October 14, 2019 / 12:37 PM / a month ago

Highlights: Spaniards react to prison sentences for Catalan separatist leaders

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to up to 13 years in prison for sedition over their role in a failed independence bid, dividing opinion both in the region and across Spain.

Here is how ordinary people in Madrid and Barcelona reacted:

ANGELS UIBAL, A CIVIL SERVANT SPEAKING IN BARCELONA:

“This (sentence) for us is the beginning of the end. We have been quiet, waiting to see what was going to happen.”

“We had hope for dialogue, but the state is not up for dialogue. The sentence is very unfair, it’s a great shame and very poor democracy.”

JUAN LUIS OUCADE, MAGISTRATE, SAID IN MADRID:

“I think the crime of rebellion was totally justified because it was really an uprising against the rule of law and against democracy and they should have got the maximum that the penal code says.”

ALFONSO ESPARRA, MAINTENANCE WORKER, SAID IN BARCELONA:

“There’s no need to rub salt into the wound, one must try to make things more peaceful and return to normality. At the end of the day people want normality in their day-to-day life and for real problems to be addressed.”

“Whether it’s one flag or another, flags don’t resolve hunger.”

ANGEL GIRAU, PUBLICIST, SAID IN MADRID:

“About the sentence, I think it’s good that there’s not a general perception of impunity. Furthermore, it’s difficult to know the exact grade, whether it should be four, six, eight or 15 (years). Personally I can say that rebellion (charges) was a bit crazy. Apart from that, it is the Supreme Court and what we need to do now is to abide by the sentence and that’s it.”

BERNARDO FERNANDEZ, PENSIONER, SPEAKING IN BARCELONA:

“If you break the law, you have to pay. It’s the same for everyone, whether it’s in Catalonia or Australia, it’s the law. If they break the law, they have to lump it. There’s no other way.”

Reporting by Madrid and Barcelona Newsroom, writing by Elena Rodriguez, Editing by Andrei Khalip and Raissa Kasolowsky

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