In an extraordinary session of Parliament this morning, President Quim Torra called on Catalans to break with the Spanish monarchy.
President Torra addresses the plenary session. Photograph: Laura Gómez

The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, has called on Catalans to break with the monarchy: “We have to say enough is enough. Or choices today are clearer than ever: Catalan Republic and independence or Spanish monarchy and dependence.”

With this message, the head of the executive opened an extraordinary session of Parliament this morning on the crisis of the Spanish monarchy triggered by the flight of former king Juan Carlos. “No democratic institution should look the other way when something this serious happens,” Torra said.

The president was highly critical of the role the Sánchez government and the Spanish justice system have played in recent events: “They never should have allowed this to happen.” He said he could not understand how the Socialist–Unidas Podemos coalition government and Catalunya en Comú (“Catalonia in Common”, the Catalan wing of Podemos) could “endorse” and “provide public cover” for the ex-king’s flight “without any kind of shame”. He added: “They started by blocking commissions of inquiry and have ended up allowing the night-time escape of a monarch under investigation for corruption on a massive scale.”

 The president called on the Spanish government to take responsibility for how it has handled the case: “The only responsible protest the public would understand is for all of the members of the Spanish government who don’t accept or agree with what’s happened to resign immediately.”


Abdication or referendum

In response to the crisis that has been opened up, the president said he only sees two ways forward: the abdication of King Felipe VI or a referendum so citizens can choose between the monarchy and a republic in the Spanish state. 

Torra reiterated that while he gives his full support to Spanish republicans, Catalonia will continue to pursue the goal of an independent Catalan Republic.