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“The Generalitat is not an institution that was born with the current Spanish Constitution. Long before the approval of the Magna Carta, the Generalitat was already functioning… No decision of the head of government can erase this persistent fact over time: it has been the will of the Catalans that has allowed us to defend and restore our institutions. What we have we have always won with the strength of the people and the strength of democracy.” (Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, President de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 21 October 2017, transl.)
Carles Puigdemont, President de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 21 Oct. 2017
Excerpt from the October 21st Statement by Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó
President de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 21 Oct. 2017. The entire statement is further below.
“Under Alfons the Troubador (reigned 1164–1196), Catalonia was regarded as a legal entity for the first time.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Catalonia
Generalitat de Catalunya, St. George and the Dragon.
See images of the official Spanish translation and official English translation below the text. For the following text of the statement in English some clarifications have been added by us in brackets. Additionally the official English translation has been very lightly corrected for clarity in English, meaning that the following is an unofficial English translation. And, emphasis our own. [Update: We just found the original in Catalan, and will do a better English translation as time allows: http://premsa.gencat.cat/pres_fsvp/AppJava/multimedia/detall.do?idioma=0&idMedia=f3cb0d2e7118167fe5e9&isPlayListHome=true Finally we found the original Catalan written text. Despite the date, it was added later but was perhaps in a different area of the web site: http://premsa.gencat.cat/pres_fsvp/AppJava/oficina-president/notapremsavw/303753/ca/president-puigdemont-els-representants-de-la-sobirania-ciutadana-debatrem-decidirem-al-parlament-sobre-lintent-liquidar-nostra-democracia-actuarem-en-consequencia.do ]
Translation of the Statement of the President of the Government of Catalonia
Palau de la Generalitat, October 21st, 2017
All the proposals for dialogue addressed to Spain have had the same response: silence or repression. In my last letter to the Spanish president [i.e. President of the Spanish Government aka Prime Minister Rajoy] I reiterated the need to speak [together] and reminded him that this is a plea that is directed to us by many people, from many places. Today, the Spanish Council of Ministers has slammed the door on this plea and on this petition and announces a series of measures and dismissals that directly represent the liquidation of our self-government and the democratic will of the Catalans. What the Catalans decided at the polls the Spanish government cancels at its offices.
Thus, the Spanish Government, with the support of the Socialist Party and Citizens party, has undertaken the worst attack on the institutions and people of Catalonia since the decrees of the military dictator Francisco Franco abolishing the Generalitat of Catalonia. Despising the popular will expressed in a clear and massive manner in the elections of September 27, 2015, violating our Parliament and all the guarantees and rights of the members of the Parliament who have elected the President of the Generalitat and have approved the Government platform, the Spanish Government has illegally self-proclaimed itself the representative of the will of the Catalans.
Without going through the polls, with little support and against the will of the majority, the government of Mariano Rajoy wants to appoint a directory to remotely control the life of Catalonia from Madrid.
This is not the first time, also with the help of the king, that Catalan institutions have ever suffered the Spanish state reducing, reorienting or directly suppressing them. Every time the Catalan people have recovered stronger and more determined, aware that the aggressions have always hidden the inability to make policy on the part of the State and that consequently, they had to reach higher levels of self-government. From the regionalism of the early twentieth century to the 21st century sovereignty, the hegemonic idea in Catalonia has always been the same.
The Generalitat is not an institution that was born with the current Spanish Constitution. Long before the approval of the Magna Carta, the Generalitat was already functioning and was provisionally reestablished, bearing in mind its historical legitimacy and the continuity that Presidents Companys, Irla and Tarradellas had secured in exile. No decision of the head of government can erase this persistent fact over time: it has been the will of the Catalans that has allowed us to defend and restore our institutions. What we have we have always won with the strength of the people and the strength of democracy.
The Catalan institutions and the people of Catalonia can not accept this attack. The humiliation sought by the Spanish Government to take control of all Catalan public life, from the Government to the public media, is incompatible with a democratic attitude and is situated outside the rule of law. Because imposing a form of government not chosen by citizens and without a parliamentary majority that supports it is incompatible with the rule of law.
It is like acting with impunity against peaceful citizens, using old penal codes to keep in prison two persons of peace who have committed no crime, pursuing [persecuting] ideas and media, or irresponsibly stimulating economic instability. Or as was the very serious irresponsibility of the PP with the current president Mariano Rajoy as leader of an infamous collection of signatures against Catalonia and the shameful ruling of the Constitutional Court after, I stress the after, the Statute of Catalonia had been approved by legal referendum and agreed. Those irresponsible who despised the will of the Catalans and violated the constitutional pact of 1978 are those who want to rule us today.
I am aware, therefore, of the threat that weighs on all the people of Catalonia if the State carries out its intention to liquidate [Catalan institutions]. We must swear to again defend our institutions as we have always done, in a peaceful and civilized way, but with dignity and reason.
That is why I will ask the Parliament to set the convening of a plenary session where representatives of citizen sovereignty, those elected by the votes of the citizens, will debate and decide on the attempt to liquidate our self-government and our democracy, and act accordingly.
(IN SPANISH) I want to send a message to the Spanish democrats. What is being done with Catalonia is directly an attack on democracy that opens the door to other abuses of the same kind anywhere, not just in Catalonia. Criminalize the dissident, deny reality and raise walls of legality before the windows of the will of citizens … if all these triumphs damage to democracy, and therefore to the citizens, will be very severe and will lead to a monumental setback. We must not allow that to happen.
(IN ENGLISH IN THE ORIGINAL VERSION) I want to address a message to Europe. Not only to its political leaders but also, and especially, to all European citizens, our brothers and sisters, with whom we share the European citizenship.
If European foundational values are at risk in Catalonia, they will also be at risk in Europe.
Democratically deciding the future of a nation is not a crime. This goes against foundations that unite European citizens through their diversity.
Catalonia is an ancient European nation. Is core to the European values.
We do what we do because we believe in a democratic and peaceful Europe. The Europe of the Charter of Fundamental Rights should protect each and every one of us.
You should know what you are fighting for in your home, we are fighting for Catalonia. And we will continue to do so.
Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó
President de la Generalitat de Catalunya
The official English translation is here: http://premsa.gencat.cat/pres_fsvp/AppJava/notapremsavw/303755/ca/statement-president-government-catalonia.do Apparently for expediency they seem to have used Google translate mostly uncorrected. Thus, we very lightly corrected it to make it more understandable to English speakers and hopefully it is faithful enough to the meaning. The English and original Spanish text appear further below.
Photo above is cropped official photo of Carles Puigdemont, President de la Generalitat de Catalunya, 21 Oct. 2017, original here: http://www.gencat.cat/big/img/818/BIG_818243422102117_03.jpg