Spanish Guardia Civil demanding referendum event documents from TNC
JxSí president Turull calls police visit to national theater ‘outrageous’ while PPC leader Albiol calls it ‘normal’ when faced with ‘political coup’
The Together for Yes (JxSí) pro-independence party is “outraged” by the order to send Guard Civil police into the National Theater of Catalonia (TNC in Catalan) on Thursday, to seize documents relating to the event held last week to present the referendum bill. On his Twitter account, party president, Jordi Turull, called the visit by the Spanish police “outrageous”, after the TNC alerted the party to the police visit.
However later in the day, Catalan People’s Party leader, Xavier García Albiol, said he was surprised by the JxSí reaction and called the police visit the “normal” reaction of a democratic state when “someone attempts to carry out a political coup.” The PPC leader added that the Guardia Civil officers did not visit the TNC “on a whim” but because “there was a court order that demanded they gather information."
Sources from the TNC told ACN that Guardia Civil officers arrived at the theater between 10 and 11am, with a court order demanding documentation relating to the event held in the venue on July 4. However, the police officers left without the information they demanded, and the TNC says that the event was carried out under the venue’s normal rental policy, along with the other 72 other events held there in the past year.
"The People's Party shows it has definitively lost it"
Albano Dante Fachin · Podem Catalunya secretary general
Representatives of JxSí later appeared outside the Catalan Parliament to denounce the police visit. Musician and MP Lluís Llach, with Turull and party spokesperson, Marta Rovira, called the visit an "attack on freedom of expression" and called for "solidarity" from other Catalan political parties. Llach compared the judicial order to a "return to the times of Francoism," which García Albiol later reacted to by suggesting that Llach had been more “comfortable” under the Franco regime, as it allowed him “to act the victim”.
Meanwhile, Turull said that the party has five days to present the documentation demanded by the Guard Civil, and insisted: “Everything is perfect, signed, paid for, all is well, it is a political event organized by JxSí and we would never have thought that we would have to provide explanations or information," he said, adding that the whole event cost some 17,600 euros. For her part, Rovira insisted that "the repression of the State cannot go on forever," and referred to political threats as "an absurd repression that harks back to black and white times."
‘PP has lost it’
However, criticism of the police visit did not only come from JxSí, with Podem Catalunya’s secretary general, Albano Dante Fachin, accusing the People’s Party government of “losing it”. Also on his Twitter account, Fachin said: “The Guardia Civil entering theaters looking for papers. The PP, however, shows it has definitively lost it (“perdre els papers” being the Catalan expression for becoming deranged).
In recent weeks, the Spanish Guardia Civil has spoken to Catalan government employees in relation to the website for the National Pact for the Referendum and about the campaign to get Catalans resident abroad to vote. Also, according to Catalan government sources, Guardia Civil officers also visited the companies involved in the tender process to supply ballot boxes for the referendum.