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Catalan government insists raids will not stop vote

Spokesman calls for public to trust in referendum plans while Spanish cabinet attributes police raids to “serious irresponsibility” of Puigdemont executive

 

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21 September 2017 01:12 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The public will get the chance to cast their votes on October 1, insists the Catalan government. Even after Spanish police raided 41 buildings on Wednesday and arrested 15 people, a cabinet spokesperson said that “the material and operational part, the logistics,” will be ready on October 1. Asking the public to trust the government, he said in an interview: “Faced with a siege, we are much more motivated to vote.”

Catalan government: “Faced with a siege, we are much more motivated to vote”

“There is a solution for every problem. We have time,” he said, adding: “We’re faced with a state that is sweeping away all guarantees, but the most important thing is that everyone knows where they have to vote, that they feel called upon to vote and that they go en masse to take part in the October 1 vote.”

While the spokesperson expressed little concern about the referendum, he did say he is worried about what he called the “atrocities” of the Spanish government.

Meanwhile, the Catalan vice president vowed that the cabinet will do its utmost to “make the October 1 vote possible under the best conditions. Yet, he also said that the Spanish police operation “has altered the rules of the game.” He also pointed out that the treatment of Catalan institutions is relevant to Spanish society: “Can anyone guarantee that what they are doing to us will not happen to them?” he asked.

  • "We’re faced with a state that is sweeping away all guarantees"

    Jordi Turull · Catalan government spokesperson

Spanish government hints at constitutional amendments and new funding system

The Spanish government also reacted to the events. Its delegate in Catalonia said that the operation is merely the result of “very serious irresponsibility” by Carles Puigdemont’s executive. Meanwhile, a Spanish government spokesperson said that the raids had been ordered by a judge and not Mariano Rajoy’s cabinet. Although thousands of people demonstrated in Barcelona all day yesterday, he played down the importance, pointing out that “many more people” did not turn up.

According to the spokesman, constitutional amendments would be on the table after the October 1 vote, but at the same time he highlighted that the right to self-determination is not provided for in any constitution “of a civilized country.” Also, the Spanish economy minister hinted in an interview today that if the Catalan government is willing to give up its referendum plans, a new funding system for Catalonia could be discussed.

The leading opposition party in Catalonia, Ciudadanos, also reacted to Wednesday’s events. “Public workers, such as police officers and judges, are just doing their job,” said spokesperson Fernando de Páramo, who added: “Everything will come to an end if Puigdemont decides to stand by democracy. It’s in his hands to stop this situation.”

Ciudadanos, the fourth largest party in the Spanish Parliament and the main partner of the ruling People’s Party, has so far backed all the actions of Rajoy’s government to stop the vote. “At such a critical moment, we must support the government, no matter who the ruling party is,” de Páramo said.

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