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"We are aware - and have reached agreement on it this week - that we need to overcome the judicial horizon; the institutional crisis of 2017 must be overcome, because democracy is more complete if we include the actors who for one circumstance or another had to leave in 2017". This is what the new spokesperson for the Spanish government, Esther Peña, stated this Monday, arguing in favour of the return of those who left Spain and went into exile over Catalonia's October 1st referendum, on the grounds that their return will improve the democratic quality of the Spanish state. This is what she said when, in her first appearance at Socialist (PSOE) headquarters in Madrid's Calle Ferraz, she was asked if within the party there is no longer a disparity of opinion around an amnesty law for Catalan independentists.

During her appearance, Peña made a defence of the legislation that intends to rectify the state's judicial persecution of a political movement. However, the parliamentary bill itself has now become bogged down in the question of amendments. With only hours until the justice committee of the Congress of Deputies debates the proposed amendments, the PSOE remains unmoved and insists that the law, as it is drafted right now, is already "legally and constitutionally flawless". Peña is confident that this Tuesday's debate will be "fruitful" and that it will be possible to "talk".

In the same way, she invited Together for Catalonia (Junts) and the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) to "seduce" in order to "convince" the other parties over why it is necessary to protect the Tsunami Democràtic protest platform and the CDR activist groups from the planned text of the law which excludes its application to people charged with terrorism offences. Socialist sources assure that, for now, their position is not movable, and that they do not expect to yield in the next few hours to requests aimed at protecting the independence movement from judges such as Manuel García-Castellón.


The new Socialist spokesperson has also been asked about the relationship between the PSOE and Junts, which just days ago was put under great stress by the negotiation until the very last minute of the three decree laws. She affirmed that people need to "get used to" the result of the elections of the July 23rd election. "We are in a difficult and complex legislature and the challenges are complex", she said; without giving more details about the next meeting that Socialists and Junts are to have, arising from the agreements reached between the two to allow Pedro Sánchez to form a new government.

"Gladness" over prosecutors' new investigation into Operation Catalonia

As well, the Socialist politician stated that the PSOE is "glad" that the public prosecutors have decided to open proceedings regarding Operation Catalonia. "We asked for this to be taken to its ultimate conclusions", noted the Socialist spokesperson, referring to a statement made by Pedro Sánchez. For that reason, she left the door more open than ever to the appearance by ex-prime minister Mariano Rajoy at the Congress of Deputies commission of inquiry on the 'dirty war' against the independence movement.