The head of the Junts per Catalunya election list, Carles Puigdemont, has proposed to the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, that they should hold a meeting in Brussels or in some other part of the EU at his discretion, except for in Spain where he is facing an arrest warrant. The Catalan president said this was to "open a period presided over by political solutions" in the fight between Spain and the Catalan independence movement, calling for a "meeting without conditions from either of the two parties".
"I only ask him to listen to us, I believe that we've won the right to be heard", said the president, the day after the election revalidated the absolute majority of the pro-independence parties in the Parliament. "There are more votes in favour of independence than on 1st October [during the referendum]. There was a ratification of what we've done", he said, emphasising that this election was held "following the rules of the Spanish state" and with turnout over 80%.
Puigdemont said that, "as a gesture of good will", Rajoy should "repatriate" all the police that have been sent to Catalonia since September as an exceptional measure, that he should also withdraw the "men in black who take decisions illegitimately in the name of an occupied government" and should call for "moderation from his most radicalised social and media segments".
The JuntsXCat candidate this morning held the first meeting with those who will be the members of his parliamentary group by videoconference. Some of the deputies-elect, including Eduard Pujol, Francesc de Dalmases and Aurora Madaula, have gone to Brussels, the rest meeting at the candidacy's headquarters in Barcelona. Puigdemont's media appearance took place at the end of the meeting.
Translation: First working meeting with the deputies-elect, headed by president Carles Puigdemont.
Unacceptable to not apply the result
Puigdemont warned that political solutions and not criminal repression are needed, citing the description of Catalan National Day rallies as part of a strategy of violence as an example of the latter. "Urgent rectification is needed", said Puigdemont in reference to article 155: "President Rajoy has a magnificent opportunity to form part of the solution and not create more problems than those he has already created".
When asked if he will return to take possession of the presidency, Puigdemont avoided giving a clear answer. He said that he has to be invested as president and return to the government palace, but that the members of the executive held without bail have to be released. He also warned that "it would be unacceptable for what the ballot boxes have decided to not be put into practice".
Return to normality
Puigdemont has said that "normality" has returned with the election as institutional continuity "has never been interrupted". "The opposite of what was caused by the eruption of [article] 155 in our lives. They aimed to fracture Catalan society looking for social splits where there were political differences, to break the continuity of our legitimate and secular institutions and they've interrupted the public policies which look for the benefit of the whole country."
The president said that it's not just independence supporters, but the whole of Catalan society which suffers the effects of article 155, for which he said the time for "rectification and reparation" has arrived.