Puigdemont asks Rajoy to “at least hold a binding referendum” in Catalonia

Article published at Catalan News Agency, 20th April 2016

Photo: Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont during his first meeting with Current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy (by ACN)

Madrid (CNA).- Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has insisted on his commitment to “Catalonia’s roadmap towards independence” as it is “the majoritarian will of the Catalan Parliament”. He made this statement after meeting for the first time since he took office with current Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy. Puigdemont also called for “at least” holding a “binding referendum” in Catalonia, as it is amongst democrats’ obligations “to find ways of negotiation and dialogue” in order to respond to the “democratic aspirations of the majority of the citizens”. However, he denied seeing any sight nor possibility of reaching an agreement with the Spanish President on this matter. The Catalan President also expressed to Rajoy his disconformity regarding the “judicialisation of politics” which has led to the suspension of many laws promoted by the Catalan government and to the summonsing of several public figures, including former Catalan President Artur Mas.

Puigdemont admitted to being “sceptic” regarding any agreements which could be reached after meeting with Rajoy this Wednesday and confirmed the current Spanish President’s refusal to dialogue over the possibility of holding a referendum in Catalonia. “I’ve insisted on the Government’s commitment and that of the majority of the Parliament regarding Catalonia’s roadmap towards independence”, he stated in a press conference right after the meeting. “I’ve made a commitment and I will definitely carry it out, because it is the mandate which made me President”, insisted Puigdemont.

He also emphasised his will to dialogue but also the government’s need to start building its own infrastructures. “If the Spanish government would agree to negotiate a deal which would imply a referendum, I’d be willing to sit down and talk about it”, he assured but lamented that Rajoy refused any “possibility of agreement regarding the celebration of a referendum”. “I haven’t seen any willingness to reach an agreement between his position”, which is “the position of a provisional government”, and that of the Catalan government, “which is fully operational”.

Read the full article here.

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