Pro-independence parties demand reparation of former president in execution anniversary

President Aragonès urges 'institutional statement' of Spain annulling Francoist conviction that ended life of Lluís Companys

Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, laying flowers on Lluís Companys' gravesite
Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, laying flowers on Lluís Companys' gravesite / Laura Busquets

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

October 15, 2023 06:12 PM

The mainstream pro-independence parties have urged Spain to seek the reparation of the Catalan president executed by the dictator Francisco Franco regime on October 15, 1940.

In the 83th anniversary of Lluís Companys' death at the hands of the fascist government, several political groups and institutions honored him on Sunday with floral tributes by his gravesite in Montjuïc graveyard.

Those in favor of a split from Spain found unity in demanding a move from Madrid in order to annul the 1940 life sentence that ended up in his execution by firing squad.

Catalan president Pere Aragonès asked the Spanish acting government to issue an "institutional statement" restoring the figure of Companys, "acknowledging the injustice of his indictment."

He also believes the "illegitimacy" of the judges that tried him should also be stated, and the sentencing, annulled – these have been long-lasting demands by independence parties, who insist on these moves every October 15.

Aragonès also pointed out that Germany recognized their share of responsibility over 30 years ago and it is time Spain made the same move – chancellor Helmut Kohl sent a letter to former president Jordi Pujol in 1990 acknowledging the participation of Adolf Hitler's cabinet in Companys' assassination, since it was Gestapo who captured him in France a few months before the execution.

Puigdemont: 'Companys was formally a victim of the state'

Former president Carles Puigdemont, a senior member of also pro-independence Junts, urged Spain to "apologize" to Catalans for the events. "He was formally a victim of the state," he said on X, formerly Twitter.

"He was murdered at the hands of fascists."

Both Aragonès' party, Esquerra, and Puigdemont's political force are in talks with Spain's two main left-wing parties to re-elect Socialist Pedro Sánchez prime minister for a new term.

Indeed, the leader of the Catalan Socialists, Salvador Illa, also participated in the floral tribute. "Fear is not the way to build the future," he told the press, adding that "trust" is needed in politics from now on.