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Puigdemont to Rajoy: “Let’s start negotiations as soon as possible”

The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, sent a letter on Wednesday to his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, to formally seek the start of negotiations for an independence referendum. “As I have told you personally, and publicly said on numerous occasions, the Catalan Government has expressed its utmost willingness to find a political and negotiated solution to the demands of the Catalan people to decide their own future,” reads the letter, seen by the CNA. Puigdemont said to Rajoy that they should discuss the “terms and conditions” of an independence vote “as soon as possible” and warned that now is a “decisive moment” for both governments. According to the Catalan President, the Catalan issue demands the “utmost attention” from the Spanish government, which he urged should come sit at the negotiating table. Puigdemont explained to Rajoy in his letter that the Catalan Parliament approved a resolution on the May 18 which expressed “the will of the Government to organize a referendum in accordance with the Spanish government and in line with the standards set by the Venice Commission”.

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24 May 2017 07:31 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, sent a letter on Wednesday to his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, to formally seek the start of negotiations for an independence referendum. “As I have told you personally, and publicly said on numerous occasions, the Catalan Government has the utmost willingness to find a political and negotiated solution to the demands of the Catalan people to decide their own future,” reads the letter, seen by the CNA. Puigdemont said to Rajoy that they should discuss the “terms and conditions” of an independence vote “as soon as possible” and warned that now is a “decisive moment” for both governments.


According to the Catalan President, the Catalan issue demands the “utmost attention” from the Spanish government, which he urged to come sit at the negotiating table. Puigdemont explained to Rajoy in his letter that the Catalan Parliament approved a resolution on the May 18 which expressed “the will of the Government to organize a referendum in accordance with the Spanish government and in line with the standards set by the Venice Commission”.

In his letter, Puigdemont urged Rajoy to respond to his petition quickly in order to start discussions soon. The letter does not mention any conditions on the question, the date, or any other specific term of the independence referendum, since the Catalan government considers all of these points open to negotiation with Madrid. The letter also reminds the Spanish President about the parliamentary majorities in the Catalan chamber and the fact that more than half a million people have signed the National Pact for the Referendum, a manifesto in favor of coming to an agreement about the vote.

The Catalan government spokesperson, Neus Munté, said in a press conference that the executive expects the Spanish government to be “up to the challenge” by offering a positive response to the invitation to dialogue. The Spanish President has thus far rejected all calls for a referendum, and has even accused the Catalan Government of planning a “coup d’état”. Madrid wants Puigdemont to explain his referendum plans in Congress, but the Catalan President has said repeatedly that this only makes sense if the two executives first come to an agreement on the principles for the referendum. 

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  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont and Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, shaking hands in Barcelona on May 12th (by ACN)

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont and Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, shaking hands in Barcelona on May 12th (by ACN)