For the 6th night in a row street protests by demonstrators outside the PSOE Socialists Party HQ in Madrid have ended in violence and arrests.
An estimated 7,000 demonstrators have been gathering on Calle Ferraz in attempt to march on the Socialist party headquarters in protest at the looming investiture vote which is expected to see Pedro Sanchez attempt to form a new government with the support of Catalan separatists.
To date some 29 police and 10 demonstrators have been injured and requiring medical attention. In addition 7 protestors have been arrested for public order offences.
The protests have been organised by the ‘Revuelta’ group, reportedly a ‘youth movement’ supported by the Vox party, according to Spanish media.
Pedro Sanchez condemned the protestors saying that ” to attack the headquarters of Spain’s Socialist Party is to attack democracy and all those who believe in it. But more than 140 years of history remind us that no one will ever be able to intimidate the PSOE.”
The Socialists were runners-up in the July general election behind the conservative People’s Party (PP). However, PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo failed to form a government in an investiture vote in September, receiving only the support of the far-right Vox.
It is now Mr Sánchez’s turn.
In order to form a government he needs the support of the left-wing alliance Sumar and the backing of an array of regional parties, including the pro-independence Together for Catalonia (JxCat) and the Catalan Republican Left (ERC).
In exchange for their support, those two parties have demanded a general amnesty for several hundred Catalan politicians and activists who face legal action mainly for activities linked to failed referendum bid to secede from Spain in 2017.
In 2021, the Socialist government issued pardons for nine separatist leaders who had been jailed for their part in the Catalunian referedum.
The Madrid regional premier, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, weighed in today saying Mr Sanchez was forming a dictatorship.
The parliamentary vote will take place on 27th November.
Should Sannchez fail to get a majority in the 350 seat lower house new elections will be automatically held.