Read in Catalan

The outcome was not good, because the CUP deputy Pau Juvillà no longer holds his seat and the Catalan pro-independence parties are once again divided, but the strategy adopted by the speaker of the Parliament of Catalonia was "the only one possible". That's the summary given by the speaker, Laura Borràs, of the days of political tension that afflicted the Catalan chamber last week, as it attempted to manage the Juvillà case. This Monday, Borràs gave her first public explanations in an interview with radio station RAC1 after the Catalan Parliament's official gazette finally announced the removal of Juvillà's name from the list of MPs, in an outcome that Borràs attributed to the lack of unity from ERC and the CUP with the strategy that she had proposed: "We're here because there was no collective wish to take it all the way to the ultimate consequences."

"I am more convinced than ever that the strategy I have proposed was the right one," affirmed Borràs, saying that her proposal to protect the seat of the deputy convicted for not removing yellow ribbons from the Lleida town hall building was not accepted. The strategy? Borràs says that on January 29th, in a meeting with the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, she put forward to him an ambitious proposal for "collective resistance to the attack by the state", so that the reaction of the pro-independence parties would be proportional to the magnitude of the aggression, a proposal - details of which she did not want to give - which she also shared with ERC and the CUP: "We have reached this point because this proposal was not accepted. And this means that the outcome we have, the removal of the seat, despite all the steps we took in Parliament, could not be avoided. The conclusion is that this is what happened. There was no wish to avoid it by [using] the proposal I presented. She also explained that the proposal also included the government's non compliance with the ruling for the 25% quota of Spanish language to be applied in classrooms.

Borràs avoided any self-criticism, although she admitted that she was not proud of the outcome despite "having worked hard", and announced that she would not resign, because if she did, it would be read as giving up, when she affirms that she has not renounced the collective strategy she mentioned and which he believes is the only possible way to deal with the Spanish state's repression. The speaker said she was ready to take it "to the end", but admitted that "trust had been broken" and said it was an "ambitious plan" in which she would have assumed the main consequences, while the rest of the pro-independence parties did not want to undertake certain "personal" actions.

"Uselessly exposed"

Borràs insisted that she could not bear the consequences on her own, in a criticism of ERC and the CUP: "I felt that I was uselessly exposed after having made a sincere and frank proposal, incorporating the will to draw a line" against state interference. "Together [the pro-independence parties] always win, divided we all lose," continued the speaker, adding that she believed there was a desire on the part of some to see her sacrificed. Despite claiming she felt left alone by the independence movement as a whole, she stated that she felt supported by some people who believe that the path she has taken is the right one, and made special mention of the Junts party: "They told me that they would respect what I decided."

In any case, she wanted to stress the differences in this case compared to that shown by her predecessor in the job, Roger Torrent. Thus, she assured that the fight to defend Juvillà's seat was put forward by her from the start in a different way from what then speaker Torrent did with the seat of Catalan president Quim Torra, because despite the outcome being the same, the actions to get there were "different". In addition, Borràs blamed Torrent's actions, stating that they harmed her in terms of the actions she could subsequently take: "That is the importance of precedents, of the steps we take and how they affect us later." Thus, he said that once Torrent made the decision to remove Torra's seat, this fact was converted into "law" by the Central Electoral Commission.

Blow by blow 

During the interview, Borràs went through a chronology of the events since the court ruling arrived from the TSJC (Catalan High Court), going through the different actions taken to protect the MP's seat, via various mechanisms such as the MPs Statute Committee, in a direct clash with the Central Electoral Commisssion. The speaker affirmed that despite the JEC's withdrawl of Juvillà's seat on January 28th, the CUP politician was still a deputy in last week's plenary session. But according to the CUP, he was not even summoned. In that plenary session, Borràs explained that she had not accepted the delegation of Juvillà's votes to another person - who would vote on his behalf - because he did not have a vote according to the regulation governing conflicts of interest, due it being a vote on an opinion over his own situation - and this he should not have participated, although he did in fact vote over a similar opinion in the plenary session of December 17th, although Borràs denies it: "On the 17th, Pau Juvillà is in the plenary session, he is summoned, and he does not vote because he knows perfectly well that his vote would have adulterated the result of that vote," she said today during the interview - a statement denied by the CUP and that can be seen in the images of the vote in that plenary session.

Translation of Tweet:
"Let's recall that Pau Juvillà voted on the opinion of the MPs Statute Committee on December 17th on the question of whether the plenary of Parliament would maintain him as an MP.
If on February 3rd he didn't vote, it's because due to an action of the speaker the delegation of his vote was not permitted." - Maria Sirvent, CUP deputy 

The CUP requested the delegation of Juvillà's vote last Thursday as soon as the plenary session was called. This decision of the CUP was widely criticized by Junts, who accused the left-wingers of wanting to send Borràs to the rubbish bin of history: "What point was there in asking for the delegation of the vote? This is the part I do not understand of the struggle," complained Borràs today during the interview, repeatedly mentioning the conflict of interest - an issue which was not mentioned in the December plenary. Beyond this issue, on Friday, when it had been finally established that Juvillà was no longer a deputy, most parties in the chamber demanded an explanation from Borràs, in both the Bureau and the Parliament's committee of party spokespeople. According to these parties, the speaker did not give a detailed explanations while assuring that Juvillà was still an MP despite the JEC's attacks. Asked today whether she would give a press conference to Parliament, she ruled it out and said she would explain to the spokespeople's committee, which is where the "accountability" should take place, she argued.

Giving in is not an option

Finally, Borràs delivered a message about the reason for the whole controversy: she noted that if all of this is happening it is due to state repression, and recalled that in the near future, new cases of repression will arrive against members of the house, such as the case opened against CUP deputy Eulàlia Reguant by Vox for refusing to answer the far-right party's questions in their private prosecution against the pro-independence leaders in the Supreme Court. Thus, Borràs underlined that "it is only the Spanish state which punishes, with its repression" and claimed that giving up is not an option, that the context is one of permanent threat and that the defence against all new attacks must be collective: "My ambitious proposal is for the country, to defend us as a country", and she assured that she assumed her position to work for independence and to continue to take a stand.