Guilty verdict will mark a new era ‘culminating’ in independence, says president

Civil disobedience, non-violence and institutional cooperation among key suggestions laid out by Quim Torra as potential responses to Supreme Court decision

The Catalan president, Quim Torra, in a political conference in Madrid on September 5, 2019 (by Bernat Vilaró)
The Catalan president, Quim Torra, in a political conference in Madrid on September 5, 2019 (by Bernat Vilaró) / ACN

ACN | Madrid

September 5, 2019 05:18 PM

The Catalan president, Quim Torra, believes that a potential guilty verdict for the jailed political and civic leaders for the 2017 referendum would mark a new era in Catalonia that would “culminate” in independence.

In his opening conference of the new political term in Madrid on Thursday, Torra insisted that he will not “accept” a guilty verdict, and laid out some of the key lines of the potential response from Catalonia that he intends to lead, including civil disobedience, non-violence, and cooperation among the institutions.

Torra ruled out a snap election as a response, arguing that after such a verdict, Catalonia would need to “strengthen” its institutions.

"Peaceful confrontation" including new referendum?

Torra reinforced what he stressed some days ago, calling for a “democratic, peaceful confrontation” with Spain. However, he refrained from going into detail on what this would mean.

When being asked about the possibility of calling a new independence referendum, he said that the independence camp needs to “find consensus” on how to exercise the right to self-determination.

“If our colleagues are convicted, we will act accordingly. We will again exercise all the rights that we have been denied,” he said.

For Torra, who said that the verdict will be “a tipping point” concerning the Catalan independence path, the society and the country institutions “hold fast facing an authoritarian state.”

“This is a confrontation that we can only win if we shape it with tools from the 21st century and not the 19th,” he added.

Canada, the UK and Hong Kong

During his speech, he also reminded that Canada allowed for Quebec to hold a referendum, as the UK did with Scotland, and underlined that the British Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has not rejected a second independence vote in Scotland.