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Crisis in Spain as retired generals call for coup to get rid of socialist PM

NewsCrisis in Spain as retired generals call for coup to get rid of socialist PM

A faction of retired military officers in Spain has called for a revolt against the country’s socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

Despite the Socialist Party, led by Mr Sánchez, finishing second in the July elections, he was able to cobble together enough support from hard-left and regional parties, eventually gaining approval from the majority in Congress.

The call for a coup was demanded in an open letter published on Friday on the website of the AME association of Spanish armed forces members.

While it is reported that 51 retired officers gave their support to the letter, their names were not published.

The officers accused Mr Sánchez of undermining judicial independence and violating the constitutional principle of equality among Spaniards by granting Catalans widespread pardons for criminal acts.

Sánchez, who has led Spain’s Socialist party since 2018, has received the support of 179 lawmakers in the 350-seat lower house of parliament to form a new leftist coalition government. Only right-wing deputies voted against the bill.

Following nearly two days of debate among party leaders, the focus was primarily on an amnesty agreement for Catalan separatists. Sánchez agreed to this deal in exchange for crucial support in securing a second four-year term.

Sánchez won the election with the support of six smaller parties, including two Catalan separatist parties, totalling 14 seats.

With this backing, the Socialists were able to form a new government in collaboration with the left-wing Sumar (Joining Forces) party.

Spain’s national elections on July 23 produced a deeply divided parliament.

Despite receiving the most votes, the centre-right Popular Party was unable to secure enough support to form a government, owing primarily to alliances with the far-right Vox party, which finished third.

The proposed amnesty agreement aims to provide a fresh start for many Catalan separatists facing legal challenges as a result of the region’s illegal secession attempt in 2017, which triggered Spain’s worst crisis in decades.

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