· The head of the Executive signaled that Catalonia "will have to think this out carefully, calmly, and positively" after President Rajoy told him that "there is no room" for negotiating the fiscal pact.
· The president expressed his confidence that "the people of Catalonia will know how to find the answers that convert this decision into hope and a commitment for the future"
· Artur Mas announced that "next week will be extremely important as Catalonia defines its options for the future"
The President of the Catalan Government (the Generalitat) said today in Madrid that neither the Constitution nor any laws "can cancel out a feeling, a will, a project for the future of the people of Catalonia". The head of the Executive made this statement after the president of the Spanish government, Mariano Rajoy, told him that "there was no room" for negotiating the fiscal pact.
After meeting for two hours with Mariano Rajoy, Artur Mas declared that "no legal framework can be used forever to cancel out the peaceful, democratic, majority will of a people". In this sense, the President of the Generalitat criticized the constant "centralist slanted" re-interpretation of the Constitution by Spain and warned that the Magna Carta "cannot be used as an insurmountable obstacle, because, in the moment that it is, the future becomes impossible for a territory like Catalonia which has its own aspirations for self-government".
In an informative appearance after the meeting, that took place in the Delegation of the Catalan Government in Madrid, the President of the Generalitat announced that "next week will be extremely important as Catalonia defines its options for the future". In that line, he said that Catalonia "must take a good hard look at the situation" in the next few days and he said those reflections would take place within the framework of the General Policy Debate, which will be held next week in the Catalan Parliament. Artur Mas demonstrated his confidence that this will be a "calm and positive" discussion by all the Catalan political forces, "not a grudge match or whining session".
Mas denied that any future decisions will be made, or considered "in terms of a break-up" and affirmed "whatever decision we make, we will do it within the framework of Europe and the Euro zone". He stressed that "there can be no total separation".
Aspirations of self-government
The head of the Executive reported that the meeting with President Rajoy "did not go well" with respect to the Catalan proposal of a fiscal pact, and he added that he was "sad, rather than happy" about it because he believed that "it was important for the relationship between Catalonia and the rest of the State". Confronted with the answer that there was no room for negotiating the fiscal pact, the head of the Government said that "under these conditions, we can't keep banging our head against the wall" because "it doesn't make sense insisting further on a path which is closed from the other side".
To questions from journalists, President Mas said that "we made the most effort possible until the last possible moment" to achieve a fiscal pact but he added, "the answer was what it was". "I made it to the end, but today I find myself faced with a brick wall", the President underlined, "but I am confident about what and who I represent, and that is not a party, but a country, and I am positive that the people of Catalonia, faced with this evidence, will know how to find answers that convert this decision into hope and a commitment for the future".
The President of the Generalitat regretted the negative response from the central Government because it was an "aspiration shared by practically the entire Catalan population". "What we intended was to be able to discuss it, and we called it a fiscal pact so that it would be understood that our desire was to come to an agreement”, he added. Artur Mas explained that the Catalan proposal "was one of the last attempts to try to make understood that the Catalan aspirations of self-government need to be addressed".