Independence Suspended In Favor of Dialogue

Oct. 10th, 2017

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

Regional president Carles Puigdemont spoke before the Catalan Parliament today on the results of the Oct. 1st referendum. “We are not delinquent, nor crazy,” he said, explaining the reasons for which the controversial vote was held: the failed attempt to revise Catalonia’s statue of autonomy in 2005, an “aggressive and systematic program of recentralisation” by authorities in Madrid, and the unheeded calls for an agreed referendum on the future of Catalunya. On Oct. 1st, more than 2 million votes were cast, 90 percent of which were in favour of independence. “As president, I accept the responsibility of presenting the results of the referendum before our parliament and fellow citizens, the mandate that Catalunya becomes an independent state in the form of a republic,” he said.

Immediately after, Puigdemont proposed that the effects of independence be suspended to allow dialogue with central authorities in Madrid, without which “it is not possible to arrive at an agreed solution”. Despite the suspension, Puigdemont signed a declaration of independence after tonight’s parliamentary session, along with the signatures of members of government and pro-separatist parties, an act which has been interpreted as “more symbolic than legally binding”.