ArcdeTriomf

Confusion and Disappointment As Puigdemont 'Suspends' Independence

Oct. 11th, 2017

Pro-separatists gathered at the city's Arc de Triomf to watch Puigdemont's speech. Photocredit: Albert Han

Pro-separatists gathered at the city's Arc de Triomf to watch Puigdemont's speech. Photocredit: Albert Han

[Originally published in Barcelona Metropolitan on Oct. 11th, 2017]

On a day when many called for him to declare independence, regional president Carles Puigdemont’s speech this evening instead evoked confusion and disappointment on the status of Catalan independence.

Miquel Iceta, leader of the Socialists’ Party in Catalonia (PSC), said in a parliamentary speech following Puigdemont that “a declaration cannot be suspended if it’s not declared,” highlighting the ambiguity of the regional president’s statement.  

Cheers turned into jeers among those who gathered at the pro-separatist demonstration near the Arc de Triomf. Just seconds after expressing that he has “the mandate for Catalunya to become a state”, Puigdemont asked for the effects of independence to be suspended, calling for dialogue with central authorities in Madrid in the next weeks.

“This is what we were expecting, but not what we wanted,” said David, 25, from Barcelona, who asked to withhold his last name. “I’m disappointed, because I wanted him [Puigdemont] to deliver on his promise for independence.” The law of referendum had stated that ‘if a majority declares yes, an ordinary parliamentary session will be held to formally declare independence, determine its effects, and begin the constituent process within two days of acknowledging the results of the referendum’.   

The Spanish government, which had refused any negotiations on the independence issue, has scheduled an emergency Council of Ministers’ meeting tomorrow at 9am to discuss their response to Puigdemont’s speech.