Catalan party to sue over death threats

13th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

13 June 2005, MADRID – The leader of the left-wing Catalan party, the ERC, has said the group will sue organisers of a demonstration in Salamanca over threatening placards carried by some of the marchers.

13 June 2005

MADRID – The leader of the left-wing Catalan party, the ERC, has said the group will sue organisers of a demonstration in Salamanca over threatening placards carried by some of the marchers.

On Saturday, Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor and its surrounding streets were packed with demonstrators, protesting against the Government’s decision to return Spanish Civil War documents taken from Catalunia during Franco’s dictatorship.

According to the local police, around 80,000 people attended the demonstration, while the local government put the numbers at around 30,000.

Afterwards, the conservative Popular Party (PP), which called the march, described it as a "success". Participants, including historians and archive specialists, said they hoped it would put pressure on the government to keep the Civil War Archive at Salamanca intact.

However, the following day, ERC leader Josep Lluis Carod Rovira said his party would start legal action against the march’s organisers for allowing "death threats".

Carod Rovira pointed to placards being carried which stated: "Rovira al paredon" (Shoot Rovira) and "Carod, esta es tu caja," (Carod, this is your box), which was illustrated with a picture of a coffin.

"Among the placards that the organisers had no problem being present were some which threatened me with death," said Carod Rovira. "I ask myself whether that isn’t a crime.

"ERC will go to the courts to silence the fascists and because it’s time to end the impunity and permanent hatred, this hostility, racism and xenophobia against Catalonia which certain politicians, daily newspapers, radios and Spanish television stations are fostering."

On Monday, the regional secretary of the PP in Castilla and Leon, Alfonso Fernandez Manueco, criticised the placards, but said that it wasn’t the responsibility of his party to run a criminal investigation into them.

"We don’t support, in fact we condemn, the attitude of people who carried the placard," he said, added that he hadn’t "had the opportunity" to see the messages.

Fernandez Manueco, who was present during the march, added that he felt there had been "a warm feeling towards the Catalunians and Catalunia". He said, though, that he couldn’t identify Carod Rovira with the majority of Catalunians.

He’s "not an example, neither of moderation, nor is he a person of dialogue," said Fernandez Manueco.

The government’s culture minister Carmen Calvo accused the PP of calling citizens out onto the streets under false pretences. She pointed out that the documents destined for Catalonia had been requested by Catalonia’s PP for the last 30 years.

"This isn’t the Archive of Salamanca, nor are these the papers of Salamanca," she stated. "This is a state archive and keeps documents from the whole of Spain."

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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