President Torra to ask Spanish counterpart about ‘self-determination’
The Catalan head of government pledges to work towards an independent Republic, relaunch offices abroad and ‘fight for reinstatement’ of public diplomacy council
The Catalan president, Quim Torra, will ask his new Spanish counterpart, Pedro Sánchez, for his opinion on “Catalonia’s right to self-determination.” In an interview with Catalan public TV on Sunday night, Torra announced that he has already been in touch with Sánchez, and in their first meeting he will not only ask about the right to vote on independence but also about his position on “civil and political rights.”
Torra also said that he will urge Sánchez not to oppose to 16 “social laws” suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court after they were challenged by Mariano Rajoy’s ousted cabinet. “Which Pedro Sánchez [new Spanish president] will I find? The one that supports direct rule, or the one in the vote of no-confidence debate who seemed to open some doors," Torra asked.
During the interview, the head of the Catalan government pledged to work to secede from Spain. "Our government’s aim is to build an independent Catalan republic," he claimed. For that goal, he said three pillars will be ready soon: one includes the Catalan government, parliament and local councils, another includes the public and the third is to be found abroad. "We will create a ‘council for the republic,’ led by Puigdemont, to publicise the Catalan cause internationally,” he said. This body will be set up "when Puigdemont can return to Belgium." Torra's predecessor is now in Germany with an extradition case underway.
Yet Torra did not go into more depth on his plans to implement independence. “I’d rather speak of creating opportunities than obeying or disobeying [the Spanish legal framework]. Now is time for restitution [of self-government],” said Torra.