After former Spanish police commissioner Jose Manuel Villarejo yesterday accused the National Intelligence Center (CNI) of being behind the 2017 Catalonia terror attacks, today he insisted on linking the Spanish state with the August 17th events, affirming that the intention was to provoke "a sense of risk so that Catalonia would feel the need for the Spanish state’s protection". Yesterday, Villarejo's statements caused a resounding condemnation from the main Catalan authorities, but the silence of the Spanish State was thunderous. It was not until today that the Spanish government made a statement: Teresa Cunillera, delegate of the central government in Catalonia, argued that the statements of the former commissioner do not have "any credibility".
"The insinuations have no logical basis, no material basis and no other explanation than the desire to mess things up," she affirmed in a telematic press conference, in which she presented the balance of the central government’s actions in Catalonia during the second half of 2021. Cunillera argued that it is not the first time Villarejo makes a false accusation: "He has a long history of trying to sow shadows of suspicion without ever providing any evidence".
The main question is the degree of veracity of Villarejo's statements, and Catalonia is asking to get to the bottom of the matter. When Cunillera was asked if these statements should be investigated, she reiterated that they cannot be given credibility and defended that there was already a trial on the attack: "We have worked honestly and determinedly, a trial was held and that is what is relevant".
"I do not understand why institutions, and even individuals, give credibility to this gentleman. The 2017 attack was the most terrible event this city and Catalonia have experienced in recent times," reiterated Cunillera from the government delegation, after the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, called for the events to be investigated, as did the speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Laura Borràs.
"Let's not play this game", insisted the Spanish government’s delegate, who asked to treat this matter with respect and consideration for the victims. She urged Aragonès not to play Villarejo's game, to be scrupulous and not give him more relevance: "The real problem lies with those who give him credibility".
Degree of compliance
Cunillera made these statements after reporting on the fulfilment of the Spanish State's commitments. As she explained, out of the 1,481 commitments undertaken, 42.7% have been fulfilled, and it is expected that after the first half of the year the total will reach 48.3%. 428 are from the agreement between the PSOE and Unidas Podemos, and 44.4% have been fulfilled. On the other hand, as from December 31st, 27.5% of commitments associated with the recovery, transformation and resilience plan have been fulfilled.