'Catalonia kidnapped by fanatic racists,' says People's Party leader
Catala president's party demands unionists to "leave alone freedoms and rights"
The leader of the People's Party, Pablo Casado, harshly criticized the Catalan pro-independence movement during his party annual meeting, and pledged to "bring order" to Catalonia.
"We will free a whole society, which has been kidnapped by a gang of fanatic, supremacist racists," he said on Sunday.
Casado believes he will "soon" be president of Spain, and then he will change the Spanish political parties funding law so that "those who act against Spain receive no euros."
He also pledged to modify the law regulating pardons "so that any pardon to people convicted for rebellion and sedition is prohibited," in a reference to the nine pro-independence jailed leaders whose trial for rebellion will kick off in the coming weeks.
Casado's view was greenlighted by José María Aznar, the former Spanish president between 1996 and 2004, who still enjoys a big influence over the party.
"How much more time do we have to wait to dismantle the coup d'etat against democracy?"
José María Aznar · Former Spanish president
Aznar said that the People's Party will not accept that "those who plot against the interests of Spaniards" have any influence for the fate of the state.
"How much more time do we have to wait to dismantle the coup d'etat against democracy?," asked Aznar referring to the independence movement.
"Leave our rights and freedoms alone"
These remarks and the latest calls by Spain's right-wing parties and Extremadura's parliament to reintroduce direct rule over Catalonia from Madrid were fought by president Torra's group, Junts per Catalunya (JxCat).
The pro-independence party leadership is meeting in Brussels with the former president Carles Puigdemont.
"Leave Catalonia alone, leave our rights and freedoms alone, don't play with an artifact which has seriously damaged us, enough!," said JxCat spokesman Eduard Pujol referring to the possibility to apply direct rule again.
For him it is "big nonsense" that suspending Catalonia's self-rule again is demanded by several parties.