The Catalan government's delegate to France, Martí Anglada, has said that Spanish king Felipe VI personally called Volkswagen to ask the company to leave Catalonia. He made the revelation in an interview with French news channel Cnews in which he expressed regret for the monarch's attitude and said he had "shot his ability to mediate".
Marti Anglada : « Le roi en personne a téléphoné à Volkswagen pour leur dire de quitter Barcelone » pic.twitter.com/L2ClobExco— CNEWS (@CNEWS) 23 d’octubre de 2017
He also criticised the position of the Spanish executive whom he accuses of "wanting to apply a barbaric article 155", warning that it is a measure of doubtful legality. "If we were outside of the law, now everyone is outside of the law," said Anglada. At the same time, he insisted that the Catalan government has always been prepared to negotiate and that i's the Spanish government "who doesn't want to". Overall, he showed his preference that "we declare the Catalan republic and call constituent elections".
"I don't understand the intelligence of the king and the intelligence of the government that pushed him to say that," said Anglada. He went on to ask "who called SEAT, Volkswagen to make them leave Barcelona? (...) The king in person, he was saying 'please, leave'".
The delegate to the French government said that Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy wants to "neutralise the Parliament (...) and carry out elections" which would be "like the elections after a coup d'état".
SEAT, for their part, have refused to comment on the statements. Company sources say that they are closely following the Catalan and Spanish political situation, but didn't confirm nor deny having received any type of pressure to move their registered office out of Catalonia. Nonetheless, last week, the president of SEAT Martorell's plant committee, Matías Carnero, told Basque public broadcaster EITB, that they had received "political and monarchical pressures" to change their registered office.