Catalonia’s political leaders disappointed with Trump win

Region’s politicians foresee a more difficult world thanks to the US president elect

The tradition of congratulating the winner of an election in order to maintain diplomatic neutrality has been discontinued. The main Catalan politicians have this week shown their pessimistic views after the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential elections of the United States.

Donald Trump.
Donald Trump.Evan Vucci (AP)

The regional premier of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, posted on Twitter this week: “We have to prepare ourselves for an enormously complicated and uncertain era.” The mayoress of Barcelona, meanwhile, Ada Colau, published this message on the microblogging site: “We are seeing a world where more than ever it is necessary to join forces in literal defense of democracy and human rights.”

The foreign affairs chief in Catalonia, Raül Romeva, avoided stating his position on the result online. However, other representatives from his electoral coalition, Junts pel Sí – which is composed of two political parties: the Catalan nationalist PDECat and the Catalan Republican Left ERC – expressed their feelings. Francesc Homs, the head of PDECat in Spanish Congress, saw a relationship between Trump’s victory and national politics: “I do not like Trump at all. And neither do I like politicians who have moral superiority and today complain about the US results. We have lived through the same thing here not so long ago,” he said, in reference to the Spanish elections that took place on June 26.

ERC’s leader Oriol Amorós considers Trump as a step forward in terms of the consolidation of far-right parties: “Brexit, Putin, no in Colombia, FPO, LePen…Trump. A dark night. We will need to be strong again.”

The other Catalan parties also expressed their points of view. The head of the opposition in the regional parliament, Inés Arrimadas, who belongs to the center-right Ciudadanos formation, said on Twitter: “Populism grows here and there,” comparing Trump's victory to the Catalan bid for independence and the growth of leftist anti-austerity party Podemos.

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The Catalan coalition integrated within Podemos also rejected Trump. The leader of En Comú Podem, Xavier Domènech, expressed support for the new Spanish leftist parties: “The neoliberal globalization, the defense of the establishment as the only alternative and the ‘there is no alternative’ idea create monsters.” The Green Party ICV-EUiA, integrated in the same political group, made use of the famous Antonio Gramsci quote: “The old world is dying, the new one takes too long to emerge. In this chiaroscuro monsters appear.”

The CUP anticapitalist party also expressed rejection. The CUP’s Catalan parliament deputy, Eulàlia Reguant, was the sole critical voice of Hillary Clinton: “There was not a bright side of it: not Trump nor Clinton. As a result, we can confirm the far right as a global phenomenon.” The head of the Catalan branch of the Popular Party, Xavier García Albiol, took advantage of Puigdemont’s words to criticize the pro-independence parties: “Premier, do not worry, no one can beat you in dividing society, leading a radical anti-system government and violating the rule of law.”

English version by Marta Casado and Carlota Serra.

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From November onward, the Catalan edition of EL PAÍS, Elpais.cat, will include a selection of news stories in English.

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