Photo: Albert Rivera (Credit: Directe.cat)
By Catalan News Agency
From 19th April, 2018
The leader of Ciudadanos (Citizens Party), Albert Rivera, reported this Thursday that he would be letting his affiliate membership of the General Union of Workers (UGT) lapse, in protest, according to his letter, for the “support” of the union “to those accused ” of “the attempted separatist coup this past October in Catalonia”. According to his letter, he had become a member of UGT when he worked in the legal services of La Caixa (in 2002) because he considered that “it was a union that could represent and defend [his] rights as a worker.” Then, according to Rivera, despite leaving his job at the financial services company, he did not cancel it because he believed that “unions must play a representative role in our society”, but “unfortunately in recent years I have observed this organization increasingly politicizing its actions” and moving away from the “functions attributed to it by our Constitution”.
According to Rivera, “this union has decided to sound off in support for those imputed for crimes as serious as rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds in an attempted separatist coup this past autumn in Catalonia”.
“Because I am in disagreement with the questioning this organization is making of our judicial system and its support to those who intend to break our constitutional values, I request you cancel my affiliate membership of your organisation,” the letter concludes.
The letter was signed on April 12th, three days before the event in which hundreds of thousands of people turned out to demand the release of political prisoners, in a huge manifestation organized by “Espai Democràcia i Convivència” (Space for Democracy and Coexistence).
Together with the UGT, the CCOO [Catalan Workers Commissions – largest union in Catalonia] also participated. The two unions are now bot integrated into the “Espai” platform. According to the UGT General Secretary, Josep Maria Álvarez, the union seeks, like other organizations, a “normalization” of the current situation. “This is a movement that wants coexistence, democracy and a statutory constitutional government,” he said.
A luxury villa of one million euros
Albert Rivera has recently bought a luxury villa in the city with the highest per capita income of the country, Pozuelo de Alarcón, and is neighbors with the biggest Spanish celebrities, like Cristiano Ronaldo. It doesn’t really seem sensible for a trade unionist to have a home which exceeds a value of a million euros, which has 24 hour private security and a communal pool, and this might be an underlying reason for Rivera’s leaving the union. Remember that Rivera had 2 mortgages to pay for two flats; one in Barcelona and another in Madrid. One could only assume what would happen in the Spanish media if a pro-independence politician had been making such market increases in the value of his personal real estate portfolio.