánchez's candidacy for prime minister.   

Now that the law has been presented, the pro-independence parties are expected to vote in favor of Sánchez in his prime ministerial vote, which will take place on Wednesday and Thursday (November 15 and 16). 

Next steps 

Although the amnesty bill has been written and submitted, it could still face political and legal obstacles before it becomes law. 

The 23-page text, called "Organic Amnesty Law for the Institutional, Political and Social Normalization in Catalonia," will now go through the usual Congressional procedure, expected to last for up to a month. 

It will then go through the Senate, where the conservative People's Party (PP) holds a majority. They are likely to delay the bill before passing it to Congress again, where it will finally be approved and come into force.  

However, if a court raises the question of whether the law is constitutional, the amnesty bill would not go into effect until Spain's Constitutional Court issues its ruling, which could take many more months.