- Artur Mas insisted that the plan for Catalans to decide their own future had to be carried out with “democracy, laws and dialogue” and asked the central government to "respect" the Law on Consultations
- During today’s press conference regarding this year’s first semester general report, the chief executive said that "the economic recovery of the State has a Catalan accent"
- The President stressed that "we are behind the people who are particularly vulnerable", stressing that "more cuts cannot be made and we are trying everything in our power to avoid additional cuts"
- The Head of the Government assured that "we have completed all our homework and that the Government of Catalonia is now ready to complete the culminating phase of the 9-N"
- The President appealed to the "psychological fortitude and strength of character" of the people of Catalonia to “overcome all the difficulties which lie ahead”
In this regard, the President reiterated the legality of the process, affirming that "I have always said that the Consultation would be legal unless the state institutions do make it illegal", furthermore, "it would depend on the institutions of the State whether the legality of the matter can be maintained". Mas also urged the central government to respect the Law on Consultations which was approved the Parliament of Catalonia stressing that "we are talking about asking the opinion of the people, we are not declaring independence".
In this process for the right to decide, President Mas affirmed that "we have done all the homework, everything we had to do we have done" adding "we are ready and prepared to complete the phase which will culminate with a vote on November 9th".
In this regard, the President noted that "Catalonia, which is often judged harshly and required to satisfy tremendous demands, is the autonomous community making economic recovery possible for the Spanish economy as a whole".
During his appearance, President Mas outlined how one of the main priorities set by Catalan government was to protect those most vulnerable. In this regard, Mas reiterated his criticism of the Dependencies Act which was approved in by the Spanish government in 2006, describing it as a "joke" and recalling how the State was meant to contribute half of what the autonomous communities put in. However, as it stands, the Government of Catalonia is currently contributing 83% while the State is provides only 17%. "The State passes laws, obliges the provision of services but it does not put in the corresponding funds”, he concluded.
Artur Mas also highlighted the efforts made by the Catalan government in its fight against poverty and social exclusion, with a contribution of 950 million euros, the budget for minimum insertion income being raised from 130 to 173 million euros, 70,000 subsidies for school meals and a contribution of 44 million euros to specialised work centres.
The President underlined how the Government of Catalonia is “doing everything it can do so as to not make any more spending cuts”, assuring that the harsh austerity measures which have been applied in Catalonia have given “the right authority to say that we cannot go any further, if we do, we would be putting at risk essential public policies which are directly tied to the welfare state”.
Fighting tooth and nail for public healthcare
Regarding the field of public health, the chief executive insisted that the weight in the healthcare budget has “never” been as heavy as it is now for the Government of Catalonia, declaring that "we are fighting tooth and nail in very precarious conditions”, furthermore, despite having fewer resources, scheduled surgeries have increased by 4.2% while waiting lists have decreased by 9.8%.