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Catalan President guarantees he will call a self-determination vote on November 9th

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, insisted this Tuesday he will organise a self-determination vote within the legal framework on the date agreed upon by four political groups 3 weeks ago. In a press conference following the first Cabinet Meeting of 2014, Mas ruled out the possibility of making changes in the government he chairs on the short-term, after speculations that the Catalan Left-Wing Independence Party (ERC) could sit in the Cabinet, formed by members from the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) and independents. In addition, he identified “a cross slope” in the economic, social and political context, referring to a slight recovery, after 6 “terrible and fearsome years”.

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07 January 2014 08:16 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, insisted this Tuesday he will organise a self-determination vote within the legal framework on the 9th of November, the date agreed upon by four political groups 3 weeks ago. In a press conference following the first Cabinet Meeting of 2014, Mas ruled out the possibility of making changes in the government he chairs on the short-term, after speculations that the Catalan Left-Wing Independence Party (ERC) could sit in the Cabinet, formed by members from the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) and independents. The Catalan President said the government is “strong and stable”. In addition, the Catalan President identified “a cross slope”, referring to a slight economic recovery, after 6 “terrible and fearsome years”, but also to an improvement of social and transparency policies, as well as to Catalonia’s political future.


Answering the PP

Mas took some minutes to answer the People’s Party (PP), whose leader in Catalonia – Alícia Sánchez-Camacho – announced yesterday that the town halls they run will not hand in their citizen data for a consultation vote organised by the Catalan Government. Mas reminded the PP that not providing such data would go against the law, which states that the Catalan Executive has the capacity to organise consultation votes based on the census managed by town halls. Besides, he responded to the Spanish Home Affairs Minister and PP member, Jorge Fernández Díaz, who said a few days ago that Catalonia’s independence is “breaking” the living-togetherness and conviviality in many Catalan families. Mas accused the Spanish Government of leading a “dirty war” and stated that those breaking the living-togetherness are those who prohibit Catalans from voting.

2014 will be a turning point

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, underlined that 2014 will bring a change of trends, which he defined as a “cross slope”, after 6 “terrible and fearsome” years of economic, social and political crisis. Mas linked this change to an improvement of the economic and employment situations, with less jobs lost and new ones created. In addition, he also highlighted that in 2014 no further budget cuts should be implemented, improving social and welfare policies. Furthermore, the Catalan President also referred to an improvement of democracy’s quality and transparency, as well as to a crucial year for the “political future of the country”. “The entire sky will not be clear; there will be some clouds and fog, but in this cross slope some sunny moments are starting to be seen”.

Better perspectives in all areas

Mas referred to a current situation with “very deep wounds”, such as the high levels of unemployment and the significant number of people in-need. However, he said that in the coming months the situation will start to be “smoother” and there will be better perspectives in all areas. Particularly, he identified four main areas with significant improvements: the economy and jobs, the improvement of democracy’s quality, public policies and Catalonia’s political future.

Catalans will be called to vote on their future on November 9th

In this last area, Mas “guaranteed” he will call for a self-determination vote on the 9th of November, as it was agreed by almost two thirds of the Catalan Parliament in mid-December. “I, as President, will call the consultation vote to enable the people of Catalonia to express themselves through the ballot boxes on the 9th of November, and at that point we will see what is the Spanish State’s reaction”. In the last months, the Spanish Government has repeatedly stated they will never authorise such a vote and they even refuse to talk about it, despite the massive claims from Catalonia.

A self-determination vote within the legal framework

However, Mas highlighted that the self-determination vote will be organised within the legal framework. “I do not know what they will do, but I do know what are we going to do. We have the date, we have the question’s wording and we will implement this agreement we have”, said Mas. “I will call the consultation vote on the 9th of November within the legal framework”, he repeated.

Furthermore, he recalled that there were other mechanisms to vote if the self-determination referendum was not possible, such as plebiscitary elections. However, he stressed that they should start by thoroughly exploring all the currently existing ways.

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  • The Catalan President, Artur Mas, in this Tuesday's press conference (by G. Sánchez)

  • The Catalan President, Artur Mas, in this Tuesday's press conference (by G. Sánchez)