In a parliamentary control session today, Catalan President Quim Torra urged the Spanish government to “rethink and regulate” paid leave for parents who need to stay home to care for children quarantined due to Covid-19.
The head of the executive called on opposition parties to focus on “working for the people rather than worrying about elections” and urged the parliamentary group Catalunya en Comú Podem (Catalonia in Common–We Can), whose national wing is part of the Spanish government coalition, to exert pressure so that the issue of paid leave for parents of quarantined children is settled.
The president said getting children back to school is the top priority right now. He praised the preparatory work done by the Catalan Ministries of Health and Education and head teachers, stressing that paid leave for parents is the key issue that remains to be resolved.
Celebration of Catalan National Day
With respect to the celebration of Catalan National Day, the president said the government had cancelled almost all official events to minimise any health risks. In response to calls to ban demonstrations planned for 11 September, the president said: “In Catalonia, we respect the right to demonstrate.”
“I won’t limit the exercise of any fundamental right,” Torra said, noting that “if there’s someone who will suffer the consequences of defending fundamental rights in Catalonia, it’s me,” a reference to his upcoming trial for not removing from the façade of the government headquarters a banner calling for Catalan political prisoners to be released and exiles to be free to return home.
Rent control law
In reference to a rent control law debated in Parliament today, the president stressed the need for a broad social consensus on this issue. “We need to regulate rents in a way that takes into account the vulnerability of both renters and small property owners,” he said.