Spanish president calls on “silent majority” in Catalonia to vote in upcoming elections
During the pre-campaign inaugural event, the head of PP in Catalonia also "thanked" Rajoy for implementing Article 155
Spanish president Mariano Rajoy addressed the “silent majority” in Catalonia at a pre-campaign opening ceremony for conservative right-wing People’s Party in the run-up to the December 21 elections. In a speech, the Spanish president called on his listeners to fill “the ballot boxes of truth,” and to turn their voices into votes. Rajoy further stated that it’s necessary for “the voice of democracy go to the ballot boxes and fill them in favor of coexistence and tranquility in Catalonia, Spain, and Europe.” This has been Rajoy's first visit to Catalonia since the October 1 independence referendum.
The speech was received by the applause of an audience of more than 1,000 who came to see the PP leaders at the Hotel Barceló Sants in Barcelona. During this speech, Rajoy also addressed the application of Article 155, deeming it “inevitable” after having run out of options faced with the independence movement in Catalonia. He justified its application by stating that any other country in Europe would have done the same when faced with the situation.
A "clean, fully democratic" election, said Rajoy
Indeed, the event was a direct result of the application of Article 155. In the measures, the Spanish president also called snap elections on December 21 in Catalonia, which Rajoy claimed would be “clean, fully democratic,” as well as “with transparency in their development and scrutiny.”
This will not be the last time that Rajoy visits Catalonia during the electoral campaign. His next visit is already set for December 8, the same day as the leader of his party in Catalonia, Xavier García Albiol, turns 50.
Xavier García Albiol “thanks” Rajoy for application of Article 155
In the pre-campaign opening ceremony, the head of PP in Catalonia and its candidate for the upcoming elections, Xavier García Albiol, thanked Mariano Rajoy for applying Article 155 of the Spanish constitution. This measure was applied by Rajoy following the declaration of independence in the Catalan parliament, in order to seize Catalan self-rule. Albiol further thanked Rajoy for “deposing Puigdemont, Junqueras and his government,” as well as for “closing embassies” abroad. The Spanish government closed all Catalan foreign delegations abroad, except for the one in Brussels.
Albiol also spoke of the possibility of forming some sort of agreement with the Catalan Socialist Party (the PSC) and unionist Ciutadans (C’s), which he believes would offer “an alternative project.” Albiol also warned the PSC into entering into an agreement with pro-independence parties instead as it would constitute “a betrayal of thousands of Catalans and Spaniards.”
The leader of PP in Catalonia also denied that the civil society leaders and deposed Catalan government ministers who are currently incarcerated for their role in the independence movement are “political prisoners.” He insisted that in Spain nobody is put away for their ideas, but rather for acting illegally.