It's been confirmed this week that the Spanish secret service had contacts with the imam behind the August terrorist attacks. What did you think when you heard this news?
First that if we had that intuition we would have said so. We would have found many people asking us for proof of that and, not being able to provide the proof, they would have said that we were lying. However, there are many strange things. Now it's been shown that this imam wasn't just a person that the CNI (National Intelligence Centre) had located but that he collaborated with them. That opens many questions which we wondered about during those days and which we now have right to pose.
We have the right to ask what else they're hiding from us. How far does the long arm of the CNI reach in our country? What are they doing beyond 10,000 unnecessary police officers in Catalonia?
Is the security of Catalans guaranteed in the hands of this information service and this Spanish police force? Don’t the Mossos d’Esquadra [Catalan police] give a better guarantee although today they are still under Spanish state intervention? Why has Mossos chief Mr Trapero been dismissed, and why is Catalan interior minister Mr Forn in prison, when they were the people who really managed the neutralisation of the Jihadist threat to Catalonia? All this creates a lot of distrust with the Spanish security system and information system. They have not been loyal to the public. Because of this disloyalty, we don’t know if we could have avoided a terrorist attack, and many deaths. We don't know. And do we have the right to ask ourselves this? We have the right to ask what else they're hiding from us. How far does the long arm of the CNI reach in our country? What are they doing beyond 10,000 unnecessary police officers in Catalonia, in a peaceful place? Do we have the right to ask this? Yes. Enric Millo [central government delegate to Catalonia] would have said that we were lying if we had said in August what is now suspected, that the Ripoll imam had contacts with the CNI. And then would they have believed Mr Millo or us? We couldn't offer proof. But it was clear. And it's been shown. What will be shown in three month's time about Operation Catalonia? Just in case, I would recommend people to be very prudent about believing the Spanish state's version.
How cynical! The intellectual and material perpetrator of the flight of companies from Catalonia (...) is now precisely the person telling them to return
This Thursday, the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, made his first visit to Catalonia since the application of article 155 and asked for companies to not leave Catalonia.
How cynical! The intellectual and material perpetrator of the flight of companies from Catalonia to be able to explain how bad we were is now precisely the person telling them to return. It would have been easy to not approve a decree making it illegally easier for companies to move.
Foment del Treball [union] has asked for incentives for them to return...
What's more we have to feel the shame of having to give them fiscal rewards to these companies, fiscal incentives are being proposed for the companies that have left to come back. It seems to be that it should be the other way round. We have to reward those who have stayed, those who, despite the pressure, have bet on remaining in Catalonia. Those who, for interests that some day they will explain, have changed their registered headquarters, I believe shouldn't be given any reward. That's all we need. It seems that that way they're incentivising companies to end up leaving: Go, because when you come back we'll give you fiscal incentives. Is this the PP's policy to stimulate the economy? Quite the opposite. The immense majority of companies haven't left. And the economic statistics, despite the PP's narrative, continue showing that Catalonia is a robust and solvent economy. Rajoy has realised the failure of his strategy because it has economic consequences for Spain, and if it has them for Spain, it has them for Europe and, listening in the heart of Europe as I'm doing, I assure you that they're not very happy. And that the northern countries who are a little tired of paying bills for the south are starting to worry. Let it be clear that the economic bill that Rajoy and the PP and their coalition of partners wanted to make the Catalans pay, because we've misbehaved, according to him, could end up being paid by the whole of Europe, and that probably explains why Mariano Rajoy is now trying to undo the very grave error he made.