Spain sees mass rally against Catalan separatist amnesty

Around 170,000 people marched through on Saturday in what authorities said was the largest protest to date against a proposed amnesty law for Catalan separatists.

two days earlier in order to form government with the support of Catalan and Basque nationalist parties.

Protesters waved Spanish flag held signs which read “Sanchez traitor” and “Don’t sell Spain.”

Opposition leaders slam Sanchez

Madrid has been rocked by over the proposed amnesty, and Saturday’s rally came after Socialist leader Sanchez secured enough support to start his next four-year term as prime minister.

Spain’s conservative People’s Party narrowly came first in the election but to form government, paving the way for Sanchez to negotiate with smaller parties.

“They know they don’t have the votes to do what they’re doing. That’s why we’re telling them with this demonstration,” People’s Party leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo said.

The leader of far-right party Vox, Santiago Abascal, was also present at the protest.

He said the proposed amnesty was “as serious as a coup d’etat.”

What is the amnesty about?

Sanchez has promised to give amnesty to around 400 in 2014.

The independence referendum had been declared illegal by Spanish courts and resulted in Spain’s worst political crisis in decades.

Sanchez has defended the law, arguing that it would help diffuse tensions in .

However, it has been criticized by four judicial associations who say that it threatens the rule of law and the separation of powers.

zc/rs (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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