Oriol Junqueras, President of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia), has made the main speech of the luncheon that ERC is holding in Barcelona. Junqueras has called to continue working for independence because “we cannot resign, nor afford to give up. We cannot give up. We are bound to win and we have no alternative other than to win”.
Oriol Junqueras, the Chairman of the Esquerra Republicana (ERC) Parliamentary Group, said during the Parliamentary control session that “the Government must persist in explaining the Catalan process –the will to vote and decide on our future– in Europe and throughout the world."
Commissioned by the Parliament of Catalonia, the Secretary General and parliamentary spokesperson, Marta Rovira, today defended in the Spanish Congress the petition to transfer to the Government of Catalonia the power to hold a referendum in accordance with article 150.2 of the Spanish Constitution. As had been repeatedly predicted, the proposal was rejected out of hand by the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, in his first speech.
During the civic dialogue held by Viviane Reding in Barcelona’s Pedrera, it must have become clear to the Vice-President of the European Commission that the EU (at least the EU of the basic principles of Treaty Article 2) has a problem with Catalonia voting on November 9th, 2014. As was to be expected, a large number of those present stressed the great inconsistency with the Commission’s position on an independent Catalonia eventually leaving the EU. It is difficult to speak of integration, democracy and solidarity while at the same time coldly threatening 7 million European citizens, who have participated in the European project for nearly 30 years, with expulsion and loss of our rights as citizens should we decide, democratically, to become a state. It is striking that a Luxembourger should try to convince the Catalan people that small states have no future and division is undesirable. It is rather difficult to be credible when you base your threats on treaties which say absolutely nothing about our case because internal enlargement of the EU is something which was not foreseen and is hitherto unprecedented. It is complicated to square the argument that this is an internal affair while at the same time imploring us to find a way to remain within Spain. It is difficult to request commitment to the EU when the President of the Commission insinuates that Bosnia and Herzegovina or Moldova would join the EU before a Catalan state born within the EU in accordance with its values.
In his speech during the General Policy Debate, the spokesperson for Esquerra Republicana (Republican Left) in the Spanish Congress has maintained that “on the 9th November, the Catalan people will hold a referendum! We are going to vote, have no doubt!”. “1, 2, 3… it’s called democracy, Mister Rajoy, wake up!”, was the final sentence of Bosch’s speech in which the pro-independence spokesperson beckoned the Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, to “wake up” and face the facts, in stark contrast to the triumphalist vision he had offered in his speech the day before.