Catalan president to ‘prepare path for international mediation’
Torra repeats he will not accept any guilty sentences against jailed leaders in upcoming trial, sparking criticism from opposition
The Catalan president has announced he will intensify political moves abroad in order to "prepare the path for mediation," so as to find a way out of the conflict between Catalonia and Spain.
Quim Torra made a statement on Wednesday in Parliament condemning the proposed sentences for the jailed leaders made public by the Spanish prosecutor last Friday, which total 177 years in jail for rebellion.
"In accordance with [foreign] minister Maragall, we will personally address all representatives of EU countries explaining the situation in Catalonia," he said. "We want to explain directly to them how Spain is treating the politicians who wanted to enable citizens to have their say."
During his 10-minute speech, Torra called on all Catalan political parties to stop "looking the other way" from the "injustice" being suffered by the imprisoned leaders.
Once more, Torra said he would not accept any guilty sentences against the prosecuted officials when they go to trial, but he did not give details on what this might mean.
Opposition leader: "Will you storm into courts?"
In fact, opposition leader, Inés Arrimadas, responded to his speech by asking what he intends to do in order to reject the sentences.
"Will you attack judges? Will you storm into courts? Will you let the Parliament be stormed? Will you chase us? Will you occupy the airport? What will you do?" asked Arrimadas, leader of unionist Ciutadans. "A normal democrat would appeal to a higher court, but I do not know what to expect from you, be brave and answer."
Socialists call to back Spain's rule of law
In the same vein, leader of Socialists Miquel Iceta also called on Torra for a clarification.
Will you attack judges? Will you storm into courts? Will you let the Parliament be stormed? Will you chase us? Will you occupy the airport? What will you do?
Inés Arrimadas · Leader of opposition (Cs)
He admitted that the Spanish judiciary deserves some criticism, and claimed that he sees no rebellion in the case against the push for independence, but he called on all political parties to back Spain’s rule of law.
After the Catalan president insisted he won’t back the 2019 Spanish budget, Iceta said it was a “mistake” linking the spending plan bill to the trial.
People's Party: Torra should step down
The People’s Party said the problem is not the Spanish courts, and demanded for president Torra to step down.
“We have a president who marginalizes half of the population and keeps calling them colonists, who calls for uprisings, and who vindicates a man sentenced for kidnapping and torturing another human being,” said People’s Party MP Alejandro Fernández referring to the Basque pro-independence leader Arnaldo Otegi.
Catalunya en Comú-Podem asks Spanish president to take action
Meanwhile, Jéssica Albiach, the leader of Catalunya en Comú-Podem (a party non-aligned on the independence debate) called on the Spanish president to take action to put an end to the “injustice” suffered by the incarcerated Catalan leaders.
CUP calls on Torra not to "abidy by the injustice"
The far-left pro-independendence CUP party called again on Torra not to “abide by the injustice” and to recover the spirit of the October 1 referendum.
"We can’t negotiate [with Spain] one day, and accuse it the next one,” MP Natàlia Sànchez added.