Catalonia’s Junqueras: “absolute commitment” to applying referendum mandate
ELNACIONAL.CAT – The Spanish government has threatened to suspend Catalan self-rule if Puigdemont’s answer is anything other than ‘no’
Catalonia’s vice president Oriol Junqueras has expressed his “unequivocal and absolute commitment to fulfilling the democratic mandate” that his government received from the October 1st referendum result. He made this assurance on Saturday morning, addressing the national council of the party he leads, the Catalan Republican Left. At the same meeting, the party confirmed its position of unity with Catalan president Puigdemont to face the days ahead, and in particular, the threat by the Spanish Government to end Catalan self-government by applying article 155 of the Spanish Constitution.
However, Junqueras did not reveal his views on what President Puigdemont should do on Monday, which marks the deadline set by Rajoy for a reply to the question of whether Catalonia had indeed declared its independence. The Spanish government has threatened to suspend Catalan self-rule if Puigdemont’s answer is anything other than ‘no’.
Junqueras began his discourse remembering that in spite of the Spanish government’s attempts to prevent the referendum, it went ahead, because the Catalan people “performed miracles and overcame all the difficulties that were put in front of us”. He also commented that “there is no democracy anywhere where the government orders the police to beat voters”.
After the success of the referendum, Junqueras reaffirmed his commitment to the “democratic mandate” that was expressed that day, reiterating his full support for the president Puigdemont.
Convinced that “among the free nations and countries of the world, we have shown ourselves to be more reasonable than the Spanish government”, Junqueras appealed for “unity” to once again show our “support to the president of Catalan government for the fulfillment of the mandate of October 1st, that is, for creating the Catalan Republic”.
As well, he called for dialogue, but also noted that for this to bear fruit it “needs to be based on the construction of the republic and of independence”.
Criticism of the Catalan socialists
Junqueras also took the opportunity to warn about the “alluring sirens” that promised constitutional reform, reminding his audience that the reform proposal was being promoted by “those who defeated the Autonomy Statute in 2006” – referring to the Spanish parliament’s watering down of Catalonia’s legislative initiative to redefine its own autonomous status within Spain. He went on to note that in the subsequent historic protest by Catalans against the Constitutional Court’s rejection of that Statute, on 10th July 2010, “the leaders of the Catalan Socialist party” were present. “Today the Catalan Socialist leadership is telling us that it is the Partido Popular that must decide for us,” he added.