The president of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, announced today the consensus reached, among all of the political parties who are in favor of the right to decide, on the date, the question, and the process for holding a referendum on the political future of Catalonia. The head of the Executive announced that the referendum will be held on November 9, 2014 and that it will have a question with two sections: "Do you want Catalonia to become a State?" and, in case of an affirmative response, "Do you want this State to be independent? Yes or No."
The head of the Government underlined the fact that the question is "inclusive, clear, and enjoys very broad support". He also revealed that the consensus was reached "quickly and discreetly", after only two days of negotiations.
Artur Mas appeared at midday in front of the media in the Gothic Gallery of the Generalitat Palace (seat of the Catalan Government), accompanied by the leaders of the political parties in favor of the right to decide, with whom he met this morning: Oriol Junqueras (ERC), Joan Herrera (ICV), and David Fernández (CUP). Also present were the Vice president of the Government, Joana Ortega, and the Councilor of the President, Francesc Homs.
The president publicly expressed his gratitude to the political parties that made the agreement possible and underscored their "spirit of collaboration, generosity of outlook, and profound sense of country". "What we have before us has immeasurable historic significance and for the future," the president pointed out, and he added, "we will have to rise to the occasion." "We would have liked for the PSC to participate as well," regretted the president, but he insisted that there is a wide majority and "we must continue on the road that we have set out on."
The head of the Executive asked the Spanish State to be "ready to hear the demands of the Catalan people, and to this solid parliamentary and political majority, to a people that wants to decide its own future, that wants to vote in freedom and in a completely peaceful and democratic way." The president affirmed that in the negotiations with the Spanish State, "we will go with our best hand extended, with wide majority support, and clear objectives," and he encouraged the Spanish institutions to facilitate holding a referendum, "just like in other parts of the European Union."
Artur Mas explained that the date of November 9, 2014 was chosen because "among all the possible dates, we arrived at the conclusion that it was the one that best favored the success of this democratic process". And he pointed out that the formulation of the question allows "everyone who wishes for a change in status to be able to vote, and everyone who wants to vote for an independent State to also be able to vote." "In that way, we also honor the popular demand that wished to express itself in these terms," he said.
With respect to the procedure for holding a referendum, the president insisted that there are legal frameworks for holding it, and that the agreement for carrying out a referendum will be put into place next week in the Parliament of Catalonia.
The head of the Executive finished his appearance by pointing out that "today, in addition to stating clear objectives, we are also holding an act that represents the majority of the Catalan political system itself, and thus, of the country as a whole."