Catalan crisis won't be solved “marginalizing” Ciutadans, warns leader
Inés Arrimadas says unionist voters should be "respected"
The Catalan crisis won't be solved if the biggest party in Parliament, Ciutadans (C's), is "marginalized", said its leader, Inés Arrimadas, in an interview with La Vanguardia newspaper. Arrimadas, who won the election but does not command a majority to form a government, added that her party is the "guarantee to unblock" the current standstill and demanded her voters be "respected".
C's was the most voted party in the last election with 36 seats. The two biggest pro-independence parties, JxCat and ERC, got 34 and 32 seats each, while far-left CUP got 4 MPs. Arrimadas criticized the Socialists/PSC (17) and the left-wing Catalunya-En Comú (8) for not standing up against pro-independence forces and even suggesting the possibility of a "cross-party government" that could include 'yes' groups.
Recently, the Catalan Parliament President, Roger Torrent, urged political parties to form a "common front" to defend "rights and freedoms". C's accused him of not being neutral in the current crisis, but in the benches of Catalunya-En Comú and the PSC the idea of creating big majorities found some ears keen to listen.
The C's leader said that those proposals are not very clear, but stressed that PSC and Catalunya-EnComú voters are probably "surprised" at their leaders "attacking Ciutadans instead of the independence process".
Arrimadas said that any new government in Catalonia should "respect the law" and respect voters that are against independence. "The pro-independence forces need to accept that we all are part of the Catalan people," she said.
Referring to the recent imprisonments of Catalan MPs, Arrimadas said she understands the pain that their families feel. "With some of them I had a good personal relationship, but I warned them many times that they should not declare independence, because that would cause a very serious conflict," she explained.
Arrimadas said she has a "clear conscience" because she urged the then Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to call an early election instead of declaring independence. "That would have been a dignified exit, with real ballot boxes," she said.