"Dialogue, generosity and forgiveness". This is the road map that Pedro Sánchez proposed, during his initial speech in the investiture debate, to continue defusing the political conflict in Catalonia during the next legislature.
With a measure of weight, he confirmed, to "advance on the path of reunion". "In the name of Spain, in the interest of Spain and in defense of harmony between Spaniards, we will grant an amnesty to the people accused of the Catalan process", stressed the socialist candidate for re-election as president of the Spanish Government, after the PSOE registered this controversial legislative initiative in the Congress of Deputies on Monday.
Sánchez was convinced that "a united Spain is a better Spain". And to guarantee this unity, he assured, there are only two alternatives. "We can try through imposition and social tension, or we can try through dialogue, forgiveness and understanding," he said. The Popular Party, according to critics, opted for the first of these paths and "the streets of Catalonia were set on fire". And he lamented: "The recipe of the PP led to the disaster". It was the year 2017.
So the leader of the PSOE remarked that, in this new legislature after his investiture, he will persevere on the path of dialogue, negotiation and agreements with pro-independence formations.
"Catalonia is ready for total reunion and we must have the courage to take a step forward", justified Sánchez. And, despite the "many scandals" he blamed on the right, he affirmed: "The amnesty we propose is perfectly legal and in accordance with the Constitution".
The leader of the PSOE justified his political approach towards Catalonia: "There can be no prosperity in discord". "Dialogue, understanding and forgiveness", is the formula he defended, now with an amnesty law just as he did in the previous legislature with the pardons for imprisoned pro-independence leaders.
Sánchez thus put "reunion before revenge". And he reiterated that his commitment to dialogue and the pact with pro-independence groups is working. Following the protest from the PP group, he replied: "Maybe they think that coexistence was watching Barcelona burn, but I don't think so."
"It's time to make a virtue out of necessity", he acknowledged again about the amnesty, as he already did before the PSOE's federal committee. "Not only to win a legislature of progress, but to bet on a future of reconciliation and harmony", he alleged.
And despite the right-wing exclaiming, the socialist candidate warned: "The PP's problem is not the amnesty, but that it does not accept the electoral result of July 23". "Amnesty is rather unimportant to the reactionary right," he added. What they do not assume or accept, he insisted, is that the leader of the PSOE continues to be the president of the central government. Despite this, Sánchez claimed "minimum responsibility" for the PP. And he asked for "sanity" in the formation of Alberto Núñez Feijóo: "They cannot sow discord and stoke the fire of hatred again".
"The amnesty will be approved with light and shorthand, with all the guarantees and with an absolute majority", he concluded on this issue, the most anticipated of his inauguration speech.
Previously, the socialist aspirant for re-election raised his imminent investiture - which will be voted on today and for which he has an absolute parliamentary majority of 179 votes in his favor - as a disjunctive one.
"We have to choose, we have to choose", said Sánchez. "Either Spain continues to advance, or Spain retreats", he warned. This is the dilemma that will be resolved today in the vote of the Congress. "We have to choose a path", he proposed.
Sánchez made an allegation in defense of democracy and the Constitution, after the harsh offensive of the right-wing who, precisely, accuse him of undermining all its foundations.
The leader of the PSOE urged to cut off the passage, with his investiture, to the "reactionary and retrograde right". "We are as Spanish as you, we are no less Spanish than you", he defended in front of the right-wing groups.
"We have to choose whether we want to keep moving forward or whether we want to support the prophets of hate who want to lock women in kitchens, LGBTI people in closets and migrants in refugee camps," he pointed out. And Congress will rule on this election today.