Tension rises to surface

Pro-independence groups blame each other for lack of agreement on Puidgdemont’s suspension; Torrent suspends session while tension is evident

Heated words and accusations flew around the Catalan Parliament yesterday when both pro-independence groups represented on the Standing Committee gave different versions for a breakdown over the suspension of the six MPs who face charges in the Supreme Court. Finally, the Speaker, Roger Torrent decided to suspend the session, the last before the summer break, and give more time for the groups to reach an agreement.

In fact it was a presumed agreement over the exclusion of Carles Puigdemont from the suspension which caused the uproar. JxCAT accused ERC of breaking an agreement to exclude the former president and seeking the support of the PSC which would act as a “whitewash” of the Socialists implication in the imposition of Article 155.

Speaking afterward, ERC spokesperson Sergi Sabrià said there had been no such agreement and that JxCAT’s Eusebi Campdepadrós had changed his vote midway through the meeting and by abstaining, tied the vote. The PSC had been willing to vote with ERC following the dictates of the House legal services which advised the vote should include all concerned.

JxCAT spokesperson Albert Batet said that “We will not support any proposal that validates the suspension or replacement of Puigdemont, that is a line we will not cross.”

In the afternoon, in a conciliatory tone, ERC’s Ernest Maragall sought to calm the waters between the groups and denied that “the minor incident” in the morning, despite the “poor image”, had any effect on the cohesion of the government. “It’s time to calm down and get to work,” he emphasised.

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