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Different answers to the FT: Madrid rejects negotiation, Barcelona is open to discussion

The People’s Party (PP) has answered the Financial Times that “Spanish unity” is “not negotiable” while the main Catalan nationalist parties have insisted they are ready to discuss the self-determination vote’s question, date and procedure. The influential British newspaper has published this Monday an editorial asking for “a negotiated solution” to Catalonia’s independence claims, while stating that the “ingredients for the solution” can be found in the self-determination vote question proposed by Catalan parties. The PP’s Secretary General, María Dolores de Cospedal, replied that “Spaniards’ right to decide” their sovereignty and “Catalans’ rights, as Spaniards, are not negotiable”.

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16 December 2013 08:06 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The People’s Party (PP) has answered the Financial Times that “Spanish unity” is “not negotiable” while the main Catalan nationalist parties have insisted they are ready to discuss the self-determination vote’s question, date and procedure. The influential British newspaper has published this Monday an editorial asking for “a negotiated solution” to Catalonia’s independence claims, while stating that “ingredients for the solution” can be found in the self-determination vote question proposed by Catalan parties. The PP’s Secretary General, María Dolores de Cospedal, replied that “Spaniards’ right to decide” their sovereignty and “Catalans’ rights, as Spaniards, are not negotiable”. The FT has directly asked the PP and the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) “to rise to the occasion” and make an offer to Catalans. De Cospedal replied that “those who have brought Catalans to the edge of the abyss are the ones who have to offer a solution and have to modulate their message”.


The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), which runs the Catalan Government, has urged the Spanish Executive and the People’s Party to take the Financial Times’ editorial into consideration. The Christian-Democrat force within the two-party coalition CiU, UDC, underlined that the international community is already paying attention to Catalonia’s political process to decide its own collective future. In this vein, the President of UDC National Council, Ramon Espadaler, said that the issue is no longer Catalonia’s “exclusive” concern but that “it is taking an international dimension”.

“If the Spanish Government has an offer to make, now it is the right moment”

Espadaler urged the Spanish authorities to “hold a dialogue” with Catalonia in order “to make this vote happen” and find a negotiated solution to this issue. He explained that for the moment, the Catalan parties’ main objective was making the vote possible in order for Catalan citizens to express their will, freely and democratically.  The Christian Democrat politician asked the Spanish establishment to “make an offer” to the Catalan people and allow them to vote. He stated that if the Spanish Government has an offer “to put on the table, now it is the right moment to do so”. According to him, Catalans should then be able to vote on this hypothetical ‘third way’ between independence and the current status quo.

Pro-independence supporters are ready to discuss the self-determination vote

The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC), which is Catalonia’s second largest party but is likely to win the next elections, according to some polls, is “open to renegotiate” the self-determination vote’s question and date. The ERC’s Spokesperson, Oriol Amorós, stated that if the Spanish Government changes its attitude and it shows it is open to discussion, ERC “is willing” to renegotiate the agreement reached last week regarding the self-determination vote’s exact question and date. However, Amorós stressed that “the Catalan citizens’ right to vote is nonnegotiable”. “We will be extremely pleased if the hypothesis of the Spanish Government discussing how to organise the [self-determination] vote comes true”, he stated. Nonetheless, he added that all the facts indicate that we are still far from such a scenario since the Spanish Government refuses to talk about the issue. Amorós insisted that the ERC’ first option has always been the organisation of a referendum agreed on with the Spanish authorities. The pro-independence party does not rule out this possibility yet and stresses their willingness to talk.

The PP insists that “the Spanish unity is not negotiable”

The PP’s Secretary General answered the FT in the press conference following the weekly party committee’s meeting. María Dolores de Cospedal stated that “we have to remain united and a very fruitful past has to be ratified”. “Catalans cannot be deprived from their rights as Spanish citizens” she said. De Cospedal stressed that “the Spanish unity is not negotiable”. Furthermore, she insisted that “those who have brought Catalans to the edge of the abyss are the ones who have to offer a solution and have to modulate their message”. The FT was asking for the contrary. “It is not just the Catalans but Spain’s leading parties, Mr Rajoy’s PP and the Socialists, that need to rise to the occasion” concluded the prestigious newspaper.

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  • The ERC's Spokesperson, Oriol Amorós, replying the Financial Times' editorial (by A. Moldes)

  • The ERC's Spokesperson, Oriol Amorós, replying the Financial Times' editorial (by A. Moldes)