Politics 19/02/2021

Aragonès defends Catalan police but anticipates there will be changes in Home Affairs with the new Government

He believes that an investigation must be carried out to determine whether there has been "malpractice" without tarnishing the professionalism of the entire force

2 min
The vice-president of the Government, Pere Aragonès, this Friday in Girona.

BarcelonaThe role that the Mossos d'Esquadra are playing in the protests against the imprisonment of Pablo Hasél has burst into the investiture negotiations, and not exactly to facilitate a quick agreement. The CUP, a key actor to trigger the legislature, is pushing for resignations and substantial changes in the Ministry of Home Affairs, while JxCat and ERC make balances. The former because they currently run the department - despite having criticised the police action -, and the latter because they are in pole position to get Pere Aragonès to be the next president of the Generalitat and want as little noise as possible. Aragonès has spoken on the issue this Friday. On the one hand, he has defended the work of the police force. On the other, he has announced "changes" in this area when the new Government is constituted.

Regarding the defense of the police force, Aragonès has exposed that an "eventual bad police performance cannot stain" the work that the 17,000 agents of the Catalan police undertake to "protect the security and the rights and freedoms of the citizenship". According to him, it will be necessary to clarify if there were "bad practices" - in allusion to the woman who has lost an eye - but has insisted that professionalism "and commitment" predominate in the force.

As for the future, Aragonès has spoken of changes in Home Affairs, although he has not specified any, among other reasons because the negotiation for the investiture is still in the initial phase. "There will be changes in many areas because February 14 has left a clear result that says that citizens want changes in many aspects with respect to the way they have always been managed", he argued. He has also said that his intention is to "strengthen a model of democratic policing" based on "trust between police and citizens".

Aragonès has been for months in a unique position in the Catalan Government, which is now accentuated. If since Torra's disqualification (September 2020) he was the vice president of the Govern, acting as president, now he is labeled as the main aspirant to the presidency. This Friday from Girona he has tried to avoid opening any kind of conflict with JxCat and the CUP, his two most feasible partners to become president. When asked about the fact that the CUP is asking for the resignation of the Minister of Home Affairs, Miquel Sàmper (JxCat), he has avoided positioning himself and has claimed not to make partisan battle of the issue. He has also balanced out the protest itself, since he has considered "logical" that the citizenship is "indignant" by the outcome of the Hasél case, but has asked that all demonstrations are developed "peacefully".

Torra speaks out

The area of Home Affairs has always been one of the most controversial of the Catalan Government, a fact that was accentuated with the Catalan independence bid and that became even worse when the protests and riots of the post-sentence of 1-O took place. Quim Torra lived it on the front line, who in autumn 2019 already considered removing the minister of the time, Miquel Buch, whom he ended up removing a year later. Precisely Torra has demanded this Friday a reform of the police that "allows to rebuild the confidence that the citizenship has lost towards the police". One of the proposals he has made is to promote "mediation" and reformulate "the design of the containment measures".

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