“Today we see a new repressive blow from Spain, this time at Minister Bernat Solé. The repression continues, but we will not cease.” was Esquerra Deputy Secretary General and spokeswoman Marta Vilalta’s blunt response when she learned of the minister’s disqualification for one year for having participated in the organization of the referendum on 1st October 2017 when he was the mayor of the Catalan town of Agramunt. Ms Vilalta criticised a sentence that “interferes with and conditions the elections to the Parliament and alters the presentation of the candidacy, since Bernat Solé is on the Esquerra Republicana ticket. It is vindictive interference anew,” she added.
In addition, and as if that were not enough, Esquerra’s spokeswoman said that “it is not coincidental or trivial” that this court decision comes just as Minister Solé is responsible for organizing the elections: “It is a new sample the judicial interference in the political sphere and the electoral process underway in our country. There is clear vengeful intent,” she said.
Ms Vilalta, who is also a candidate for Lleida, made it clear that “in Esquerra we never give up, we never surrender and we never succumb. That’s why they attack us, but we will persevere. They fear us because we are a plural and all-encompassing independence movement, an unbeatable independence movement, and they want to stop us, but they will not be able to” she said.
The sentence passed by the High Court of Justice in Catalonia for disobedience also means a fine of €16,800 for the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and is the first conviction of a mayor for having made the 1st October 2017 independence referendum possible. In this regard, Marta Vilalta explained that the court’s decision “is a sentence against all the mayors; all those of us who made the 1st October possible.” “We will persevere, as on the first day, convinced and firmly committed to the ideal that there is only one way: self-determination and amnesty to attain the Catalan Republic,” she said.
Legal battle against the sentence
Finally, the Deputy Secretary General stressed that Esquerra Republicana will not stand idly by: “We will fight in the courts and remain unbending, working by political and democratic means to resolve the conflict,” she said.
“Again, we know the answer: votes against gowns, ballot boxes against revenge, and democracy against repression,” she concluded.