Popular Party spokesman Pablo Casado, the party's deputy secretary for communications, said during a press conference on Monday that Carles Puigdemont, the current First Minister of Catalonia, could "end up" like former First Minister Lluis Companys, who also declared the independence of the region on October 6, 1934.
Mr. Casado was referring to the 83rd anniversary, which was last Friday.
"Let's hope that nothing is declared tomorrow because perhaps the person who makes the declaration will end up like the person who made the declaration 83 years ago."
Casado did not specify if he was referring to what happened in the months following October 6, 1934—when Companys was arrested, tried and sentenced to 30 years in prison for rebellion—or what ultimately happened to the former Catalan leader.
After leaving Spain for exile in France during the Spanish Civil War, Companys was handed over by the Nazis to the Francoist regime, tried before a war council and executed at Montjuic (Barcelona) on October 15, 1940.
Catalan 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".