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Madrid threaten to Catalan leader of Execution

The Spanish ruling party has resorted to making threatening allusions to a previous independence bid.  Time magazine (Subscribe now).

“History should not be repeated. Let’s hope that nothing is declared tomorrow because perhaps the one who declares it will end up like the one declared it 83 years ago,” spokesman for Spain’s ruling People's Party (PP) Pablo Casado said on Monday. The statement came less than 24 hours ahead of Carles Puigdemont’s address to the Catalan parliament, where he is widely expected to defy the Madrid authorities and declare the region’s secession from Spain.

Casado was apparently referring to Lluis Companys, president of Catalonia in the 1930s who proclaimed a ‘Catalan State within the Spanish Federal Republic’ in 1934. Companys had to flee after the Spanish Civil War to France, where he was later captured by the Nazis and handed over to Franco's regime. In 1940, Companys was tried for military rebellion and executed.

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The comparison that came from a central government official has fueled tensions between Madrid and Barcelona. Casado’s statement drew controversy and condemnation from Spanish and Catalan officials alike.

The leader of the left-wing Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias, accused the PP spokesperson of being “either ignorant or irresponsibly provocative.”

Anther Podemos official, Íñigo Errejón, called on Casado to “rectify immediately this irresponsible barbarism or resign.”

One Catalan MP said they don't need to be reminded of the tragedy.



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“Yes, Pablo Casado, we know how our President Companys [regional leader in the 1930s – Ed.] ended up, shot by the army. Does it make you happy to remind our defenseless people of it?" Joan Tardà from Republican Catalan Left party tweeted. Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau also said that the spokesman should apologize or resign.

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On October 1, over 2 million Catalans, or 90.09 percent of the voters supported the region’s independence, according to local authorities. The referendum is considered illegal by the central government. Spanish law enforcement violently attacked those who came to take part in the referendum.

Courtesy The Economist

October 11, 2017

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