The speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Laura Borràs, has declined to attend an Armed Forces Day event scheduled for tomorrow Saturday, in a forceful letter inviting the army to vacate its barracks in uptown Barcelona and criticizing the attitude of Spanish king Felipe VI with Catalonia.
"If you really want to make a gesture towards the citizens of Catalonia, start by leaving the Bruc barracks and allow this space to be used by those who really deserve it: the citizens of Barcelona and Catalonia," she says.
Borràs recalls in the letter that the Spanish king is the head of the armed forces, and criticizes the attitude he has shown towards Catalonia since the 2017 independence referendum. "Unfortunately, the speech that Felipe VI made on October 3rd was not what those historic moments demanded. Not only did he fail to fulfill his function of arbitrating the conflict, but he applauded and even spurred on the repression against we citizens who had freely exercised our right to decide our future as free men and women. That day, the head of the Spanish army put this institution against the citizens of Catalonia. That day the monarchy allied itself with an exclusive national conception of Spain and supported outdated and anti-democratic political ideals,” she states.
Borràs emphasizes that as speaker of parliament, she cannot accept the position which Felipe VI has taken, because her duty is "to the citizens who have shown confidence in us", and that for this reason she will not attend the Armed Forces' Day event.
She also reaffirms the validity of the criteria behind the 2017 referendum, and asserts that it provides a benchmark to be lived up to. "In 2017, Catalonia carried out an exercise of democratic self-determination based on and legitimized by the reasons for existence of any society that claims to be democratic: to give its citizens a voice so that they can directly decide their future as a society, as a community of free people, as a people, as a nation.This democratic benchmark challenges each and every one of us to live up to it. It challenges the citizens, but also the institutions: both the Catalan ones and the Spanish," she argues.
The letter was addressed to the inspector general of the Spanish army, Fernando Aznar Ladrón de Guevara, who sent the invitations.