Is Spain on the Brink of Civil War?

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Spain is undergoing tremendous political unrest following a Socialist deal to remain in power. Tens of thousands of conservative Spaniards are protesting in Madrid, with many other protests across the country.

Spanish Socialists have offered amnesty to Basque and Catalan Separatists in return for their support in Parliament. The Catalan independence declaration in 2017 led to arrest warrants against Catalan leaders for treason, which would now be expunged for political gains. Reuters reports:

About 170,000 people marched through Madrid on Saturday in the largest protest yet against an amnesty law which Spain’s Socialists agreed over Catalonia’s 2017 separatist bid in order to form a government.

The demonstration, the latest in a series of protests in cities across the country against the amnesty, took place two days after Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez won a four-year term with the backing of Catalan and Basque nationalist parties in return for agreeing to the law.

Spanish Socialists have traditionally gotten their support from minority parts of the country, many of which do not speak Spanish as their first language. Spanish conservatives value the Catholic Church, the Monarchy, and the Spanish language. Euronews has more:

“We will continue to support all mobilisations and all calls to oppose” this “government born from an unconstitutional pact,” said Vox leader Santiago Abascal, who has called the amnesty deal a “coup d’etat”.

In a sign of the tensions the amnesty has sparked, dozens of retired right-wing generals issued a manifesto on Friday calling on “those responsible for defending the constitutional order” to “remove the prime minister” and “call” new elections.

This is eerily similar to the crisis prior to the Spanish Civil War in 1936. While a full civil war is unlikely, greater political violence is not out of the question.

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