The European People’s Party of the European Parliament (EPP) registered this Wednesday an amendment to the draft European directive on the fight against corruption, in which it requested that the standard expressly prohibit the granting of pardons and amnesties for these types of crimes.
This initiative will be a setback for the government of Pedro Sánchez, as it will affect its plans to grant a broad amnesty to hundreds of pro-independence supporters who have been prosecuted before the courts and to grant amnesty to some of the main people convicted of ERE in Andalusia.
The amendment, signed by the president of the European People’s Party (EPP) group, Manfred Weber, proposes the introduction of Article 15 bis to the directive under the title “Ban on pardons and amnesties”.
The wording proposed by the European Popular Party is as follows: “Member States shall take the necessary measures to prohibit any amnesty for those found responsible for any of the crimes referred to in Articles 7 to 14 and to prohibit any amnesty for any of the crimes mentioned in Articles 7 to 14”.
The aforementioned articles refer to the crimes of corruption and abuse of public funds. The PSOE has already advocated a reform of the Penal Code to reduce the penalties for crimes of embezzlement (if there is no personal gain for the perpetrator), so that the ERC will support the General State Budgets in 2023.
In addition to Manfred Weber, the amendment to the European directive was signed by the PP spokesperson of the European Parliament, Dolors Montserrat; the vice president of the EPP, Paulo Rangel; the famous MEP and member of the Committee on Civil Liberties and Justice, Javier Zarzalejos; and the EPP rapporteur for the creation of this standard, Nuno Melo.
Dolors Montserrat recalls that corruption crimes are of particular concern to the EU authorities at a time when the transfer of multimillion-dollar figures from Next Generation funds to Member States was authorized to reactivate the economy after the pandemic.
Montserrat regretted that “while the European Commission asked to strengthen the fight against corruption, Sánchez turned a deaf ear and was ready to do everything to maintain power. amnesty for the corrupt and coup”, in exchange for getting the votes of the ERC and Junts to continue in Moncloa.
“We are ashamed that the PSOE, a party that should have been a party of the state, abandoned social democracy and endangered the rule of law, the division of powers, and the equality of the Spanish people,” declared the MEP.
This same week, the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, warned that the Commission will closely monitor the government’s plans to amnesty hundreds of pro-independence supporters, as far as it affects the crimes of looting.
Many former high-ranking officials of the Generalitat have been prosecuted for this crime (or convicted, in the case of Oriol Junqueras and other pro-independence leaders who sat on the Supreme Court bench) for the transfer of public funds to illegal purposes: the organization of the independence referendum of 1-O.
Popular MEP Javier Zarzalejos explained that his group’s amendment responds to the need to “strengthen the protection of the public interest and public management, to send a message of impunity to people who committed the various crimes desired by this regulation.”
The change in the EPP is based on the communication sent by the European Commission in 2019 to the Government of Romania to warn it about the legal reform it intends to promote in order to exempt a group of public officials responsible for crimes of
In this letter, Zarzalejos recalled, the Commission criticized that this reform “creates the risk of creating a situation of de facto impunity for crimes that includes corruption and recalls that all Member States are obliged to ensure that their criminal systems are effective in combating serious crimes.”