Barcelona’s mayor on Saturday accused the ousted government of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont of overseeing a “disaster” in their push to break away from Spain.
Just hours before she was due to attend a rally in the Catalan capital organised by pro-independence groups, Ada Colau fired a broadside against Puigdemont’s “irresponsible” drive, which has plunged Spain into political crisis.
“They’ve provoked tensions and carried out a unilateral independence declaration which the majority do not want,” Colau told a meeting of her party members.
“They’ve tricked the population for their own interests.”
Catalan lawmakers voted on October 27 to declare independence after a banned referendum returned an overwhelming “yes” on splitting from Spain.
But the region itself is deeply divided on the issue, and opponents of independence say the October 1 referendum, which Spain’s Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional, had been boycotted by those against secession.
Colau herself is anti-independence but has gone on record as saying she supports a free and official referendum on the issue.
Pro-independence groups have called for mass protests in Barcelona on Saturday against the jailing of several former Catalan officials, who were sacked by the central government after declaring independence.