Strike puts Catalans at 'mercy' of government 'mercenaries,' says opposition
Cs and PP Catalonia parties criticize executive's support for stoppage that sees widespread protests led by pro-independence CDR group
As Catalonia experienced a general strike on Thursday that included numerous protests against the trial of independence leaders in Madrid, the main opposition party accused the government of leaving Catalans at the mercy of "its mercenaries, the CDR."
Referring to the Committees for the Defense of the Republic, whose activists mounted protests all over Catalonia, the Ciutadans (Cs) opposition party condemned the government's support for the strike, which they described as a "shut-down of the country."
Cs spokesman Carlos Carrizosa said it was "incredible" that CDR activists should cut major roads so that "people who want to go to work, to the doctor, or to take their children to school should not know how to do so because the government is inciting the strike."
Carrizosa also called on the Catalan police to crack down more on protesters, whatever their "ideology or motivation." "We've seen barricades and fires on a main road near Berga and it's strange there haven't been more arrests," said the spokesman.
By late afternoon, the Mossos d'Esquadra police had arrested four people during the protests, one in Barcelona, two in the southern city of Tarragona, and one in Gurb, a town in Central Catalonia.
Strike a "failure," says PP head in Catalonia
As for the leader of the Catalan branch of the People's Party (PPC), Alejandro Fernández, he called the strike a "failure" and accused the government of following the orders of a "convicted terrorist," in reference to the head of the Intersindical-CSC union, Carles Sastre.
The PPC head also said the strike showed the "cosmic gulf" between the "official Catalonia," represented by the government, and the "real Catalonia" of people concerned with "going to work, reaching the end of the month and getting on with their lives."
Fernández also commented on the actions of CDR activists, calling on the group to let Catalans "live in peace" and condemning "Dantesque images," such as the burning of tires on main roads blocked by protesters.