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Mas regrets lack of leadership in Spain and sees new elections as an “opportunity for Catalonia”

Former Catalan President Artur Mas considers a “disaster” the failure of the negotiations to form a new government in Spain as it proves the lack of “strong leadership” which would be able to act “with generosity, responsibility and a sense of state”. Regarding the possibility of calling for new elections in Spain on the 26th of June, Mas assured that it “would be a great opportunity for Catalonia” since if the Spanish politics fail, Catalonia “must take advantage of this opportunity to gain a better position in the state’s political scenario”.Mas made these statements during a conference at Paris HEC School during his first official trip abroad since he stepped down as president.

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26 April 2016 11:30 PM

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ACN

Paris (CNA).- Former Catalan President Artur Mas lamented the lack of “strong leadership” in Spain which “would act with generosity, responsibility and a sense of state” and named the “disaster” of the negotiations to form a new government in Spain as proof of this. He made this statement during a conference at Paris HEC School during his first official trip abroad since he stepped down as president. Regarding the possibility of calling for new elections in Spain on the 26th of June, Mas assured that it “would be a great opportunity for Catalonia” since if the Spanish politics fail, Catalonia “must take advantage of this opportunity to gain a better position in the state’s political scenario”.During his conference at the prestigious business school, Mas also stressed that there has been more foreign investment in Catalonia during “these years of sovereigntist debate” than ever before.


Mas considers a “disaster” the failure of the negotiations to form a new government in Spain. “It is clear proof of the inability to have strong leadership, which would act with generosity, responsibility and a sense of state”, he said at París’ HEC business school. Mas also described the new elections which may take place in Spain on the 26th of June as “an opportunity for Catalonia, as it has been made clear that if the Spanish politics fail, Catalan politics must take advantage of this opportunity to gain a better position inthe state’s political scenario”.

Mas has regretted, precisely, the lack of a “culture of covenant and agreement” in Spanish politics and has criticized Spanish parties for not “seriously” negotiating the formation of a new government. “The have not performed with generosity, they have acted with more of a sense of party than with a sense of state, and this leads us to the current situation, this impasse,” the former president complained. Mas has recalled that he has “personal experience,” and that despite the “very difficult path,” they must “exhaust all possibilities to form a government after the elections” and “translate politically what the people voted for at the polls.” Mas believes that the 26-J would be “an opportunity for Catalonia,” but said he would “prefer that didn’t happen.”

Foreign investment

In the lecture ‘Foreign Investment During Political Crisis: the Catalan Case,” at HEC, Mas said that, “against all odds, in these years of sovereignty debate, there has been more foreign investment than ever.” “We said that foreign investment would stop, everybody would go,” Mas explained to the students. The former president claimed, “Catalonia can be a country such as Denmark or Austria, relatively small or medium, but with all the tools to do a good job and to develop their own country and a project in service of its people.” Mas asked, “if the Scots tried to make this journey, and many other small countries in Europe, then why can’t the Catalans?” Clarifying, Mas said to the students, that this process couldn’t be outside a “framework of cooperation, peace, a predisposition to dialogue and that agreed with the pact.”

Mas has taken advantage of the trip to Paris to hold “discreet, but very different, conversations with media, editorial boards, and people with influential opinions in publishing and world institutions. “I found that in France we hear that there is interest in the Catalan topic, although we don’t have to explain much, and we open our arms to everyone because it remains a problem that is added to the many that exist in the EU,” he said. This first trip abroad as former president was commissioned by the Catalan government and the new president, Charles Puigdemont. “I said at the time, when I make that next step, I was to assist in the disposal of the present government and the president ordered everything I wanted,” Mas recalled. “If I am asked I will fulfil my duty, but at the same time it is a joy to help my country and my government,” he insisted.

HEC debates and other France visits a priority for the Catalan Government

HEC, managed and financed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris, is the second best business school in Europe, according to the rankings made by  ‘Financial Times.’ The conference at the Versailles campus is part of ‘HEC debates,’ a series of lectures and debates involving political and economic leaders and sponsors, among others, like the newspaper 'Le Figaro' or the bank 'Caisse d' Epargne.' The former has had the logistical support of the International Programme of Communication and Public Relations Eugene Xammar and the delegation of the Government in France and Switzerland. France is a priority in the external action of the Government and indeed. Also, it was in Paris was that Mas made his last trip as president on the 6th and 7th of December. In Paris, Mas participated in COP21, the summit on climate change for the United Nations in Paris and the General Assembly of the Climate Alliance of States and Regions.

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  • Former Catalan President Artur Mas during his conference at Paris' HEC business School (by ACN)

  • Former Catalan President Artur Mas during his conference at Paris' HEC business School (by ACN)