Police violence in Catalonia is 'fake news', says Spanish minister
“If there was any use of force it was a limited one,” Foreign Affairs minister Alfonso Dastis told BBC
The Spanish Foreign Affairs minister Alfonso Dastis referred to footage and pictures of police violence on October 1 as “fake”. In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, Dastis said that “many of those pictures have been proven to be fake pictures” and added that “if there was any use of force it was a limited one”.
In total, 1,066 people sought medical care as a result of the Spanish police operation against the independence referendum, according to the Catalan government's latest data. International organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International labelled the use of force as “excessive” in recent reports.
"If anyone has attempted a coup, it is the Catalan regional government"
Alfonso Dastis · Spanish Foreign Affairs minister
After the interviewer asked Dastis whether he considered all pictures to be fake, the minister said that “I am not saying that all are fake pictures” but “there has been a lot of alternative facts and fake news here”. “If there was any use of force it was not a deliberate use of force, it was a provoked use of force.”
Dastis spoke a day after the Spanish president Mariano Rajoy announced plans to take over the Catalan government, which will come into effect following ratification of Article 155 of the Constitution by the Senate, scheduled for Friday October 27.
The government in Madrid will also take control of Catalonia’s own police body, the Mossos d’Esquadra, as well as its public media.
No coup d’état, says Dastis
Catalan president Carles Puigdemont deemed the activation of Article 155 as “the worst attack on the institutions and the people of Catalonia since the decrees of the military dictator Francisco Franco."
The president of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, called measures a “de facto coup d’état."
Dastis dismissed accusations from Catalan leaders and told the BBC that “if anyone has attempted a coup, it is the Catalan regional government."