Criticism flies on campaign day 14

With just 3 days to go until voting, Catalan parties and politicians address comments made and government proposals

Leader of PSC, Miquel Iceta on December 18 2017 (by Maria Belmez)
Leader of PSC, Miquel Iceta on December 18 2017 (by Maria Belmez) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 18, 2017 10:35 PM

There are only three days left before the December 21 election, some parties are focusing on what shape, exactly, the future Catalan government will take. Meanwhile, others referred to some controversial remarks by the Spanish vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, boasting of having left pro-independence parties leaderless.

ERC approves of lawsuit against Spanish vice president

The leader of left-wing ERC, Marta Rovira, opened the door to following Together for Catalonia’s steps and filing a lawsuit against Spanish vice president Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría for her remarks on the Spanish government crackdown on independence. She does not trust the action to move forward, though, as the case would be taken over by the public prosecutor — the same institution that filed charges of rebellion against the party leader Oriol Junqueras and other pro-independence leaders. She also dismissed Santamaría’s comments at the Spanish Senate on Monday, when she said that the Catalan independence process was “fake”. “If it is fake, what is Junqueras doing in prison?” asked Rovira.

PP claims Santamaría expressed a “political opinion”

Meanwhile, the leader of Spain’s ruling People’s Party, Xavier García Albiol, defended Santamaría’s remarks, claiming that what she said was merely a “political opinion”. “I don’t see where the problem is, and I think that a big part of the Catalan population can relate to the philosophy behind her words,” Albiol said, and added that he feels proud of “[Mariano] Rajoy’s government for putting an end to Puigdemont and Junqueras’ adventure.”

Ciutadans criticizes Socialist leader

The leader of Ciutadans, Inés Arrimadas, spoke of the imprisoned pro-independence leaders as well — if only to criticize the Socialists (PSC) leader, Miquel Iceta, for proposing to pardon them. “Many Socialists don’t understand don’t understand how Mr. Iceta could have vetoed Ciutadans but immediately promised a pardon for Mr. Junqueras they don’t understand,” said Arrimadas. “And everyone thinks that maybe it’s a preemptive move towards an agreement with ERC and Catalonia in Common,” she suggested.  

Catalonia in Common ask PSC: will you be part of the problem or the solution?

Indeed, the number two of Catalonia in Common coalition, Elisenda Alamany, asked the Socialists to consider whether they want to be “part of the problem or part of the solution”. She did so after Iceta said on Sunday that he would not govern alongside ERC. “We’re stronger if we’re united in our diversity,” said Alamany. “There are some people who don’t like seeing that there is a progressist majority,” she said, and added that “there are parties that will have to decide whether they listen to the people or to their regional leaders.”

Former European Parliament president joins Socialists

The Socialists leader Miquel Iceta was joined by the former European Parliament president Josep Borrell, who doubled down on his recent criticism of pro-independence parties, saying that they had an “extraordinarily low” understanding of the political situation. Iceta also criticized pro-independence parties by referring to their expenditure on foreign policy as a “feast”, and said that the Catalan government should cooperate with Spain in the matter.

Together for Catalonia: revisiting Christian democracy

The main political meeting held by the pro-independence Together for Catalonia on Monday gathered some 60 politicians belonging to the Christian democrats political spectrum. They signed a manifesto backing the party, and committing themselves to working towards building a Catalan Republic. The gathering included major figures from Catalan politics, such as the former president of the Catalan Parliament Joan Rigol and the former vice president of the Catalan government Joana Ortega. They both were prominent members of UDC (Catalan Democratic Unity), the junior partner of the political federation that ruled Catalonia for decades, which broke apart due to their disagreements on Catalan independence.

CUP elaborate on Decrees for Dignity plan

For its part, the far-left anti-capitalist CUP party continues to expand on its 'Decrees for Dignity' plan, its social plan in the run-up to the December 21 elections. Number three for the candidacy for Barcelona, Vidal Aragonés, assured that the proposals in the plan - such as, for example, the creation of a single public web for health services and teaching, will be financed with a new tax system, built to benefit the working class. This includes raising the IRPF tax for incomes above €60,000, while reducing the tax for those who earn less than €15,000 per year. Still, the party members did not divulge the specific percentages of the proposed reform.