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With two months to go before Catalonia's 2014 consultation on independence, the then-president of the Catalan National Assembly, Carme Forcadell, uttered one of the most well-known phrases of the entire sovereignty process, addressed to the former Catalan president Artur Mas: "President, put out the ballot boxes". It seems like an eternity ago, but the same structure was followed today by CUP deputy Carles Riera in Parliament, when he asked the president, Pere Aragonès, to start preparing the ballot boxes: "President, put a date on the referendum".

Despite the fact that yesterday the pre-destined political protagonist of the day was the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, in his role as the opening speaker in the parliamentary debate on general politics, the CUP knew how to make a strategic point and successfully rocked the boat with their proposal that Parliament approve the holding of a new referendum "before the end of this legislature."


Today the left-wing, pro-independence CUP took advantage of their 30 minute right of reply to the president's speech to add force to this proposal. Riera began his speech by expressing his anger at the address given by Aragonès: "His speech did not shake the pillars of the regime of 1978," he said, and called for a new democratic combat to exercise self-determination in this legislature".

He urged the president not to miss "the Scotland train" in reference to the second IndyRef which Nicola Sturgeon's executive is pushing forward, and told him not to waste any more time and begin the preparation because a referendum is "the majority consensus". In this regard, he reproached the Catalan government for not creating the conditions for this legislature to exercise self-determination, and accused the executive of retreating to the policies of sociovergencia - a mixture of support for the Socialists and for the old Catalan nationalist centre-right of the Convergència party.   

"How very far away this is from the turn to the left that he promised!" exclaimed Riera in relation to the commitments made during the formation of the government, which was facilitated by the anti-capitalist CUP in exchange for a series of agreements with Aragonès's ERC. The CUP say they are not finding the government to be "a solid ally, neither credible nor viable."

The left-wing MP pointed out that in order to make a real change to the country's model, it is necessary to take on the banks, the electricity companies and the vulture funds in order to put them at the service of life and people. And as well, to confront the state to defend the sovereignty of the Catalan Parliament, and stand up to Spain's "regime of '78" to exercise self-determination and achieve independence: "We will not be able to achieve these goals if we continue inside the cages of the Constitution," added Riera.

Dialogue table

Riera also took the opportunity to criticize the dialogue table between Catalonia and Spain, which he said was "the table of shame", and accused Aragonès of negotiating "crumbs" with the state, as well as supporting it.

"There is no one in this country who says that the table is a success. There is no one who says that from this table will come self-determination, the referendum and amnesty," reiterated Riera, who said that "not a single drop of water" will come from the table.

In conclusion, he said, a 180-degree turn was required, to carry out a real change that would be social, feminist, green, democratic and pro-independence. "They will find us in front of them and with raised fists if they give in to the state and renounce conflict and confrontation," Riera warned.