President Torra has requested that a plenary session of Parliament be convened in response to address the flight of former king Juan Carlos from Spain.
President Torra during the press briefing. Photograph: Jordi Bedmar

The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, has requested that the speaker of Parliament urgently convene a plenary session this week to address “the flight of Juan Carlos of Bourbon, which has been tolerated by the Spanish government”.

Torra said that the incident should be a source of “shame” for any democrat and “calls into question the commitment of the Spanish government (not to mention that of King Felipe VI) in the fight against corruption and efforts to ensure accountability”.

The president called for the Sánchez government to be held accountable “for having permitted, facilitated and applauded the escape” of the former king, who is currently under investigation for corruption on a massive scale.

Torra demanded an explanation of the cover provided for the ex-king’s escape and clarification of Vice-President Carmen Calvo’s role in these events, stressing that the Socialist–Unidas Podemos coalition government and Catalunya en Comú (the Catalan wing of Podemos) would be “complicit if they’ve done nothing to prevent it”.

The head of the executive called on the current king to explain recent events to the public and said he should abdicate.


Call for bilateral meeting this week

In the press briefing held after the weekly meeting of the Executive Council, Quim Torra once again publicly requested a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez “to negotiate the distribution of European funds related to the Covid-19 crisis and the state’s contribution to covering Catalonia’s financing needs”.

The president lamented that in such a “serious and urgent situation”, five days have passed since he first requested a meeting and no response has been received. He said that while Catalonia remains part of the Spanish state, “we should be treated in a manner in accord with our contribution, economic weight and population. No more and no less.”

Torra said the time had come to “talk about dialogue less and practise it more”.

Epidemiological situation has improved but remains “challenging”

Commenting on the evolution of the Covid-19 outbreak in Catalonia, the president said that over the last 10 days “the epidemiological situation has improved overall”, which shows that “the measures applied are having a positive impact”. At the same time, he stressed the need to “remain vigilant”.

In Catalonia, the number of new cases each week has declined from 83.93 per 100,000 population to 77.7; the effective reproduction number (Rt, a measure of the rate of spread) has fallen from 1.5 to 1; and the risk of a resurgence has diminished.

Contingency and action plans developed by Catalan ministries to tackle the Covid-19 crisis over the coming weeks and months were also presented and ratified at the meeting of the Executive Council today.