The president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, has shown determination to continue with the independence "road map" beyond the siege the Spanish state is subjecting him to. “They will not suspend democracy”, he said in comments to Catalan channel 8TV just after learning of the Constitutional Court's decision to suspend the Referendum Law and the official call for the 1st October referendum.
“The answer to the tsunami of lawsuits will be a tsunami of democracy”, said the president adding that the Spanish government's offensive has become “a general lawsuit” such that “anyone who thinks of collaborating is already warned by the State”. “They think that coups d'état happen with ballot boxes, parliamentary debates and lights and stenographers,” he continued.
We “do not live in a democracy as we understand [the concept],” Puigdemont later said to the evening news on Catalan public broadcaster TV3. He described the events in the Catalan Parliament's plenary assembly as the display of "two groups": "those of us who believe that the Catalan people have to be able to decide on their future because we believe we have the right to do so and those who believe we don't have this right". Although he said it was "very legitimate" to think in this second way, he believes that, in the end, defending the right to vote 'yes' or 'no' is "to defend the rights of all Catalans".
The offer of dialogue still stands
Likewise, Puigdemont reminded the Spanish State that the offer to negotiate the referendum, “has no deadline”, that it's still possible “to sit down and speak about how we, the Catalans, can vote”.
Puigdemont moreover noted that "after six years of dirty war we're still here”, and gave a challenge to the "leaders of the opposition": "Can you look us in the eyes and tell us why we can't vote?"
“It's difficult to explain that the defence of democracy turns to preventing the people from voting,” the president said. He also wanted to note that within 24 hours of the Referendum Law being passed and the 1st October referendum being officially called, there are already "560 [of 948] municipalities" which have "committed to the organisation of the referendum". "You cannot tell all those town councils that they're not democrats,” he concluded.
Regarding the motion of no-confidence announced by Inés Arrimadas, leader of the opposition party Ciudadanos (Citizens) in Catalonia, Puigdemont said that her party “has the right to bring a motion of no-confidence, but they're doomed to failure”.