The acting Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, on Monday traveled to Barcelona in North-East Spain to visit policemen injured during the seven days of disturbances caused by the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders.
According to the latest figures issued by the Spanish Ministry for Home Affairs, a total of 289 police officers have been injured in clashes with organised and violent radical groups in Barcelona.
After meeting police chiefs at the Headquarters of the Spanish National Police force, he also visited two hospitals to express his gratitude and support to some of the injured officers.
The acting prime minister was met by pro-separatist protesters when he left both hospitals, who peacefully demanded the release of the separatist leaders.
During his stay in Barcelona, Sanchez rejected a meeting Catalan leader Quim Torra, saying unless he condemn the violence in clear terms.
“I am visiting Barcelona today to see how the agents injured in the disturbances are recovering.
“I have reminded Mr Torra in a letter of the obligations that every person with public responsibility to firmly condemn the violence, support security forces who are combating it and avoid civil disorder.
“In the letter, Sanchez accused Torra of letting security forces down, I have turned my back on them. Your conduct in the past few days has gone precisely in the opposite direction,“ Sanchez said.
However, Torra responded that he had always been opposed to violence, that the vast majority of the separatist movement was peaceful, and that the situation would only be solved by dialogue.
Meanwhile, apart from the injured police officers, over 260 police vehicles had been damaged and 194 violent demonstrators arrested.(dpa/NAN)