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Spain's Socialists (PSOE) are fully convinced that they are going to obtain the support of Together for Catalonia (Junts per Catalunya) and pass an amnesty law for the Catalan independence process cases that excludes those involving accusations of terrorism and high treason. After weeks of negotiations, the PSOE has put a foot down and is insisting that it has not accepted any of the demands of the pro-independence party. Nevertheless, from Socialist headquarters they are confident that this Thursday the justice committee of the Spanish Congress will, with support from Junts, pass a new raw draft for the amnesty legislation, which in turn will allow the final version of the law to be approved in the lower house on Thursday, March 14th. The senior partner of Spain's left-wing coalition government explains that now "there is more warmth" in the hope of being able to reach, once and for all, an agreement with the Catalan party led in Madrid by Míriam Nogueras.

This is also, according to Socialist sources, because there could still be room for tying up loose ends in the negotiations. "We are still in talks", they assert from Socialist HQ. The agreement, therefore, is not completely wrapped up despite the decision having been taken to officially call together the Congress of Deputies' justice committee for this Thursday. As well, PSOE sources deny that the negotiations with Junts on the amnesty run parallel to those on the Spanish government budget. The correlation between the two issues, therefore, would only occur in case of a failure to agree, because for some time the Spanish government has assumed that it must reach a deal with Junts on the amnesty if it does not want the pro-independence parties to throw out the national accounts. An agreement on the amnesty, however, does not imply having already consented to the budget, assert the Socialists.

This Monday, PSOE spokesperson Esther Peña affirmed that there are "discreet negotiations" between the Socialists and Junts, but she did make it clear that her party is not thinking about the exceptions of terrorism and high treason. "The last vote opened a period of reflection that affects us all, and I hope that as a result of this reflection process we can push forward a law of reconciliation", she said in a press conference, calling on Junts to put aside their demands, which caused the legislation to go into the lower chamber's icebox on January 30th.


Esther Peña (PSOE): "We are comfortable with the text agreed with these 6 parties and confident it will get majority support this Thursday"

Justice committee has been convened

This Monday, the president of the lower house's justice committee, the Socialist MP Francisco Lucas, informed the parliamentary parties that the committee will meet this Thursday, March 7th. The PSOE is adamant that it cannot lose another vote on the amnesty and asserted a few days ago that it would only take the legislation forward to a vote in the full Congress session if an agreement is reached with Carles Puigdemont's party.

Furthermore, doubts are now dissipating about the whether a new time extension is needed to negotiate the text. In recent days, several sources close to the negotiations reported satisfactory sensations about the progress of the talks. Thus, the parties will meet this Thursday with the aim of debating and passing a new draft for the law to remedy the years of judicial persecution of Catalan independence supporters.