The Catalan president, Quim Torra, has accused the Spanish state of irresponsibly putting cohesion and social harmony at risk in Catalonia. From the podium in the Catalan Parliament, he described the role of Mariano Rajoy's government and king Felipe VI in the pressure on companies to leave Catalonia as "mafia-like behaviour" and "indecency".
The head of the Catalan executive leveled these criticisms during today's debate on the social agenda and social harmony, called at the request of Ciutadans, saying that "the fracture will never come over a political debate". "The fracture is a child of a silence. That does fracture", he said, for which reason he called again for "a political debate without threats".
"What is really causing a fracture is that no negotiated and binding referendum on self-determination can be held. We don't want anyone to believe that social harmony is silence," he said.
It was following these complaints that he directly singled out Mariano Rajoy's government and king Felipe VI over the operation to "blackmail" companies and banks to leave Catalonia.
The president accused them of "indecency" and "mafia-like behaviour" for their involvement in the operation, advising them to abandon "foul play and fear".
#president @QuimTorraiPla: "Qui ha posat en risc la cohesió i la convivència ha estat un estat i una monarquia que ha fet xantatge a empreses i bancs perquè marxessin de Catalunya mirant de provocar una crisi social i econòmica que no es va produir" #Parlament pic.twitter.com/2hx4rGjXbQ— Govern. Generalitat (@govern) 10 de octubre de 2018
"What type of monarchy are we talking about?", the president asked rhetorically, "can you imagine the queen of England calling English or Scottish companies to leave the country?".
Torra concluded that this operation orchestrated by the state "is absolutely perverse". "Its aim is to end with the people who defend an idea. It's what we call the general case against the independence movement," he said.
On the other hand, he insisted that the independence movement has always been peaceful and courteous. "That ultimately stings them too. We've talked about and practiced the revolution of smiles, we renounce violence and aggression", he said, noting that violence came during last year's referendum from the police and now from people removing yellow loops.
He also responded to criticism from Ciutadans, warning that public space has to be free and is never neutral and urged them to put a stop to the far right in the streets of Catalonia, to "fight the serpent's egg of fascism".
Enough threatening us
Torra had his own criticism for Ciutadans, who had requested today's debate, accusing them of setting Catalan politics on edge, speaking with scorn and a lack of institutional respect. "Enough threatening us with prisons, with [article] 155, when we just want to have a peaceful and democratic debate. They should never be afraid of the ballot box," he said.
He accused them of "never having been on the side of the claim for a fair funding system" for Catalonia. Although he said this wasn't the solution his government proposes, he urged them to offer their financial proposal to overcome the situation.
Likewise, he called on the party to not fight over schools or the language, and the immersion system which is a model in Europe. Although he joked they weren't aware of this, because "you don't know what's happening beyond Spain".