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Catalan President urges pro-referendum parties to keep united

The Catalan President said Catalonia is facing “huge challenges” and asked its allies to avoid “traditional party-politics” tactics. In an interview, Artur Mas argued that Catalonia should show to the world that the petition to hold a referendum is “very transversal” and “diverse”; and was prompted by political parties from very different ideological backgrounds. The Catalan leader recognised that it is unlikely the Spanish government will authorise the referendum, and he warned that Madrid might even block a non-binding consultation organised through the Catalan law. In such a case, Mas might call an early election, although he admitted it would most likely not be held on the 9th of November, the day the referendum or consultation is scheduled for.

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07 March 2014 03:39 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan President Artur Mas urged the pro-referendum parties in Catalonia to stay together and avoid “party-politics” tactics as reaching a consensus in the current political process is a “treasure”. Mas admitted that he does not expect the Spanish government to authorize the referendum, which six Catalan political parties agreed to hold on the 9th of November, but he hoped that Madrid would not block a non-binding consultation too. The Catalan leader reminded his allies in Parliament that Catalonia is facing “huge challenges” and therefore “traditional political tactics” are not useful anymore.


The Catalan Parliament is discussing a law on consultations that the Government will be looking to use to authorize a public consultation on independence if Madrid refuses to accept a referendum. “If they also forbid this, it would be very serious, because our Statute allow us to do it”, said Mas in an interview with Catalan radio RAC1.

In that case, Mas could call an early election, although he refused to confirm whether or not he would do so. “We cannot fix the strategy now, because we would make everyone confused”, he said. However, he admitted that holding elections on the 9th of November to substitute a forbidden referendum or consultation is unlikely. Mas said that the Catalan Government has an internal group working on the logistics of the consultation, but avoided explaining the details of their work. 

 

Catalan parties in favour of the referendum, especially centre-right Convergència (CDC) and left-wing Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), are also discussing a common political point in their manifestos for the European election. Such discussions are on-going, but Mas admitted there are some “reluctances”. This is why he said political parties should be up for some “risk” and be more ambitious for the common goal. 

Artur Mas argued that Catalonia should show to the world that the petition to hold a referendum is “very transversal” and “diverse”; and was set in motion by political parties from very different ideological backgrounds.

Mas said that there are “two temptations” that parties should avoid. Namely, to be “obsessed” by “aesthetics” (by “who they are photographed with”, as he put it), on the one hand; and to act only based on “short-term” tactics, on the other hand. The Catalan leader argued that nowadays “things have to be done very differently”. 

 

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  • The Catalan President, Artur Mas, during the interview (by J.Bedmar)

  • The Catalan President, Artur Mas, during the interview (by J.Bedmar)