• Artur Mas criticizes Spain’s Electoral Commission for interfering in the broadcasting of political campaigns
  • The CCMA, Catalonia’s public television and radio corporation, is forced to broadcast “compensatory” airtime   
President Mas during an interview with Ara Tv's Antoni Bassas
President Mas during an interview with Antoni Bassas
During an interview on ARA TV, the President of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, described the Central Electoral Commission’s decision forcing Catalonia’s public broadcasting corporation, through TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio, to air political party campaign events as "very serious" and "mischievous". The decision reached by Spain’s Electoral Commission deeming the September 11 mass demonstration as a “campaign event” led to a further resolution to “compensate” the political parties not favouring the ‘Yes’ campaign. The CCMA, Catalonia’s public television and radio company, which had broadcasted the 11S event as it has done every year, has been obliged to air the same amount of time to parties manifesting ambivalence with regards to the ‘Yes’ vote  and to the parties against the Catalan political process.
The President criticised the Commission’s resolution which “does what no one has ever dared to do” and, according to Mas, “doesn’t only force public television and radio to give more airtime to particular formations, but also forces the way in which it must do so”.
The Head of the Catalan Government affirmed that by confusing the mass demonstration of September 11 with a campaign event denotes “a total and absolute lack of criteria” because it was “civilian entities […] who called upon the people, and they are pluralist”.
Artur Mas insisted that the Via Lliure rally did not represent a specific political formation “which is what they are trying to make us believe”. “The deputy mayor of the Barcelona City Hall went there, and is he from the CUP or Junts pel sí?”, he asked, “No, but he sure went there and I, who am fourth on the Barcelona list for the latter formation, did not go and yet they say it’s the rally of Mr Mas”.
According to the President, this idea of a partisan demonstration was held by some political parties and now “come the referees and they tell us that because this is growing in strength and because it doesn’t suit particular positions, well let’s not only interfere with time allocations but also with the content”. “To me this is extraordinarily serious”, continued Mas, “and in the current mischief that is happening, the misfortune is that we can end up getting used to it if we do not do something about it”.       
The interview, conducted by journalist Antoni Bassas, was recorded from the Palau de la Generalitat and is available from Ara’s website at www.ara.cat