Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, has announced that he will ask the Catalan Parliament to call a meeting this week to analyse the "attempt to abolish self-rule and democracy" in Catalonia. "The Spanish government, with the support of the PSOE [Spanish Socialist Workers' Party] and Ciudadanos [Citizens] has undertaken the worst attack on the institutions and the people of Catalonia since the decrees of the military dictator Francisco Franco abolishing the Catalan government," he said.
The president was speaking this evening from the Catalan government palace in an official speech organised after learning that Mariano Rajoy's central government will ask the Spanish Senate to remove him from office as president along with the members of his cabinet and let the Spanish cabinet take over their roles.
"We have to plan once again to defend our institutions, in a peaceful and civilized way, but being very clear about our dignity and justifications," said the president, after complaining that the Spanish government had today "slammed the door" on the proposal of his government for dialogue and had decided a series of measures and suspensions that signified the elimination of Catalan self-rule and of the democratic will of the Catalans. "What Catalans decided at the ballot boxes is being wiped out by the Spanish government in the backrooms", he alerted.
Translation of tweet text: What is being done with Catalonia is an attack on democracy that could open the door to other abuses of the same type anywhere. - Catalan Government
Puigdemont accused the Spanish government of illegitimately proclaiming that it represents the will of the Catalans. "Without going through the ballot boxes, with scarce support and against the will of the majority, the government of Mariano Rajoy wants to nominate a management to work by remote control from Madrid to control the life of Catalonia", he declared.
With the involvement of the King as well
The president also regretted that this is not the first time that "with the involvement of the King as well", the Catalan institutions have received attacks from the Spanish State to damage or abolish them, but he added that every time this has happened the Catalan people have come back stronger and more determined.
He recalled that the Generalitat, the historical and official name of the Catalan government, is not an institution that emerged from the Spanish constitution of 1978 but rather was functioning before its approval, having been reinstated provisionally due to its historical legitimacy and the continuity guaranteed in exile by ex-presidents Companys, Irla and Tarradellas during the Franco era. For this reason, he advised that no decision of any government will be able to erase "this persistent presence over time". "We have always earned what we have through the strength of the people and of democracy", he underlined.
"The Catalan institutions and the Catalan people cannot accept this attack. It's incompatible with all democratic attitude and the rule of law", he said, also criticising the police repression during the 1st October referendum and the detention without bail of the presidents of the ANC (Catalan National Assembly) and Òmnium Cultural.
Puigdemont reproached Rajoy for the "infamous collection of signatures" that the Spanish PM led against the Statute of Catalonia in the first decade of this century and the mutilation of this text by Spain's Constitutional Court after it had been ratified in a referendum.