Berga Mayor calls her arrest ‘insulting’ and ‘an attack on the Catalan people’

  • The Catalan Government has described the arrest as 'outrageous'

04.11.2016 - 14:33
Actualització: 04.11.2016 - 15:33

The Mayor of Berga, Montse Venturós, testified before a judge on Friday morning for not taking down an independence flag from the town hall building. The mayor was arrested by police and taken to court after failing to attend voluntarily on two occasions. She is accused of an electoral crime and disobedience for ignoring the Electoral Roll Office’s requests to take down the flags from the façade of the Town Hall on two election days: the 27th of September Catalan election and the 20th of December Spanish general election. Her arrest caused an outcry amongst pro-independence parties and also those in favour of the right of Catalonia to hold a referendum on independence. Talking to journalists after testifying before the judge, Venturós confirmed her commitment to the ‘popular mandate’ towards independence and said that her arrest was ‘a new attack on the Catalan people’ by ‘an absolutely anti-democratic’ Spanish state.  The Catalan Government has described the arrest as ‘outrageous’.

After testifying in Court, Venturós was released provisionally without bail. ‘The arrest and the privation of freedom for hanging an estelada flag (the pro-independence flag) is insulting’, she said to reporters. ‘We obey a popular mandate, we had a very clear popular mandate that said we had to keep the flag on the town hall’, she stated. Her party, the pro-independence radical left CUP, warned that the arrest could harm the relationship between them and the governing Junts pel Sí coalition.

‘This creates some difficulties with the Government’, said the CUP MP Eulàlia Reguant, who regretted the fact that the Catalan police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, decided to accept the request by the Spanish judiciary to detain Venturós. ‘From the beginning we have asked the Mossos not to respond to these judiciary requests from the Spanish State’, she recalled. Reguant admitted that her party colleagues are ‘angry and sad’ after the arrest but that they will assess the situation ‘calmly’.

The Catalan Government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, said that the arrest is ‘outrageous’ and warned against ‘divisions’ between the pro-independence forces. ‘We need unity’, she added, warning that the problem is not the Catalan police, who followed a legal request to arrest the Mayor of Berga, but the Spanish state, which is ‘persecuting’ pro-independence politicians. Munté regretted that the new Spanish Government started its first day in office by ‘persecuting politicians’.


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