The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, announced today that the Catalan government has adopted a resolution to “express its commitment to a political and democratic solution to the conflict between Catalonia and the institutions of the Spanish state” and called on acting prime minister Pedro Sánchez to “launch a dialogue without any preconditions in which both sides can propose avenues for resolving the current conflict”. In this dialogue, President Torra said the Catalan government would “defend the exercise of Catalonia’s right to self-determination as an avenue for deciding its political future”.
The head of the executive, who appeared at a press conference following a meeting of the Executive Council, said this objective of the resolution envisages “promoting the political, social and institutional initiatives needed at the national, state and international level to advance towards a political and democratic solution to the political conflict”.
The president stressed that the resolution adopted by the Catalan government today is in line with the joint motion for a resolution presented in the Catalan parliament by Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia), Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP). The head of the executive welcomed the joint motion, which he said provides “the unity people are calling for” and shows that “we’re on the right path”. “Citizens are demanding that politicians stand by them and listen to the clamour in the streets, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Torra said it was important that both the resolution adopted by the executive and the motion for a resolution put forward by pro-independence groups “talk about Catalonia’s right to self-determination” on the same day that the Constitutional Court has issued a decision “notifying us that we can’t talk about the right to self-determination”.
“Nobody will ever be able to prohibit us from moving forward in line with what Catalan citizens want. We’ll go as far as citizens want us to. And, most importantly, we’ll always defend Catalonia’s right to self-determination.”
Call for dialogue
The president said he had called PM Pedro Sánchez for the fourth consecutive day, but that once again the prime minister had not taken his call. “This irresponsibility is increasing, and in the international community, no one can understand why he hasn’t yet answered the president of Catalonia,” Torra said.
The head of the executive said he would continue “making calls to Moncloa”. Torra stressed the need for dialogue between the two executives. “People want us to sit and talk.” The president noted that yesterday Catalans made the hashtag “sit and talk” a global trending topic on Twitter and said he would add “and democracy”. “This is what we’re calling for, once again, from Prime Minister Sánchez,” said the president, appealing to the PM’s “sense of state”.
In reference to the PM’s brief visit to Barcelona yesterday, President Torra said it was a “gesture of contempt” for Sánchez to “come to Catalonia and not pay a visit to its president” or take his calls. Torra lamented that, after everything that has happened in Catalonia, the prime minister has yet to “assume his responsibilities, and that he hides, neglects his duties, and takes cover behind I don’t know what excuses to avoid tackling a political problem”. Finally, the president pointed out that he has never received any proposal from the Spanish state to solve a conflict that he said concerns “the whole of the Spanish state”.
Resolution condemns all acts of violence
In the resolution adopted today, the government expresses its support for “all the peaceful demonstrations that have been held” in response to the verdict and reiterates “its condemnation of all acts of violence that have occurred”. It also expresses support and solidarity with all of those who have suffered injuries and wishes them a speedy recovery. The resolution also affirms the government’s intention to continue pushing forward with “actions necessary to safeguard the human, civil and political rights of citizens, particularly the right to protest, and freedom of expression, information and communication in Catalonia”.
In addition, at the proposal of the president, the executive resolved to set up a commission of inquiry in Parliament “to study and analyse, with full transparency, all of the events that occurred last week, and to invite the ombudsman and human rights organisations to take part in this process”.
The president also requested that the Minister of Home Affairs, Miquel Buch, “immediately initiate any internal investigations necessary with respect to police conduct that may not have been in compliance with protocols, and begin proceedings where appropriate to identify those responsible, following the same procedures that have always been applied in the force”.
In response to questions related to the possibility of mediation, the president said he would welcome a mediator if the government of Spain “isn’t able to understand the seriousness of the situation and sit down to talk”. Torra stressed: “The key issue is that Spain cannot continue refusing to recognise us as a political subject. And it can’t continue to ignore the voice of Catalans, because this crisis isn’t a Catalan crisis; it’s a Spanish crisis.” He added that “having an international negotiating table we could sit down at” would be a positive development.