Spain’s Congress gives final green light for Amnesty Act: “It's a historic day”

Esquerra Republicana leader Oriol Junqueras travelled to Madrid along with a party delegation to attend the plenary of the Spanish Congress

The plenary of the Congress of Deputies gave the definitive green light to the Amnesty Act on Thursday. This finalizes the passage of the act, after going through the Senate where the People’s Party vetoed it with the support of far-right Vox. The spokesman for the Esquerra group, Gabriel Rufián, described this milestone as “a historic day,” and in his speech thanked “those who defended the ballot boxes, body and soul.” In addition, he also thanked party leader Oriol Junqueras and Secretary General Marta Rovira for the trek undertaken to get there, along with former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell and minister Dolors Bassa present during the vote.

Let us pride ourselves for this today, but there is still another bout left, the bout with Spanish justice,” said Mr Rufián, who made it clear that the “next stop is the referendum [for self-determination],” and warned the representatives of other parties in the chamber that “whoever disparages that, remember we were told that amnesty was impossible, and here we are today approving it.”

Mr Junqueras explained in statements to the media at the end of the vote on the law that “nothing ends today. We will continue to work so this amnesty law is not the end point, but the beginning of a match on equal terms to make a referendum possible.” Marta Rovira told Catalan radio station RAC 1: “Today, we have taken a very important step. It is a great political victory that we will have to work on to make it effective. The greatest challenge with the amnesty law is its implementation.”

An Esquerra delegation followed the plenary session from the public gallery of the Congress, which included the Catalan Parliamentary party leader and president of Esquerra’s National Council, Josep Maria Jové; Assistant Secretary General and spokesperson, Marta Vilalta; Assistant Assistant Secretary General for Strategy, Communication and Institutional Coordination, Juli Fernández; Under-Secretary General for Rights, Freedoms and Anti-Repressive Struggle, Marta Vilaret; Under-Secretary General for Communication and Strategy, Oriol Duran; Under-Secretary General for Political and Sectoral Action and spokesperson in the Spanish Senate, Sara Bailac; Senator Joan Queralt; acting Catalan government Vice President, Laura Vilagrà; and the Catalan government delegate in Madrid, Joan Capdevila.