The President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, insisted this morning that “Catalonia will not take a single step backwards in the defence of the rights and freedoms of Catalonia” and assured that the Catalan Government will focus especially on “protecting and expanding them”.

This was the order that the President gave to all the ministers during the meeting of the Catalan Government that was held today at the Palau Robert. “I have asked them to focus on defending and expanding the rights of all citizens and to identify those which are at risk, which we will protect with all our might: such as labour, social and political rights; the rights of women and LGBTI groups;the right to historical memory and the linguistic rights of Catalan speakers”.

Faced with the advance of the right-wing and the extreme right-wing parties, with “exclusionary, xenophobic and racist ideas that combat language and culture”, the President confirmed that the Catalan Government “will respond with the utmost resolve” and therefore asked the members of the Executive to “study and activate all the political and legal tools and instruments available to defend ourselves against any attack that might be produced by a reactionary wave”“Catalonia is ready, not only to not take a step backwards, but to take every necessary step forward”, he reiterated.

Call for the country to mobilise on 23 July

The President expressed his conviction that this defence of rights and freedoms requires the engagement of not only the Catalan Government, but also “the whole country”, and for this reason he called for “a major mobilisation of the country in support of freedom and democracy”. “Catalonia’s institutions, with the Government at the head, will do so by strengthening consensus in the face of those who want to break it, and they will do so by strengthening rights and freedoms in the face of those who want to destroy them”, he said. Just as “organised civil society will do so by participating in this positive construction of the country and citizens by fully exercising their rights”.

“On 23 July we have an opportunity”, Aragonès remarked, and the call he made was for everyone “to participate, to mobilise at the ballot box”. He stressed that this mobilisation should not end on election day, but that “citizens must remain empowered every day of the year and decide the future they want”. “Not everything should be delegated to the institutions”, he added.

The Catalan Government’s working session at the Palau Robert brought together all the ministers, the secretary of the Government and all the general secretaries, in order to, at this halfway point of the legislature, “assess and analyse the work carried out” until now and, at the same time, “continue with the project and adapt it to the new political context”. The meeting served to “talk about the future and how to consolidate Catalonia as one of the most advanced societies in southern Europe”, Aragonès explained.

“Our objective, which we have pursued over the last two years and which we are now adapting to the new context, is that the citizens of Catalonia continue to be the focus of the Catalan Government’s concern and dedication, to offer everyone a better life and make the country the best place to live in”, he concluded.