The president of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, defended this morning in the Senate that "amnesty is not an end point", but the “starting point along a path that has a destination: a vote by the citizens of Catalonia, in a referendum, on their political future, a vote to decide on independence".
In this respect, the head of the Executive once again reiterated that amnesty "is essential to bring what is a political conflict back to the political sphere" and "to put an end to all the legal proceedings against independence”, and must serve to "provide solutions where others have offered repression, deadlock and a lack of dialogue", he declared.
During the session in the upper house, Aragonès once again defended his way of holding "a referendum like the one in Scotland", with a "mutually agreed and recognised" consultation where "all options are possible if the citizens give their support through a majority".
"Catalonia will vote in a referendum, I am convinced. Through sheer will, perseverance, and democracy; always with an outstretched hand, with an unshackled hand", he told the senators present at the session.
The president began his speech in the Senate by stressing that he decided to come to the upper house today "to defend Catalonia", "a Catalonia for all", aware that he was doing so in a session that only aims to "use Catalonia once again for partisan battles at the Spanish State level" and "to once again stoke up anti-Catalan sentiment in order to wear down the opposition".
"You assumed that you could talk about Catalonia without the representative of Catalonia present", he said to the promoters of the commission, to whom he said "you do not care about the opinion, the will, the aspirations or the desires of Catalans".
Aragonès claimed that if they really cared about listening to the opinion of the country they would convene the government to "resolve the fiscal deficit of 22 billion euros a year that is eroding public services, competitiveness and the welfare state in my country", to "resolve the poor service provided by the railways" or they would support Catalans in "promoting the Catalan language, in Catalonia and in the other territories where it is spoken”.
"If you cared about Catalonia you would listen to it. You would want to know what Catalonia thinks, all its views and thoughts, with its ideological and cultural diversity, but also with its consensuses", he said. A consensus that he assured would include "Catalan in schools, the end of repression against independence" and a broad majority in favour of voting in a referendum. "You don't care about Catalonia. You don't care about the Catalans, you just use us for your own ends", he lamented.
The president advocated before the house that Catalonia "is a nation that doesn't look at the origin of its citizens but at the shared future we want to build in freedom" and that this future is something we want "to decide in peace, in freedom, in democracy, and with recognition."
"Despite the long history of the use of Catalonia for partisan interests by the Popular Party, which includes the collection of signatures against the Statute of Autonomy, which includes the enforcement of Article 155, which includes repression, Catalonia looks to the future and will find its way forward", he concluded.