- The Head of Government observes “that we have offered the world the best possible image of Catalonia and a sense of our strong desire for freedom”
The Catalan president, Artur Mas, this morning highlighted the success and civic nature of yesterday’s mass demonstration, which he regarded as ”a clear, but also perfectly normal public outcry [...] coherent with the process of national transition we have started”. During his appearance at the Palau de la Generalitat to evaluate yesterday’s events, he made clear that “after yesterday, we are even closer to achieving our desire and goal of full national freedom”. “Nothing will be easy, but everything is possible”, he stressed.
The Catalan president stated that “we should be fully aware of the road on which we find ourselves, a road which I think is unmistakable”. “You have often heard me speak about the national transition and in more poetic terms about our journey to Ithaca. And it’s not so far away anymore”, he added.
In this respect, President Mas observed that Catalonia at this moment does not possess most of the state structures of a normal state, but he proposed to “continue building them”, even though he assured that “this cannot be done overnight”. “It will not be easy”, he warned, “because the Spanish government will not make things easy for us, it never has. This time we expect it to do the same, which is another of the difficulties we have to face”.
Mas explained that within the EU there are no precedents of nations such as Catalonia initiating a process towards national sovereignty within the EU. Nevertheless, he showed himself convinced that “even though there are many obstacles and difficulties, even though there are few precedents of situations like ours, and even though the Spanish government will respond to the process with hostility and resistance, everything is possible if there is a will, a large majority and the capacity to resist”.
The Head of Government made clear that Catalonia possesses this will and this majority; therefore, he insisted, “it is now just a matter of broadening its basis”. “The people who took to the streets yesterday were not just angry, hostile or rude, they were people with a strong sense of civic behaviour and patriotism, people who love their country and are willing to defend it”, he concluded.
“We have offered the world the best possible image of Catalonia”
During his appearance, the President expressed his satisfaction with “having offered the world and Europe the best possible image of Catalonia and a sense of our strong desire for freedom, the will to be a normal people among the countries and nations of the world”. The message sent by the demonstration, the President said, “is unmistakable”, and its civic nature “helps the process to be seen as a process full of hope, and shows the true nature of the Catalan people”.
Artur Mas asked everyone not to exaggerate the “dramatic character” of the demonstration, while recognizing its transcendence. “It should be seen as part of a normal process”. The President explained that Catalonia over the past years “has dedicated a part of its efforts as a country to help the rest of Spain be a better country, in the hope that it might become more forthcoming and respectful with regard to Catalonia’s aspirations”. “But now it has decided to change course”, he noted. And he added: “Spain had its transition 30 years ago, now it’s time for ours”.
Meeting with President Rajoy
In response to questions by journalists whether yesterday’s rally will change the tone and content of his upcoming interview with Spanish president Rajoy, Mas made clear that “what happened yesterday in Barcelona did not surprise me, on the contrary, I tried to promote it as much as I could considering my position”.
Therefore, he assured, “it will hardly affect the tone of the interview as I already intended to bring things to him as they are”. And he added: “The only thing I might add is: do not listen simply to me, to CiU, or to all the Catalan parties; listen to the Catalan people, and listen carefully, wiling to understand what they are saying”. Do not get mad when changes happen you do not like. Pay attention and propose solutions, if you have any”.
The success and civic character of yesterday’s march, which the President stressed repeatedly during his appearance, brought Artur Mas to declare himself “extremely proud of presiding the country at this point in history. If being the President of Catalonia is a great honour in itself, it has never been more so than this very moment”.