The Catalan president, Artur Mas, this afternoon asserted that “if no economic agreement can be reached with the Spanish central government, the road to freedom for Catalonia is open”. According to him, the “clear proof” of this is the mass demonstration that will take place this evening in the streets of Barcelona.
During a press appearance after the institutional celebration at Parc de la Ciutadella of the Catalan national day, the “Diada”, President Mas, answering a question from the BBC, stated that it is his government’s wish to “try and reach an agreement with the central government” and that even though “the negotiations will not be easy”, he promised to do everything possible “to protect Catalonia and give the country the tools it needs to build our national future”.
A demonstration of patriotic assertion
President Mas asked citizens to let the demonstration this evening be “a grand gesture of patriotic and national assertion, of faith in our common project and of civic behaviour”, because, as he pointed out, “even the smallest controversy” that might occur “will be magnified by those who want it to turn out badly”.
In this respect, he demanded that “our goal, our intention and our desire should above all be to make clear who we are and what we want” and stressed that Catalonia has enough potential and common vision “not to have to propose solutions that divide us and cause conflicts among ourselves”. “The force of common national assertion is enough to succeed”, he concluded.
The Head of Government reiterated that this evening he will not participate in the demonstration due to his institutional responsibilities, but he assured that “I cannot deny that it coincides with our national programme, our desires and our will, and we support anything that promotes the free expression of our Catalan identity and the assertion of major common goals directed at attaining full freedom for Catalonia”.
For this reason, the President declared that “others outside Catalonia should not just take notice” of what is happening this evening, “but pay due attention to what Catalonia says, wants and feels”. Artur Mas underlined that if attention is paid “with a positive disposition” as the one inspiring the Catalan proposals, “the respect that Catalonia asks for might be achieved”. “An appeal as loud as this from the Catalan population deserves to be listened to with great attention”, he concluded.