Esquerra leader Junqueras: “The judicial decisions mean to make us doubt our position, but instead they open international doors to us”

The President of Esquerra Republicana honours Jové, Salvadó and Garriga at the National Council: “They are not only innocent but they are heroes of the democratic cause”

“Esquerra Republicana has been and remains the party against which Spain has retaliated most in the entire history of this country; and if that is so, it is because it has been the most useful, committed, brave and determined, and the one that generates most fear among the State’s repressive apparatus,” said Esquerra Republicana leader Oriol Junqueras before the party’s National Council held on Saturday.

Mr Junqueras referred specifically to the case of Josep-Maria Jové, Lluís Salvadó and Natàlia Garriga, for whom the Prosecutor’s Office is asking for up to 7 years in prison and 32 years disqualification for the organization of the 1st October, 2017 independence referendum. “The decision by certain judicial actors regarding Jové, Salvadó and Garriga are explicitly contrary to the will of the legislator in drafting the amendments to the law, and they are decisions that mean to make us doubt our position and strategy, to drive us out of the game,” Mr Junqueras denounced.

“But these decisions,” he added, “far from weakening us, they open further international doors to us, and even wider, both within the country and abroad,” he assured. And he exemplified these international alliances and shows of support by mentioning the meeting on Friday in Dublin between the President of the Catalan Generalitat government, Pere Aragonès, and the President of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald, during which the Irish leader affirmed that, if she governs Ireland she will recognize an independent Catalonia if the Catalans so decide, and that the Catalan Republic should be part of the European Union.

Mr Junqueras also wanted to warn “that part of the judicial system that acts against the spirit” of the reform of the Penal Code, and to “any minister who means to make believe that the process of Catalonia’s independence is over” saying that “the path towards the independence of Catalonia is more alive than ever, it has more international support than ever, and we are ready to take advantage of all the levers and opportunities they generate with their repression.”

Esquerra’s leader concluded his speech by paying tribute to Jové, Salvadó and Garriga, who took the stage to the applause of those present: “With their acts, courage, bravery, commitment and efficiency they have contributed to building a very important part of the our project and launching the greatest democratic challenge that the State has had to face not just in decades but surely in centuries.” “Not only are they innocent but they are heroes of the democratic cause,” he proclaimed.

In addition, the National Executive of the party was renewed at the National Council with the appointment of Oriol López as Deputy Secretary General for Internal Coordination, Najat Driouech as Secretary for Social Rights, Citizenship and Housing, and Santi Valls as Secretary for Mobilization and Municipal Coordination.