“A law that lowers the sentences for rapists and allows them to take to the streets.” With these arguments, the MEP of the PP Rosa Estarás has defended the change on the march of the agenda of the plenary session of the European Parliament that takes place between this Monday and next Thursday in Strasbourg. With the hang of November 25, a day in homage to women victims of violence, the PP demanded “statements from the Council of the EU and the European Commission on the elimination of violence against women and the fight against sexual crimes, including the case of the recently approved Spanish law that effectively reduces the sentences of convicted criminals”.
The instruction of the Prosecutor’s Office refuses to reduce sentences for violators if they continue in force in the law of “only yes is yes”
But he has been left alone with the extreme right and the two Citizens MEPs who have voted, so the majority of the plenary session has overturned his maneuver, by 242 votes compared to 136.
The president of the European socialists in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, and the president of the Renew Europe bench, the Frenchman Stéphane Séjourné, have taken the floor to respond to Estarás’s request.
“In Spain, a law has been approved that reduces the sentences for rapists and those who violate the sexual freedom of women,” said Estarás: “There have been more than five releases of pedophiles, rapists of women, reductions in sentence of 8 to 6 years and so on one after another. It is urgent that we debate this that day, so that this cascade of releases and this nonsense with this law stops. It is not ideology that I am asking for in this Parliament. I appeal to the consciences of the men and women of this Parliament. We have repeatedly said that violence against women is an atrocious attack on human rights. We have said that not one more. Now we can prove it. Please stop that law.”
The president of the Socialists in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, has responded: “November 25 marks the International Day against Gender Violence. Since I am a Member of Parliament, this Parliament has had a debate on the matter to unite our voices from the difference, but with a clear message of solidarity and support for women victims of gender violence, women who have been murdered for the mere fact of being women. Macho terrorism kills, kills in Europe and in the rest of the world. And it is necessary to hold a debate as we have done every year. But this proposal put forward by the Popular Group seems to me to raise few scruples and no respect. Few scruples, because national laws are changed in national parliaments. This is a European Parliament and we must respect the debates that we have here, and therefore we must bear in mind that much more respect must be shown to the European Parliament and respect to the victims, to the women who have been murdered. You cannot allow yourself to be lied to in this way. More respect. I ask for a vote against this proposal from the Popular Party, which is only trying to hold a partisan debate in what deserves to be a debate in support of all European women”.
In similar terms, the spokesperson for the European liberals has stated: “I am not going to give an explanation of vote, but perhaps rather a point of order. We are going to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the European Parliament. This European Parliament is a transnational parliament. We have energy problems to deal with, we have purchasing power problems. I know that we are going towards the European elections of 2024 and that more and more political groups will be tempted to integrate national controversies into this European Parliament. But, dear colleagues, dear colleagues, in view of the challenges that we have in the coming months and in the coming years, let us avoid these changes in the agenda. And that, Madam President, is more a matter of order than anything else. My group will systematically vote against it. Without entering into controversy and without even going into the substance of the controversies of national parliaments in the face of requests for agendas that are modified on purely national issues that have no place in the debate, in the democratic and political debate of the European Parliament”.