The regional president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, declared the region independent, but soon after asked the Parliament to suspend the process to start a dialogue in search of an agreement with Spain.
“I assume the mandate of the people to make Catalonia an independent state in the form of a republic, but I ask that Parliament suspend the effects of the declaration for a few weeks to enter into a stage of dialogue,” said the Catalan leader.
The announcement comes nine days after most of the Catalans voted for independence in the region, in a referendum repressed by the Spanish government and considered illegal by the country’s courts.
“After the results of the October 1 referendum, Catalonia won the respect of being an independent state. The polls say” yes “to independence and this is the path I’m willing to take.
According to Puigdemont, “there are many proposals for mediation, some of which would be difficult to imagine until recently.” “I appeal for everyone’s responsibility, and I ask the Spanish government to accept mediation.”
He also asked that Madrid strive to understand what motivates Catalonia and attacked the Spanish government for police violence on the day of the referendum vote. “We are not criminals, not crazy, scammers. We are normal people who ask to vote,” he said, calling on the Spanish government to respect the referendum. “It is the first time that an election day has taken place between police attacks against those who queue to put their vote in the ballot box.”
Catalans were persecuted by the Spanish government, says leader
During the speech, the regional president of Catalonia made a history of the importance of the region and said that the Catalans were persecuted in Spain.
“Since Catalonia’s death, Catalonia has been a major contributor to the consolidation of Spanish democracy.” Catalunya believed that the Spanish Constitution of 1978 would be a good starting point and became involved, but then we realized that the Spanish authorities saw this as a goal In 2005, 88% of this Parliament, following procedures established by the Constitution, approved a proposal for a Statute of Autonomy that resulted in a great campaign of ‘catalophobia’, “he said.
“We have nothing against the Spaniards, but the relationship has not worked for many years and is now unsustainable.” The Spanish government’s response was a radical and absolute negative, combined with the persecution of Catalan institutions by people who want to rule and dominate Spain at any price. ”
Puidgemont delayed his speech in an hour. The session was postponed to “contacts for international mediation,” according to the Catalan government. Soon after, he met with representatives of the independence forces, the ‘Junts pel Sí’ (‘Together for the Sim’) coalition of left-wing republicans and center-right nationalists) and the ‘Popular Unitat Candidature’ (CUP, ‘Popular Unit Candidacy’, in Portuguese, an anti-system party).
Call for dialogue
The Spanish government asked Tuesday for Puigdemont to reflect on his statement. “I want to ask Mr Puigdemont not to do anything irreversible, to take no path that does not come back, to make no unilateral declaration of independence, to return to legality, to return to the dialogue in the Catalan Parliament,” said the door – spokesman for the Spanish government, Íñigo Mendez de Vigo.
In recent days, calls for the Catalan to abandon the unilateral declaration of independence have increased, both politically and in business.
In Brussels, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, called on Puidgemont to respect the constitutional order. Affirming that “these are extraordinary times for Catalonia and all of Spain,” Tusk urged Puidgemont “not to announce a decision that would make dialogue impossible,” referring to the need for talks between Madrid and Barcelona.
The referendum, considered illegal by the Spanish court, gave victory to the “yes” for independence, with 90% of the votes. However, the attendance was only 43%.