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Catalan president calls Parliament meeting to discuss Catalonia’s future

Carles Puigdemont deemed that the activation of Article 155, which will seize Catalonia's self-government, was "the worst attack" on Catalan people and institutions since the Franco dictatorship

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21 October 2017 11:58 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, has given a televised speech in response to Spanish President Mariano Rajoy’s actions. In the discourse, he condemned the Spanish government’s actions and called for a Catalan Parliament plenary meeting to discuss a response to the measures taken by Madrid.

The Catalan parliament plenary is scheduled to take place within a week. In the session, the main issue to be addressed will be what actions Catalonia will take after Mariano Rajoy officially announced on Saturday October 21 the activation of Article 155, the so-called “nuclear option” in the Spanish constitution. Article 155 stipulates that the Spanish government will effectively seize Catalonia’s self-government, and it will go into effect following ratification by the Senate, scheduled for Friday October 27. One of the options on the table for the Catalan Parliament will be a unilateral declaration of independence for Catalonia.

Puigdemont’s televised speech began at 9 pm. In it, he began by introducing the current situation, saying that any attempt at dialogue with the Spanish government from Catalonia “has had the same answer – silence of repression” from Madrid. This, while he explained that he “reiterated the need for dialogue” in correspondence to the Spanish government.

Carles Puigdemont deemed that the activation of Article 155 is “the worst attack on the institutions and the people of Catalonia since the decrees of the military dictator Francisco Franco.” He insists that the action from Spain shows a disregard for the will of the Catalan people “expressed clearly and massively on September 27 2015,” referring to the Catalan elections. This, because Catalan elected officials will be replaced by Spanish ones following the foreseen implementation of Article 155.

The Catalan president also explained that this wasn’t the first time that “Catalan institutions” received a “blow” from the Spanish government in order to “cut them down, re-direct them or directly to eliminate them.” Despite all of this, though, Puigdemont then reminded his audience of how each time, the Catalan people have come back “stronger” and more “determined.” Indeed, he noted that the “hegemonic ideas” of Catalonia “have always been the same” throughout the centuries.

While having given most of the speech in Catalan and in Spanish, Puigdemont ended his discourse in English. He addressed Europe – its political leaders, he said, but “especially Europan citizens.”

If European “values are at risk in Catalonia,” he said, “they will also be at risk in Europe.” He further noted that “democratically deciding the future of a nation is not a crime,” and that considering it as such and actions on October 21 and before go “against foundations that unite EU citizens through their diversity.”

He insisted, in his speech, that Catalonia is “at its core” European “in its values.” “We do what we do,” he explained, “because we believe in a democratic and peaceful Europe,” one that he expressed “should protect each and every one of us.” He ended by stating that what his viewers from all over Europe were “fighting for at home,” is also being fought for in Catalonia. “And we will continue to do so,” he concluded. 

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  • Catalan president Carles Puigdemont in his speech on October 21 following Mariano Rajoy's announcement that Article 155 will be activated to seize Catalonia's self-government (by Rubén Moreno)

  • Catalan president Carles Puigdemont in his speech on October 21 following Mariano Rajoy's announcement that Article 155 will be activated to seize Catalonia's self-government (by Rubén Moreno)