MADRID — The Latest on the political crisis in Catalonia (all times local):
Spain’s state-run broadcaster, RTVE, has come under criticism for playing a segment of the theme tune of the 1970s horror movie “The Exorcist” as background music to a clip of ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont.
The tune was played during the Informe Semanal weekly news program Saturday while a clip played showing Puigdemont saying he and other Catalan leaders knew they might face imprisonment for pushing for Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
The choice of music, Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield, triggered complaints on social media and from both the broadcaster’s watchdog News Council and Spanish labor union Worker Commissions.
Union spokesman Roberto Lakidain said Tuesday the incident was typical of the pro-Spanish government bias the program has been applying with regards to the Catalan crisis recently.
Spain’s prime minister says next year’s economic growth could be adjusted strongly upward if normality returns to Catalonia following regional elections next month.
GDP growth expectations for 2018 had been increasing, but the government lowered the estimate from 2.6 percent to 2.3 percent, citing instability in the prosperous northeast, where a clash with regional separatist authorities has scared both companies and tourists.
In an interview with COPE radio Tuesday, Mariano Rajoy said the figure could rise to “2.8 or 3 percent” if stability returns.
Rajoy also said that he has no evidence that the Russian government is behind online interference in Catalan politics, but that 55 percent of accounts spreading fake news have been identified as coming from Russian territory and 30 percent from Venezuela.
“What’s evident is that there are people interested in things not going well in Europe,” Rajoy said.