One year a four days after being sworn in as President of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont announced that 2017 will mark “the start of a new age in Catalonia” where the country’s current path will “conclude” and the Government would “guarantee the people’s power to decide what they want to become”.
At a conference held in Barcelona’s Romea Theatre to explain the political situation expected for 2017, the President of the Catalan Government affirmed that the current legislature would be a “historic one” which would result in a “free Catalonia […] without conditions or assumptions”.
During his intervention, Puigdemont criticised the State’s static position regarding the Catalan people’s right to vote on their political future and warned that a negation of the vote itself “won’t be enough” to prevent the referendum from happening, alluding to the binding nature of the vote. “It will be binding”, he assured “because the Government and Parliament are fully committed to whatever the people decide”. “It is the people who will ultimately authorize the referendum”, he added.
Puigdemont stated that the referendum, and possible independence of the country, will mark the start of a “new era in the history of Catalonia”, making 2017 “a year which will be far from ordinary”. “This is the year we have been preparing for”, he stated. “It is time for civil society to express its commitment again […] We’ll have to reiterate that this is not just a simple plan laid out by our Government or an idea supported by some parts of society, but a rather transversal and solid process”, affirmed the President.
The Head of the Catalan Government also clarified his reasons for not attending the sixth edition of the ‘President’s Conference’, a meeting held by leaders of Spain’s Autonomous Communities, which was called for the first time in four years by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last December. Among the reasons for not attending is “the absolute absence in acknowledging the Catalan reality”, explained the President as he denounced the State’s failure to fulfil the agreements reached in the last meeting.
Also attending the event were the Ministers of Health, Antoni Comín; Home Affairs, Jordi Jané; Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull; Culture, Santi Vila, and the Minister of Justice, Carles Mundó.