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The deplorable speech by Spain's Interior minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, trying to defend the indefensible to the Senate and presenting the 1st October referendum as a day during which the Spanish police acted proportionally and professionally already forms part of the annals of the parliament and of repeated lying in its heart. Zoido should have been fired by the prime minister that same day or presented his resignation. There were three reasons for this: the failure of the police operation, incapable of finding the ballot boxes and which used disproportionate violence in the streets; the high number of people who needed medical attention, placed at more than a thousand by the Catalan Health ministry; and the damage caused to the images of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain in the world. "Brand Spain" was seriously affected and associated with police violence on televisions around the whole globe. The "¡a por ellos!" (go get 'em) wasn't either a metaphor nor a reaction in the heat of the moment but an order to follow to the letter.

For all these reasons, Zoido should have gone home and not hidden behind the police. The orders came directly from his ministry. He also had sufficient means to prepare a police operation with different instructions, which would have fulfilled the legal orders and protected the population. The exorbitant figure of 87 million euros which the deployment of Operation Copernicus cost between September and December, which mobilised up to 6,000 extra Civil Guard and National Police Corps agents at its peak, an excessive amount with the known result which, as it was an operation by the state, nobody wants to investigate ever. Even the Constitutional Court has banned the forming of a commission in the Catalan Parliament to look at the police intervention and the violation of fundamental rights.

The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has thanked "the majority of the media" for their support in the defence of the unity of Spain in the face of the Catalan independence process. Deputy prime minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría has already seen to it that their accounts have permanent assisted ventilation. As such, we haven't seen them asking for Zoido's resignation, nor criticism for his explanations of what happened in Catalonia on 1st October. But criticising unjustified police violence shouldn't be partisan. It should be denounced by everyone. And it's sure that, that way, democracy would be strengthened.

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