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Rajoy’s PP meets in Barcelona and strongly criticizes independence plans

The People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government but is only the 4th largest group at the Catalan Parliament, has organized two days of debate in Barcelona on local governments and good governance. The main leaders of the party are coming to Catalonia, including the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, who will close the debate on Saturday. Rajoy’s speech has been greatly publicised as he will visit Catalonia for the first time after November 9’s symbolic vote on independence. Rajoy himself has raised expectations, as he said “he will talk to Catalans” in this restrictive party meeting. In fact, on Friday, the PP insisted on representing “all the Catalans who did no vote on November 9”, therefore excluding the citizens who voted. The PP’s ‘number 2’, Maria Dolores de Cospedal, accused the President of the Catalan Government of being a “ pre-made myth” and insisted that her party “loves Catalonia”, and will continue to “help Catalans” despite “the independence challenge”.

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29 November 2014 12:56 AM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The People’s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government but is only the 4th largest group at the Catalan Parliament, has organized two days of debate in Barcelona on local governments and good governance. The main leaders of the party are coming to Catalonia, including the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, who will close the debate on Saturday. Rajoy’s speech has been greatly announced as he will visit Catalonia for the first time after November 9’s symbolic vote on independence and for the first time since the European Elections in last May. Rajoy himself has raised expectations, as he said “he will talk to Catalans”, although he will do it n this restrictive party meeting. In fact, on Friday, the PP insisted on representing “all the Catalans who did no vote on November 9”, therefore excluding the citizens who voted. The PP’s ‘number 2’, Maria Dolores de Cospedal, accused the President of the Catalan Government of being a “ pre-made myth” and insisted that her party “loves Catalonia”, and will continue to “help Catalans” despite “the independence challenge”.


This weekend, the PP’s main leaders have arrived in Catalonia for the first time after 2.3 million Catalans peacefully cast their ballot on independence from Spain in a symbolic and non-binding vote held on November 9. 20 days later, the Spanish PM will visit Catalonia and “will address Catalans”, as he announced he will be doing this Saturday. Mariano Rajoy will talk in an event of the People’s Party and has refused the offer of a meeting with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas. The Catalan President offered Rajoy the possibility of meeting, since the Spanish PM is visiting Barcelona. Rajoy ignored the offer and the PP’s leader in Catalonia, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, was the person in charge of officially rejecting the proposal, closing the door once again to any negotiation.

If Catalonia becomes independent, it will not economically recover “for many centuries”

On Friday, before Rajoy’s arrival, some of the PP’s main leaders have been talking. The PP’s leader at the European Parliament, Esteban González Pons, stated that if Catalonia were to become independent, “economic recovery will be unviable for many centuries”. González Pons affirmed that “the day after Catalonia became independent it would quit the European Union and the Euro, it would have to invent its own currency and would its economic recovery unviable for many centuries”. He added that, from his position as Member of the European Parliament, he can say that “Europe does not understand debates such as those in Catalonia and the Basque Country” because “Spain is the best guarantee that Spaniards have”.

The Mayor of Madrid and wife of the former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, Ana Botella, was also present and stated that “Catalonia has a greenhouse society, dark and closed, where exclusion is the norm”. Botella added that in Catalonia “history is falsified” and Spanish language is persecuted, saying that children are obliged to speak Catalan and punished if they speak Spanish in the playground. Madrid’s Mayor stated that she wanted “to end with the pro-independence speeches” and she emphasised “the need to help the non-nationalist majority”. It need to be said that when a PP leader talks about “nationalism”, it only refers to the Catalan nationalism and considers that Spanish nationalism does not exist or it does not apply to them.

The PP will continue to help Catalans “despite the challenge of November 9” 

The Secretary General of the PP, María Dolores de Cospedal, was particularly vocal against the Catalan President and this time she did not state that Catalonia’s self-determination process is “totalitarian”, as she did a few weeks ago. Cospedal accused Mas of being “a pre-made myth” who “is looking for the subsidised applause of those who reject the shared history”. On top of this, she said that in Catalonia there is “a single way of thinking”. In addition, “despite the independence challenge of November 9”, the PP will “keep its commitment to Catalonia” and “will help Catalans”. Cospedal stressed that the PP “loves Spain” and that it also “loves Catalonia”. And she emphasised that the PP’s “function” is “to defend Spain”. 

After the party’s ‘number 2’, the ‘number 3’ also spoke. Carlos Floriano, Vice-Secretary General for Organisation, talked about corruption and affirmed that “thieves, also those from the PP, will not have a single day in peace and will not get the money for free”. And other Vice-Secretary General, Javier Arenas, stated that pro-independence parties want to represent all the Catalans. However, he claimed that the PP is representing all the Catalans who did not vote on November 9. The PP “represents the conviviality project for the whole of Catalonia”.

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  • The PP's 'number 2', María Dolores de Cospedal, in Barcelona on Friday (by R. Garrido)

  • The PP's 'number 2', María Dolores de Cospedal, in Barcelona on Friday (by R. Garrido)