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Spanish government calls on president to “tone down” rhetoric

As Catalan leaders are transferred to Madrid, Quim Torra warns independence trial "will change" Catalonia's relationship with Spain


01 February 2019 07:07 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish government reacted to Quim Torra's words of support for the jailed pro-independence leaders on Friday by asking the Catalan president to "tone down" his rhetoric.

Government spokeswoman, Isabel Celaá, responded to Torra's prediction that the independence trial "will change the relationship with Spain" by asking him to "dampen" passions, and called on political parties to show "responsibility."

Earlier in the day, the head of the unionist Cs party, Albert Rivera, warned the Spanish government that should the pro-independence leaders be convicted and then pardoned, it would mean "the Socialist party will disappear."

With the leaders in custody being moved to prisons closer to Madrid for the trial, Rivera said the Spanish public would not "tolerate" concessions made towards those who have "tried to do away with Spain."

Parliament speaker: "Calling a vote is not a crime"

The Catalan parliament president, Roger Torrent, supported the jailed leaders shortly after they started their journey from Catalonia to Madrid.


  • "Calling a vote is not a crime, that the only violence was by the police, and that repression will not stop us"

    Roger Torrent · Parliament speaker

"We must stand with them to make it clear that calling a vote is not a crime, that the only violence was by the police, and that repression will not stop us," he said. 

Colau condemns "political use of the courts"

As for the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, she reacted by issuing a call for dialogue to resolve the political situation in Catalonia, and insisted that the "political use of the courts and prisons" would not provide a solution.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the left-wing Catalunya en Comú party, Joan Mena, said the prison transfer of the leaders begins "one of the darkest episodes" in recent democracy.

Insisting that the imprisonment of the pro-independence leaders "should never have happened," Mena went on to call the conflict between Catalonia and the Spanish state a "democratic anomaly."