The independence bloc has once again gotten its way and has managed to see all its demands met in the final draft of the amnesty law.

The agreement reached by the PSOE, ERC and Junts covers all people linked to the ‘procés’ and also to the most controversial causes, such as those related to terrorism, corruption and high treason. In this way, the former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, manages to shield himself, although the Constitutional Court and the European courts will have the last word, in which the PP has already said that it will appeal.

While waiting to see how these bodies are positioned, one of the keys to the law is its scope. Thus, after the amendments that the parties that are part of the so-called investiture bloc will support, the final text will make it clear that the cases of “all people linked to the independence process” will be archived.

This is a measure that, according to the law, is “fully in accordance with the Constitution, European law and jurisprudence and the best European and international standards.” In this sense, both the socialists and the Government assure that it will protect coexistence in Catalonia, and this is what the first secretary of the Catalan socialists, Salvador Illa, who today traveled to Rome to be received by the Pope, has conveyed. , coinciding with the latest news about the Koldo case, since in one of the chats of the accused, they brag about their contacts with the former Minister of Health.

The text of the amnesty law contemplates that all cases will be archived from the beginning of the process. It was then that emphasis began to be placed on the need to internationalize secessionist demands, and to present Catalonia as a territory that wanted to be on par with the rest of Europe and the rest of the world in the face of a Spain that they equated with illiberal regimes.

Junts and ERC have managed to transfer this mental framework to the amnesty law. Thus, any type of mention of the Penal Code is avoided, which does appear in the text agreed in January, although it ended up being rejected by Junts, and whose blocking has allowed Carles Puigdemont’s party to see its demands met.

The text makes multiple references to community and international legislation: it cites relative directives in the fight against terrorism or conventions on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

With these references, the scope of the most controversial cases is limited, among them those that are still under investigation and that have become a headache for Junts and its leaders: their contacts with the Kremlin (which could lead to a crime of high treason) and terrorism, following the wave of riots that took place in the fall of 2019. This is the so-called Democratic Tsunami, in which the Supreme Court places Puigdemont at the top of an organization that committed acts of ” street terrorism” and that it had a “pyramid” operation.

According to the text, the amnesty will only affect those causes of terrorism where “serious human rights violations” have been “intentionally” caused. At this point, it cites the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and international humanitarian law. “This decision comes after last week, the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court, to the When it came to requesting the opening of a case against Puigdemont for terrorism as a result of the Tsunami, he cited up to a dozen laws and cases that would provide coverage for his decision.

Regarding the Russian plot of the process, a case related to the contacts of Puigdemont’s collaborators with the Kremlin and whose introduction has been extended until June, the amnesty law excludes the crimes of “treason and against the peace or independence of the State”, provided that “there has been (…) an effective and real threat such as an effective use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Spain.”

In December 2022, Congress approved an express reform of the Penal Code that benefited those prosecuted by the process, with a new definition of the crime of embezzlement. With the wording, penalties were reduced in those cases where personal enrichment did not occur.

The rulings on the illegal 1-O vote and also on the non-binding sovereignty consultation organized by the Generalitat in 2014 show that public money was allocated, and that the Generalitat’s funds also financed campaigns to internationalize secessionist demands. For all these reasons, there are several cases open in the Court of Accounts that requested the restitution of these funds.

The amnesty law insists on the same argument as the reform of the Penal Code, by proposing a new reading of the concept “enrichment.” It will not apply when “it was not intended to obtain a personal benefit of a financial nature.”

In addition, it states that “acts whose implementation had begun before November 1, 2011” may benefit from this point, or that include the entire process. It assumes a shielding of all causes, and it remains to be seen how it affects related causes. with the corruption of the defunct CiU or the plot that affects former president Jordi Pujol and his family. What could be left out is the conviction of Laura Borràs, former president of the Parliament and president of Junts, for splitting a public contract to award it to a friend during her time as a senior position in an organization of the Generalitat.

The general secretary of Junts, Jordi Turull, has assured that the former president of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont and the general secretary of ERC, Marta Rovira, will be able to return to Catalonia once the amnesty law is applied because the precautionary measures against them would be lifted.

In statements to Rac1, Turull has stated that Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena should lift the precautionary measures within a maximum period of two months from the law coming into force; From here on, the decision on the return would correspond to Puigdemont: “Any judge who wants to make it impossible will be prevaricating,” he said.

Turull has indicated that the Tsunami Democràtic case will fall under the amnesty law, and has been convinced that the new law will pass the filter of the Constitutional Court, although he has said that, if it does not happen, it would return to the situation “of the Statute 2.0”.

The Minister of the Presidency, Justice and Relations with the Cortes, Félix Bolaños, has pointed out that the amnesty law agreed between PSOE, Junts ERC “fills the Government with pride” because it is a brave step and “great news for Catalonia and for all of Spain”, which “marks history”, he told the media in the Congress courtyard before attending an event on the occasion of Women’s Day.

He has reiterated that the amnesty law after the changes continues to be “impeccable” from a constitutional point of view and with respect to European regulations and has highlighted that it has also incorporated the recommendations of the draft report of the Venice Commission, reports Efe.

Bolaños has also announced that “there will also be an agreement on the General State Budgets (PGE) because that is what all the Government partners want” moments before the first vice president of the Government and Minister of Finance, María Jesús, appears in the Senate. Montero at 10:30 a.m. before the Finance Commission at the request of Izquierdas por la Independencia – the group formed by ERC and Bildu – to present the objectives of his department in this legislature with the negotiation to reach an agreement that defines public accounts as next aim.

Turull has rejected, on the other hand, that the agreement reached with the PSOE and ERC on the amnesty law implies his party’s support for the Budgets, although he already knows “what issues can be placed” in the negotiation and there is a climate that “helps” to “be able to build an agreement.”

“Amnesty was an investiture. We have already completed the investiture and now there is an amnesty. Now we will begin the issue of budgets. We have not deceived anyone,” he said in an interview on Rac1.

“With the budgets, the score is at zero,” said Turull, who recalled that the amnesty was part of the pact for the investiture of Pedro Sánchez as President of the Government.

After recalling that the investiture agreement stated that progress will depend on the progress that is made, he admitted that the amnesty agreement generates “a much more favorable climate.”

“If there had not been an amnesty law, everything would surely have been blown up. But the amnesty was in the investiture and we have complied. Pedro Sánchez is already President of the Government,” he insisted. For this reason, he has made it clear that the scoreboard for the PGE negotiation is at “zero”, despite adding that the climate helps to be able to build an agreement.

Montero also did not want to link the agreement for the amnesty law to the 2024 Budgets and has clarified that “he continues talking to the groups to gather all possible support for the new accounts.”

“Everything in its time, we are talking to the groups to make it possible for there to be new accounts for the year 2024,” he told the media today upon his arrival at the Senate. “When there are agreements, we will comment on them promptly,” he added.

Regarding the amnesty law, he has assured that “it is constitutional and the Government is in favor of reconciliation and overcoming a stage that I wish had never occurred.”

The Government is preparing the General State Budgets for 2024, for which it will need the support of all its partners if it wants them to move forward. Montero has stressed in recent weeks that the talks are on the right track, and he has committed to having the accounts approved as soon as possible.

The path of deficit and public debt, however, is prolonging the process, since the PP’s veto in the Senate made the Executive have to present the stability objectives again. Precisely, this Wednesday the PP once again overturned the stability objectives in the Upper House, with which Montero reported that it is returning to the path that was reflected in the Stability Program of last April, more demanding, according to a legal report from the State Attorney’s Office managed by the Government and which will be released “very soon.”

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