Speaking at today’s parliamentary control session about what he called “Borrellgate”, the president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, said: “The sewers of the state are acting with impunity right now, as they always have, but with fewer restraints than ever before, because they think they can get away with it,” but “this time they’ve gone too far”. “The sewers aren’t just full; they’ve completely collapsed, and repression in this state is reaching a level that’s beyond the pale.”
The head of the executive decried that the Spanish government has spied not only on the Catalan government’s representatives abroad, but also on MPs and foreign journalists. He described these actions as “scandalous” and said he was convinced that members of the Spanish government would have to assume responsibility for these actions.
The president said the government would consider the consequences of these acts, including the possibility of calling for the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, to step down. He also said the government would bring the actions of the Spanish state apparatus – which involved “persecuting, investigating and following people simply for attending meetings and events, talking to people, or advocating independence” – to the attention of European foreign offices and MEPs. “It’s high time the state stopped pursuing people for crimes of opinion in a country that’s supposed to be a democracy” he said. “I can assure you that we won’t stand still or remain silent in the face of this scandal.”
Torra insisted that the Catalan government would respond forcefully and said he hoped the Catalan Chamber of Commerce would give its full support.
Call for unity in the independence movement
During the parliamentary control session, the head of the executive also called for unity in the independence movement in the face of “repression that has not ended – which is in fact moving forward, regardless of whether it’s the People’s Party or the Socialists in power”. Torra said yesterday’s news showed that “everything is getting worse” and that “there needs to be a collective response, which is what Catalonia needs right now.”
“If the repression is affecting all of us in the same way, if the objective is the same for all the pro-independence groups, let’s move forward together everywhere. That should be one of the key principles of the independence movement,” he argued.
The president called on pro-independence groups to “make this effort, because it’s what our citizens deserve”. In response to a question from the leader of the Catalan Republican Left party (ERC), Torra again stressed the need to minimise their differences and move forward together.