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Podemos leader promises to respect “the democratic will expressed by Catalans” on self-determination

Pablo Iglesias, Secretary General of the Spanish alternative left party Podemos, has committed himself in Barcelona to respecting “the democratic will expressed by Catalans” regarding a self-determination vote, although he did not mention independence. Iglesias made this statement during the presentation of the electoral coalitions built for both the Catalan and Spanish elections with the Catalan Eco-Socialist and Post-Communist coalition ICV-EUiA, which were announced a few days ago. The leader of Podemos recognised that “the way [such an expression] will be legally materialised will present difficulties”, but that his party is “committed to implementing the most operative and effective ways so that such difficulties can be removed”. Meanwhile, ICV’s National Coordinator, Joan Herrera, said that “in order to change Catalonia, we have to change the entire [Spanish] State”. Furthermore, he said that their coalition MPs elected in Catalonia will form their own group in the Spanish Parliament.

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21 July 2015 05:05 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Pablo Iglesias, Secretary General of the Spanish alternative left party Podemos, has committed himself in Barcelona to respecting “the democratic will expressed by Catalans” regarding a self-determination vote, although he did not mention independence. Iglesias said he does not want Catalonia to leave Spain, but stressed that this has to be decided by the Catalan people. He made these statements on Monday evening, during the presentation of the electoral coalitions built for both the Catalan and Spanish elections with the Catalan Eco-Socialist and Post-Communist coalition ICV-EUiA, which were announced a few days ago. The leader of Podemos recognised that “the way [such an expression] will be legally materialised will present difficulties”, but that his party is “committed to implementing the most operative and effective ways so that such difficulties can be removed”. Iglesias insisted on the need to launch a constituent process both at Catalan and Spanish levels and, according to him, “this is not an excuse” for opposing to Catalan elections being an independence plebiscite. “We want to imagine how a thing that the Catalan and Spanish elites wanted to lock down for 40 years ago can be legally articulated” and guarantee that people can decide about their entire future, including the economic and social model, the Podemos leader said.


Meanwhile, ICV’s National Coordinator, Joan Herrera, stated that “in order to change Catalonia, we have to change the entire [Spanish] State”, pointing out their will “to change everything”. “Spain and Catalonia are communicating vessels”, stressed Herrera, confirming the change that ICV has made in the last few months, abandoning a self-determination process that was merely focusing on Catalonia and now trying once again to change Spain to better fit Catalonia.

Forming their own parliamentary group in Madrid

Furthermore, Herrera said that their coalition MPs elected in Catalonia will form their own group in the Spanish Parliament, so that “Catalonia’s plurality will express itself with its own voice” in the Chamber, a true change for Catalan and Spanish politics, according to him. This is indeed truly a change for ICV-EUiA (since they did not have their own group as they were part of Izquierda Unida), but does not represent any change for other Catalan parties, which have been forming their own groups in the Madrid parliament for many terms.

The Catalan President has “buried” Catalonia’s right to self-determination

Herrera also went on to say that the next Catalan Parliament elections will be “a plebiscite on austerity, budget cuts, corruption, and also on the right to decide [on Catalonia’s political future]”. The ICV leader said they were the ones truly defending Catalonia’s “right to decide” [how to say ‘right to self-determination’ in Catalan political jargon], as the President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Liberal party CDC, Artur Mas, has “buried” it.

“We are not burying it”, stated Herrera, for whom the next Catalan Parliament elections are not an independence plebiscite but a plebiscite “to change everything”, followed by the Spanish elections, which will be another plebiscite on the social and economic model. In this vein, he criticised Mas for defending social rights at this stage as “somebody who has undertaken budget cuts has little credibility” in this area. According to Herrera, “this is unquestionable”.

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  • Pablo Iglesias talking in Barcelona on Monday evening, next to ICV-EUiA leaders (by ACN)

  • Pablo Iglesias talking in Barcelona on Monday evening, next to ICV-EUiA leaders (by ACN)