President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont has made a videoed public address which serves as a direct rebuttal of yesterday’s videoed address by Spanish King Felipe VI.
During his short statement, Puigdemont stated that the monarch abrogated his duty to moderate in issues of civil peace and instead simply issued the same anti-Catalan rhetoric as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who has refused to even acknowledge that an independence referendum was conducted.
Puigdemont then stated that he and the Catalan government are ready for dialogue with Spain and that furthermore, he has received constructive offers of external mediation between Madrid and Barcelona.
He praised the peaceful attitude of Catalans and promised to continue to fight peacefully in spite of the violent actions of Spanish police who injured hundreds of Catalans during Sunday’s referendum vote.
Carles Puigdemont encouraged calm saying that “peace and agreement” is part of the Catalan character. He said that this attitude is not being reciprocated by the Spanish government and that it was irresponsible for Madrid not to listen to offers of mediation and negotiation. He did however thank many Spanish citizens for being sympathetic to the Catalan cause and for encouraging an attitude of brotherly cooperation.
Puigdemont said that Catalonia is an open, pluralistic and welcoming society that will continue to work constructively for a better future for Catalonia and Spain.
He also stated that his government “will apply the results of the referendum”, an indication of a forthcoming declaration of independence that some say might come in less than a week.
On the whole, the message was one of criticism for the Spanish King and Prime Minister but nevertheless, a message which called for dialogue rather than discord. In this sense, it is up to Spain to respond in a manner that departs from the rhetoric that has previous come from Madrid which continues to ignore the referendum’s impact while seeking to maintain a status quo that seems increasingly untenable.