Catalan president contemplating action against anti-independence Spanish government report

Quim Torra has instructed the Catalan government’s legal service to look into the “criminalisation” of Catalonia’s independence movement

Catalan president Quim Torra has instructed his government’s legal service to look into an anti-independence report written by España Global, a body that reports to Spain’s foreign ministry. The document, which aims to counter the pro-independence narrative, embraces the arguments of the Prosecutor’s Office and endorses the views of some of its witnesses in the trial of the Catalan independence leaders, which is still pending a verdict by the Supreme Court.

In a Twitter post, the Catalan premier called the seventy-plus page Spanish government report “a disgraceful document” and he quoted a statement taken from the text: “Some elements have become radicalised, engaging in acts of violence. An example of the this was the mob that laid siege to the Catalan Ministry of Economy HQ [in Barcelona] on 20 September 2017”. Torra regards this statement as “extremely serious”.

Quim Torra has warned that he expects the Spanish authorities to disclose the cost of the España Global report to establish whether public funds have been misused. Furthermore, Catalan government sources have indicated to EFE [Spain’s main newswire] that the report “violates the European directive on presumption of innocence”. In addition, the document might “constitute an interference in a judicial matter, criminalising Catalonia’s independence movement only weeks before the Supreme Court hands down its verdict”.

Countering the pro-independence narrative

The document —aimed at foreign journalists and representatives— is the brainchild of Irene Lozano, who heads España Global, and it seeks to counter Catalonia’s pro-independence narrative. In its eleven chapters, the report fact-checks 45 oft-repeated messages from the secessionist camp, which are referred to as “fake” and matched against their corresponding “facts”, together with detailed information about the independence bid staged in autumn 2017.

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