Politics 03/03/2021

Aragonès condemns the riots and expresses his support towards the Mossos d'Esquadra

He is open to debate the model of public order in the new constituted Parliament

2 min
The vice-president of the Government, Pere Aragonès, addressing the meeting of the executive council on Tuesday
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BarcelonaAfter two weeks of mobilizations and riots due to the imprisonment of the rapper Pablo Hasél, the vice-president, Pere Aragonès, has appeared this Wednesday before the Permanent Deputation of the Parliament to express the positioning of the Government. "We condemn all the violence and express support for the Mossos d'Esquadra and local police", said the -also- acting president.

Faced with criticisms for not condemning the riots forcefully, Aragonès has wanted to get close to the security forces and has asserted that no "damage" to public or private goods or "acts of looting" are part of the freedom of expression and demonstration. In his opinion, most of the demonstrators behave in a civic manner, but there is an "extremely violent minority" against the police: "Under no circumstances can attacks like the one at the Vic police station or the one on the van of the city police in Barcelona be repeated":

Even so, the aspiring president, who is in full negotiation with the CUP for the investiture, has also asked not to stay on "the surface" and address the "roots" of the malaise of Catalan society. He recalled that many young people are suffering a second crisis, the coronavirus, after the economic shock of 2008, which is affecting the "most vulnerable groups". In this sense, he called for the rapid formation of the new government to address these problems, in addition to committing to address the reform of the model of public order in the newly formed Parliament.

Aragonès has said that this debate on the police model - that the CUP demands in order to negotiate the investiture - has to be done with "serenity" to decide if reforms are needed in the protocols to avoid, for example, a case like that of the young girl who has lost an eye during the mobilizations, presumably by foam bullet of the Mossos. "We are committed to investigating", he said, and to settle "responsibilities" if there is "negligent" behavior by police officers. However, he has also warned that a bad performance of a police officer does not mean "criminalizing" the entire force.

The appearance in Parliament comes at the same time as talks with the CUP and Junts per Catalunya are being conducted regarding the investiture of Aragonès, which is going slower than expected. The cupaires have put on the table a series of conditions to begin to negotiate, including a moratorium of foam bullets, the withdrawal of the Generalitat in the causes against indendentists, and the abstention of riot police in evictions.

The PSC demands more forcefulness in the Government

The intervention of Aragonès has not convinced the opposition, who have accused the administration of lukewarmness with the riots due to the negotiations to form government that ERC maintains with the CUP. The PSC spokeswoman, Eva Granados, has charged against the vice president. "Or respect or squeeze, or Mossos or CUP", she said, accusing him of "resigning" his "authority". Granados has required the head of the Republican list to specify whether the Government "will be presented as a private prosecution of the attacks ...", if it will provide a legal defense "to agents who may be reported for the work done", and what "tools do the Mossos have to dissolve violent actions".