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Catalan President assures parties that any change on the self-determination vote will be agreed with them

Before meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, the President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Centre-Right pro-Catalan State Coalition CiU, Artur Mas, contacted the other parties that agreed to organise a self-determination vote on the 9th of November in order to explain to them how he envisages the talks that will take place in Madrid. Mas guaranteed them that they would be consulted on any possible change regarding the question wording or the date on which the vote would be held so that a consenus could be reached between them. Yesterday, and on several other occasions, the Catalan President stressed that he is open to negotiate with Rajoy about alternative questions and dates for the self-determination referendum. However, what is non- negotiable for Mas, and the majority of Catalan parties, is that Catalans have to vote very soon on their own political future and on their relationship with Spain.

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16 July 2014 10:50 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Before meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, the President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Centre-Right pro-Catalan State Coalition CiU, Artur Mas, on Wednesday contacted the other parties that agreed to organise a self-determination vote on the 9th of November in order to explain to them how he envisages the talks that would take place in Madrid. Mas guaranteed them that they would be consulted on  any possible change regarding the question wording and the date on which the vote would be held so that a consensus could be reached between them. On several occasions, including on Tuesday, the Catalan President stressed that he is open to negotiate with Rajoy about alternative question wordings and dates for the self-determination referendum. However, what is non-negotiable for Mas, and for the majority of Catalan parties, is that Catalans have to vote very soon on their own political future and on their relationship with Spain. Rajoy has already said on many occasions that he will not authorise any kind of vote on this issue since it affects Spain's national sovereignty, which is undividable, according to him. Mas has held talks with Oriol Junqueras, from the left-wing Catalan independence party ERC; Joan Herrera, from the Catalan green socialist and post-communist coalition ICV-EUiA; and David Fernández, from the radical left and independence party CUP. The Spanish Government confirmed on Monday that Rajoy has agreed to meet with Mas as long as they held a public meeting in July. On Tuesday the Catalan Executive confirmed that they were accepting Rajoy's condition, although they believed a discrete interview, away from the media focus, would have been more productive.


On Wednesday, the Catalan President, Artur Mas, called Junqueras (ERC), Herrera (ICV-EUiA) and Fernández (CUP) to let them how he envisions the meeting with the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, which will be held to discuss the organisation of a self-determination vote in Catalonia, currently blocked by the Spanish authorities. Rajoy has repeated many times that he will not authorise such a vote under any circumstances as, according to a centralist interpretation of the Constitution, such a vote is not legal. Other constitutional experts have a different opinion and believe that, with the necessary political will, such a vote could be authorised. On top of this, others are advocating a reform to the Constitution which would eliminate any legal doubts and make the possibility to hold such a vote explicit, although the majority of Spanish politicians are not supporting this option.

Rajoy and the PP are blocking any agreement and any negotiated way out

In any case, the People's Party – which runs the Spanish Government, holds an absolute majority in the Spanish Parliament, has appointed the majority of members of the Constitutional Court and has direct influence on part of the Supreme Court – is blocking any amendment of the Constitution which would be tied to a federal system and which aims to find a better position for Catalonia within Spain or which eases the authorisation of a self-determination vote. However, the President of the Catalan Government and a wide majority of the Catalan Parliament are not giving up their plan to organise a self-determination vote since this was the clear mandate emanating from the last Catalan elections held in November 2012, in which almost 80% of Catalans voted for parties that promised the organisation of a self-determination vote and supported Catalonia's right to self-determination, with the highest turnout in decades.

The Spanish Government and the People's Party, instead of finding a way to make this democratic mandate possible and allow such a vote, as the United Kingdom's Government did with Scotland's independence referendum, is unilaterally blocking any agreement on the issue, supporting a restrictive interpretation of the legal framework and using its absolute majority in Madrid to block any modification of the Constitution and the current status quo. However, the Spanish Constitution was modified in an express way in September 2011 to include a limit to the public debt and deficit levels. In just 2 weeks, without having promised it in the elections, the PP and the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) negotiated and approved a Constitutional amendment without consulting the other parties and without ratifying the modification through any citizen referendum.

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  • The Catalan President surrounded in December by the leaders of the other parties that supported the self-determination vote of November 9 (by G. Sánchez)

  • The Catalan President surrounded in December by the leaders of the other parties that supported the self-determination vote of November 9 (by G. Sánchez)