Pro-independence corruption justifies Spanish police operation, say Ciudadanos
Carlos Carrizosa describes Catalan administration as a "machine to produce black money"
The leader of the opposition in the Catalan parliament has claimed that the arrests of pro-independence businesspeople on Wednesday morning by Spain's Guardia Civil police force was linked to "the old 3% plot," referring to the ongoing corruption case against former members of the now-defunct Convergència party.
Carlos Carrizosa of Ciudadanos (Cs) claimed it was "obvious" that independence is not based on voluntary financial contributions, but through businesses that the administration awards contracts to, in exchange for financing the independence movement.
"How strange that politicians' friends are such good businesspeople that they beat others in public tenders," the unionist leader added.
Carrizosa said it was "essential that we change these parasites of the Catalan administration," which he described as a "formidable machine to produce black money."
Ciudadanos dismissed the boycott by Junts per Catalunya, Esquerra (ERC) and CUP MPs on Wednesday morning that forced committees to be suspended. The pro-independence parties decided against participating in parliament committees in protest against the Spanish police force's actions.
In a statement, the Cs parlimentary group said it was "unacceptable" that every time the rule of law acts against "separatist" parties, their representatives in parliament "decide not to fulfill their functions."
For their part, Catalunya En Comú - Podem decided to stay put for the scheduled sessions although some committees were nevertheless called off due to the lack of a quorum.
Ciudadanos have also called on acting president Pere Aragonès to appear before parliament.
The party has submitted an official request, which states that it wants explanations in relation to information on "the direct involvement of current ERC public representatives in cases of alleged corruption."
Meanwhile, the leader of the Catalan People's Party, Alejandro Fernández, said it was necessary to "clarify" who led and financed the "savage urban destruction and aggression" of the demonstrations called by the Democratic Tsunami protest group following the sentencing of the jailed pro-independence leaders.
A total of 31 searches and 21 arrests were made on Wednesday morning as part of an investigation into whether pro-independence projects such as Democratic Tsunami have been irregularly funded.