The Senate begins the de-escalation of the offensive against the Amnesty law

Having passed the recent Catalan elections, with a campaign in which the different forces in dispute chose to tiptoe over the amnesty, the Senate yesterday began a gradual de-escalation of the offensive against the measure of clemency against those accused of the process.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
15 May 2024 Wednesday 05:02
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The Senate begins the de-escalation of the offensive against the Amnesty law

Having passed the recent Catalan elections, with a campaign in which the different forces in dispute chose to tiptoe over the amnesty, the Senate yesterday began a gradual de-escalation of the offensive against the measure of clemency against those accused of the process. Because, despite the veto of the law in the Senate to return it to Congress, the populars had the absolute majority in the Upper House to stop the open conflict of attributions between the two institutions and which, in practice, means the resignation to denounce the Lower House before the Constitutional Court.

Minutes before the plenary began, the popular parliamentary group presented to the Senate Bureau a request to withdraw from the institutional clash - a mechanism regulated in the law of the Constitutional Court, but never used in 45 years of democracy - interpreting that Congress has not response "correctly" to his request to slow down the processing of the law.

The populists allege, based on the report commissioned by the Senate lawyers, that the Amnesty law is a "covert constitutional reform" that requires a qualified majority, and not an absolute one, to be approved. And that is why they argue that the Bureau of the Lower House, presided over by Francina Armengol (PSOE), is not the competent one to respond to the Senate, but rather that the initiative should have been voted on by the plenary of the Congress of Deputies.

But, after the Lower House refused to follow that reasoning, defending itself with its corresponding report from the lawyers, the Senate finally opted, at the behest of the PP, to withdraw the conflict of attributions yesterday itself, making it coincide with the plenary in that the veto of the Amnesty law was approved in an attempt by Alberto Núñez Feijóo to mask the retreat.

Nevertheless, the move did not go unnoticed by the PSOE or its partners in the investiture bloc, who described the role played by the PP in the Senate as "astracanada".

At the beginning of the plenary, the spokeswoman of the PP, Alicia García, who had the support of Vox, the Unió del Poble Navarrès (UPN) and the Agrupació d'El Hierro Independent (AHI), described the amnesty as "marketing power" and "act of deep political corruption" so that the president of the central government, Pedro Sánchez, "can remain in Moncloa". He added that the PSOE's bid to eliminate the crimes of the participants in the process "only contributes to dismantling our democracy" because it is an "attack against cohesion and coexistence".

On the contrary, the PSOE, Més Madrid and the nationalist formations accused the populists of having used the Senate in a partisan way against the amnesty and defended that it is a measure that helps to improve the situation in Catalonia.

Thus, Antonio Magdaleno, of the PSOE, pointed out that Sunday's Catalan elections have shown that a majority of the community's inhabitants "have turned the page" in favor of "reconciliation". "What a pantomime they have put on", he denounced looking at the popular group.

On the other hand, the fellow socialist Txema Oleaga listed, in a speech much applauded by his own, all the measures that the popular people rejected at the beginning and that, after the years, they not only celebrate, but benefit from, since homosexual marriage to the abortion law, the divorce law or the card for points.

"Do they agree with their leaders at the time who opposed these measures, such as José María Aznar, Rodrigo Rato or Francisco Álvarez-Cascos? Or do they agree with the Socialist Party?”, he asked, trying to expose the contradictions in which the PP commits in its desire to attack the PSOE even if this involves “slowing down progress and improvements for citizens”.