Opposition slams president for call to follow Slovenian way to independence
Far right Vox party to file lawsuit against Quim Torra for conspiracy to commit rebellion
The opposition parties in Catalonia have blasted the president for advocating following Slovenia's example to achieve independence.
Quim Torra said on Saturday that "Slovenians were clear about it, they decided to insist on their self-determination, and move forward with all the consequences, until achieving their aims, let's do the same as them."
"We are ready for what it takes to live free," he added in Brussels, shortly after an official trip to Slovenia, where he met the president of the Balkan country.
Imposing direct rule again
The leader of the opposition, Inés Arrimadas, reacted to the remarks by calling Torra and his government "a danger to democracy and coexistence." For the leader of the Ciutadans party, Torra is advocating "violence and a civil conflict."
On Sunday, Arrimadas urged the Spanish government to take the first steps towards suspending Catalonia's self-rule. The People's Party leader, Pablo Casado, did the same this weekend, after the clashes between the Catalan police and groups of anti-fascist demonstrators in Girona and Terrassa on Thursday.
"Calling to uprising"
Spain's Socialist foreign minister, Josep Borrell, who is Catalan, claimed on Monday that the reference to Slovenia "is a way to express what seems to be a call for an uprising."
"[The Catalan president Quim Torra] is a danger to democracy and coexistence"
Inés Arrimadas · Ciutadans leader in Catalonia
Yet, Borrell ruled out imposing direct rule on Catalonia again. "What is important are his actions," the foreign minister said of Torra.
The Catalan Socialists also called Torra's suggestion "a mistake, absolute nonsense, recklessness."
In the same vein, Barcelona's mayor, Ada Colau, asked the president to "immediately correct himself." The leader of Catalunya en Comú, which is non-aligned on the independence issue, said Torra's remarks show "serious irresponsibility."
Meanwhile, the far right Vox party will file a criminal lawsuit against Torra for his call to follow the Slovenian example, which the party considers evidence of a conspiracy to commit rebellion.
The rising political force claims they will demand Torra's arrest and precautionary detention because "it cannot be that someone who threatens an armed uprising and who is in charge of the police should remain free," said its leader, Santiago Abascal. "The Slovenian way caused 62 deaths with hundreds injured, we call for Torra to immediately enter prison for suggesting this way."
"We don't want it to happen and it won't happen"
Meanwhile one of the Catalan former ministers in Brussels, Toni Comín, said that "there has been an intention to misinterpret, decontextualize and manipulate" the president's words.
"What Torra wanted to say is that facing an authoritarian state, the Slovenian society decided to move forward. But obviously there is an objective unbridgeable difference between the Slovenian context and the Catalan one. [Catalonia has] neither militias nor armies in conflict," he said in an interview with the Catalan public TV.
"Two million peaceful and civil people, who have demonstrated and voted for several years: this is our army," he added.