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"In Spain, when we are all united we are perfect; I have the organs of a Catalan person and I am very proud of that. We all need Catalonia". This is what Manuela de la Vega, president of ALCER (Association for the Fight against Kidney Illnesses), said in a speech in Palma de Mallorca as part of the new Spanish nationalist platform España ciudadana (Civic Spain), launched by the Ciudadanos party. 

"When I was 39, my kidneys stopped working and I had to begin dialysis, in 1998," explained Manuela de la Vega to the audience, fanning themselves under the Mallorca heat. "I went on a waiting list for a double kidney and pancreas transplant."

"And after a year they called me, the famous call that we all wait for when we’re on a waiting list, that in Barcelona – because in Spain, all united we are perfect, as the signs say – they had to give me a transplant in Barcelona, so I have the organs of a Catalan person and I am SUPER-proud."  

At this point, the flag-waving Civic Spain crowd burst into applause. 

"I'm SUPER-SUPER-proud. We need Catalonia!" said Manuela de la Vega. "Especially me, I have needed it all my life."

The idea that organ donation is a good argument for Spanish nationalism and unity has caused both amusement and anger on social media, with the España Ciudadana platform and the Ciudadanos party led by Albert Rivera receiving a lot of flak.

Translation: The Stupid-o-meter is about to blow up — Toni Soler

Someone should explain to the lady that the public health system which saved her life is not threatened by the fact that Catalans want to vote, but rather by the neoliberal party that has handed her the microphone. — Albano-Dante Fachin 

Is Ciudadanos saying that they want Catalans in Spain for our organs?— Herr Nandes

The creators of "I'm not a machista because I love my mother" now bring to your screens "I'm not anti- Catalan because I have a Catalan kidney". Enjoy the sensitive B-grade fascism. — Manu Cabello 

*Living in fear that the kidney will declare its independence*

For his part, Albert Rivera asserted on Saturday that Catalan nationalism is "insatiable" and that "the more privileges, instruments and resources it obtains, the worse it will be". Rivera warned the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, that he cannot "normalize" what is happening in Catalonia, and the Cs leader declared himself against a strategy of "appeasement". "Does anybody think that Junqueras, Torra or Puigdemont will accept a rap over the knuckles and half of the powers they are asking for? They want to liquidate Spain", said Rivera, adding that "you cannot govern Spain by making trade-offs with the [Catalan] nationalists". 

The Cs leader asserted that the idea of a "nation of nations" is not a concept [of Spain] that can be promoted "naïvely". "The majority of prosperous countries of the world are one nation, not 50 or 24", said Rivera, who remarked that it was necessary "to fight" nationalism and not carry on in the same way "as for the last 40 years". 

Rivera Palma ACN

Rivera said that measures "have to be taken" in [Catalan] education, health and media because "nationalism must not be allowed to monopolize the public space". 

No-go zones for king Felipe

"In the Spain that I want, even the most remote village in Girona province is as Spanish as Madrid's Paseo de la Castellana", said the Cs leader, heavily critical of the recent rejection of Spain's king Felipe in Girona. 

"It is unacceptable to have parts of Spain which are no-go zones for the head of state; what country is this?" Rivera complained, also declaring that language "must never be a barrier" for people wanting to work. Ciudadanos' policy is to remove requirements for knowledge of Catalan language in public service areas.