Thousands demand Pedro Sanchez resign, during right-wing rally

12 February, 2019, 20:11 | Author: Wade Massey
  • People's Party president Pablo Casado at today's demonstration in Madrid

TENS of thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Madrid calling for Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to call early elections over his handling of the Catalonia separatist crisis.

Opposition leaders in Madrid are seeing Sanchez's proposal - to appoint a rapporteur for negotiations across political parties to address the situation in Catalonia - as treason, reports Sputnik.

Many waved Spanish and European Union flags or held up signs reading: "Stop Sanchez".

Sanchez's minority government, came to power last June ousting a conservative government and relying on the support of the left-wing party Podemos, Catalan nationalists and other small parties.

Mr Sanchez is trying to cobble together support to pass a national budget and will need votes from the Catalan separatists to pass it. If Sanchez is unable to approve his budget, he could call elections before his term is over in 2020.

A woman takes part in a protest called by right-wing opposition parties against Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at Colon square in Madrid, Spain, on February 10, 2019.

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"The time of Sanchez's government has ended", Popular Party leader Pablo Casado told reporters before the protest.

Ana Guisasola, a 50-year-old who works for a motor lubricants firm, said she had voted for the PP and Ciudadanos in the past, but now plans to vote for Vox, which she called Spain's last hope.

Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo however, said that the discussions between the government and separatists were likely to fail as pro-independence groups reject the proposed framework.

The conservative opposition Popular Party and the centre-right Citizens party organized Sunday's rally, which was also backed by the far-right Vox party. The Catalan groups want a referendum on independence included on the agenda, which Madrid will not accept.

The political tensions come as a highly sensitive trial at Spain's Supreme Court starts tomorrow for 12 Catalan separatists who face charges, including rebellion, for their roles in a failed secession attempt in 2017. He holds just over a quarter of the seats in parliament and was favoured by Catalan supporters as he was more open to discussions.

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