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Catalan President tells Rajoy that “moderation” is reaching agreements

The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, said on Thursday that he was hoping that “moderation” and “common sense” will finally “prevail in Catalonia”. In the evening, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, replied that Rajoy’s statement is “comical and audacious”, because Catalonia has a long tradition of moderation and tolerance. “The first way of being tolerant is making a step towards the other and, historically, Catalonia has always made this step”, Mas stated. However, now Catalan citizens want to decide on their possible independence from Spain and the “moderate” attitude is to talk about how to allow them to democratically vote on the issue, he pointed out. “Moderation cannot be confused with giving up” on a claim shared by a majority of Catalans, added Mas.

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22 November 2013 11:45 AM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, said on Thursday that he was hoping that “moderation” and “common sense” will finally “prevail in Catalonia”. In addition, Rajoy added that he will not tolerate “breaking national sovereignty” and that “Articles 1 and 2 of the Constitution” are not “a child’s game”. These Articles, negotiated with the remains of the Franco dictatorship, read that “national sovereignty is vested in the Spanish people” and state “the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, common and undividable motherland of all Spaniards”. In the evening, the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, replied that Rajoy’s statement is “comical and audacious”, because Catalonia has a long tradition of moderation and tolerance. “The first way of being tolerant is making a step towards the other and, historically, Catalonia has always made this step”, Mas stated. However, now Catalan citizens want to decide on their possible independence from Spain and the “moderate” attitude is to talk about how to allow them to democratically vote on the issue, he pointed out. Mas praised the United Kingdom and Scotland, where “regardless of whether they were in favour or against independence” both sides talked about and reached an agreement to vote on the issue. Scotland “has a State, which is the United Kingdom, allowing them to reach agreements”, while the Spanish Government refuses even to start talking about the issue and proposing alternatives to the current status quo. “Moderation cannot be confused with giving up” on a claim shared by a majority of Catalans, added Mas. “Moderation is trying to do things right, in a correct and ordered way through dialogue and agreements, but not giving up”, he said. “We are a moderate country, but sometimes I have doubts as to whether we live in a tolerant State”, concluded the Catalan President referring to Spain.


54.7% of Catalans would vote “yes” to independence in a referendum and 22.1%, “no”

According to the latest poll published on Friday morning, 54.7% of Catalans would vote “yes” to independence from Spain in a referendum, while 22.1% would vote “no” and 15.7% are still undecided. These percentages are very similar to all the polls published in the last few months. Furthermore, polls also indicate that around 80% of Catalans want to hold a self-determination vote in Catalonia, regardless of whether they would vote “yes” or “no”. This percentage is in line with the last Catalan elections, where parties explicitly supporting Catalonia’s right to self-determination and proposing a vote on the issue received 80% of support. However, the Spanish Government is totally opposed to allowing such a vote ever to happen or even to talking about it.

Rajoy states that “No Spaniard can be excluded from this decision”, but refuses a vote

Rajoy explained that, as Spain’s Prime Minister, he above all is “obliged to strictly follow laws”. He added that he is not willing to “break national sovereignty”. Rajoy argued that all Spaniards have to decide about what they want Spain to be. “No Spaniard can be excluded from this decision”, he highlighted. However, Rajoy also refuses to hold a referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain at Spanish level.

A referendum at Spanish level would oppose Catalonia’s independence

This week, Madrid-based newspaper El Mundo,  which takes a Spanish nationalist and neo-liberal line, published a poll stating that 76.4% of the interviewees consider that all Spaniards should decide on Catalonia’s independence from Spain. In addition, it adds that, if a referendum on Catalonia’s independence was held in the whole of Spain, 71.9% of Spaniards would vote “no” and 15.7% would vote “yes”. Catalonia represents around 15.5% of the Spanish population. Furthermore, 44.4% would think that Rajoy’s attitude towards Catalonia should be tougher, 28.2% believe it should be more flexible and 18.1% consider it appropriate. On top of this, 48.2% of the interviewees would suspend Catalonia’s autonomy and self-government institutions if Catalans insist in organising a self-determination vote, and 36.2% would oppose this idea. Finally, 68.3% of the interviewees would reject setting up a fairer fiscal redistribution scheme with Catalonia, aiming to reduce the current tensions.

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  • Artur Mas, President of the Catalan Government, on Thursday evening (by P. Francesch)

  • Artur Mas, President of the Catalan Government, on Thursday evening (by P. Francesch)