Spain’s lower house approves contentious Catalan amnesty bill

By Thomson Reuters Mar 14, 2024 | 7:53 AM

BARCELONA (Reuters) – Spain’s lower house on Thursday passed a bill granting amnesty to all those involved in the northeastern Catalonia region’s bid for independence, overcoming the last major hurdle for the contentious law that has sparked protests and irked judges.

The amnesty was part of the ruling Socialist Party’s deal with separatist party Junts per Catalunya to secure the latter’s votes to renew Pedro Sanchez’s term as prime minister following an inconclusive general election in July 2023.

The bill, approved by 178-172 votes, will now head to the Senate for ratification. The upper house, controlled by the opposition People’s Party, could delay its final approval by rejecting the bill, which would then return to the lower chamber for one last vote expected in May or June.

(Reporting by Joan Faus and David Latona; Editing by Andrei Khalip)