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Torra wants response on 'self-determination' if leaders convicted

Catalan president rules out new election if independence trial ends in guilty verdict

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11 February 2019 11:42 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

President Quim Torra wants a "democratic response on the right of self-determination" should the pro-independence leaders whose trial starts this week be convicted.

Yet, a day before the trial of political leaders begins on Tuesday, Torra told Catalunya Ràdio that he had never considered calling an early election in the case of a guilty verdict.

A dozen former government members, officials and civil leaders are about to be tried in Spain's Supreme Court for organizing the unilateral independence referendum in 2017.

While the president remained tight-lipped about the possibility of organizing a second vote, he argued that the court case in Madrid puts "democracy and self-determination on trial."

Sánchez caught in "pincer movement," says Torra

Commenting on last week's suspension of the talks between the Catalan and Spanish governments, Torra said Spanish president Pedro Sánchez had been caught in a "pincer movement between the far right and the old and bitter Socialists."

On Friday, with a mass unionist protest called by right-wing parties looming on Sunday, the Spanish government ruled out discussing self-determination in the negotiations, a red line for the Catalan executive, who accused Madrid of "breaking off" the talks.

Torra also pointed out that discussing self-determination is also a condition of the pro-independence parties supporting the Sánchez government's budget. "Was the offer of dialogue just to pass the budget? That would be quite disagreeable," the president added.

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  • Catalan President Quim Torra during an interview with Catalunya Ràdio (by Guillem Roset)

  • Catalan President Quim Torra during an interview with Catalunya Ràdio (by Guillem Roset)