Photo: Manuel Valls & Albert Rivera (Credit: Jordi Bataller)
By Gerard Sesé
From 9th July 2018
Once again, a most radical and reactionary ultra-radical is behind the moves of the Ciudadans (Citizens) Party. In this recent case, the man in the shadows managing a platform of parties which was presented to the municipalities of Barcelona, headed by Manuel Valls and to which the orange party has signed up, has been revealed. The ideologist of this strategic play is Josep Ramon Bosch, a well-known aggressive Francoist, who has previously been accused of threatening pro-independence activists.
Manuel Valls and Josep Ramon Bosch ate at an Eixample restaurant in Barcelona this past Thursday to prepare their offensive for Barcelona, in which they will face off with her various municipalities [of the province] next year. This is what El Mundo has uncovered. It was a dinner organized by a lobbying organization calling themselves Twenty50. According to the newspaper, Valls explained his plan to conquer Barcelona.
Beside him, however, was Josep Ramon Bosch, the brains of his operation to win the City and promote a platform that allows Spanish nationalism to maintain other important cities of Catalonia. Specifically, the municipalities of Barcelona, Badalona, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Hospitalet de Llobregat and Tarragona.
Bosch already knew Valls from a meeting in October at Cercle d’Empresaris (Entrepreneurs Circle), the honorary president of which is Javier Vega de Seoane, a mutual friend. It was then Bosch saw that the French deputy could be the leader which they’d long been looking for, to lead a cross-cutting platform to concquer Barcelona and other strategic municipalities.
According to the same source, after an event by Ciudadanos where Valls spoke, they went to dinner together at Il Giardinetto, an iconic Barcelona restaurant, along with other members of Societat Civil Catalana [a right-wing nationalist organization] and Bosch, over a few glasses of wine, convinced Valls regarding the idea of becoming a political actor in Barcelona.
Ramon Bosch, Francoist of the extreme right
Josep Ramon Bosch i Codina is the son of a well-known Francoist from Santpedor. El Critic newspaper explained that his father, José María Bosch Espinet, was a member of Fuerza Nueva (FN), the most important extreme right-wing party in Spain after the death of Franco. Bosch Espinet was part of the election lists of this far right party in the 1980 elections and was a personal friend of its president and founder, the Notary Blas Piñar. Bosch Espinet was responsible for organizing, for years, a mass every November 20th in honor of the dictator Franco and the founder of Falange, José Antonio Primo de Rivera. This mass was celebrated until the year 2005, when a change of priest in the church of Santpedor put an end to this practice. Of his son, however, Josep Ramon Bosch i Codina, it is thought he has never had any other party membership, than his Partido Popular (Popular Party) membership, which he tore up some years ago. What is not so well known is that Josep Ramon Bosch founded the entity Somatemps, only months before SCC, and that it is proven that he still presided over it until the last quarter of 2014, although months before, in July of the same year, he had declared to the press that he had disassociated himself from it long ago.
Accused of threatening pro-independence activists
The lawyers association “Drets” (Rights) filed a lawsuit on September 16th, 2015 after proving that Bosch was behind a Facebook page where, since 2012, threatening messages against pro-independence supporters were published, some well-known, such as Toni Albà, Pilar Rahola, Hilari Reguer, Santiago Vidal, Arcadi Oliveras, Artur Mas and David Fernández. From the safety of anonymity, he sent profoundly insulting and threatening messages full of visceral hatred towards these people and the lawyers’ association argued that these constitute the crime of ‘threats and insults’ typified in articles 169, 170, 205, 208 and 209 of the Criminal Code.