Politics 05/03/2021

Felipe VI and Pedro Sánchez visit Martorell amid a small minority of pro-independence protests

Less than thirty demonstrators second the mobilizations of the ANC, Òmnium and the CDR

Germán Aranda
3 min
The retinue of the incoming king through one of the entrances to Seat

Today's visit of Felipe VI to the Seat factory in Martorell on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the brand, and after the Spanish government announced on Thursday that it will place, "close" to the municipality, the first factory of batteries for electric cars in the Stat,e has been much more peaceful than his previous landings in Catalonia. Only about thirty people have seconded the calls of the ANC, Òmnium and the CDR to mobilize. Both large pro-independence organizations have deployed four banners on several bridges of the AP-7 and the A-2 with the slogan "Catalonia has no king", as part of the campaign they are promoting against the monarchy. The CDR of Baix Llobregat has joined in the concentration on one of the bridges of the Assembly and Òmnium.

Elisenda Paluzie, president of the ANC, has justified the small presence in the concentrations against the king in front of the Martorell factory because "the action called was not a mobilization, but a hanging of banners". The maximum leader of the entity has explained that at first the Mossos had not let them hang two of the four banners even though it was "an informed action", but finally they have authorized them after making the "appropriate calls". In any case, the goal, she stressed, was "to show that the king is not welcome in Catalonia".

"There hasn't been time to prepare it and it hasn't been publicised in order for it to be crowded", said Jaume, who criticised the fact that the king is appearing in Martorell when "four days ago he called the Seat to get them to leave Catalonia", in reference to the pressures exerted by the royal house during the days following 1 October 2017, as revealed by the newspaper ARA a year later. This has been by far the most low-key protest against the monarch in the visits he has made to Catalonia since he gave his controversial speech on 3-O, in which he endorsed the repressive path and opposed opening any kind of dialogue with the Catalan government.

Criticism from the PSC for the absence of Aragonès and the Ministers

The absence of the acting president, Pere Aragonès, or of the Minister of Economy, Ramon Tremosa, has generated the criticism of the constitutionalist parties, in spite of the fact that sources of the Generalitat explained yesterday that there would be representation of the Govern. The MP of PSC in the Parliament, Jose Zaragoza, has accused independentism of putting "in risk the investments in Catalonia" because of the summoned protests, and has said that the demonstrators "go against the workers of the Seat" and not against the monarchy, in an interview to RTVE.

In the same vein, the PSC spokeswoman in Parliament, Alícia Romero, has described as "inadmissible" that neither the vice president of the Government with presidential duties, Pere Aragonès, nor any Minister attend the Seat event "at a crucial moment for its future". "Setting the conditions to facilitate economic activity is one of the main obligations of the administrations", added Romero on her Twitter account.

The president of the Comuns in the Parliament, Jéssica Albiach, on the other hand, has stated that she understands "perfectly" that Aragonès will not attend. In an interview on TV1, Albiach urged the king to admit that there is a "big problem" and to commit himself to being accountable. Albiach said that the behaviour of the royal family is creating a "very bad image" abroad, and added that if Felipe VI really wants to nip his father's "corruption" in the bud, he must be committed to being accountable, improve the transparency of the institution, put an end to the crime of offences against the crown, ensure that inviolability does not mean impunity, and be willing to submit his continuity as head of state to a vote. "It is not a question of republicans or monarchists, it is a question of democratic hygiene", she concluded.