This morning, President Puigdemont and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Raül Romeva, hosted the annual reception for the Consular Corps in Barcelona. The event was held at the Palau de la Generalitat and included the attendance of over sixty Consuls-General accredited in the capital city.
In his opening remarks, the Minister stated that the Catalan Government’s proposal for the coming year “only includes ballots, votes and democracy”. “You are a great asset for our country”, affirmed Romeva as he highlighted the important role the Consular Corps plays in “establishing mutually benefiting connections” between Catalonia and the represented countries.
During the President’s intervention, Carles Puigdemont, assured that the referendum “will be carried out in September this year, at the very latest” and that the Government “will work intensively to make it a reality, with all the legal and democratic guarantees”. “We will do it so that the entire nation of Catalonia can decide, because the right to self-determination is, at least in democracy, in the hands of the people”, he added.
The Head of Government also affirmed that through the “unwavering desire of the 80% of Catalans who want to vote” the willingness of Catalonia is for “permanent dialogue”. However this willingness has been met with “a unilateral refusal, a closed obstinacy, by the Spanish government that doesn’t suggest much optimism”. In this regard, Puigdemont noted that this attitude “will not demobilize us” and the threats issued “will not make the millions of Catalans rethink their peaceful demand for ballots”.
With over 200 years of consular tradition and behind only New York and Hong Kong in terms of the number of consulates in non-capital cities, Barcelona reveals Catalonia’s “desire to open itself up to the world”. “We have never resigned ourselves to closing our own borders”, the President affirmed, and in this respect Catalan openness is a tradition “to serve for prosperity and contribute to global development”.