Catalan government will report to Brussels Madrid’s massive cash withdrawal from Catalan banks on October 2

The financial warfare waged against Catalonia’s independence bid is the subject of debate in the Catalan parliament

MIREIA ESTEVE / ANNA MASCARÓ

The Catalan government intends to expose the economic warfare waged by Madrid against Catalonia’s independence bid following the referendum on October 1 last year, when the Spanish government and King Felipe worked together to pressurise banks, large firms and multinational companies into moving out of Catalonia, as reported by this newspaper. ARA’s scoop prompted a parliamentary question on the matter, addressed to Vice President Pere Aragonès and Business Minister Àngels Chacón, who confirmed that they are “working to hold those responsible to account from a legal standpoint, as well as before the overseeing bodies in Europe”, said Aragonès.

In answer to a question from ERC MP Raquel Sans, Mr Aragonès warned that they will “have to look into the matter” and he explained that it will be done within the Catalan government, as well as in the Spanish parliament, where PDECat and ERC MPs have already requested a formal probe into the issue. “At any rate, we have proved that Catalonia’s economy is able to withstand Madrid’s onslaught”, Aragonès remarked, and he emphasised that most businesses chose to stay in Catalonia despite the harassment they were subjected to. “Catalonia’s GDP is growing at a healthy 3.1 per cent”, he noted. “Our economy has shown it can withstand Madrid’s concerted attacks”. Minister Chacón added that the Catalan government has acted “rigorously”, writing “reports” and investigating the matter. She pointed out that only 0.59 per cent of the 618,000 businesses registered in Catalonia actually moved out.

Catalan police in the spotlight

Catalan Interior Minister Miquel Buch stated that “you fight fascism with more democracy, not by jumping a police line”. Mr Buch answered questions by several MPs on the performance of the Catalan police on September 29 and October 1. The minister defended the Mossos d’Esquadra, but added that “we will always be critical about our own work so that actions by the Catalan police may be ever more suitable and professional”. In answer to a question by Ciudadanos MP Matías Alonso, who spoke in support of the Mossos d’Esquadra and against a partisan use of the police force, Buch encouraged Alonso’s colleagues to “learn to respect the force” and accused Ciudadanos of debasing the Mossos when speaking on media. Mr Buch pointed out that “it is Ciudadanos who try to use the police for their own political ends”.

PP spokesman Xavier García Albiol asked Miquel Buch to take action following reports about an alleged meeting between Catalan president Quim Torra and the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDR) and he accused the minister of using the Mossos as if they were “a political police”. Buch argued that “it is outrageous that someone like you should say so, when you are the main culprit behind the charges pressed against Catalan police officers and the dirty war waged by Madrid. Ours is a democratic police force and we shall never use it to fabricate evidence ahead of an election”.

Ciudadanos accuse Catalan schools of indoctrinating pupils

Ciudadanos MP Sonia Sierra asked Education Minister Josep Bargalló to “get rid of the yellow ribbons and the textbooks that indoctrinate Catalan school children”. Mr Bargalló replied that “our schools have always remained neutral and they will stay that way”. “Schools are autonomous”, he stated. “The ministry’s job is not to monitor or intervene in the decisions made in school board meetings”.

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