The government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on 9 November that it had agreed a deal with Catalan separatist party Junts to grant amnesty to those convicted after the failed Catalonian secession attempt in 2017.
This has led to major protests – a report by Reuters estimates that there were tens of thousands protesting across Spain – with Sanchez’s political opponents accusing him of putting his own political gain ahead of the rule of law.
This included approximately 80,000 protesters in Madrid on 12 November, while in Barcelona – the capital of Catalonia – approximately 6,000 people were demonstrating. In Granada and Seville, there were approximately 30,000 and 50,000 protestors respectively, with further demonstrations also reported in other cities such as Malaga, Palma, and Valencia.
Travellers to Spain should take be aware of any protests that may be planned for the near future, and should exercise standard precautions when encountering or avoiding large gatherings.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has not yet issued any specific advisories regarding the protests, but continues to recommend that: “While most demonstrations are peaceful, there is a risk of unrest or violence. If you’re in and around areas where demonstrations are taking place, be aware of what is happening around you, and move away if there are signs of disorder.”
Lauren Haigh explored the state of Spain’s healthcare and health insurance sectors in the October 2023 issue of ITIJ.