Leaders of Unionist parties and civil groups have gone on the offensive to attempt to stop Carles Puigdemont from being invested as new Catalan president, and to try to turn a page on the independence process. The tone of the criticisms being made of the Together for Catalonia (JuntsXCat) is rising as this Wednesday's planned session for constitution of the new Catalan Parliament draws closer.
This Sunday the unionist group Federalistes d'Esquerres insisted that Puigdemont must "end his hijack" of the Catalan government, asserting that he needs to turn himself over to Spanish justice and "allow Catalonia to recover its self-government". In a communiqué, the group branded the attitude of Pugidemont as a "motive for shame" and assured that in Catalonia there is a majority, which includes some pro-independence voters, which agrees that Puigdemont "should stop playing the role of a sad clown in Flanders, hand himself over to justice and allow Catalonia to recover the normal functioning of its self-government".
For the Popular Party (PP), vice secretary for regional and local issues Javier Arenas expressed himself in a similar line when he said that the JuntsXCat candidate is not "a candidate, he is something grotesque", denying that he could govern Catalonia "by telephone". Meanwhile, the PP spokesperson in the Spanish Congress, Rafael Hernando, labelled Puigdemont as a "zombie".
.@Rafa_Hernando: "Puigdemont es un zombie" https://t.co/y2bsOfR12y pic.twitter.com/lmaGyHa6XO— Europa Press TV (@europapress_tv) 11 of January 2018
For her part, the leader of Citizens (Cs) in Barcelona city, Carina Mejías, spoke about Puigdemont before the Tres Tombs celebration in the Sant Antoni neighbourhood. She said the JuntsXCat leader should "stop making an international fool of himself by attempting to govern Catalonia from Brussels and by Skype".
La líder de Cs en Barcelona pide a Puigdemont “que deje de hacer el ridículo internacional queriendo gobernar Cataluña desde Bruselas y por Skype” @CiutadansBCN— He|She|It Carina Mejías (@CarinaMejias) 14 of January 2018
Another Catalan PP representative, Andrea Levy, also addressed the acting president saying that they "will not tolerate a joke", since she considers that a "telematic" investiture is more appropriate to a "cyberdemocracy" than a "real Catalonia".
Finally, the secretary general of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez, said at an event on Saturday that "in Catalonia a constitutional legislature has to be set in motion, implying that it cannot be led by an unconstitutional president".