maría dolores de cospedal

Defense Minister pledges to do “whatever it takes” to stop independence referendum

May 25, 2017 01:23 PM | ACN

The Spanish Minister of Defense and Secretary General of the ruling People’s Party, Maria Dolores de Cospedal, warned on Thursday that the Spanish government will use “all of the tools” at its disposal to avoid the celebration of an independence referendum in Catalonia. De Cospedal said that the Catalans’ plan to hold a self-determination vote is an “assault on the Constitutional system” and “the law”. According to the minister, the Spanish Government will not “bow to threats or blackmail” and will act “intelligently but with determination” if Catalonia goes ahead with a vote. “We are determined to stop ballot boxes being put out there,” she insisted, warning that anyone who “collaborates” with the organization of the referendum will “have to face the consequences and criminal charges”. “Everyone should respect the law,” she pointed out, warning that those who “manufacture ballot boxes, put out ballot boxes, or offer spaces as polling stations” will logically have to face the consequences.

Director of Public Prosecution Office resigns after arguing with Rajoy and Catalan prosecutors

December 18, 2014 08:59 PM | ACN

Spain’s Director of the Public Prosecution Office, Eduardo Torres-Dulce, has announced his resignation “for personal reasons”. However, it is well-known that Torres-Dulce has had several arguments with the Spanish Government, run by the People’s Party (PP) and chaired by Mariano Rajoy. The latest argument was about prosecuting the Catalan President and other members of the Catalan Government for the symbolic vote on independence held on 9 November. Several PP members announced the penal actions before Torres-Dulce had given the instruction to press charges. At that time, Torres-Dulce denied having been pressured by the Spanish Government, but many voices criticised the absence of a separation of powers. On top of this, the main public prosecutors in Catalonia initially rejected the criminal complaint, but Torres-Dulce – appointed by the Spanish Government – obliged them to file it. Furthermore, he has also had many arguments with the PP on account of the numerous corruption scandals being investigated.

Spanish Government and PP insist on comparing Catalan independence movement with Nazism

December 2, 2014 11:15 PM | ACN

On the same day, both the Spanish Justice Minister, Rafael Català, and the 'number 2' of the governing People's Party (PP), María Dolores de Cospedal, compared Catalonia's self-determination process with the Fascist and Nazi movements of the 1930s. Such a comparison trivialises Nazism and is highly offensive for millions of Catalan citizens. The Catalan pro-independence movement mainly demands to hold a democratic vote on independence, as in Scotland, and it has always acted in a peaceful and festive way. The expert in European populism, Meindert Fennema, stated he considered that to compare Catalan self-determination with Nazism to be "ridiculous" and "nonsensical". On top of this, he highlighted that Catalonia's society is highly inclusive, since it has welcomed and integrated millions of immigrants in the last 100 years. In fact, 70% of the Catalan population has origins from outside Catalonia and 80% of the Catalan population want to hold a self-determination vote. 

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

November 29, 2014 12:56 AM | 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 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”.

Trivialisation of Nazism by Spanish nationalists outrages German CDU and Catalan civil society

October 15, 2014 09:02 PM | ACN

Comparing Catalonia's self-determination process with the Nazi regime has become one of the arguments the Spanish nationalists have used over the last two years, repeated in extreme-right television stations and even at the Spanish Parliament. Such an offensive comparison outrages most of Catalan society, for its total unfairness in describing a democratic process and for trivialising Nazism and the suffering of its victims. Now, the issue has reached the European Parliament, where the Spanish nationalist party UPyD sent a letter to all 751 MEPs comparing the situation in Catalonia with that of "Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s". The CDU MEP Ingeborg Grässle was outraged by the letter and urged UPyD "to at least apologise". "Any politician in Germany would have immediately resigned", she added. Besides, civil society organisations in Barcelona have filed a complaint to the Public Prosecutor Office against dozens of calumnies against self-determination process and its comparison to Nazism.

Spanish PM has "all the measures ready" to stop Catalonia's self-determination vote

September 8, 2014 10:57 PM | ACN

Spain's Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, told the Executive Board of the governing People's Party(PP) that he has "all the measures ready" to stop the Catalan self-determination vote from happening. However, Rajoy avoided giving details about such measures and disclosing specific plans. The Spanish PM emphasised that his stance on Catalonia's right to self-determination and the organisation of an independence vote has remained unchangeable for the last two years. Rajoy took pride in not having made any concession to the demands coming from Catalonia and not having sat around a negotiation table. In fact, the PP and the Spanish authorities are totally opposed to such a vote, imposing a restrictive interpretation of the Constitution to reject a demand that is shared by some 80% of the Catalan population. Furthermore, Rajoy has also confirmed that the Spanish Government will immediately appeal the Catalan Law on Consultation Votes, despite such a law having not yet been approved.

The People's Party offer to form a grand coalition against Catalonia's independence is only accepted by UPyD

September 5, 2014 10:08 PM | ACN

On Friday, in Badalona (Greater Barcelona), the Secretary General of the PP, María Dolores de Cospedal, launched the idea to form a wide-spectrum coalition against secession in the next Catalan elections, which should unite all of the parties opposing independence from Spain. However, it has been rejected by the main parties which were targeted, and only the Spanish nationalist UPyD, which gets marginal results in Catalonia, has welcomed the initiative. According to Cospedal, this united list should bring together the PP (running the Spanish Government), UPyD, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), the anti-Catalan nationalism and populist C's, and the Christian-Democrat UDC, which is part of the two-party centre-right pro-Catalan state coalition CiU, which runs the Catalan Government. The PSC and UDC – which recognise Catalonia's right to self-determination - have totally rejected the idea. Even so, the PP's leader stated that "in Catalonia there is an undercover dictatorship", pushing for "a single way of thinking".

Cospedal rejects a constitutional reform to solve “territorial problems”

June 30, 2014 10:10 PM | ACN

The Secretary General of the People’s Party, Maria Dolores de Cospedal, said that it is not “in any way” possible to reform the constitution to ease the demands of Catalonia, which is pushing for a referendum on independence from Spain. She also warned that the role of the new king, Felipe VI, is to protect Spanish unity. “The monarch’s mission is to ensure that national sovereignty is respected and to check that the unity of Spain is not put at risk”, she said during an event in Madrid.

Left-Wing Independence Party (ERC) not to sit in Catalan Government despite winning European elections

May 26, 2014 11:36 PM | ACN

The President of the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) Oriol Junqueras has confirmed that his party will not sit in the Catalan Government “for the moment”, despite having been often offered the chance to do so by the governing Centre-Right pro-Catalan State Coalition (CiU), and winning Sunday’s European elections. It was the first time in the 37 years of democracy that the ERC won an election in Catalonia. Instead, Junqueras praised the leadership of the President of the Catalan Government and CiU head, Artur Mas, which he called “stronger than ever”. The CiU won some 100,000 additional votes on Sunday compared to 2009, although its percentage of the vote decreased slightly since turnout grew considerably. However, the People’s Party Secretary General, María Dolores de Cospedal, insisted that the elections were “a warning message to Mas”. Despite self-determination parties having clearly won the elections in Catalonia and the PP having its percentage of the vote halved, de Cospedal rejected the idea that support for independence is increasing.

Catalan President to Spanish PM: "set a day and a time" to talk and present a Constitutional reform

April 10, 2014 01:02 AM | ACN

The day after the Spanish Parliament's debate about Catalonia's self-determination vote, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, asked the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, to "set a day and a time" to start talking about the current political situation. Yesterday Catalan representatives explicitly asked for the same thing, stressing their offer "to talk about everything", including the organisation of a self-determination vote. In addition, in the Government control session at the Catalan Parliament, Mas urged the People's Party (PP) – which runs the Spanish Executive – to present the Constitutional reform Rajoy referred to during Wednesday's debate. The PP answered Mas that it is up to him to present such a reform since he is the one who wants to change the current legal framework.

The European Commission asks for dialogue to keep Catalonia within Spain

February 24, 2014 09:10 PM | ACN

The Spanish Government replies that dialogue can only take place “within the law” and respecting “the national sovereignty”, “two red-lines” that cannot be questioned. The Catalan Government said the Commission should consider Catalonia as “a very good ally to build Europe’s future”. The day before, in Barcelona, Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Justice, had asked the Spanish and Catalan authorities “to talk” with “an open attitude” and “without red-lines” in order to remain “united”. The European Commission broke its supposed neutrality in the political conflict regarding Catalonia’s future within Spain, despite it officially considers the issue to be Spain’s internal affair. The Commissioner for Justice, Citizenship and Fundamental Rights acknowledged “to understand” the Catalan claims, but she refused to say whether citizens should be allowed to hold a self-determination vote. However, she stated that if independence was declared, Catalonia would no longer be part of the EU.