Catalan President calls for pro-independence supporters to pull together
“Unity gives us strength as a country”, stated Artur Mas, President of the Catalan Government, in the New Year’s official speech, which is broadcast annually on 30 December. Mas emphasised that “the [Spanish] State wants us to be divided”, because this way “we are weaker and more vulnerable”. The Catalan President makes this statement in the middle of the talks he is carrying out with the opposition left-wing independence party ERC in order to decide whether to run together in early elections that should be transformed into a ‘de facto’ independence referendum. However, the left-wing ERC is reluctant to run with Mas and members of the centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, which he leads. In his address, Mas also spoke in praise of the symbolic independence vote held on 9 November, which was “an exercise of democracy”, which “should call for dialogue and negotiation, instead of criminal prosecutions”.