carles puigdemont

Rajoy’s ‘no’ to negotiation “won’t help solve” the stalemate between Catalonia and Spain

May 25, 2017 07:26 PM | CNA

The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, admitted on Thursday that he was disappointed by the Spanish President's negative answer to his invitation to begin negotiations about an independence referendum. “It is not the answer that we were hoping for, and it won’t help solve the conflict,” said Puigdemont during the inauguration of an economic conference in Sitges. Mariano Rajoy warned the Catalan President that negotiations on the referendum are “impossible” and that he will “not allow” him to “unilaterally liquidate the Spanish Constitution, Spain’s unity and national sovereignty”. Rajoy suggested to Puigdemont that he present his referendum plans before Congress. The Catalan President insisted that Catalans have already done so on “numerous occasions”, always to find their proposals turned down. The leader of the opposition in Catalonia, unionist Inés Arrimadas, said that the Catalan Government is “trapped” and cannot continue with its independence plans.

Rajoy’s answer to Catalonia: referendum negotiation “impossible”

May 25, 2017 01:22 PM | ACN

Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, needed less than 24 hours to reject his Catalan counterpart’s petition to start discussions for the celebration of an independence referendum. “It is impossible,” Rajoy warned Carles Puigdemont, urging him to present his petition before the Spanish Congress instead. “It is not possible to seek to negotiate against the true democratic mechanisms and against the law,” added the Spanish President. Despite saying that he has a “total and sincere” willingness to “reach agreements” with Catalonia, Rajoy pointed out there are “limits” on the issues he can discuss. “Neither you nor I have the authority to negotiate what we do not have the power to negotiate,” he insisted, adding that doing so would “mean hijacking the rights of the Spanish people”. Rajoy said that the Spanish rule of law “foresees mechanisms for presenting all kinds of political aspirations” if they follow “democratic channels” and “obtain the required parliamentary support”. The Spanish President also warned Puigdemont that his plans to go ahead with a vote or even a hypothetical declaration of independence are “a serious threat to coexistence and the constitutional order”.

Catalonia’s last offer to Madrid

May 19, 2017 11:34 PM | ACN

The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, will explain the final proposal for negotiating an independence referendum with the Spanish Government on Monday at Madrid’s town hall. Under the title “A referendum for Catalonia: an invitation to a democratic agreement” the Catalan president, the Vice president, Oriol Junqueras, and the Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, will give a conference, which will be a formal offer to the Spanish government for an “accorded democratic vote”. The conference will take place shortly after the presentation of the signatures for the National Pact for the Referendum, which includes several international personalities. The initial proposal by the Catalan president to discuss the issue in the Senate was declined by the Spanish chamber.

Spanish government invites Catalan president to present his referendum proposal before Congress

May 19, 2017 05:35 PM | ACN

The Spanish government’s vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, urged the Catalan government’s president, Carles Puigdemont, to outline the proposal of celebrating an agreed referendum before the Spanish Congress. She said it was an “invitation” for the “dialogue and debate to be carried out in parliament”, which, according to the Spanish vice president, would allow addressing the celebration of the referendum “where it belongs, in the chamber”. According to Sáenz de Santamaría, her proposal makes sense because, “as of today, only Parliament can decide a matter of this nature”, whereas the Spanish government “cannot authorize nor negociate” the celebration of a referendum. Sáenz de Santamaría also stated that no member of her executive will be present at the conference that the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont; the vice president, Oriol Jnqueras; and the Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, will hold in Madrid on Monday.

Puigdemont invites Rajoy to attend conference on referendum in Madrid

May 16, 2017 03:54 PM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, has invited his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, and his whole team to attend the conference he will give in Madrid on May 22nd. The talk  ‘A referendum for Catalonia: Invitation to a democratic agreement’ has been presented by the Catalan executive as the last chance to negotiate an agreed-upon referendum with the Spanish Government. At the same time, Catalan Government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, dismissed the reports by some media outlets that said Puigdemont will announce the date of the referendum at the conference. “We won’t announce any date or any question until we have a response from the Spanish State,” emphasized Munté. Both the Catalan VP and Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs will join Puigdemont at his talk, which is the same one given by the three Catalan leaders in Brussels in front of some 500 people.

Puigdemont's offers final chance to negotiate referendum: May 22

May 12, 2017 06:14 PM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, together with Catalan VP and Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, will travel to Madrid on May 22nd to give the conference ‘A referendum for Catalonia. Invitation to a democratic agreement’. The conference is the same one that the three Catalan leaders gave in Brussels last January for nearly 500 people. Although the Catalan Government initially asked to hold the event in the Spanish Senate, that request was dismissed by the Spanish Government. So instead, the event will be held in the Caja de la Música auditorium, which has a capacity of about 250 people. The conference will be the Catalan Government’s last attempt to negotiate an agreed-upon referendum with the Spanish Government.

Catalan Government will ask for international support if the referendum result is ‘Yes’

May 11, 2017 06:06 PM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, said that the Government will ask for the international community’s support in order to implement the referendum result if the people vote ‘yes’ to Catalonia’s independence. In particular, he emphasized the need to get the EU’s attention and pointed out that if Catalonia’s moves towards independence, Europe will stop being Spain’s “errand boy”. Puigdemont admitted that no international recognition has been requested so far. Instead, the Government has just organized a campaign to explain the Catalans’ demands to the world. The Catalan President insisted that the ballot boxes will be put out in September and added that the only way for the Spanish Government to prevent the referendum from happening is “by opening a dialogue and agreeing on an alternative date”. 

Government to call the referendum and apply its results, despite Spain’s threats

April 21, 2017 01:10 PM | ACN

The entire Executive, led by Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, and Catalan VP, Oriol Junqueras, reiterated its commitment to “organize, call, and celebrate” a referendum on Catalonia’s independence and apply its results, despite Spain’s “threats and attempts to limit Catalonia’s self-government,” said Puigdemont. In a symbolic event held in the iconic ‘Pati dels Tarongers’ courtyard, at the Catalan Government headquarters, the executive aimed to send a clear message of unity regarding its determination to fulfill the democratic mandate of the 2015 27-S Catalan elections, which led to a pro-independence majority in the Parliament. The celebration of a referendum is one of the Parliament's main goals.

Government suspects Spanish pressure behind US Embassy statement on Catalan independence

April 12, 2017 08:39 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government believes that the communiqué published by the US Embassy in Spain in relation to Catalonia was “a request of the Spanish Government motivated by the success of Puigdemont’s recent meetings with US representatives”. Puigdemont’s agenda in the US included a private meeting with former US President, Jimmy Carter, after which the institution said in a memo that “neither he nor The Carter Center could be involved” in the negotiations for the referendum. The Catalan executive told the CNA that the US Embassy's statement, published only in Spanish, which described Catalonia’s push for independence as an internal matter of Spain, “shows that the Catalan question is part of the political and diplomatic agenda and therefore is not an internal matter”.

Puigdemont denies having paid for meeting Carter and accuses Spain of embarrassing its own diplomats

April 10, 2017 02:30 PM | ACN

The Catalan branch of the Conservative People’s Party (PPC) accused the Catalan Government of having paid for the Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont to meet with former US President, Jimmy Carter, last Friday in Atlanta. “This is not only false but indecent,” said Puigdemont in an interview with Catalunya Ràdiothis Monday. Such accusations, made by PPC’s leader Xavier García Albiol and supported by the main opposition party in the Catalan Parliament, Spanish unionist ‘Ciutadans’prove Spain’s mindset, which “insists on treating Catalonia as a colony,” he added. Puigdemont also criticized the aim of the PP and Spanish Government to spread the idea that the Catalan executive “does not have the right”to explain its situation abroad. He said that some Spanish diplomats “feel uncomfortable”with the Spanish executive’s directions, which include “having to criticize”the Catalan Government and “blocking”events and meetings.

Puigdemont meets with Jimmy Carter to talk about Catalonia’s pro-independence process

April 7, 2017 03:38 PM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, traveled to Atlanta on Thursday to meet former US President and Nobel Peace Laureate, Jimmy Carter. During the meeting, Puigdemont explained the current political situation in Catalonia and the pro-independence aspirations, a topic which “raises interest” beyond Catalonia’s borders, said the Catalan President in an interview with TV3 earlier this morning. Puigdemont’s trip was not on his official agenda and was carried out with utmost discretion in order to possible interference from the Spanish government. On Thursday, Puigdemont attended the ambassadors’ meeting at the Carter Center.

US congressman supports Catalonia’s right for self-determination

March 30, 2017 10:01 AM | ACN

US congressman, Carlos Curbelo, expressed his interest in Catalonia’s political situation and met this Wednesday with Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, in Washington DC. Shortly afterwards, the Republican representative for Florida stressed the importance of the “right to self-determination” and drew parallels with Cuba, where he is originally from. “I call for dialogue. It is fundamental in all countries in the world and this is what all governments do,” he said. “Dialogue is the only way to tackle differences and reach common agreements”. On Tuesday, Puigdemont met with three other congressional representatives to discuss Catalonia’s independence during his official trip to the United States. On Monday, he addressed the Center for European Studies (CES) at the Harvard Kennedy School and gave the conference ‘Catalonia, Today and Tomorrow’, his analysis of Catalonia’s current political situation and its place within the EU.

Puigdemont met with US congressmen to discuss Catalonia’s independence

March 29, 2017 11:16 AM | ACN

Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, held informal meetings with three US congressmen this Tuesday in Washington DC, during his official trip to the East Coast. Although Puigdemont refused to give details on the content of the conversations, he admitted being “satisfied” with having the chance to “explain himself” and “answer the congressmen’s questions and doubts. He denied having asked for their support in the event of Catalonia’s independence but he assured that the information he gave them will allow them to “take a stance” in the conflict between Catalonia and Spain. Earlier this week, Puigdemont addressed the Center for European Studies (CES) at the Harvard Kennedy School and gave the conference ‘Catalonia, Today and Tomorrow’, his analysis of Catalonia’s current political situation and its place within the EU.

Puigdemont at Harvard: "Our struggle is a reflection of the fight for American civil rights"

March 28, 2017 12:13 AM | ACN

Catalonia’s aim for independence is related to the US civil rights movement. This is one of the main ideas which Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, set forth this Monday in a conference at Harvard University. Our struggle is a reflection of the fight for American civil rights,” he said during the conference “Catalonia, Today, Tomorrow”, but lamented that, in contrast with American institutions which “have respected democracy and the will of its people to adapt over time”,  Spain's refuses to open a dialogue over Catalonia's pro-independence aspirations and the will of its citizens to hold a referendum. “We are convinced that this is the best option,” he said but pointed out that “up to now it has been impossible, due to the Spanish Government’s constant, absolute refusal to discuss it”. However, he warned, “Catalonia will hold the referendum in any case.”

The Mediterranean Railway Corridor, a key, long-awaited infrastructure

March 27, 2017 06:00 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

The so-called Mediterranean Railway Corridor, a long-awaited piece of infrastructure which is set to transport freight and passengers non-stop from Gibraltar to Central Europe along the Mediterranean coastline, is one of the most representative examples of Spain’s lack of investment in Catalonia. Despite being essential not only for the Spanish economy but for the entire European economy as well, its construction has been repeatedly delayed. Even the European Commission has called for “cooperation between administrations” to implement the Corridor, which is regarded as a key infrastructure for Europe. Moreover, the delays in the construction of the Corridor are affecting private investment, the Catalan Government has warned. According to Catalan Minister for Planning and Sustainability, Josep Rull, the pending business investments are worth €300 million, of which €20 million corresponds to an investment from the German multinational Basf, which announced it will expand one of its plants in Tarragona.