Palma 21 Nov 2023 – 14:39
“Reading the bill carefully, I think it has a place within the Constitution”.
“Today everyone recognises that the situation in Catalonia is much better than in 2017”
Nicolás Sartorius, lawyer and historical militant of Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), participated yesterday in the opening of the exhibition ‘El proceso 1001’. Francoism against CCOO. An event in which he offered his vision of the events that took place and the importance they had for the Transition in Spain.
What do you think about the elimination of the Law of Democratic Memory, one of the points of the agreement signed between PP and Vox in the Balearic Islands?
I think it is profoundly negative. I know that the PP and Vox don’t like memory at all, but to eliminate this law is to repeal democracy. It is very difficult to create a profound culture if it is not clear what happened, how the dictatorship ended and what the end of that dictatorship meant for the re-establishment of democracy. It is an attack on democracy because human beings are fundamentally memory. The new generations have to know the history of this country.
One of the current issues is the amnesty law, which many citizens consider unconstitutional. As a lawyer, do you believe it has a place in the Magna Carta?
In our Constitution, what is constitutional is not decided by anyone’s opinion but by the Constitutional Court itself. My perception is that the arguments I have heard so far against amnesty do not seem to me to be correct. Having read the bill carefully, both in its explanatory memorandum and its articles, I believe that it fits within the Magna Carta. What the Constitution says is that general pardons are not possible, but amnesty is of a different nature.
Some parties claim that it breaks up Spain, creating first and second class citizens.
This has no basis or foundation. There have been many amnesties in countries such as Portugal, France and Italy and nothing has happened to their democracies. Amnesty is a part of the right to pardon, as are pardons. Some countries have it in their constitutions and others do not, but in this case it is not forbidden either. These are negative exaggerations that generate fear and alarm. To think that an amnesty in Catalonia that will affect around 400 people is going to break up Spain is to have a very poor idea of the country because Spain is much stronger than all that.
Will the law affect the independence of the judiciary?
There has been a lot of talk about lawfare and that Parliament’s committees could interfere in judicial proceedings, but that’s a very ignorant thing to say. There is an article in the rules of procedure of the Congress of Deputies, 52.4, which explains in a clear way that the committees of enquiry do not and cannot interfere in any decision taken by judges.
Do you think this is a measure that will solve the conflict in Catalonia?
In 2017 there was a situation of great confrontation and tension in Catalonia, when containers were being burnt. Today everyone recognises that the context is much better than at that time, also with the pardons. The truth is that I believe that the amnesty could have a positive effect, although only time will tell.