• News
  • President Torra to request 'urgent meeting' with Spanish PM to 'address repression that has not ended'
The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, announced today that he will send Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez a formal request for an urgent meeting

President Torra to request 'urgent meeting' with Spanish PM to 'address repression that has not ended'

event_note Press Release

President Torra to request 'urgent meeting' with Spanish PM to 'address repression that has not ended'

  • In an interview on Els Matins de TV3, the head of the government said the round of contacts with parties and other entities that he initiated yesterday reflects the need for “a collective response” to sentences that could constitute “a direct attack on democracy and the exercise of our right to self-determination”
The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, announced today that he will send Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez a formal request for an urgent meeting
President Torra and Lídia Heredia during the interview on TV3. Photograph: Jordi Bedmar
The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, announced today that he will send Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez a formal request for an urgent meeting “to address the repression that has not ended”. Torra said: “The prosecutor tells us we’re a criminal organisation; they’re asking for sentences of over 70 years for our colleagues; we have people in exile; and the repression hasn’t ended – just look what’s happening in Court No. 13. That’s what we need to address.”
 
The head of the government decried that “the Kingdom of Spain is violating international law” by failing to comply with the decision of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which “is calling for the immediate release of the prisoners”.
 
“The role of the Public Prosecutor’s Office is not simply to act as an accuser; it’s to guarantee legality,” he said. The president also expressed regret that yesterday the State Legal Service, which reports directly to the Spanish Socialist Party, presented “a statement of charges that’s completely unacceptable to us and says exactly the same as Vox does”.
 
In an interview on the programme Els Matins de TV3, the president insisted that what the Generalitat wants to negotiate with the Spanish government is an issue “that currently concerns 80% of Catalans: the exercise of Catalonia’s right to self-determination”. Torra set three minimum conditions for restarting dialogue: “We must be able to talk about the right to self-determination; the Spanish government needs to state what it wants from Catalonia; and a rapporteur must be involved.”
 
 
A collective Catalan response to the sentences
 
President Torra described the trial and upcoming sentences as a “turning point” in this legislature. It is in this context that he began a round of contacts with political parties and other entities yesterday “to find out, at this exact point, what we want to do – all of us, together – in response to the extremely serious situation we’re faced with, in response to any sentences other than acquittal”.
 
Torra said the aim of these talks is “to seek unity” and ensure “a collective response, as a country, to what could constitute a direct attack on democracy and the exercise of our right to self-determination”. According to the president: “It’s not just our colleagues they’re trying; it’s an entire people that exercised its right to self-determination. We all feel affected and involved.”
 
The head of the government said that his duty as president of the Government of Catalonia was to talk to everyone, and that he would take the response that emerged from the round of contacts to Parliament. He stressed that any response “will be based on democratic principles and the exercise of Catalonia’s right to self-determination”.
 
Torra also said post-election pacts at the municipal level should reflect the need for a united response, calling on pro-sovereignty parties to focus on “having pro-independence mayors and pro-independence governments”.
 
“This territorial power – the strength we gain from having them stand by Catalan institutions to defend our collective rights and freedoms – is extremely important,” he said.
 
 
Restarting negotiations on the national budget
 
At another point in the interview, the head of the government said that after the period for pacts and post-election talks has ended, Vice-President Pere Aragonès will restart negotiations on the 2019 budget out of “a sense of responsibility towards Catalonia, public servants and citizens”.
 
“We’ll appeal to the responsibility of having a budget – the most social one in history – that give us more than €1.5 billion to spend on social policy,” he said.
 
The president said the main economic figures for Catalonia are very positive: “This country is on the move, and the economy’s performing well.” At the same time, he said Catalonia’s fiscal deficit remains an “unbearable burden”. Torra recognised that the grievances of public servants are “legitimate and reasonable and are the result of budget cuts”. He noted, however, that even with the constraints imposed by very tight budgets, the government has “done everything possible to address grievances” and managed to come up with solutions in response to strikes by doctors, teachers and firefighters, for example. “Because this is a government that engages in dialogue when there’s a conflict and tries to reach agreements,” he said.

2  

Images

Interview on Els Matins de TV3

Interview on Els Matins de TV3 162

Quim Torra and Lídia Heredia during the interview

Quim Torra and Lídia Heredia during the interview 333