Unionists call for tough legal action against Catalan protesters

Heads of Cs and PP parties want authorities to pursue perpetrators of recent disturbances in the courts

Albert Rivera during his visit to Barcelona on October 22, 2019 (by Gerard Artigas)
Albert Rivera during his visit to Barcelona on October 22, 2019 (by Gerard Artigas) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

October 22, 2019 05:56 PM

Spain's main unionist parties called for tough legal action to be taken against the perpetrators of the recent protests in Catalonia, which have taken place in response to the Supreme Court's sentencing of Catalan independence leaders to hefty jail terms.

Albert Rivera, the leader of Ciutadans (Cs) demanded on Tuesday that the state authorities, the Catalan government, and the Barcelona city council join the lawsuits surrounding the disturbances, in which damage was done to public and private property.

After visiting areas of Barcelona city center where clashes between police and protesters took place, Rivera demanded that the damage done to the urban surroundings be "paid for by the violent people out of their own pocket."

"Those who caused the violence cannot be forgiven a single cent for destroying stores, and raising burning barricades and pavement stones," said Rivera, who claimed the disturbances and the resulting loss of energy consumption had cost "20 million euros a day."

The unrest on the streets of Barcelona and other Catalan cities took place most nights last week after nine Catalan independence leaders were sentenced on Monday to jail terms of between nine and 13 years for sedition. 

PP head calls protests "low-level terrorism"

Meanwhile, the head of the unionist People's Party, Pablo Casado, called on the acting Spanish government and the public prosecutor to seek the intervention of Spain's National Court in pursuing the perpetrators of the disturbances.

Insisting that the protests were not "isolated disturbances" but a form of low level "terrorism," Casado said the perpetrators should receive the same treatment as the 'kale borroka' urban guerrillas in the Basque Country during the height of that conflict in the 1990s.

"We are seeing organization, funding, and perpetration like the 'kale borroka' at its worst in the Basque Country," said Casado, who accused president Quim Torra of having links with the Tsunami Democràtic and Committees for the Defense of the Republic protest groups.