Spanish PM compared Brexit "lies" to Catalan independence

  1. Brexit-like “lies and division” also fueled the Catalan case for independence
  2. Both movements "achieve polarization, denying space to moderation and understanding"
  3. Catalan government actions outside the law will be met with "forceful" response

Spain’s Prime Minister compared secession efforts in the northeastern region of Catalonia to Britain’s chequered process of leaving the European Union, saying that both confronted citizens with fake arguments.

In an address at the country’s lower house Congreso de los Diputados on Tuesday, 11 Dec. 2018, Pedro Sánchez said both campaigns “invent a story of grievances and force people to choose between two identities.”

The PSOE leader said that “they want to achieve polarisation, denying space to moderation and understanding” through a series of “lies” against the central government that support the arguments of separatists as much as those of Brexiteers.

The Spanish premier then turned on Catalonia regional president Joaquim Torra’s remarks suggesting a solution to the Catalan case with “the Slovenian way”, thus implying the possibility of a civil war.

Sánchez worked in Bosnia during the Kosovo War in 1998.

“Claiming, as does the Catalan independence movement, the Slovenian way is typical of someone who only has the lie to sustain their political positions.”

“I was a witness of the civil war and ethnic cleansing. I worked in a square riddled with the hatred of nationalist bullets.”

He also said Spain would address “anything that is outside the constitution and the Estatut” with the “firm but serene, proportional and forceful response of the social and legal status.”

In spite of his hard talk, Sanchez also offered Catalonia more autonomy via a new constitution for the regional government (“Estatut”) and announced that the cabinet meeting scheduled for next week in Barcelona will raise the country’s monthly minimum wage from 736€ to 900€ ($1,019).

“A rich country can’t afford to have poor workers,” he concluded.

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