A Spanish army officer who was carrying a gun during a demonstration in Madrid against the third government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has been arrested, local police announced on Sunday.
The second lieutenant, who is stationed at the training base of the Zaragoza Military Academy, was arrested after a police check during Saturday’s demonstration in front of the headquarters of the country’s ruling Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE). For several days now in the largest cities Spain rallies and marches are being held against the Sanchez cabinet’s plan to grant amnesty to Catalan separatists in exchange for their support in forming a new government.
The daily “El Confidencial” reported that the soldier had a private weapon with him. No charges were brought against him. This is the first time a weapon has been discovered in one of the demonstrators during the ongoing protests in Spain, notes Reuters.
Over a million demonstrators
Among several protests that took place in Spain on Saturday, the largest was the demonstration in Madrid’s Cibeles Square and adjacent streets. According to the organizers, over a million citizens were to participate in the rally.
On Thursday, thanks to seven votes from the separatist Together for Catalonia (Junts) party, Prime Minister Sanchez received a vote of confidence in his third government in the 350-seat Congress of Deputies, Spain’s lower house of parliament.
Victorious in July elections Alberto Nunez Feijoo’s center-right People’s Party (PP) tried unsuccessfully to win a vote of confidence in his government in September. In this situation, King Felipe VI chose Sanchez as a candidate for prime minister.
Main photo source: EPA/DANIEL GONZALEZ