During this morning’s session in Parliament, Carles Puigdemont assured that the Government of Catalonia “will continue conducting foreign action and Minister Romeva will continue being Minister”. This defining statement by the President came after the Constitutional Court reached its decision to proceed with the appeal filed by the Spanish Government against the creation of Catalonia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency.
In his answer to a question asked by a representative of the People’s Party, the President affirmed that “the PP government will leave the same way it arrived: with an appeal to the Constitutional Court against decisions made by the people of Catalonia”. He also asserted how the People’s Party reached office “with a backpack full of appeals” against the Statute of Autonomy and “it will leave with an appeal against something that is a statutory competence, clearly recognized by a ruling of the Constitutional Court, which explicitly recognizes the legitimate right of the Government of Catalonia to carry out its foreign action”.
“Catalonia is not beneath other territories”, stated Puigdemont in reference to other autonomous communities able to carry out their respective external action. Additionally, the Head of the Catalan Executive explained that “in order to help people and businesses, support refugees and fight climate change we must remove the obstacles” that the central government is imposing. The Catalan president also insisted on fulfilling his commitment to the democratic “mandate of the citizens” as was defined in the Government plan presented to the Parliament of Catalonia and passed by a majority of the chamber.
Another issue discussed in today’s parliamentary control session was regarding the Catalan response to the refugee crisis. In this respect, the President referred to the Government’s explicit willingness to seek agreement with all institutions that expressed their intention to be an active part of the solution. For this reason, despite Europe’s “shameful treatment of the refugees”, Puigdemont announced that it is “up to us to use the resources available in order to reveal Europe’s better half; that of a caring Europe, sympathetic to the suffering of others”.
Muriel Casals and the importance of dialogue
Whilst in session, the Head of the Catalan Executive also took the opportunity to insist, once again, on the importance of dialogue and made reference to the “very positive” rounds of talks held in the past weeks with parliamentary group leaders. “Despite what one may think about our discrepancies, it is absolutely necessary to listen to each other”, explained the President, “this is the lesson Muriel Casals leaves us with”, he added in allusion to the late Member of Parliament whom Puigdemont described as “a fighter for democracy, a person of dialogue and someone who was committed to cultures, languages and the environment”.
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