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The Parliament of Catalonia celebrated this Friday an extraordinary plenary session to condemn the terrorist attacks of Barcelona and Cambrils, as well as transmit condolences to the victims of the attacks. The president of the Parliament, Carme Forcadell, marked the start of the session by reading an Institutional Declaration signed by all groups, and where it put value in the response of Catalonia in the face of the attacks. 

"In the face of extreme gravity, it is necessary to emphasise the excellent work of the emergency and medical services, and also of the security corps," recited Forcadell, in reference, among others, to the applauded response of the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan police). Likewise, the Declaration also emphasised the "civic reaction and the spirit of solidarity" of the citizens. "The ultimate goal of terrorism is to create fear and hatred amongst the society that it attacks, and to crush essential values such as freedom and the respect for difference. That is why the serene, solidary and peaceful response that the Catalan society has shown in the face of the attacks is so important," states the Declaration.

A commitment to the culture of peace

The president of the Parliament concluded the manifesto by calling for the fight against terrorism and reaffirming a commitment to the culture of peace, which "forces us to deepen our values, such as tolerance and dialogue, and make the task of preventing violent extremism". 

"The solidarity, the freedom and the peaceful communal life in its diversity are the defeat of terrorism," concluded the Declaration. In response, the majority of the deputies and assistants in the plenary stood up and applauded. Among the guests there was a representation of some of the security corps and emergency services, firefighters, consuls and mayors, including that of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and the general coordinator of Catalunya en Comú (Catalonia in Common), Xavier Domènech.

There was controversy, however, in that members of the CUP, Anna Gabriel, Joan Garriga and Mireia Boya, did not applaud. In declarations after the plenary, the president of the Catalan PP (Popular Party), Xavier García Albiol, regretted the reaction of the anticapitalist deputies and branded them as "socially unstructured".

Later, a minute's silence was held, and ten minutes after the plenary condemned the attacks, the session was ended.

Call for participation

Once the plenary had finished, the president of the government, Carles Puigdemont, appeared in front of the media to call for participation in the demonstration this Saturday in Barcelona, in condemnation of the attacks. 

The leader of Citizens in Catalonia, Inés Arrimadas, also made declarations, stating that the demonstration on Saturday "is not a day of ideologies nor partisanships", but to be joined "under the same slogan". Arrimadas also took the opportunity to advise the entities and political parties to "not have any temptation to instrumentalize the demonstration and to use it as an ideological loudspeaker". 

For his part, Albiol also made a call for participation in the demonstration and celebrated the presence of King Felipe VI in the rally. "It demonstrates that he is alongside the Catalan people and the Spanish people", he said.