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Spain's People's Party urges for more direct rule in Catalonia

Pablo Casado says National Day's pro-independence demonstration was a "sectarian coven"

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12 September 2018 02:52 PM

by

ACN | Madrid

Spain's People's Party wants a new period of direct rule in Catalonia. Its president, Pablo Casado, offered his absolute majority in the Spanish Senate to suspend again the Catalan self-government.

This, as a reaction to the million-strong pro-independence demonstration on Tuesday, which he defined as a "sectarian coven."

For Casado, the rally is evidence that the situation in Catalonia might be "worsening." The rumors –already ruled out by President Torra– on the possible release of the political jailed leaders and the fact that the Catalan Parliament will not celebrate its first session of the season until the first week of October are other reasons for him to justify a new period of direct rule.

Pablo Casado also criticized the Spanish foreign minister, Josep Borrell, for having said he would have "personally" preferred the judge not to have sent political leaders to prison.

"There cannot be misunderstandings, I have urged Mr Sánchez [Spanish president] to give up appeasement," he said talking to the press.

For direct rule to be enforced again the Spanish government would need to make a prior official request to the Catalan authorities and then take the issue to the Senate for it to ratify it.

  • "There cannot be misunderstandings, I have urged Mr Sánchez [Spanish president] to give up appeasement"

    Pablo Casado · Spanish People's Party leader

Although Spain's cabinet is executive, the People's Party has an absolute majority in the upper chamber.

Pro-independence reaction

One senior left-wing pro-independence Esquerra MP in Madrid, Joan Tardà, accused Casado of being a "hooligan" for having called Tuesday's demonstration a "coven."

According to him, the People's Party leader represents "the darkest side in Spanish nationalism."

"They would like for this civic, peaceful, and democratic process to become a public order problem," he added.

"Strategy of fear useless," says Catalan government

The Catalan government has also sent a message to Pedro Sánchez. "National Day has shown that the Spanish government's strategy of fear and ignorance has been useless," said spokeswoman Elsa Artadi to the press after the cabinet meeting.

"Yesterday there was a rally as big as or even bigger than other years, as persistent, peaceful and civic as always," she said. "We insist that there are political prisoners, repression and exile." Artadi also urged the Spanish president to engage in "dialogue" with the Catalan president. They saw each other for the first time in July, and are due to meet again this autumn, but have no set date yet.

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  • The Spanish People's Party leader, Pablo Casado, in Barcelona on September 8, 2018 (by Bernat Vilaró)

  • The Spanish People's Party leader, Pablo Casado, in Barcelona on September 8, 2018 (by Bernat Vilaró)

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