The Catalan Republican Left party (ERC) says it will denounce "all false police operations" and, for this reason, is considering making complaints at international as well as Spanish levels against the so-called Operation Volhov, the massive operation by the Civil Guard last week which arrested 21 pro-independence businesspeople and activists, based on claims which included some startling international conspiracies. ERC deputy secretary, Marta Vilalta, announced the party's intention to lay the complaints this Monday, adding that the specifics will be outlined in the coming hours and days.
Vilalta also stated that the party will ask for explanations from the Spanish PSOE-Unidas Podemos government to "find out what their role is." "If they are not accomplices, they they should voice their protest against it too, because for the moment they are silent and from that we can only understand that they are accomplices in it," she asserted.
In this regard, the ERC leader admitted that this Civil Guard operation, which ended with 21 arrests of people linked with the independence process, hinders any negotiation and relationship with the Spanish government. She clarified that the ERC is still studying the proposed Spanish government budget, currently before the Spanish Congress, and that, from ERC's point of view "everything is open."
The real reason for the operation
Vilalta also said that the goal of Operation Volhov is not "what is being published in the newspapers," but something different: "The case has two goals. On the one hand, to create fear, to teach people a lesson and to divide the independence movement. And, on the other, to search for new documentation in relation with [the 2017 referendum and independence proposal]."
And, according to the ERC leader, a key point is that the Civil Guard "has not yet recovered from the ridicule it suffered when the Catalan people took a step forward and voted freely in the 2017 referendum. They seek through searches to make us pay for what we did in October 2017,” she denounced.
Named after WW2 fascist campaign
The massive Civil Guard operation last week asserted, on the basis of scant evidence, the existence of a network that helped finance the independence process via the misuse of public funds, and claimed it had connections to the Tsunami Democràtic protest group, to Russian spies who offered 10,000 soldiers to Catalan independence leaders, and to the activist Julian Assange, among others. The Civil Guard operation was dubbed Volhov, referring to a joint offensive by the Spanish "Blue Division" and the Nazi army during Hitler's invasion of the USSR in the Second World War.