Catalan parties condemn Madrid’s measure to seize power in Catalonia
While some say that Spanish government's decision is "a true coup d'état", others demand “a pact of the State for Catalonia.”
Catalan political parties have reacted to Spain's decision to suspend Catalonia's self-rule and most of them have condemned Madrid's measures. 'Coup d'état' and 'virulent attack' are some of the expressions used to reject Mariano Rajoy's announcement earlier on Saturday.
"A true coup d'état"
Spain's decision has also been criticized by the spokeswoman for Catalonia's leading coalition Together for Yes (JxS) Marta Rovira. Via Twitter, she affirmed that there is "a democratic and legal mandate that protects everything we have done from Parliament and the Government as of December 27, 2015," recalling that democratic institutions "are elected by the citizens of Catalonia, not the Government of the Nation."
Her condemnation was also echoed by the PDeCat senator, Josep Lluís Cleries. "This is a true coup d'etat against the people of Catalonia falsely protected by the Constitution." He said.
"Who knows how to read article 155, it says nothing of the measures that this gentleman and his government intend to impose on Catalonia," he added, referring to Spanish president Mariano Rajoy.
"An authoritarian offensive"
The Catalunya en Comú party (Catalonia in Common, or CeC), in favor of an agreed referendum but ambiguous about independence, considered “the application of Article 155” of the Spanish constitution as “totally unjustifiable.” They additionally deemed it an “authoritarian offensive for a unilateral declaration of independence that has never existed, especially considering the clear offer of dialogue coming from Catalonia.”
In a statement, the party urged the “unity of citizens and political and social Catalan forces” in face of “the virulence of the attack on the sovereignty of Catalonia.” They additionally asked for “common front on the pro-Catalonia forces in defense of sovereignty,” calling for a “massive” participation in the demonstration planned for the evening of Saturday October 21, organized to demand the release of grassroots pro-independence organization leaders, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, incarcerated without bail awaiting trial for sedition against the Spanish government.
CeC further warned Rajoy that if he “seeks the moral defeat and humiliation of Catalonia,” he “will not achieve it.” According to the party, this “authoritarian offensive” from Rajoy is not against “pro-independence but against all the people of Catalonia.”
An attack on rights and freedoms
The leader of Catalunya en Comú and the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has spoken out on social networks reacting to the announcement by Spanish president Mariano Rajoy that Article 155 of the Spanish constitution will take control of Catalan public institutions and take control of Catalonia’s government. Colau stated that it’s clear that the Spanish government “suspended the self-government of Catalonia that so many people fought for.” On her Twitter account, she tweeted that this is “a serious attack on the rights and freedoms of everyone, here and everyone,” referencing the fact that both the people of Catalonia and those of the rest of Spain are affected.
"This is a true coup d'etat against the people of Catalonia falsely protected by the Constitution"
Josep Lluís Cleries · PDeCat senator
A measure to "restore democracy"
The leader of the unionist Ciutatdans party (Cs), Albert Rivera, stated that the Spanish government will be able to “overcome the coup d’état” that the Catalan government is carrying out, on its road to independence. Rivera also compared the situation to the suffering following the attempted coup on the Spanish government on 23 of February 1981, or to the fight against terrorism.
Rivera trusts that the application of Article 155 of the Constitution announced by the Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, will serve to “restore democracy” in Catalonia, as Rajoy himself said, through calling elections that aim to clear the current government in Catalonia. The leader of Cs has proposed January 28 as the first possible date for these elections.
Last minute demands
Meanwhile, just hours before Catalan president Carles Puigdemont is due to make his speech in response to the Spanish government's decision to apply article 155, rendering the Catalan parliament and public bodies impotent, he has been called upon to go to the Spanish Senate and make “a pact of the State for Catalonia.”
The leader of the Spanish Socialists party, Miquel Iceta, made the proposal “in extremis,” giving Puigdemont just two options in order to avoid a full on clash between both governments.
“To step out of the line of the law was to provoke a train crash. In order to avoid it: call elections or go to the Senate,” Iceta demanded.
The last minute ultimatum was backed by the Socialist's deputy leader Salvador Illa. "We will continue to work until the last moment so that either elections are called which we will make Puigdemont do,: he said, “ or the Catalan president appears before the Senate to guarantee the restoration of legality in Catalonia and establish the conditions to open a dialogue that leads to a State pact for Catalonia.”
Both Puigdemont and vice-president Oriol Junqueras were once again accused by the Socialist party of jeopardizing the economy, "putting jobs at risk," as well as "breaking the coexistence between Catalans."