Manuel Valls lost his cool when the freshly-installed winner of the Josep Pla Prize, Marc Artigau, brought up the Catalan political prisoners and exiles during his acceptance speech.
Aquest vespre jo he sentit tristesa, ràbia i vergonya després d’ aquest discurs i d’aquesta demagògia ..pobre Josep Pla..Prou! https://t.co/SYHZbL3lHy— Manuel Valls (@manuelvalls) 7 de enero de 2019
Translation: (quoted tweet) "I feel sadness and anger at living in a country where there are political prisoners and where the legitimate government of Catalonia is in exile", says Marc Artigau during his speech. "In years to come we'll feel ashamed". (Valls' tweet) This evening I've felt sadness, anger and shame after this speech and this demagoguery... poor Josep Pla. Enough!
It spread by word of mouth among the journalists and writers gathered at the 75th edition of the traditional Nadal Prize dinner: after Artigau said that "we can't rewrite reality and in years to come we'll be ashamed of everything that's happened", Valls shouted "we'll see about that" to silence and indifference in the separate room where officials and figures from the worlds of politics, culture, society and the media were listening to the speech. Despite the indifference he was received with, Valls stood firm, shouting that it was "tiresome".
The former French prime minister is currently campaigning to be mayor of Barcelona.
Premio Nadal en el Ritz, Marc Artigau, premio Josep Pla, recuerda a los políticos presos. Xavier Valls, que está en mi mesa y que ha tenido un comportamiento afable y moderado, se pone nervioso “pesado... Mas, Mas... tu tienes la culpa, y qué pasa? Nadie va a decir nada?”— Pilar Eyre (@pilareyre) 7 de gener de 2019
Translation: Nadal Prize at the Ritz, Marc Artigau, [winner of the] Josep Pla award, remembers the political prisoners. Xavier Valls [sic], who's at my table and has shown friendly and moderate behaviour, gets restless: "tiresome... [Artur] Mas, Mas... it's your fault, and what happens? Is nobody going to say anything?"
Journalist and Planeta Prize finalist Pilar Eyre was seated at the same table as Valls. She gave her account of the incident on Twitter, claiming that Valls also tried to confront former Catalan president Artur Mas, who was at the presidential table, alongside fellow former president José Montilla, current Catalan culture minister Laura Borràs and the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau. He also apparently looked for support from a room which preferred to ignore him.
Quan @manuelvalls ha marxat del menjador del Palace, s’ha adreçat a Teresa Cunillera i, referint-se al discurs de @martigau li ha deixat anar un “pero cómo permites esto!” @diariARA— Antoni Bassas (@antonibassas) 6 de gener de 2019
When Manuel Valls left the Palace's dining room, he addressed Teresa Cunillera and, referring to Marc Artigau's speech, let out a "but how do you allow that!"
At the end of the dinner, visibly annoyed, Valls apparently turned to the Spanish government's delegate to Catalonia, Teresa Cunillera, also present at the ceremony, asking how they could have allowed such a speech.
Minister Borràs, responded to the former French prime minister on Twitter, saying that "we'll continue being as tiresome as necessary defending justice and freedom. We're democrats!".
Un discurs que ha molestat moltíssim Manuel Valls, que li ha respost ‘mira que sou pesats’ acarant-se-li mirant la pantalla i generant una incomoditat manifesta a la sala. Doncs sí, continuarem essent tan pesats com calgui reivindicant la justícia i la llibertat. Som demòcrates! https://t.co/FlOIwEcJeO— Laura Borràs (@LauraBorras) 6 de gener de 2019
"A speech which has bothered Manuel Valls enormously, who replied "how tiresome you are" facing off against the screen and creating clear discomfort in the room. So yes, we'll continue being as tiresome as necessary defending justice and freedom. We're democrats!