This morning, in an interview on the radio programme El Món a RAC1, the president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, argued that given the complexity of the situation Catalonia is facing, “We now need to focus all our efforts on the trial” related to the 1 October referendum. “We need to be aware that this is the time for an all-out defence of their civil and human rights in the face of a trial that’s an aberration,” said the president, stressing that it’s also “a trial against the 2,300,000 voters who took part in the referendum, against democracy, and against Catalonia’s right to self-determination”.
Torra said he plans to travel to Madrid to attend some of the sessions of the trial because “the president of Catalonia must stand by and support his colleagues”. “I feel that I’m a successor to that government, and that I’m as responsible as they are. They’re also judging me in this trial, along with millions of Catalans.” Torra also announced that around the start of the trial he will make a presentation in Brussels and set out “the public position of the Government of Catalonia”.
The Catalan president said that when the sentences are known, he will put forward a proposal to the Parliament of Catalonia. “We always want democratic solutions, so any solution must be approved by Parliament, which is where the sovereignty of the people lies. We must live up to this historic moment,” he said.
Torra once again called on pro-sovereignty forces to unite: “We need everyone to be as generous as possible because it’s a very complex moment. As president, I try to find, among all the parties involved, the minimum unity that’s essential and the kind of leadership we need. This is something we can and must do.”
As for the relationship with the Spanish state, Torra said the Catalan government always goes to meetings “with a willingness to move forward and reach agreements” in order to find “a political, dialogue-based solution with the Spanish state that allows us to resolve the conflict”. He expressed regret that while the Catalan government presents proposals on self-determination – but also on issues such as democratic regeneration and the “de-Francoisation” of Spain, which has never been tackled – “They always come with a blank paper and say there are issues that can’t be discussed.”
According to the Catalan president, “In the meetings, we’re trying to get the PSOE to accept a negotiating table to find a political solution that allows Catalans to exercise their right to self-determination, with a neutral mediator who can attest to the content of discussions.”
The president said he regretted that Pedro Sánchez’s term of office had not brought any change in relation to that of his predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, because “the repression hasn’t ended”. “Between the PSOE and the three-party far-right alliance, I choose the independence of Catalonia,” he insisted.