Opposition slams 'intolerable' referendum protests
Ciutadans party head accuses president Torra of encouraging acts of civil disobedience, but Barcelona mayor said last October's "repression" is "unacceptable"
As the first anniversary of last year's independence referendum got under way on Monday, the head of the Ciutadans (Cs) opposition party responded with criticism of pro-independence protest groups and president Quim Torra.
The leader of Cs in Catalonia, Inés Arrimadas, slammed "separatist cells," in reference to the Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) pro-independence pressure group, for "cutting off roads, occupying public buildings and paralyzing Catalonia."
On Twitter on Monday morning, Arrimadas described the CDR's protest actions as "very serious," and went so far as to accuse Catalan president Quim Torra of "intolerable" behavior in encouraging the protests.
Earlier, Torra gave a speech approving pro-independence activists pressuring politicians. "You put pressure on us, and you must," said Torra, in an event in Sant Julià de Ramis, near Girona, in front of a banner that read "the people decides, the government obeys".
The Cs leader also criticized Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, who she accused of "looking the other way." "What will it take for them to condemn this and break their agreement," she asked, referring to the fact that Sánchez came to power in part thanks to votes from pro-independence parties.
PP accuses Torra of being a 'pyromaniac'
The spokesman of the People's Party in the Catalan Parliament, Alejandro Fernández, urged President Torra to withdraw his support from pro-independence activists responsible for blocking roads and train lines.
"It's not possible to urge the Committees for the Defense of the Republic to keep pressuring while, at the same time, you're the top commander of the police"
Salvador Illa · Socialist MP
Fernández accused Torra of being a "pyromaniac" and "cheering on" the activists. "Impeding the free movement of people is coercion, violence and absolutely unacceptable. It affects coexistence and also the Catalan economy," the PP MP said.
Socialists: 'are you with the police?'
The Socialist party in Catalonia also blasted Torra for encouraging pro-independence groups to keep the government under pressure. "It's not possible to urge the Committees for the Defense of the Republic to keep pressuring while, at the same time, you're the top commander of the police," Socialist MP Salvador Illa said. "Are you with the Mossos d'Esquadra (the Catalan police) or the CDR groups?" Illa asked the Catalan president.
Is the Republic 'on ice?' asks CUP
Yet, the far left pro-independence CUP party was also critical of the government, accusing it of "frustrating" the "popular victory" represented by the referendum a year ago. A CUP statement asked if the Catalan Republic had been put "on ice" and called on the pro-independence camp to again put the issue at "the centre of gravity of political action."
CUP also expressed support for the CDR protests in the morning, saying that the Republic "would not arrive from the institutions." Speaking from the high-speed train station in Girona, where 400 protesters blocked the line, a CUP spokesman criticized the police for preventing more people from entering and insisted that such protests are "the path to follow."
Colau: 'We will never forget October 1'
In Barcelona, mayor Ada Colau also commented on the referendum, saying "October 1 is a date we will never forget in the city or the country as a whole." Colau also claimed that the main message from that day is that "the repression experienced is unacceptable," and she called on the Spanish government to make sure "it is never repeated."