Cs candidate met with protests during first campaign event in Catalonia
Inés Arrimadas vows not give up "an inch" of ground and blames pro-independence supporters for "attacks, threats and insults"
The main candidate for the unionist Ciutadans party (Cs) was faced with a group of antifascist protesters in Vic on Thursday, on her first day of campaigning in Catalonia.
The opposition head, Inés Arrimadas, chose the capital of Osona county, where Cs is running in a local election for the first time, for her opening campaign event in Catalonia.
Although the Cs campaign team calmly made its way through the town unopposed, it was received with shouts and insults in the main square by a small group of protesters.
Vowing not to give up "an inch" of Catalonia, Arrimadas said "we will defend freedom in every town because there are places where it does not exist."
"It is unacceptable that they should want to attack us, threaten us, insult us and expel us from the town," she added.
The candidate claimed pro-independence supporters are besieging unionist supporters in towns like Vic, which are "full of separatist propaganda," in reference to independence symbols hanging from balconies in the square.
However, the heavily escorted Cs contingent left Vic without any incidents occurring, and without the watching riot officers from the Catalan police needing to intervene.
Accused should not be in election, says PP candidate
Meanwhile, the main candidate for the People's Party in Catalonia (PPC), Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, said she "deeply" regretted the electoral authority's decision to allow pro-independence candidates Oriol Junqueras and Jordi Sànchez to campaign from prison.
With Sánchez giving a press conference from prison on Thursday, the unionist party candidate said people accused of trying to "destroy a democratic system" should not take part in elections, and she proposed changing the law "so it does not happen again."
ECP candidate urges parties to stand with 80%
The main candidate for the left-wing En Comú Podem coalition (ECP), Jaume Asens, also made reference to Sánchez's prison press conference, dismissing his belief that the Socialists would come round to supporting an agreed self-determination referendum.
Asens insisted that all the parties that "represent Catalanism" should stand with the 80% of of Catalan society that some polls indicate favor a self-determination referendum, so as "to advance together as a country."
Sánchez rules out referendum
Spanish president Pedro Sánchez also responded to Jordi Sànchez's conference, insisting that his government would never agree to a self-determination referendum. "Yesterday, today and tomorrow, we said, say and will say 'no' to a referendum," he said.
Sánchez was in Catalonia on Thursday for the first time during the election campaign, with a visit to the western city of Lleida. On Thursday evening, Sánchez was due to attend a Socialist party campaign event in Badalona.