In an interview this morning on TV3, the Catalan public broadcaster, President Quim Torra said that “in the fight against the pandemic, the government will remain united” because flattening the Covid-19 infection curve is “the biggest challenge facing Catalonia”. The head of the executive said he had told all of his ministers to focus on tackling this challenge and not to be distracted by speculation around when a regional election will be held.
Torra warned that the risk of a resurgence is “very high” and stressed that the public must remain vigilant and follow the measures in place.
Contacts with Prime Minister Sánchez
President Torra said that to start the school year and reassure the educational community, it is essential that the central government immediately approve an allowance for parents who must take care of children who have to stay home from school when Covid-19 cases are detected. He confirmed that he had brought this point up with PM Sánchez in recent days and said he would raise the issue at a meeting of regional presidents to be held on Friday. The head of the executive said the Catalan government would take steps to provide such an allowance if the central government fails to act.
The president is also seeking further details regarding the PM’s offer to declare a regional state of alarm if requested to do so.
In this context, the president stressed that the Government of Catalonia “doesn’t have the resources it should have”, and that if Catalonia were able to administer the economic resources it generates it would not need any European funds,
Disqualification from public office
President Torra also talked about an upcoming Supreme Court hearing, to be held on 17 September. The president faces charges for not removing signs in support of jailed and exiled pro-independence leaders by a deadline set by Spain’s electoral board during the April 2019 election campaign. Torra said he “expects nothing from the Spanish justice system” and that the decisions of a Spanish court will not determine when elections are held in Catalonia.
The head of the executive said people should focus on the key question of “how it is possible that a democratically elected president of the Government of Catalonia is about to be barred from public office for putting up a banner calling for political prisoners to be freed and exiles to be able to return home – which is freedom of expression”. He noted that at the same time “we have a former king who fled the country a month ago with the collusion of the Spanish government”.