Politics 01/03/2021

Sabater claims ERC has accepted CUP's conditions on the change in police model

"I have the perception that this agreement does not exist," refutes the Minister of Home Affairs, Miquel Sàmper

3 min
CUP candidate, Dolors Sabater, speaking at the rally in support of Marcel

The leader of list of the CUP in the Parliament, Dolors Sabater, has assured today in Tv3 that the republicans have accepted that foam bullets are no longer used, that riot police does not participate in evictions and that the Generalitat withdraws the accusations against pro-independence protesters, in spite of the fact that after the parties met on Friday they simply said they would work on these issues.

According to a statement released by the Republicans after that meeting, the two parties pledged to deepen these discussions and work on specific proposals, some of which could be implemented "in the short term" and others, which involve a "rethinking of the model", would have to be carried out "more in the medium term". But in no case did ERC announce that it would have accepted the CUP's demands and the CUP simply celebrated that the Republicans agreed "to work to put an end to the haemorrhages that the country is suffering today".

During the interview, Sabater also admitted that they are committed to "rethinking" the role of the riot police, but not its dissolution, contrary to their election manifesto. "The Mossos have a problem and it is the Brimo [riot police], and we must put an end to malpractice," she said. "We must respond to society's malaise".

The Catalan Minister of Home Affairs, Miquel Sàmper, has said in Ràdio 4 that he does not know of the agreement that ERC and CUP would have reached to change the police model: "I have the perception that it does not exist", he has affirmed. Sàmper has affirmed that if foam bullets are prohibited it is because only pepper gas will be used, which is the other element of public order legitimised by the Parliament. On the evictions, he has pointed out that the riot police acts by "injunction". "I would be delighted not to have to do it, but explain to us how we can skip a court order," he said. The Minister has defended that the changes in the police model have to be discussed in Parliament and imply a long debate, as happened with the prohibition of the rubber bullets.

As she did this Sunday, the head of the CUP has made it clear that "putting life at risk is a limit" after a group of demonstrators set fire to a police van on the Ramblas with an agent inside during Saturday's demonstration. Even so, Sabater has made a call to look for the reasons for the protest. "We have to be shocked by what causes the riots, by the violence of the day to day with thousands of evictions," she said after making it clear that we must change the system. "We cannot be dazzled by the fire of the protests, and condemnation does not solve anything if the system is not changed because it is pure hypocrisy and irresponsibility," she reiterated. "Reducing everything to vandalism is throwing gasoline on the fire, and you have to see what's behind the smoke," she added.

On the other hand, the spokesperson for Catalunya en Comú, Joan Mena, has condemned the burning of the police van, but has also urged politics give an answer to the claims made by the young people who go out on the street. In this sense, he has pressed the PSOE to comply with the commitments it signed at the beginning of the legislature, such as the regulation of rental prices. On changes to the police model, Mena has defended "a global reflection on the model of citizen security", in the line of what the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, has said this weekend, but has asked to do it with "serenity and tranquility" from Parliament and to extract it from the political negotiations to form a government.

The presidency of Parliament

On the possibility that a CUP member becomes Parliament Speaker, Sabater has insisted that they do not want to enter a negotiation for posts, but has admitted that "the Parliament has to go up a degree in the assumption of responsibilities" and that it can be "a good contribution" that the CUP commands the Catalan chamber. "If we have to assume the speakership, we will assume it," she stressed, and has justified the CUP's commitment to the need to "confront" the Constitutional Court in the wake of the forty odd social laws it suspended.

In the middle of the debate on who should assume Parliament speakership, ex-speaker Carme Forcadell has said it should be a left-wing woman, and has opened the door to it being Dolors Sabater, one of the names that the CUP has in mind to lead the Catalan chamber along with Carles Riera, as advanced by ARA. In an interview with ACN, Forcadell said that the equality law requires that women make up half of the parliamentary bureau and that it was a "shame" that in the previous term there was only one, although at the end of the term there were two. ERC considers it a good thing that CUP assumes this position, but JxCat considers that they should be given the speakership as the second largest pro-independence party.