Deposed exiled minister speaks at Perpignan event
Lluís Puig participated in an act presenting the Council for the Republic entity, in the town in so-called Northern Catalonia
Deposed former minister of culture Lluís Puig spoke at the presentation for the Council for the Republic in Perpignan on Saturday. This will be the first time one of the leaders exiled after the Catalan push for independence sets foot in France, a move especially symbolic as Perpignan is part of so-called Northern Catalonia, a historic part of Catalonia transferred to France in 1659.
Indeed Puig explained that his presence was “very well-thought-out” and that the former exiled government members had been discussing “the need to set foot again on Catalan soil” for some time. Visibly moved, Puig affirmed that his visit is a “way to try to bring the gratitude of president Puigdemont and the rest of the government to Northern Catalonia.”
Foreseeing a potential reaction from the French government, he also affirmed that he and his colleagues are “free European citizens.” Puig also told the attendees that this could be the first of other visits.
The Council for the Republic
The Council for the Republic, an organization working towards Catalan independence headed by exiled pro-independence leaders, has already been presented on December 8 in Brussels, and on October 30 in Barcelona. The Brussels event was attended by Catalan president Quim Torra, as well as his predecessor Carles Puigdemont (currently exiled in Belgium).
During the presentation, Puig explained that the commitment now is to focus all efforts to “start off the Council for the Republic with vigor.” Inasmuch, paraphrasing his deposed exiled colleague Clara Ponsatí’s words, “it’s the only Catalan institution not submitted to the usurpations of the Spanish state,” and they want “everyone to be there.” Their plan is that within 11 months, a constitutive assembly will be held and that “everyone will be able to exercise their first right to vote.