The Catalan independence movement will respond with a common strategy to the Spanish takeover of Catalonia's government, with the objective of preserving the newly-declared republic. That is the reading that can be taken from the article by Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras in The New York Times this Wednesday.
Junqueras sets forth the need to maintain the unity of the pro-independence block after the Spanish use of article 155 of the constitution to take control in Catalonia and in the midst of a debate on the continuity of the coalition structure of the current Catalan government. In the article, entitled "Catalonia will not retreat", the country's second-in-command calls for a defence of the Republic through a "shared strategy", to be put into practice through a "solid alliance with all the social and economic actors".
According to the vice president, this is the only possible response to a Spanish government that has only ever offered a "wall of incomprehension and rejection" and that expects Catalonia to submit to "servile obedience".
To illustrate the tension which has been applied to Catalonia, besides mentioning the effects of article 155, Junqueras also points out other issues such as the Constitutional Court's frequent suspension of Catalan laws, the Spanish campaign to provoke the flight of businesses and the violence of the Spanish police during the referendum on October 1st. "Beating people up in the name of ideas now seems to be lawful", says the vice president, categorizing the Spanish state as "despotic" in its behaviour towards its citizens.
Puigdemont is president
Junqueras is convinced that the Catalan Republic was indeed born last Friday and that the president continues to be Carles Puigdemont, even if the Spanish government has dismissed him. The vice president classifies the proclamation of independence as "a historic milestone" and assures that "the courage this country has shown is so enlightening and so strong that sooner or later it will result in the consolidation of the full, truly just and democratic Republic of Catalonia.
In the same line, the vice president denies the dismissal of the Government and the dissolution of the Parliament. "No matter what Madrid says, Carles Puigdemont and Carme Forcadell are still the president and the speaker of our Parliament, respectively", asserted the Catalan vice president.