President Armengol, who faced a grilling yesterday about independence and Biel Barceló, in whom she had total trust. | Teresa Ayuga


The Partido Popular's Antonio Gómez, who was government vice-president during the Bauzá administration, yesterday planted a question in parliament about Biel Barceló having said that there should be mediation by the European Union in the Catalonia conflict.

Government spokesperson Pilar Costa said that any option for dialogue should be appropriate, adding that the regional government has a firm commitment to dialogue, as a political conflict can only be resolved by politics. Costa revealed the general stance of her party, PSOE, in observing that nothing will be sorted out unless there is dialogue between adults. At times, it can appear as if it is children doing the talking, a reference to both Prime Minister Rajoy and President Puigdemont.

Gómez found it odd that the government and in particular a PSOE president, Francina Armengol, should be making a plea for mediation when it had been ruled out by the EU and when PSOE nationally has been backing Rajoy on Catalonia. It appeared, he suggested, that the Balearic president had distanced herself from her own party. Either this or "she cannot control her vice-president".

He then accused Armengol of harbouring sympathy for Catalonian independence and related this to the situation at home in the Balearics. The president had not made any comment on the Més statement of a couple of weeks ago that it was envisaging independence for the Balearics by 2030. Gómez stated that his party will do "everything possible" to avoid a repetition in the Balearics of the "dreadful embarrassment" that the Catalonian government is presenting to the world. The PP will be committed to preventing there being a government in the Balearics like that of Catalonia's, one comprising "irresponsible, radical and deceitful" politicians.

Prior to yesterday's parliamentary session, a minute's silence was held at the doors of the parliament building. Those taking part included some members of Més, PSOE and Podemos. The silence was for what are now being referred to as "political prisoners", the leaders of the independence groups ANC and Omnium in Catalonia, Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cruixart, who were sent to prison on Monday, having been charged with sedition.

Yesterday evening there was a further silent protest against the jailing of Sánchez and Cruixart. Organised by the Coordinadora d'Entitats per la Democràcia, a collection of groups with sovereignty and independence sympathies, it was staged outside the offices of the national government's delegation.