Spanish government reach deal with Catalan parties on amnesty for pro-independence figures

Socialists, Junts, and Esquerra announce agreement that will likely cover Tsunami Democratic protests

Archive image of the Justice Committee of the Spanish Congress
Archive image of the Justice Committee of the Spanish Congress / ACN
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

March 6, 2024 08:14 PM

March 6, 2024 08:35 PM

The Spanish Socialists have signed an agreement with Catalan pro-independence parties Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and Junts per Catalunya on the amnesty law for pro-independence figures.

The law will go to a vote in the Justice Committee of the Congress of Deputies on Thursday.

The agreement, the details of which have not yet emerged, likely implies a new wording of the exclusions so that those investigated for alleged crimes of terrorism relating to Tsunami Democratic protests, including former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, will be included in the amnesty.

The new text of the law also provides a new date for the application of the amnesty, now covering those charged and investigated since November 2011, instead of January 2012, for a period lasting until November 13, 2023.

In addition, the agreement will mean that the Catalan government will be able to return fines that were imposed during the independence push in application of the so-called 'gag' law.

In a statement signed by the three parties, the Socialists, ERC, and Junts announce that "after days of work together" and "taking into account the guidelines of constitutional, European and international law, as well as the preliminary report of the Venice Commission," the three parties "have reached an agreement" through a "single transaction based on the various amendments that remain alive" to "reinforce the amnesty law."

The statement says that the law "covers all people linked to the pro-independence movement." The full content of the deal will be announced on Thursday.

In the absence of knowing the details, parliamentary sources point out to the Catalan News Agency that the deal would eliminate the references to the Spanish Penal Code as a source of definition of terrorism, leaving only the typification made by international agreements. It would thus differentiate between what the Supreme Court and the National Court consider to be terrorism and what would be understood as terrorism according to the conventions.

The aim of this is to give legal guarantees that the text will include those investigated for Tsunami Democràtic protest actions, such as former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and Esquerra general secretary Marta Rovira.

The agreement would also modify other sections of the law, such as a lowering of the severity threshold so that fewer police officers accused of torture will be granted amnesty. In addition, Article 1 redefines who can benefit from the amnesty - as requested by the Venice Commission - to prevent cases of corruption from being accepted.