The secretary-general of Spain’s ruling People’s Party (PP) and minister of defense Maria Dolores de Cospedal, criticized the Catalan independence movement in a speech on April 15. Comparing the movement to a “dictatorship” Cospedal said that “when some want to surpass the law and be more important than it, democracy ends, and dictatorships begin”. This, on the same day that hundreds of thousands took to the street to decry the incarceration of those officials behind bars or abroad for their role in the independence roadmap in Catalonia.

During the party event in Toledo, Cospedal stated that the pro-independence movement “wants to impose only one way of thinking” and asserted that “it’s the same” for her whether those in favor of a Catalan state call themselves “left-wing, right-wing, radical or populist,” because, in her opinion, “they all define themselves as a dictatorship, and it’s necessary to say so clearly.”

‘Nationalism that turns diversity into exclusion’ says PSOE

Also on April 15, the second largest Spanish party gave a speech regards both the independence movement and the ruling powers, at an event in Pamplona. The secretary general of the Socialist party (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez, deemed his coalition as the “only one” that can act as a “defense” for the clash between pro-independence parties and those governing from Madrid.

He deemed the right-wing as “rejecting diversity and abandoning equality,” while saying that, on the other hand, there is a “nationalism that disintegrates and that turns diversity into exclusion” adding that, in his opinion, they too “forget about equality.” Sánchez further assured that the socialist party stands as the only one to shield from the conflict between the two.

The Socialists have been steadfast in their position against the independence movement, and voted in favor of the application of Article 155. This led to the sacking of the Catalan government, and the stripping of Catalonia’s autonomy.

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