The People’s Party holds an offensive against Catalonia’s self-determination
The People’s Party (PP) is holding a convention in Barcelona, with leading figures of the party, including PM Mariano Rajoy, to reject Catalonia’s self-determination and independence. On Friday, the PP’s Secretary General, María Dolores de Cospedal, stated that her party “will not allow Catalonia to split from Spain through machete strikes”. She added that “no one can bite off [a chunk of] a country” and that an independent Catalonia “will be born in bankruptcy”. In addition, the leader of the PP’s Catalan branch, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, accused the Catalan President of “imposing” the self-determination vote. Besides, she emphasised that the PP “had suffered a lot” in the Basque Country, which is also happening in Catalonia. Within the convention there is a conference of a former PP member who chairs the Association of Terrorism Victims.
Barcelona (ACN).- Between Friday and Saturday, the People’s Party (PP) is holding a convention in Barcelona with leading figures of the party, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and several Ministers of the Spanish Government. As Rajoy said, the meeting aims to be “a turning point” in Catalonia’s self-determination process, by highlighting arguments against the referendum and independence. Journalists and the Association of Terrorism Victims (AVT) – chaired by a former PP Member and grouping only a part of the ETA victims – are also participating in it. A few weeks ago, the leader of the PP’s Catalan branch, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, presented this convention as “the symposium of the truth”, being an answer to an academic symposium of historians that analysed the last 300 years of repeated political, social, cultural and economic repression of the Spanish State against Catalan people, institutions and language. Most of the conferences within the PP’s convention are concentrated on Friday, while Saturday is left for Rajoy’s speech, shared with Sánchez-Camacho.
The PP’s ‘number 2’ talks about “machete strikes”, “stealing” and “bankruptcy”
On Friday, the PP’s Secretary General, María Dolores de Cospedal, highlighted that her party “will not allow Catalonia to split from Spain through machete strikes”. She added that “no one can bite off [a chunk of] a country”. De Cospedal insisted that they will not allow “somebody to steal from them” a shared history and a part of the country, since Spain has been “united for 5 centuries”. “Whoever says that Catalonia is a different and distant thing [from Spain] and that it has to be separated through machete strikes doesn’t know anything about Spain nor Catalonia”, she said. Furthermore, she stressed that Catalonia and Spain share “the same identity” and that “identity and sovereignty cannot be turned to pieces and cannot be measured in percentages”. “There is only one part: the 100%” of the sovereignty, which belongs to all the Spaniards, she said.
In addition, the ‘number 2’ of the party, said that “Catalans have the right to know the truth behind the figures and to know that the Government of Spain is the one that is paying the Catalan Executive’s bills”. She accused the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, of “lying” and “hiding the truth” behind the self-determination process. She insisted that Mas is lying to the Catalan citizens “when he says that an independent Catalonia would be economically viable”. De Cospedal concluded that an independent Catalan State “would be born in bankruptcy”, “unable to pay for its civil servants and bills”.
Sánchez-Camacho links Basque terrorism and the Catalan situation
In addition, the leader of the PP’s Catalan branch accused the Catalan President, Artur Mas, of “imposing” the self-determination vote. Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, who will giver her important speech on Saturday, said on Friday that “Mas’ consultation vote” is “not democracy but imposition”. This party will avoid anybody taking us out from Spain and Europe”, she stressed. Furthermore, she emphasised that the PP “had suffered a lot” in the Basque Country, and “it is also suffering a lot” in Catalonia, although “in a different way”, she added. With this statement, she was linking Basque terrorism with Catalan claims. In fact, the PP and media close to the party – some of them with extreme-right editorial lines – have been linking in the past few months Catalan nationalism with the Nazis and the Catalan self-determination process with ETA’s terrorism. Probably for this reason, despite the convention being entirely focused on Catalonia, the PP has invited the Association of Terrorism Victims, which groups some of ETA’s victims and their relatives and has traditionally been very close to Rajoy’s party. This association is chaired by a former member of the PP who is also the daughter of a PP councilman murdered by ETA in 1997.
Feijóo asked “the intelligent and cautious” citizens to stop self-determination
The President of Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, was also present at the convention. Before arriving, he said in a radio interview that “in any European country this discussion [Catalonia’s self-determination] would not last more than 20 minutes” since “it is a clear illegality”. He accused the Catalan parties of “blackmailing” the Spanish Government and Spaniards with the self-determination claims. During the convention, the President of Galícia stated that the self-determination claims “had been made up by a group of politicians” who are “unable to manage” public finances. Feijóo asked “the intelligent and cautious” part of Catalonia to stop the self-determination process and to vote for the PP, the only party able to do so, according to him.