Former Spanish prime minister Felipe González has admitted this Tuesday that he finds it "difficult" to see the pro-independence leaders who designed and put into effect the "road map" to independence as having committed the crime of rebellion.
Although he believes the conditions are met for them to be tried for sedition and misuse of public funds, González believes that "rebellion is a crime that's hard to prove". The comments came in an interview he gave to the Cadena SER radio channel.
The former leader of the centre-left PSOE party also admitted that he would feel "more comfortable" if acting vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, acting minister, Joaquim Forn and Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart "weren't in preventive detention". He does believe, however, that the pro-independence parties "are making it very difficult" for Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena. He added that, in his opinion, "Puigdemont's position is harming his colleagues who are imprisoned, but the independence cause too".
Investiture at a distance is "a joke"
González showed himself to be firmly against the hypothetical investiture of Puigdemont as president without him being physically present in the Parliament.
"It doesn't seem to be a serious gesture that independence supporters are inventing the possibility of an investiture which doesn't exist in the legal system", he said as to why he believe the idea "a joke". "We could propose an elephant to be president because the rules don't prevent it", he joked.
He said that the current PM, Mariano Rajoy, "would probably have no other option" than to apply article 155 of the Constitution again if the distance investiture is finally chosen.
"[Article] 155 should have been applied [in 2014]"
González, who warned Rajoy in 2012 that he had to take the "political initiative" in Catalonia, says that he would have supported applying article 155 to stop "9N", the unofficial 2014 independence referendum.
Not just that, he argues that it could have been applied more restrictively than it has been. In his opinion, "maybe it would have been enough" to suspend then-president Artur Mas.
"Supremacist" independence movement
The former Spanish prime minister also attacked the rhetoric of the Catalan independence movement, describing it as "supremacist". For him, "it's not as explicit as Trump's", but starts from a supposed position of superiority. "If they didn't prevent us, we'd be better", were the words González put in the mouths of independence supporters.
Contacts with Rivera, but not with Sánchez
González revealed that he has spoken "sometimes" with the leader of Cs, Albert Rivera, because Rivera has called him, but not with the current leader of PSOE, Pedro Sánchez. However, he would be prepared to if Sánchez called him, and trusts that such a conversation will happen. Someone he hasn't spoken to for three and a half years is Mariano Rajoy.
González also showed himself to be in favour of constitutional reform, including modifying part VIII, "Territorial Organisation of the State".