In his remarks at this morning’s ‘Informative Breakfasts’ session hosted by Europa Press in Madrid, the President stressed the severity of prosecuting Catalan politicians for organising the public consultation that took place in November 2014. Carles Puigdemont described the on-going legal battle as “very serious” and affirmed that “those who decided to take President Mas, Vice President Ortega, Minister Homs and Minister Rigau through criminal proceedings have committed an immense error”. “I call upon all Spanish democrats to rebel against the judicialization of politics”, the President added.
“It is not acceptable or politically justified to convict those who assumed the responsibility of listening to the people in order to make decisions”, Puigdemont explained in the Spanish capital as he underlined the need to find “political solutions to the Catalan plea”. In this regard, the President noted this could only be possible through “courage and commitment, based on the mutual respect of one another”.
Commitment to a negotiated referendum
During his initial intervention, the Head of the Catalan Government reiterated his commitment to holding a negotiated referendum agreed upon with Spain’s central government. An agreement, he explained, which would “leave out preconceptions and include the date of the referendum, the question to be asked, the results to consider a valid response, and a commitment to a moratorium”.
Despite maintaining that the suggested agreement is a priority, the President made clear that at the end of the Catalan legislature, “the situation would obviously be different and a new proposal would have to be set”. “Likewise”, Puigdemont continued, “it would be a proposal for dialogue and negotiation; however its objective would no longer be to hold the referendum, but to offer the Spanish state a chance to implement the results and contribute to the transition”.
Furthermore, the Head of the Catalan Executive assured that after the vote of confidence and the Debate on the General Political Orientation “the government has come out stronger” and that there is “a 60% of support for a referendum”. For this reason, the President affirmed “it would be intelligent and prudent not to underestimate this reality”.
An independent Catalonia would be economically viable
The President also spoke about the viability of an independent Catalonia, rebutting the main arguments of “the official propaganda and its distributors” and citing the recent statements made by Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, who endorsed the thesis that an independent Catalonia would be economically viable. “When a Nobel laureate in Economics affirms it, at the very least this deserves respect and consideration”, Puigdemont said. In this same regard, the Catalan president also cited reports from Moody’s and Spain’s own Ministry of Economy to deny that the political process in Catalonia has a negative effect on the economy.