Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez raised the tone against the pro-independence aspirations in this last stretch of the 2023 general election campaign. He did so this Friday, on the last day of the electoral race. He assured that “the pro-independence movement is an outdated ideology” and ridiculed its aspirations to gradually claw powers managed from Madrid. Furthermore, he also boasted of not having fulfilled the movement’s desire for amnesty to be granted to political prisoners, opting simply for a “partial pardon”.
“After the situation experienced during the pandemic and in the face of a climate emergency, we are increasingly aware that we are facing global challenges which need common responses that strengthen Europe”, answered Pedro Sánchez when asked about the possibility of granting a referendum on self-determination in the term.
“The country’s direction must be integration processes, not locking ourselves in a little corner to see if we manage to have more powers”, he scorned, adding that “we must share powers to be effective and equitable to global challenges”. “That is why the pro-independence movement is an outdated ideology, because it does not solve humanity’s problems,” said Sanchez.
In addition, the socialist candidate made clear that there is no possibility that Catalans vote on their political future under his rule. “It is not contemplated in the Constitution”, he reminded, boasting that in the last five years “he has solved the problem” through “coexistence”. It should be noted, however, that the PSOE erased the dialogue table from its electoral program.
Finally, and as he has already mentioned in the last days, he defended that unionism begins to campaign “for the ‘yes’”, a positive campaign to defend Catalonia’s permanence within the Spanish state. “The pro-independence movement, through dialectics, has had the power to put us in a place which is not ours” said Sanchez in acknowledgment.
He hoped the July 23rd polls’ results allows the PSOE to govern in majority with left-wing coalition Sumar, something which no survey —except for socialist José Félix Tezanos’ Centre for Sociological Research, Spain’s publicly-run opinion polling agency— sees feasible.
“They have not had nor will they ever have either”
On Thursday, he declared that these last years “they asked for amnesty and referendum, and they have not had nor will they ever have either of the two things”. He thus closed the possibility of Catalans voting on their independence should he remain prime minister.
From the coalition with Podemos to one with Yolanda Díaz
Pedro Sánchez also recognized that in this past term “sometimes there have been too many decibels” in the relationship between the PSOE and Podemos. “We must correct the internal noise” if after July 23rd the Socialists can continue to rule with Yolanda Díaz as vice-president because “the progressive electorate has focused on what separates us rather than what unites us”.
Produced in association with El Nacional En
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager