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A slap in the face for judge Manuel García-Castellón from the Spanish government, and it was his second of the day. Pilar Alegría, the spokesperson for the Pedro Sánchez executive, reminded the National Audience judge that "Switzerland is a consolidated democracy", after the country announced today that it had refused to cooperate in the investigation of the Tsunami Democràtic case, focused on Catalan pro-independence leaders and alleging terrorism offences. The utterance was the only comment that the Spanish education minister dared to make on the subject. Indeed, when asked about the decision of Switzerland's federal justice office, dependent on the justice ministry of that country, she affirmed that the Spanish government "respects" all judicial decisions, whether they come from Spanish or European courts. "It must be the judge who responds" to this situation, said Alegría.

The statements follow the news this Tuesday morning that Switzerland has thrown into question the terrorism investigation that García-Castellón is attempting to carry out from Spain against Carles Puigdemont, Marta Rovira and others. The National Audience judge had asked the Swiss authorities to locate Rovira, the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) secretary general, but the country's justice system has rejected that demand. The response explains that there may be a "political character" in the investigation of the Tsunami Democratic, a pro-independence protest platform active in 2019. And what's more: they ask the Spanish judge to "expand the information" about the amnesty law which, when passed, will be applied to independence process prosecutions, as well as the consequences that this legislation could have for those investigated in connection with the platform. The Swiss communication also notes that the relationship between Rovira and the Tsunami is not clear.

Pressure on Junts: the PSOE is struggling with the amnesty

In addition, the spokesperson for the Spanish government stated in this Tuesday's press conference that the desire of the executive is to reach an agreement "as soon as possible" with Together for Catalonia (Junts) on the amnesty bill. However, Spanish government sources say that Pedro Sánchez has not ordered his negotiating team to step on the accelerator to reach an agreement with the pro-independence party as soon as possible.

They explain that the Socialists have always had a deadline of one month to reach an agreement since Junts decided to send the bill back to committee stage for further changes. Spain's first-ranked deputy PM, María Jesús Montero, has already warned this Tuesday that any modification to the rule will be in "technical aspects", as the text entered the lower house "constitutionally" and, she said, that's how it will have to come out. These same sources also warn that from the PSOE "we are not moving, we are staying put".

The finance minister also commented, in statements to the radio broadcaster SER, that "hopefully" an agreement might be reached between the two parties "in the next few hours or days". Later, the government spokesperson, Pilar Alegría, stated in a press conference that the desire of the executive is to reach an agreement "as soon as possible". And, in fact, this Monday, the PSOE spokesperson, Esther Peña, opened the door to the possibility of "an agreement very soon". Spanish government sources, however, warned against reading these statements "between the lines", and reiterated that Sánchez had not ordered for negotiations with Carles Puigdemont's party to be sped up.