I would like to make an assessment of what has happened here today in Catalonia, particularly here in the capital city of Barcelona. As a president demonstrating the utmost solemnity for this assessment, here with me today is the Vice-President of the Government of Catalonia.
I will underline three principal elements:
Firstly, I would like to offer my gratitude to all those who have come together from all around Catalonia in a wide range events, not to mention the 'V' in Barcelona as the main one, for this grand demonstration of civility, tolerance, respect, courtesy and smiles. All of this is truly remarkable and very inspiring. I believe that with the attitude showed by all who participated directly and everyone else who were there in spirit, who were there in their hearts and in their thoughts, and with this way of doing things pacifically, tolerantly, respectfully, positively, and even joyously, we are sending a clear and very strong message from Catalonia to Europe and the rest of the world. For this reason, therefore, as president of Catalonia, I am sincerely grateful.
The second matter I wanted to highlight is how fundamental the call for unity is. I am also thankful for this and I believe we are all committed to it. As President I am committed, the Government of Catalonia is committed and so are the Catalan political forces, as a whole, and especially those of which who are in favour of carrying out this political process for the right to self-determination, for national transition and for the consultation on the 9th of November. This concept of unity is fundamental because there is an evident and compelling mobilization that calls for togetherness. Knowing the value of unity on its own, it is very important for us to listen to this message and put it into practice. As President of this nation, I am committed to do everything that I can and everything that is necessary. I have tried to this thus far and I will continue doing so in the forthcoming weeks and days, so that this concept of political unison, of a maximum possible consensus, does not splinter at any moment and, above all, that the legitimate interests of parties and organizations do not supersede the greater interest at this fine moment in Catalonia. And it is my belief this is precisely what is being asked of us. I hope everyone is aware and understands that this concept of unity is absolutely fundamental in this respect.
Third and finally, I wanted to congratulate all those who helped organize this great civic, Catalan and patriotic mobilization which I would like to remind has been in addition to two other previous and very compelling mobilizations. This is the third consecutive year that hundreds of thousands of people have gathered together. Today, according the Urban Guard of Barcelona, 1.8 million people were estimated. It is truly a remarkable, impressive and moving achievement. There is practically no other country or society in the world with a similar degree of mobilization of this magnitude and category. Therefore, congratulations to all of those who participated, to all of the people who have made it possible and to the entities promoting it: Assemblea Nacional de Catalunya, Òmnium Cultural and the Association of Municipalities for Independence. In sum, this entire associative fabric which makes up a significant part of the Catalan identity has gathered together and have filled the streets with this ‘V’ to send a message to Madrid, Brussels and all around the world expressing the degree in which this nation wants to be heard, wants to speak out, wants to vote, want to be taken into account and wants to be respected. This is very powerful message that should be welcomed in the Spanish State’s capital, Madrid, with its entire consistency and all its strength. As I said in yesterday’s institutional address, one cannot silence a nation that wants speak out, it is a mistake, nor can one impede the vote of a nation that wants to vote, this is a mistake twice over. I believe today’s vast mobilization, this ‘V’, is a very powerful message, of great calibre, which should be heard in Madrid. One way or another, it is time to reach an agreement to sit at the table and negotiate the terms in which the Catalan nation can express itself freely, with ballots, which is precisely a radically democratic message with a civic, respectful and tolerant character. Above all else, it is a spirit of dialogue and understanding.
Once again, thank you. Good evening to all and believe me when I say how proud I feel to be president of this nation. I am the 129th president of the Government of Catalonia and we have a long history behind us. These walls and these columns treasure our history and our Government and they demonstrate it everyday. However a country is not simply its history or its institutions. A country is also its people. And when a president, in spite of the difficulties he or she may have, witnesses such a vast mobilization with so many people behaving in such an exemplary manner, reasserting their own rights, their will to vote, expressing themselves in this way, delivering this powerful message to the world as a whole, when this happens, believe me that in spite of the difficulties, the president of your country feels, not only proud, which I deeply feel, but also devoted to not disappointing anyone and to work as best as possible so that this nation succeeds. Because this is what Catalonia deserves and today it has made it evident once again.