Shalom, bon dia, good morning everyone.
Professor Rein, Maayan Nahari, thank you for your kindness and warm welcome.
Dear speakers, I am looking forward to hearing your ideas, your thoughts on the issue we will discuss today: the future of Catalonia. I am confident the future of our country will be decided freely by its citizens in a democratic and peaceful fashion. There is no other way in the 21st century Europe. We, Catalans, are seven and a half million of European citizens. And, I’m sure, it will be, eventually, us who will decide our own future. And that will happen in spite of the authoritarian opposition, the state repression and the brutal violence we have to endure, both ordinary citizens and our political leaders, from the most corrupt government in Western Europe as it is Rajoy’s Popular Party government.
According to the chief inspector of Spain’s Unit of Economic and Financial Crimes, better known by its acronym (UDEF), Manuel Marocho, Rajoy’s political party used a parallel system of accounts to siphon bribes into party funds through “box B”. That’s illegal money. Appearing before a Spanish Congressional commission investigating the issue, Mr. Marocho, described the illegal network as totally corrupt. More than nine hundred members of the Partido Popular in political posts are currently being prosecuted for corruption. It’s shocking. Those that are using the judges, the courts, the constitution to smash the pro-independence movement, those that tell us we are out of the law just because we want to vote, those have practiced, for years, and I quote Mr. Marocho, “corruption in its purest form”. Even Rajoy himself allegedly received secret payments in opaque money for years, in a profitable corruption scheme. Why I am telling you that? Many believe that heightening, in a deliberate manner, the conflict in Catalonia serves a purpose: to cover up the huge corruption scandals that are rocking the Popular Party and the Spanish government. And this is just outrageous.