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Council of Europe receives 1.5 million signatures supporting Catalonia’s independence

The main pro-independences civil associations, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Òmnium Cultural and the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) handed over 1.5 million signatures supporting Catalonia’s independence to the Council of Europe. The signatures were gathered during the non-binding referendum that took place on the 9th of November 2014. The pro-independence civil associations’representatives travelled to Strasbourg to denounce “the lack of democratic will of the Spanish State”and they reported on Catalonia’s situation to a delegation of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. The delivery of these signatures is the first international diplomatic action promoted by the ANC, Òmnium and the AMI. “The Catalan case is present in the European agenda”stated the ANC’s president, Jordi Sànchez, and added that “giving first-hand information from civil society is very important”. 

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06 November 2015 08:58 PM

by

ACN / Sara Prim

Strasbourg (CNA).- The 1.5 million signatures collected during the celebration of the 9-N symbolic referendum by the main pro-independences civil associations in Catalonia, this Friday reached the Council of Europe. Representatives from the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Òmnium Cultural and the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) travelled to Strasbourg to denounce “the lack of democratic will of the Spanish State”and they reported on Catalonia’s situation to a delegation of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. “The Catalan case is present in the European agenda”stated the ANC’s president, Jordi Sànchez, and added that “giving first-hand information from civil society is very important”.“They are aware of the intense debate that is being held in Catalonia”said the AMI’s president Carles Puigdemont, who assured that Europe is aware of all the petitions being made in Catalonia, referring to the 9-N and the 27-S elections amongst others.


The delivery of these signatures is the first international diplomatic action promoted by the ANC, Òmnium and the AMI. “The meeting was informative”explained the ANC’s president Jordi Sànchez “it went really well, we have achieved our goal”. The AMI’s president, Carles Puigdemont, described the attention received from the Council of Europe as “exquisite”. “We would like to find such treatment in closer institutions”he stated, referring to the Spanish bodies. 

Sànchez emphasised that travelling to Strasbourg and handing over the signatures was “a duty”of civil society to complement the institutions’task to explain Catalonia’s push for independence to the international audience. “The Catalan case is present in the European agenda”he stated. “They are aware of the intense debate that is being held in Catalonia”he said, and assured that the European institutions are aware of all the petitions being made in Catalonia, referring to the 9-N, the 27-S elections and “the process to be started next week by the Catalan institutions”.

The TC’s decision

In relation to the current situation in the Parliament, Sànchez declared that the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC)’s decision to give the green light to the vote on the pro-independence declaration was logical. “It couldn’t have been any other”he assured, “impeding a Parliament which has been chosen democratically from expressing their voice has no legal base”. Sànchez also forecast that Spain’s government will “combat with all the possible instruments”the Catalan process if the pro-independence declaration is ultimately approved. According to Sànchez, what matters now is to “guarantee the governability and institutional stability” 

The role of Artur Mas

“We are convinced that the 72 MPs [62 from ‘Junts Pel Sí’and 10 from CUP] will be able to hold the State responsibility that the citizens expect them to take”stated Sànchez regarding the election of a new Catalan President. The pro-independence civil society “ask ‘Junts Pel Sí’and CUP to negotiate whatever is necessary and reach agreements as soon as possible”as the election of a new president is key to “guaranteeing the institutional stability that the creation of a new state in Europe requires”, concluded Sànchez. ‘Junts Pel Sí’and CUP “knew perfectly well”that the citizens’ demands were “unity, firmness, a government and independence”stated Sànchez.

Although the civil society representatives admitted that the new president isn’t likely to be elected in the first round, Puigdemont pointed out that Mas is the only candidate as “no group has presented an alternative”andtherefore the parliamentary groups “will have to work on this proposal”. 

Finally, Sànchez expressed his confidence concerning the resolution of the situation, emphasising that the main pro-independence forces in the Parliament, ‘Junts Pel Sí’and CUP, “hold in their hands the responsibility to start a historic process through the institutions”and “it will have the end result that the majority of Catalans expect it to have”.

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  • Catalan National Assembly's president, Jordi Sànchez, and the Association of Municipalities for Independence's president, Carles Puigdemont at the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg (by ACN)

  • Catalan National Assembly's president, Jordi Sànchez, and the Association of Municipalities for Independence's president, Carles Puigdemont at the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg (by ACN)