Esquerra leader Oriol Junqueras: “We must build broad democratic majorities for Catalan society and the international community to support us”

Oriol Junqueras defends that negotiation “is a useful and essential political tool” and calls on the entire independence movement not to fear defending their ideas and arguments

“Our duty and our wish is to build large enough democratic majorities so that each of our steps can be accompanied by most of Catalan society and the international community.” That was the message on Wednesday from Esquerra Republicana leader Oriol Junqueras at a conference in Madrid, where he pointed out that “no one else has been able to forward any alternative strategy.” “It is the only one that can subsist, because the issues must be solved by broad democratic majorities,” he said.

“It is not a matter of setting a deadline. In the equation of Catalonia’s independence, time is not an independent variable, but depends on the democratic strength that we are able to build up and explain to the international community,” Mr Junqueras maintained. In this regard, he claimed the project Esquerra Republicana is leading is “inclusive, integrating and with the aim of uniting,” and he advised that “this discourse and this position opens more doors to the international community.”

Mr Junqueras recalled that the “vast majority of Catalan society” maintains that political negotiation is “a useful and essential tool,” that the conflict between Catalonia and Spain “must be resolved by voting,” and that “repression is profoundly unjust.” “We feel we have enormous support in the defence of these values, which is why we win elections,” he stressed.

Esquerra’s leader thus calls on the entire independence movement not to fear defending their ideas and arguments at the table, and warned that “the Spanish government has very little interest in the negotiating. They sit there dragging their feet and would like to elude it, and so they are very happy that it is not the whole independence movement sitting at the table.”

Mr Junqueras assured that the repression has also “contributed” to opening many doors. “I am now able to open many more than before I was in prison,” he pointed out. He is convinced that sooner or later early “there will surely be a referendum.” “The referendum derives from democratic principle, and even the opinions of the Spanish Constitutional Court always recall that the Constitution cannot be an impediment to the application of democratic principle,” he added.

Warning for Spain’s governing PSOE party on the Budget

Esquerra Republicana’s leader also warned the Spanish government that it will be extremely difficult for his party to lend support to the National Budget 2022. He also replied to the alleged wish by the PSC – the PSOE’s Catalan branch – to contribute to the Catalan budget, saying that “it would be good if you contributed to bringing a little justice where there is so much injustice.” He addressed PSC leader Salvador Illa, saying that “he should explain what his role was when he was a [Spanish] minister, when authorization was given to allow wiretapping of our colleagues, or there was infiltration of youth organizations by Spanish police under the cover of charges of terrorism, which everyone in Catalonia knows there is no basis for.”