In a quite shocking escalation of the rhetoric in Spain, a spokesman for the ruling People’s Party just issued a (barely) veiled death threat to the President of Catalonia.

“Let’s hope that nothing is declared tomorrow because perhaps the person who makes the decalartion will end up like the person who made the declaration 83 years ago.”

For those whose Spanish history is a little shaky, here’s a reminder:

Lluís Companys i Jover (21 June 1882 – 15 October 1940) was the President of Catalonia (Spain), from 1934 and during the Spanish Civil War.

He was a lawyer and leader of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) political party. Exiled after the war, he was captured and handed over by the Nazi secret police, the Gestapo, to the Spanish State of Francisco Franco, who had him executed by firing squad in 1940.

Companys is the only incumbent democratically elected president in European history to have been executed.

Seems about as clear as it gets from Rajoy’s PP to Puigdemont – Call for Independence and Die!

That does not seem to be the reconciliatory tone the market has been hoping for.

And as reportsCatalan separatists and others in Spain immediately reacted with fury to Mr. Casado’s ambiguous comments.

Republican Catalan Left (Esquerra, ERC) MP Joan Tardà tweeted: “Yes, Pablo Casado, we know how our President Companys ended up, shot by the army. Does it make you happy to remind our defenceless people of it?“.

Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias tweeted: “Casado says Puigdemont might end up like Companys, who was tortured and shot. Either he is ignorant or irresponsibly provocative“.

Iñigo Errejón (Podemos) called on Mr. Casado to “rectify immediately or resign. They are arsonists“.