Catalonia's president: "We are part of the same community and we need to move forward together"

While facing thousands of demonstrators and under heavy security, the President of Catalonia is expected to speak, and all are waiting to hear whether he will declare Catalan independence from Spain despite the Spanish government’s threats. "We urge the president not to take irreversible actions"
Puigdemont Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Today (Tuesday), Catalan President Carles Puigdemont spoke at the region’s government meeting and asked to suspend the unilateral declaration of Catalonia’s independence following last week’s controversial referendum’s results. According to the region’s president, the crisis can only be solved through negotiations.

“I do not want to make threats or insults,” Puigdemont stated. “We need to lower the level of tension, not continue to feed it. We are part of the same community and we need to move forward together. We will never agree on everything but we have proved that the way forward is democracy, peace and dialogue.”

However, the Catalan leader didn’t spare the Spanish police following their violent attempt to prevent the referendum: “Their goal was to sow fear and panic and make people stay home. It went wrong- they did not achieve their goal because more than two million people went out despite the fear.”

Carles Puigdemont, Catalonia's President Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

“We are neither criminals nor madmen,” he added. “We are ordinary people who only want to vote. We are willing to talk and conduct a dialogue. We have nothing against Spain, we want to understand it better.”

This morning, Puigdemont stood at the head of his cabinet meeting in which leaders of the Catalonia region discussed a number of possible scenarios in light of Spain’s opposition to the results of the referendum. In addition, earlier today, the European Council called on all parties to exercise discretion and open a dialogue in the hope that this would lead to the end of the crisis.

Rally in Barcelona calling for unity Photo Credit: SkyNews/Channel 2 News

A surprising player who sided with the Spanish government last night was Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau, who called on the President of Catalonia to abandon his intentions and conveyed a message of unity ahead of the tense day. "In the current situation, the results of October 1 cannot be used as a guarantee of a declaration of independence," Colau said in reference to the referendum. “It is time to build bridges and not to destroy them.”



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