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Podemos warns Rajoy against “repression” in Catalonia

The leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, admitted on Friday that “all democrats should be scared” at the tone that the current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, is using with Catalonia. After Rajoy and other members of his cabinet accused the Catalans of planning a “coup d’état” for organizing an independence referendum, Iglesias said that the Spanish conservatives “are capable of anything”. “It would be counter-productive to use force” against the Catalan Government, warned Iglesias, who accused the PP of not being “up to the task” of leading Spain and facing its “multinational reality”. In an interview with radio RAC1, Iglesias said that calling a unilateral referendum on independence in Catalonia is a “legitimate” option but insisted that only a “legal” vote with “international recognition” would allow the Catalans to really become independent.

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26 May 2017 12:42 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, admitted on Friday that “all democrats should be scared” at the tone that the current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, is using with Catalonia. After Rajoy and other members of his cabinet accused the Catalans of planning a “coup d’état” for organizing an independence referendum, Iglesias said that the Spanish conservatives “are capable of anything” to stop such a vote. “It would be counter-productive to use force” against the Catalan Government, warned Iglesias, who accused the PP of not being “up to the task” of leading Spain and facing its “multinational reality”.


Iglesias argued that Catalonia and the territorial model is the “biggest challenge of 21st century Spain” and that the “only way” to face the political demands of the Catalans is “through democratic means”. The leader of Podemos said that in a scenario in which there is no agreement with Madrid on the referendum, organizing a “unilateral” vote is a “legitimate” tool. However, he saw such a vote only as a “mobilization”, and not a real referendum, which according to him would have to have “legal” backing and be recognized by the international community.

Iglesias urged the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, to present his referendum plans in Congress, as suggested by the Spanish Government. According to Podemos’ leader, Puigdemont would be “surprised” by the support that his initiative would gather from “a third of the members of Congress”, which are in favor of the Catalans’ right to decide their own future. “That is unprecedented,” he said, insisting that his party is defending Catalonia’s self-determination rights all around Spain.

“I would like Puigdemont to go to Congress. I told him so. I think it would be a step in the right direction to have him present his plan at the podium and to be able to have a debate about this,” he added. “More and more Spaniards think that the future of Catalonia should be decided by the Catalan people,” Iglesias pointed out.

Podemos is pushing a no-confidence motion against Mariano Rajoy’s conservative government. So far, he has the support of left-wing pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana, and from the Basque party Bildu, and he is hoping that the liberal PDeCAT, the party of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, would also join the initiative. It is still unclear what the Spanish Socialist Party, now lead again by Pedro Sánchez, is going to do.

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  • he Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and Spanish alternative left ‘Podemos’ Secretary General, Pablo Iglesias this Friday at Palau de la Generalitat (by ACN)

  • he Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and Spanish alternative left ‘Podemos’ Secretary General, Pablo Iglesias this Friday at Palau de la Generalitat (by ACN)