The PP excludes any referendum and one of its leaders proposes “facing” Catalan independence as ETA
The day the United Kingdom and Scotland signed the agreement to organise the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, the Spanish Justice Minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, states that the Spanish Government will not agree to organise or even negotiate on a referendum on Catalonia’s independence. Furthermore, the same day, Jaime Mayor Oreja, the leader of the Spanish Euro MPs from the People’s Party (PP), proposed “facing” the Catalan independence movement as was done earlier with ETA’s terrorism. Two weeks ago, Mayor Oreja had already linked the Catalan independence movement with the Basque terrorist group ETA. The Catalan President, Artur Mas, said that if Madrid does not authorise the referendum, Catalonia will appeal to European and international institutions.
Barcelona (ACN).- The day the British and Scottish Governments signed the agreement allowing the organisation of an independence referendum in Scotland, several leaders of the People\u2019s Party (PP), which runs the Spanish Government, excluded the possibility of organising or even negotiating on an independence referendum in Catalonia or in any other part of Spain. Furthermore, the leader of the Spanish PP MPs in the European Parliament, Jaime Mayor Oreja, compared the peaceful and democratic Catalan independence movement with the terrorist group ETA, which brutally killed almost 1,000 people in Spain. Mayor Oreja proposed \u201Cfacing\u201D the Catalan independence movement as was done earlier with the terrorist group ETA. \u201CAs we managed to face terrorism back then, now we have to face this movement\u201D, stated Mayor Oreja. The same day, the Spanish Justice Minister, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, rejected the possibility of organising or even negotiating on a self-determination referendum in Catalonia and in any other part of Spain. In addition, he responded to the Catalan President, who had said earlier that in case the Spanish Government refused to authorise a self-determination referendum, Catalonia would appeal to European and international organisations. Ruiz Gallardón said \u201Cthere is no international organisation that will support violating the Spanish democratic legislation\u201D. The Spanish Justice Minister said that if Catalans want to organise such a referendum, they need to modify the Spanish Constitution. Otherwise, if the Catalan President called on a referendum without the Spanish Government\u2019s authorisation, according to Gallardón, he would be a committing a felony and \u201Cwould have to accept the consequences\u201D, which would be \u201Cindividual\u201D. In addition, the PP\u2019s Secretary General, María Dolores de Cospedal, emphasised that the Spanish Government will use \u201Call the legal tools to impede the violation of the Law of the Constitution\u201D and stressed that by saying \u201Call means all\u201D.
On Monday morning, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, stated that \u201Ccertain reactions of the Spanish Government do not correspond to a fully democratic and peaceful state\u201D. Mas said this after he offered a flower tribute to Lluís Companys\u2019 tomb, the Catalan President who was executed by the Spanish Fascist dictatorial regime on 15th October 1940. In fact, Companys was the only democratically-elected president executed during the Second World War. In front of Companys\u2019 tomb, Mas wished that violence would \u201Cnever again be used\u201D to face Catalonia\u2019s national identity. \u201CLuckily, we are in a moment of democracy, peace and civic-mindedness. Let\u2019s hope that this time Catalonia\u2019s freedom process can take place with such coordinates\u201D. \u201CI hope the reactions from the Spanish Estate will be modern, mature, European, and based on dialogue and respect\u201D, he emphasised.
The Catalan President had said a couple of hours earlier in a TV interview that in case the Spanish Government blocked the celebration of a self-determination referendum for Catalonia, \u201Cthe conflict will have to be internationalised\u201D. Mas explained that, if Madrid rejects negotiating the organisation of a self-determination referendum, \u201CCatalonia will have to appeal to European and international organisations\u201D.
A self-determination \u201Creferendum means that Spain would give up a thing it owns\u201D
The Spanish Justice Minister, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, responded to Mas and said \u201Cthere is no international organisation that will support violating the Spanish democratic legislation\u201D. Furthermore, Gallardón emphasised that his obligation is to respect the Constitution. According to him, it does not foresee a self-determination referendum, as \u201Csovereignty is shared by all [Spaniards] and it corresponds to all Spaniards\u201D to decide. \u201CCelebrating [Catalonia\u2019s self-determination] referendum means that Spain would give up a thing it owns and we cannot do this even if we wanted to do so\u201D, he said.
Gallardón added that if the Catalan President called on a referendum without the Spanish Government\u2019s authorisation, he would be prosecuted. According to the Spanish Justice Minister, Mas would be committing a felony and \u201Cwould have to accept the consequences\u201D. Gallardón explained that \u201Cthe Catalan citizens would not be punished\u201D for the organisation of a referendum. The consequences would be \u201Cindividual\u201D, since specific \u201Cindividuals would be persecuted\u201D, starting with the Catalan President, he said.
\u201CWe need to win this battle and it will be won\u201D, said Mayor Oreja
The leader of the Euro MPs from the Spanish People\u2019s Party, who is Basque and is one of the most Spanish nationalist and conservative members of the PP, proposed \u201Cfacing\u201D the Catalan independence movement as was done with the terrorist group ETA in past times. Mayor Oreja already linked the Catalan independence movement with the terrorist group ETA two weeks ago. ETA brutally killed almost 1,000 people in Spain in more than 50 years of its history. According to Mayor Oreja\u2019s words published in the Andalusian edition of the ABC newspaper, \u201Cthe nationalisms [the Basque and the Catalan ones] have put at the vanguard of their movement a project to break Spain, which is ETA\u201D. Mayor Oreja considers that the massive, peaceful and democratic demonstration supporting Catalonia\u2019s independence from Spain from last month represents \u201Ca challenge\u201D to Spain\u2019s unity, which need to be faced as ETA. \u201CWe need to win this battle and it will be won, if we take the importance of the challenge seriously\u201D, he said. For him, the strong support for Catalonia\u2019s independence, which the last opinion poll indicated might be backed by 51% of Catalans, is \u201Cthe culmination of a nationalist movement\u201D. \u201CThey have sought for Spain\u2019s weakest moment and the conclusion is that we are in front of a non-sense\u201D, he concluded.