PP members clash over role of Catalan language in upcoming election

Party candidate in Barcelona defends her lack of Catalan in face of accusations of "slighting" Catalonia by MEP colleague

Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo alongside her party leader Pablo Casado
Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo alongside her party leader Pablo Casado / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

March 18, 2019 02:26 PM

"No one can stop any Spaniard from defending constitutional Spain from Catalonia. Every square centimeter of Spain belongs to every Catalan, and every centimeter of Catalonia belongs to each and every Spaniard."

Thus Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo justified standing as the main PP party candidate for Barcelona in the upcoming Spanish election, after also PP MEP Santi Fisas criticized his party colleague for saying the fact she does not speak Catalan means it makes "more sense" to stand.

On Twitter on Sunday, Fisas accused Álvarez de Toledo's comments of being "a slight on Catalonia and on the Catalan language," and he added that such an attitude "is not the way to combat self-determination."

Yet, talking to Spanish television on Monday, Álvarez de Toledo insisted that her lack of knowledge of Catalan would not be a problem for her candidacy, adding: "I am defending coexistence, unity and exercising my right to citizenship." 

Álvarez de Toledo, who used to be a PP member for Madrid in the Spanish parliament, replaces former minister and the party's main candidate for Barcelona in the previous general election, Dolors Montserrat, who is Catalan by birth.