SPAIN: Right Wingers Rally To Bring Down Socialist PM

People gather during a protest called by right-wing opposition parties against Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at Colon square in Madrid Spain

Demonstrators gathered in the capital's Plaza de Colon, waving Spanish flags.

The three parties won a majority in a regional election in the southwestern region of Andalusia in December, ousting the Socialists from power in the region after 36 years.

The rally was called by the opposition center-right and far-right parties, which claim Madrid is betraying the Spanish people by caving to pressure from Catalan separatists.

They are angered by Sanchez's decision to take a more conciliatory tone with pro-independence parties, whose votes are crucial to the legislative agenda of his eight-month-old minority government. We want #EleccionesYa (Elections Now) and go to the polls, Sánchez cheated us by mounting a motion of censure and not calling elections # UnidosPorEspaña, " Ciudadanos, or the Citizens party quoted its President Albert Rivera as saying at the rally.

The political tensions come as a highly sensitive trial at Spain's Supreme Court starts tomorrow for 12 Catalan separatists who face charges, including rebellion, for their roles in a failed secession attempt in 2017.

"The time of Sanchez's government has ended", leader of the Popular Party Pablo Casado said at the protest, according to theNew York Times.

The right wing parties accused the government of treachery over the move.

Elena Navarro, who attended the anti-Sanchez rally in Madrid with her teenaged son, said Mr Sanchez was "a traitor".

Around 45,000 people attended, officials said.

"And what I am doing now as prime minister, always respecting the constitution, is to solve a national crisis to which the Popular Party has contributed", Sanchez said.

Speaking at a Socialist party event in northern Spain, Sanchez reminded his political opponents that when he was an opposition leader, he stood by Rajoy on the situation in Catalonia even after separatist regional officials staged an October 2017 independence referendum in defiance of Spanish courts.

Despite the government's concession, Catalan separatist parties still refused to back the government's 2019 budget and both sides on Friday called off their talks, with each side blaming the other for ending their dialogue.

Failure by parliament to approve the budget bill could prompt a snap election before the next scheduled vote in 2020.

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