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Catalan President does not rule out a unilateral declaration of independence

The Catalan President said that declaring independence unilaterally “is not the ideal scenario; neither the best nor the one that we want” but nonetheless refused to rule this option out. According to Mas, such a possibility should be considered if an agreement with Madrid for a referendum proves to be impossible and he is forced to call an early plebiscite-style election. “There is no way back”, said the President in a debate with citizens organised by the newspaper ‘El Periódico’. The leader of the opposition, Oriol Junqueras, who is an ally to Mas in the push for a self-determination vote, said that “the best” option is a referendum and therefore politicians should “not speculate with other scenarios”. However, he agreed with Mas in not ruling out a unilateral declaration in case negotiations with Spain were impossible. The co-leader of the Greens, Dolors Camats, said Catalans “do not understand” why Mas mentioned a unilateral declaration as this seems to suggest he does not longer believe a referendum or consultation is possible. The leader of the PP in Catalonia, Alicia Sánchez Camacho said Mas had “gone mad” while the socialists stated that considering a unilateral declaration was “a serious mistake”.

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17 March 2014 03:38 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan President, Artur Mas, does not rule out a unilateral declaration of Independence. Mas admitted that this “is it neither the ideal scenario, nor the best”, but he refused to reject it completely if Spain does not accept negotiations for a referendum and he is forced to call an early election. “It’s not the option that we want”, he said during a debate with citizens organized by the newspaper ‘El Periódico’, adding than nonetheless “it cannot be ruled out”. “There is no way back”, said Mas, admitting that Catalans will not accept anything less than a consultation vote on the future of the country.

 


During the debate, Mas argued that the political process he is leading in Catalonia is not divisive and “breaking” society, as the unionists have defended it. In fact, he said that not allowing citizens to vote on their future is what actually threatens social cohesion. In the debate, Mas explained that he is aiming to call a referendum with the agreement of Spain or a consultation under Catalan law in the next few months. If this fails, he could call and early election, that would work as a plebiscite. Afterwards, he admitted, a unilateral declaration of independence could not be completely ruled out, since at such point, Catalan politicians will have been “disarmed”, and won’t have any other negotiated or agreed option on the table.

The leader of the opposition, ERC-president Oriol Junqueras, who is an ally to Mas in the push for a self-determination vote, said that “the best” option is a referendum and therefore politicians should “not speculate with other scenarios”. However, he agreed with Mas in not ruling out a unilateral declaration in case negotiations with Spain were impossible. The co-leader of the Greens, Dolors Camats, said Catalans “do not understand” why Mas mentioned a unilateral declaration as this seems to suggest he does not longer believe a referendum or consultation is possible. Both ERC and the Greens are in favour of a referendum. Alongside Mas and the extreme-left CUP party, they agreed that a consultation should be held on the 9th of November this year.   

The leader of the PP in Catalonia, Alicia Sánchez Camacho said Mas had “gone mad” and warned she would talk to the Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, about the issue. Camacho said Mas “is not fit” to run Catalonia and is putting citizens in a very “traumatic” situation. “They are making us feel foreigners in our home”, she regretted. The PP, in power in Madrid, is refusing to negotiate a referendum on independence with the Catalan Government.

The Catalan socialists also warned Mas that a unilateral declaration would be a “serious mistake”. Their candidate to the next European election, Javi López, said that “within Europe, there is no room for unilateral decisions”. The socialist candidate said that the solution is “dialogue” between the Catalan and the Spanish governments. “That is something we have been asking for years”, he added. Socialists in Spain also refuse a referendum on independence, thus aligning themselves with the PP. However, they could accept a “review” of the Constitution to make Spain a more federal state.

 

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  • The Catalan President, Artur Mas, in a recent picture (by ACN)

  • The Catalan President, Artur Mas, in a recent picture (by ACN)