In a speech this evening, the president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, said: “We’ll have to exercise once again every right we’ve been denied” because “we want to be citizens by choice, by choosing to be part of a national project that suits us”. In an institutional message delivered on the eve of Catalan National Day, the head of the executive reiterated that “there’s only one way” to find out whether or not a people want to be part of a state: “By exercising the right to self-determination, a right that belongs solely and exclusively to peoples. And they have every right to exercise it.”
Speaking at the Palau de la Generalitat, Quim Torra said: “Catalonia will be what Catalans want it to be. […] We’re in the 21st century — as much as some seem bent on going back to the 19th or even the 18th century – and all peaceful, democratic struggles must be able to prosper if they have the backing of the majority of citizens.”
On Catalan National Day, the president called on people to “take to the streets and squares to proclaim our full and non-negotiable commitment to democracy, to social, civil and political rights, and to the flag of freedom, always and everywhere”. Torra urged everyone to take part in the day of commemoration in the knowledge that “if we’re not yet free, it’s because we haven’t yet reached the end of the path”.
The president said that on 11 September: “We don’t commemorate a defeat, because we haven’t been defeated” and called on his compatriots to celebrate the day with “the vitality and mettle of a people who won’t bend, and who look boldly to the future”. According to the head of the Catalan government, this future is one “we must face with determination and courage, with intelligence and character, with generosity and unity, with initiative and conviction, with serenity and ambition – with all the collective ambition we can muster”.
“Democracy, which is suffering a long and grievous siege in our country, is and will always be the response of Catalans. And it’s the response we demand of everyone,” he said.