Puigdemont stresses Catalonia's European credentials
President in exile explains remarks about a referendum on the EU in the country and calls for a Europe where the public has more say
“Catalanism is undoubtedly Europeanist,” tweeted president in exile, Carles Puigdemont, on Monday. The ousted Catalan leader currently in Belgium was clarifying comments he made over the weekend proposing a referendum to see whether Catalan voters wished to remain in the European Union.
After stressing the European credentials of the Catalanist movement, the main candidate for the Together for Catalonia ticket in the upcoming regional election on December 21 tweeted: “We want a Europe that is more integrated, more prosperous, more democratic and more committed.”
After his criticisms of the EU caused a stir over the weekend, Puigdemont seemed keen to explain his position, arguing on Twitter that the Catalan conflict is an opportunity to progress towards a stronger European Union, “where the public has increasingly more decision-making power and states increasingly less."
“We want to be Europe”, says Pascal
The leader of Puigdemont’s PDeCAT party, Marta Pascal, came out in support of her colleague, retweeting his comments and then adding: “We want to be Europe. Let there be no doubt.” Puigdemont’s EU referendum proposal was met with criticism from most political parties in Catalonia, with allies aiming to limit any damage.
One such was the ERC republicans, also a pro-independence party and Puigdemont’s main ally in government before the Catalan executive was dismissed with the imposition of direct rule from Madrid. ERC spokesman, Sergi Sabrià, said on Monday that no EU referendum is needed because “Catalan society is Europeanist and for all that the EU has to change and improve, we are critical but not sceptical.”