Catalonia's president Quim Torra has said this Friday evening that the Catalan pro-independence parties will withdraw support from Pedro Sánchez's Spanish government and will not vote for his budget. This, as a result of Friday's announcements of heavy prison sentences to be sought by public prosecutors and state solicitors in the independence referendum trial.
Torra said he regarded Friday's news from Madrid's Supreme Court as the response to his demand for Spanish PM Sánchez to make an offer on a negotiated referendum for Catalonia within a month. "The reply is more than 200 years of prison. So, prime minister Sánchez, we the people of Catalonia, withdraw our support for you and we say that we will not vote for the Spanish budget. We can't vote for it”, he said.
The head of the Catalan executive was speaking in an act called by the Association for Civil and Political Rights outside Lledoners prison, where Torra had earlier met with the pro-independence prisoners. It is the second night in a row of large rallies outside the Lledoners jail.
As the president came to the microphone, insistent cries of "Unity!" went up from the crowd, and they were repeated throughout the event.
Torra stated that the trial is a farce aimed against the independence movement, and he responded by noting that there are three great areas of consensus in Catalonia: “One of them, that of the monarchy has already finished here”, said the president, to which some of those present replied with cries "Bourbon, out"; the second, is that in Catalonia, repression will not be tolerated; and the third, that the Catalan people want to exercise their right to self-determination in a peaceful and democratic way.
In the face of these three consensus views, according to Torra, the response has been to take the Catalan Parliament's resolution reprimanding the king to the Constitutional Court, continuing the repression and "not a word about self-determination".
“For that reason we have withdrawn our support of prime minister Sánchez. We will always continue to raise the flag of dialogue but we will never vote for this budget”.
Torra warned that there will no steps backwards. “We can no longer be a little free, we need to be completely free.”
On this point he also sent also a political message: without explicitly mentioning the left-wing, non-aligned Commons political group, which has been affected by recent splits, he advised them that neutrality is no longer possible: “Either you are against repression or in favour of repression”, he said.