“The latest developments are unfortunate and I call on all actors to work responsibly to make sure this law is approved,” Aragonès said in an interview with POLITICO in Brussels. “But I am confident that this will ultimately end well.”
Junts members withdrew their support for the bill shortly before the vote, arguing it didn’t fully protect them — including their de facto leader, former Catalan president and separatist chief Carles Puigdemont — from prosecution for alleged terrorism-related crimes.
The bill’s rejection represents a significant blow for Sánchez, who obtained Junts’ crucial support to form a government last November in exchange for moving forward with the amnesty legislation.
In the past few weeks, Sánchez accepted modifications to the draft bill to satisfy demands by the separatist lawmakers that their protection from prosecution be ironclad.
The text will now return for debate in a parliamentary commission before being voted on again by Spanish lawmakers in a few weeks. Junts is likely to use that time to pressure Sánchez’s minority government, which requires the party’s support to pass practically all legislation, to modify the text.
Aragonès, whose separatist Republican Left of Catalonia party voted in favor of the bill, said Junts would have to explain itself for delaying the passage of legislation that will benefit thousands of people he said had been “persecuted for their dedication to the Catalan independence movement.”