Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has appeared in an official message broadcast on Catalonia's public network TV3 to make it clear that he does not consider himself to have been dismissed by the Spanish government and to make a call for democratic opposition to the application of article 155 of Spain's constitution, aimed at suspending Catalan self-government.
The president broadcast the message from the Catalan Government's office in the city of Girona. “It is clear to us that the best way to defend the gains we have made up till now is through democratic opposition to the application of article 155”, assured the president, describing the activation of this measure as a “premeditated aggression against the will of the Catalan people, the vast majority of whom have, over the course of many years, felt ourselves to be a European nation”.
The president recalled that Friday's vote by the Catalan Parliament was the consequence of the mandate received from voters in the elections of 27th September, 2015, entrusting the government with the proclamation of a Republic, and that, immediately after Friday's Catalan vote, the Spanish cabinet had decided to dismiss the Catalan government and dissolve its Parliament. Puigdemont characterised this as a decision contrary to the mandate expressed by Catalans at the ballot box.
The Catalan president insisted that the will of his Government is to continue working to fulfill its democratic mandates and to pursue maximum stability and calm.
Patience and perspective
“We have to continue defending the phase which we have entered with a tireless sense of civic spirit and commitment to peace. Your reaction is that of a country that is mature, that knows where it wants to go and how it wants to get there. Let's not deviate from that: let's carry on persevering in the only attitude that can make us winners. An attitude that rejects violence, rejects insults, and is inclusive”, he declared.
What the president requested of Catalan society in the face of the current situation is “patience, perseverance and perspective”.
"We will continue working"
He also urged Catalans to avoid repression and threats, without “ever, never ever, at any moment abandoning civic and peaceful behaviour”. “We do not have, and nor do we seek, the argument of force. Not us. I request this of you, convinced that it is a request that everybody already expects, both inside and outside our country”, he added.
We “will continue working to construct a free country, to guarantee a society in which there are fewer injustices, more equality, more solidarity and more fellowship with all the peoples of the world, starting with the people of Spain, with whom we want to be bound from a position of mutual respect and recognition”, he concluded.
The Catalan Government disseminated the message on its institutional website, and via email and social media.
Translation: President Carlos Puigdemont during the official declaration
This is the first public appearance the president has made since Friday, when he made a brief address on the steps outside the parliamentary chamber, in front of hundreds of Catalan mayors. Shortly afterwards, the Spanish cabinet meeting announced the dismissal of the president and of the rest of the Catalan government.