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06-02-2019 18.00

President Torra: 'Faced with a sham trial, our answer will always be democracy and the right to self-determination'

  • Speaking before a plenary session of the Catalan Parliament, the president announced that he and Vice President Aragonès will travel to Madrid this weekend to visit the political prisoners.
President Quim Torra speaking at a parliamentary control session. The president speaking at the parliamentary control session (photo: Rubn Moreno)
The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, said this morning that the trial of the Catalan political prisoners is “a farce, a sham trial against democracy and the right to self-determination, and we will speak out against it everywhere … Our answer will always be democracy and the right to self-determination. These are our red lines.”
 
Torra insisted: “We’re not going to defend ourselves against anything; we’re going to accuse the state for everything to do with this farce, and for having violated our rights and our freedoms, and we’ll do that everywhere.”
 
The president also lamented the “indecency” and “wretched conditions” of the political prisoners’ transfer to Madrid. He announced that this weekend he and Vice President Pere Aragonès will visit the prisoners “to see them, encourage them, give them strength, and find out more about what’s going on”.
 
 
Combating fake news spread by the Spanish state
 
Responding to a question from the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) group, the president said it was “appalling” to live in a state that “has pulled out all the stops to spread fake news” and that, “in response to the failure of brand Spain”, has created “specific bodies to do just that”, such as España Global. “The biggest fake news we’ve had to tackle in recent months is the attribution of violence to the independence movement, which has landed our colleagues in prison or forced them into exile,” Torra said. According to the Catalan president, this false narrative is a “state operation” that “we have to stand up against so that it doesn’t prevail”.
 
In response to a question from the Catalunya en Comú–Podem group, the president also commented on the second meeting of the Espai de Diàleg (“Dialogue Space”), held yesterday at the Palau de la Generalitat. He said the meeting of the cross-party group demonstrated a commitment to “transparency and trust” and “our responsibility to set out both what the Spanish state proposed to us and what the Government of Catalonia has proposed”. Torra said that the participants’ contributions made the meeting “a forum for dialogue that was more organised and structured, and a space for in-depth discussion”.
 
The president also criticised the leader of the Citizens party (Ciutadans) for not attending any of the cross-party meetings held at the Palau. “What’s disgraceful and outrageous is that you, the leader of the opposition, aren’t doing the job of a leader of the opposition. Stop putting on a show and do politics for once,” said the president, expressing regret that the Citizens party “only wants rows”. Torra called on the opposition party to “sit down at the table and engage in dialogue; come and negotiate; talk and do politics.”
 
 
Message of support for the Mossos (Catalan police)
 
In his address to the plenary session, President Torra also took advantage of the opportunity to “reaffirm” his “commitment and explicit support” – and that of the Minister of Home Affairs and the government as a whole – for Catalonia’s national police because, he said: “They allow us to do our job, and ensure our security and that of the citizens of Catalonia … They have my full confidence.”
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