Saturday, March 6

Protests for Hasél: Pedro Sánchez: “In a full democracy such as Spain, violence is inadmissible” | Spain


The Government, starting with its president, has mobilized this Friday to reject the violence in the demonstrations in recent days due to the imprisonment of rapper Pablo Hasél, after the controversy caused by the attitude of United We Can not expressly condemn the riots . “In a full democracy such as Spain, violence is inadmissible,” said Sánchez at an event in Mérida (Badajoz), where he stressed that, in the face of vandalism, the police “will guarantee citizen security.” Almost at the same time, the Interior Minister, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has also deplored the “unacceptable violence” and has defended the actions of the security forces, criticized by leaders of the minority partner of the Government. United We, meanwhile, has begun to qualify his speech and several leaders, such as the president of the parliamentary group, Jaume Asens, or his Interior spokesman, Enrique Santiago, have separated their support for the protests from the violent acts carried out “by a minority ”.

Regarding the reason that has led to the demonstrations in recent days in several Spanish cities, Sánchez stressed that democracy protects freedom of expression, “even the most infamous and absurd thoughts.” And he has reiterated the intention of his Government to review in the Penal Code some of the crimes such as those attributed to the Catalan singer. “There is a broad consensus within society to better protect freedom of expression. The Government has stated that it will improve legal protection, ”Sánchez pointed out. But at the same time he has warned that violence is “the denial of democracy” and is “an attack” on the system of freedoms. “There is no cause, no place or situation that can justify the use of violence,” he emphasized.

It is the first time that Sánchez refers to the violent incidents of recent days, which have caused an exchange of statements between the coalition partners. The president, in addition, marks distances with the second vice president and leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, by insisting on his defense of the democratic quality of Spain. A day before, the Vice President of the Government, Carmen Calvo, had already distanced herself from the support given to the protests by the parliamentary spokesperson of United We Can in Congress, Pablo Echenique, who wrote a tweet showing his support “for the young people who are asking justice and freedom of expression in the streets ”and posted images on the same social network to criticize police action.

The Interior Minister spoke on Friday in similar terms to his colleagues from the socialist part of the Government and has defended the police action without nuances. Marlaska has taken advantage of an appearance in the House Committee of the Congress to explain his management during the storm Filomena and has expressed its support for the security forces in the face of the “unjustifiable attitude” of the groups that have caused disturbances. The police, Marlaska has said, “guarantee rights and freedoms against a minority who, with a wrong concept of rights, make use of violence.”

In a parliamentary session charged with tension, right-wing groups have reproached the minister for not acting against United We Can. Vox has demanded that he defend the Police from “the hordes of his government partner.” The PP Interior spokesperson, Ana Belén Vázquez, has been very tough. “Are you with Mr. Echenique? With that unpresentable one that incites violence ”, said the popular deputy, who has even asked Marlaska to activate the Prosecutor’s Office to act against the leaders of United We Can. Vázquez has come to assure that Echenique “asked the protesters for more cane.” Despite the insistence of both the PP and Citizens, the minister has avoided getting into polemics with his government partners.

United We can stand out from violence

Unidos Podemos has already begun to distance itself from the riots. The president of the group in Congress, Jaume Asens, has clarified in an interview on Catalunya Ràdio: “We support the protesters, as Echenique has said, but it does not mean that we agree with the disturbances that a minority does and does not represent. to people who are outraged ”. During Marlaska’s appearance, the Interior Spokesperson for United We Can, Enrique Santiago, spoke in praise of the general behavior of the Police, although he criticized his response to the riots in recent days, regretting that “with all the means and resources at your fingertips, is not able to control a demonstration ”. “That does not justify violence,” he immediately specified. Santiago has also alluded to the police action after the beating of a man by two agents, last week in Linares (Jaén), at which time he ended up confronting the Vox deputies and accused them of “encouraging a destabilizing minority embedded in the security forces ”.

One of the socialist barons, the president of the Junta de Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara, before receiving Sánchez in Mérida, has referred to the attitude of United We Can to the altercations to charge against the formation of churches. In an interview on SER, Vara assured that while “there is a party that tries to govern” [en referencia al PSOE], others “are trying that there is no government,” reports Lucia Tolosa.

Fernández Vara believes that Unidos Podemos wants to differentiate itself by dividing the Executive. “Many times he puts on the agenda what allows him to make a difference, not what allows him to establish consensus”, he assured. “When you live permanently obsessed with seeing, not what you share with the group of political forces, but what divides us, in the end what happens is a deep division of the Spanish political class that is moving to the streets” , has settled the Extremaduran president. Vara was later joined by another socialist president, that of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, who wrote in a tweet: “Some speak of normality without probably knowing that their electoral expectations are based on the abnormality that let things be ”. And with words very similar to those of Vara he has riveted: “While some are the Government, others are only in the Government. What a pity!”.

In the opposition, the leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, has once again demanded that Sánchez dismiss Iglesias. “If he does not stop his vice president, he is taking responsibility for what happens.” “The Government has to act jointly as established by the law in force,” said Casado, who also wanted to express his “absolute support to the police, Civil Guard, Mossos and local police for enforcing the law and preserving citizen security ”, reports Elsa Garcia de Blas.

This Thursday saw the third day of protests over the arrest, last Tuesday, of rapper Pablo Hasél at the University of Lleida, where he was entrenched and surrounded by supporters. On the musician weighed a sentence of nine months in prison for crimes of glorification of terrorism and insults to the Crown. In addition, this Thursday a new sentence was confirmed for Hasél for threatening a witness in a trial against some agents of the Urban Guard of his city, Lleida, in 2017. The day of violent demonstrations this Thursday resulted in 16 detainees in Barcelona and Valencia.

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