Catalan President Aragonès denounces Spain’s obstruction and warns the government that “the resolution of the conflict is an ineludible democratic commitment”

The president will begin talks with political, economic, social and cultural actors to render the country’s broad consensus in specific political action

A year after the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia, the President of Catalonia’s Generalitat government Pere Aragonès gave an address on Monday in which he explained his future plans for the nation, urging obstacles to talks with Spain be removed, and proposing a winning project should be built upon united action by the independence movement.

“The negotiation process is going through a difficult period because of the Spanish government’s lack of courage, refusing to make a political offer for Catalonia,” he said. “We cannot understand the repeated postponement of the negotiating table because of party politics,” he added, “since that will only lead to the negotiation process derailing, floundering and ending in disagreement.” In addition, Mr Aragonès recalled that the resolution of the conflict is not only “a historical necessity” but also “an inescapable democratic commitment.”

“The Spanish government has not understood that without a democratic and agreed resolution to the Catalan question, Spain will slide into authoritarianism” he warned, “and if the next Spanish parliament produces a government coalition between the conservative PP and far-right Vox, it will not be because of the independence movement, but because of the lack of courage of the current Spanish Government in facing the big issues that remain unresolved, including the political conflict with Catalonia.”

The president insisted that the Socialist PSOE and left-wing Podemos coalition government “must be brave and move forward.” “What message are they giving us if they don’t? A life sentence?” At the same time, in the face of the existing obstacles, he called for “cohesion and reactivation of all our strengths, our institutional strength and the political mobilization of all the players, because when we have shown all our strength in union, Spain has been forced to make a move.”

We want a prosperous and just Catalonia, and precisely for that reason, we need it to be free
Pere Aragonès President of Catalonia’s Generalitat government

To do this, to be cohesive and strengthened, Mr Aragonès announced that he will start “talks with all the country’s institutions and with the main political, economic, social, civic and cultural actors to share impressions, and above all, to render the country’s broad consensus in specific political action.” He will begin the dialogue with the Catalan members of the parliaments in Madrid and in Europe.

But he also pointed out other decisive factors: good governance for all; working towards economic and social progress; popular mobilization in defence of the broad consensus in Catalan society, such as amnesty and self-determination; and reiterating the consensus at the polls—the next milestone is the 2023 municipal elections and the internationalization of the project.

The whole of Catalonia

One of the keystones in the presidential address was “the whole of Catalonia.” Mr Aragonès pointed out that the elections a year ago showed “an unprecedented pro-independence majority” and a progressive majority in favour of welfare and prosperity, the environment and feminism, Catalan culture and language, strengthening our democratic institutions, in favour of dialogue and against repression, and in favour of amnesty and the right to self-determination.”

Those electoral results “are a reflection of the country we have, they represent a system of values that identify us as a nation, as a single people,” he explained. And this people “wants to freely decide the political future of the nation.” he asserted. “We want a prosperous and just Catalonia, and precisely for that reason, we need it to be free.”

The project that the president defends for this whole Catalonia also “responds to the day-to-day emergencies, addressing the array of crises caused or aggravated by the pandemic, and the war on the inequalities that fracture Catalan society, socially and territorially,” he explained. It is a project that also means to “consolidate Catalonia as the most innovative and advanced society in Mediterranean Europe,” a society with a modern economy; with cutting-edge science, research and technology; one that drives green transformation; with a strong utilities grid; one that rejects all forms of discrimination and violence; one that values the Catalan language as a common language for social progress. In this regard, the president recalled that “we have not come just to manage, we are not a simple regional administration. We have come to transform,” he concluded.