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Anti-independence leader Arrimadas considers referendum “a collective farce”

Inés Arrimadas, leader of Ciutadans, the main opposition party in the Catalan Parliament, considers the plan of the governing pro-independence coalition Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes) and the radical left CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy) to declare independence “in one day and without a debate” as an insult to Catalans. In an interview with the CNA she insisted that “everyone knows” the independence vote “is not going to take place”. According to Arrimadas, the leaders of the pro-independence groups are waiting to see who ends up being “the black sheep” and what the excuse will be when the referendum fails to be carried out. Therefore she considers the independence process in Catalonia “a vicious circle”. The leader of the opposition party took advantage of the opportunity to attack the recently approved legal reform that allows an “express disconnection”, and that first passed parliamentary procedures despite the opposition’s disapproval.

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03 May 2017 10:11 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).-Inés Arrimadas, leader of Ciutadans, the main opposition party in the Catalan Parliament, considers the plan of the governing pro-independence coalition Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes) and the radical left CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy) to declare independence “in one day and without a debate” as an insult to Catalans. In an interview with the CNA she insisted that “everyone knows” the independence vote “is not going to take place”. According to Arrimadas, the leaders of the pro-independence groups are waiting to see who ends up being “the black sheep” and what the excuse will be when the referendum fails to be carried out. Therefore she considers the independence process in Catalonia “a vicious circle”. The leader of the opposition party took advantage of the opportunity to attack the recently approved legal reform that allows an “express disconnection”, and that first passed parliamentary procedures despite the opposition’s disapproval.


The leader of Ciutadans described the fact that Junts pel Sí and CUP, who have a parliamentary majority, want to declare independence “in one day and without a debate” as “an insult to Catalans”. “What kind of joke is that?” asked Arrimadas. She also pointed out that even though the two pro-independence groups in the Catalan Parliament are forbidden to “change a single comma” in the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, they want to go ahead and declare independence. “The Government thinks it owns the Catalan Parliament, but luckily this is not the case,” Arrimadas added.

Government “completely opaque” regarding the referendum

Arrimadas was especially critical with the way the Catalan Government is managing the whole referendum issue. The opposition leader charged Carles Puigdemont’s Executive with being “completely opaque” regarding the independence vote. According to her, nobody is being at all clear about what will happen with the referendum. “They do not want to explain anything, because they do not want to do anything.” “Are they going to fine public servants who do not wish to participate? Where will they get the money from?” Arrimadas wondered.

Arrimadas also stated that in the first place the Catalan government should explain what its plans are and only then should Ciutadans (C’s) and the Spanish government react to them.

When asked about the declarations of CUP spokesperson Anna Gabriel, in which Gabriel promised “there were enough mayors, town councilors and public servants in favor of the referendum to guarantee it,” Arrimadas asked: “Do they expect that the people in favor will organize and count the votes? Is this what they are telling Catalans? In my opinion it is a farce. And they are mocking those who rightfully want independence”.

Inés Arrimadas, who is also spokesperson of the national executive of Ciutadans in Spain, considers that even if the Catalan Government talks about a referendum, “this does not mean it will actually be a referendum”. The only achievement the Catalan executive could expect is to carry out “another 9-N vote”, a symbolic vote, but “under worse conditions”. In consequence, and according to her, the only possible “legal and democratic vote” in Catalonia would mean new elections, because even if the referendum was set into motion, the Government knows “they will not succeed”, she added.

Armed with all legal and political means

The leader of Ciutadans in Catalonia was also asked about whether she would go again to the Constitutional Court to denounce the Catalan government, as she did on November 4, 2015, with Miquel Iceta, the Catalan Socialist’s Secretary General, and the leader of the Popular Party in Catalonia, Xavier García Albiol. Back then, the three leaders went together before the highest legal institution in Spain to demand protection and to ask that parliamentary debate regarding the declaration of the beginning of the disconnection that had been approved by the pro-independence groups on 9 November that year be suspended. “Maybe the Catalan government is the one who wants these sort of scenes to repeat themselves, because they are the ones who are doing completely illegal, antidemocratic and unconstitutional things,” she said. In order to avoid a similar situation as in 2015, the liberal and anti-independence Ciutadans leader made it clear that her party will employ “all political, legal, and democratic tools at their disposal”.

However, the leader of the opposition refused to speak of pro-independence and unionist “blocks” within the Catalan Parliament. Arrimadas stated that “those who wants to create different fronts” are those “who want to divide society”. The anti-Catalanism leader did not disclose any possible joint action between Ciutadans, the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), and the Popular Party regarding decisive moments such as the approval of the so-called disconnection law or the call for a referendum.

Ciutadans to celebrate primary elections

The leader of Ciutadans in Catalonia highlighted the importance of celebrating primary elections in order to choose Ciutadans’ candidate for the presidency of the Catalan government. Arrimadas, who has confirmed her candidacy, declared she had not heard of any other party member presenting his or her candidacy. “These processes are healthy. That’s when you can see if you have the party members’ full support behind you. I am really looking forward to these elections,” she said. 

 

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