The Catalan president, Artur Mas, stated this afternoon, after signing the decree dissolving Parliament and calling elections for November 25th, that “the voice of a people and a nation cannot be silenced by creating fear”, because “those who do so cut a poor figure at the national and international level”.
The Head of Government warned that “people around the world are watching us” to see “how the Spanish state, as a true democratic state, will react to a democratic act of a people such as Catalonia, that wants to freely decide its own future”.
In this respect, President Mas underlined that “never before the elections in Catalonia achieved such transcendence at the European and international level” and showed himself hopeful that the elections shall be conducted “in an impeccable democratic spirit, moving large majorities and in a pacific, harmonious and civic way”.
During his speech, the Head of Government also referred to the need to achieve large majorities in Catalonia. “We need very solid majorities, probably even more solid than the ones we have now”, he said. Mas showed himself confident that “whichever process we choose to follow, as long as it is democratic and pacific, which it undoubtedly will be, the Spanish government will respond in the same way, sensibly and responsibly”.
The President assured that Catalonia needs to pronounce itself on its future as a country and a nation, because “the rejection of the fiscal pact and the widespread mobilisation in Catalonia should find its expression in the ballot box”. And he asked: “What can be better in democracy than consulting the people so it can decide for itself?”.
The President insisted on the need “to make people aware of the importance of this moment and the process we are confronting”, as “Catalonia has never been faced with a decision which is so complex and so thrilling for so many people”. In this respect, he called on everyone to reflect deeply “during the run-up to the elections of November 25th” and act consistently to show the force and the legitimacy that the country, the government and Parliament will need to lead such a process.
In response to a question by a Swiss television channel regarding the reaction of the financial markets to the snap elections, President Mas explained that Catalonia “even though it lacks the instruments of a state and over the past thirty years has been subjected to an unprecedented fiscal deficit with the Spanish state” has managed to convert itself “into one of the most open economies in Europe”. As an example, he mentioned the fact that Catalonia has become a centre of attraction in southern Europe, not just in the field of tourism, but also in research and science thanks to its universities and business schools.