Puigdemont to Rajoy: “What has been the point of so much repression?”
The Catalan president urges Madrid to “negotiate” and accept the new pro-independence majority
The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, asked Mariano Rajoy to “rectify” his attitude in the past few months and to sit down at a negotiating table. In his New Year speech published in the social media on Saturday evening –he was deposed by the Spanish executive, so the Catalan public TV has not broadcast it–, he said that the Spanish government has an opportunity to “recognize the results” of the December 21 vote, in which the pro-independence parties kept the majority in the chamber. He also claimed that “it is time for dialogue” and Madrid should take part. Also concerning the elections, Puigdemont thanked the citizens for the record-breaking turnout.
He also criticized the measures imposed by Mariano Rajoy in the past few months. “What has been the point of so much repression? What has been the point of provoking so much pain to the October 1 referendum victims and the government members?,” he asked. “Was this the Spanish proposal for Catalonia?,” he added.
"It is time for dialogue"
Carles Puigdemont · Catalan president
Puigdemont also referred to the current situation of the deposed Catalan government members, including himself and four ministers, now in Brussels for two months, but also the officials in prison, such as the vice president Oriol Junqueras.
The Catalan president did not disclose whether he will return to Catalonia in time to be appointed again as effective president, risking being arrested and incarcerated. However, he did say that the New Year speech in 12 months will be made from the Catalan government seat in Barcelona.