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Since the President of the Generalitat [Government] of Catalonia is elected by the Parliament, it makes sense that he should place the decision about how to react to Spain’s imposing Article 155 in the hands of the Catalan Parliament. And, indeed he has. What will they do? Will they declare Independence? Call for Elections? Both? More delay may be in order as they are faced with the overbearing power of an oppressive Spanish government. If they declare independence Spain will be even more likely to accuse them of sedition and send them to jail. However, it will look really bad if Spain throws the entire Catalan parliament in jail, and be even more difficult than throwing the President in jail. Spain is already charging the Catalan police chief with sedition.

President Puigdemont had also made clear early on that he wasn’t going to allow Spain to bully him into its agenda, and he hasn’t.

Photo of President Puigdemont © Generalitat de Catalunya, 26 Oct. 2017: http://premsa.gencat.cat
Is this a statue of St. George with his sword ready and available to slay the dragon but still unused? Or is it an early leader of Catalonia?

As Jesus faced the Roman Empire peacefully, so too Catalonia peacefully faces the arrogant remnant of Spain’s Empire under Spanish PM Rajoy: “Then saith Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Matthew 26:52 (ASV)

Link to video of President Puigdemont’s Thursday (Oct. 26, 2017) speech in Catalan. This is a backup copy since Spain will probably delete their web site and shut down their public media as Spain invokes Article 155: http://youtu.be/KpenSh71fR4

Below is an English translation of Catalan President Puigdemont’s speech before the Catalan Parliament. It is followed by images of the official English translation and Catalan original. The following is based on the official translation with some minor corrections of the English (compared against the written Catalan original) with this blog’s notes in brackets.

President Puigdemont: “It is the Parliament’s duty to proceed on the application of Article 155 against Catalonia”

Barcelona, 26 October 2017

In these last hours, before my authority to hold parliamentary elections expires as a result of the measures proposed by the Spanish government in applying Article 155, I considered the possibility of exercising it and calling for elections [1]. It is within my legal authority [2] and various people have asked me these days if I thought to exercise it or not. It is my duty and my responsibility to exhaust all, absolutely all, of the ways toward a negotiated and agreed solution to a conflict that is political and of a democratic nature. I was prepared to call for these elections as long as there were guarantees that would allow them to be held with absolute normality. There are none of these guarantees that today justify the call for parliamentary elections. [2] My duty was to attempt it honestly and loyally to avoid the impact of Article 155 on our institutions, as approved by the Council of Ministers and as it will receive the approval of the Senate. It is an abusive and unfair application that lies outside of the law and which seeks to eradicate not only our sovereignty but also the whole tradition of Catalanism that has brought us to this point. I do not accept these measures because they are unjust and because they hide almost without concealing the vindictive intention of a State that was defeated on October 1st.

Nor is there any intention to stop the repression and ensure the conditions where violence is absent if these elections were to happen.

I have tried to obtain these guarantees. I believe I have acted in accordance with my responsibility and have taken into account the opinion put forward by people from the different political options [3]. But this has not produced, once again, a responsible answer by the People’s Party [Spanish Government [4]] , which has taken advantage of this option to add more tension at a time when what is needed is maximum détente [5] and dialogue.

At this point, and of course without signing any decree of dissolution to hold elections, it is the Parliament’s duty to proceed with what the parliamentary majority determines in relation to the consequences of the application of Article 155 against Catalonia.

No one will be able to reproach the will of the Catalan side to engage in dialogue and politics. No one can say that I have not been willing to make sacrifices to ensure all the efforts were made to open dialogue. But once again, we are finding, with much disappointment, that responsibility is only demanded and pressed down on some, while others are allowed to act absolutely irresponsibly. It is the logic of a policy based on the cries of ‘go get them’ rather than ones based on ‘let’s go with them’.

The Catalan society, mobilized, has led us here on the basis of participation, commitment and serenity, but also responsibility. I have tried, throughout my presidency, and in these days that remain, to complete this path with the very same commitment, the same serenity. Everyone has their own responsibility. Mine, as a president, was to exhaust all the options that I had at hand.

The Catalan people have always acted as this Government has by invoking peace and civic duties, practicing peace and civic duties, exercising peace and civic duties. It is necessary that in the coming hours our commitment to peace and civility remains stronger than ever as this is the only way, I underscore, the only way that we can end in victory.

Thank you very much.
Carles Puigdemont Casamajó President of the Catalan Government
(See original link and image of original below our notes. )
[1] The official English translation says: “calling for an election“, but the original Catalan has plural: “convocar eleccions.”
[2] The official English translation says: “It is my power” for “És la meva potestat
[3] The original English translation has “I believe I have acted in accordance with my responsibility and have taken into account the opinion put forward by people from the different political options” However, “I believe I have acted in accordance with my responsibility and with the sentiment of people of different options that were presented,” looks closer to “Crec haver obrat d’acord amb la meva responsabilitat i amb el sentiment de gent de diferents opcions que ho ha anat plantejant.” At issue here appears to be whether or not the “gent de diferents opcions” refers to different political groups which is what is implied in the official English translation and may be the case. Possibly the better translation is “people from different political groups” or “parties” or “groupings“.
[4] The original written Catalan has “Govern espanyol“, rather than the ruling People’s Party, which is used in the English translation. However, in the speech he refers to the People’s Party.
[5] https://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distensió
The official English translation used “distension“, but in this context it must be either relaxation or détente.

See too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_Generalitat_of_Catalonia

Official Press Release photo at top: http://premsa.gencat.cat/pres_fsvp/docs/2017/10/26/17/25/efbabaad-bfb0-4965-802a-56d1c9e4a9e8.jpg

The official English translation was professionally done but the person’s first language apparently wasn’t English and thus a few blunders. It is important to recall that they produced the translation very quickly, too. Additionally, even the very best translation is only an interpretation of the original. The original is always the original. In this instance, the Catalan language. And, actually there are apparently two originals – oral and written, which sometimes are slightly different.
Official English Translation:
26-10-2017 18.10 OFFICIAL STATEMENT
President Puigdemont: “It is the Parliament’s duty to proceed on the application of Article 155 against Catalonia

See original of official translation here: http://www.catalangovernment.eu/pres_gov/AppJava/docrel/nota-premsa/contingut/download/220785.htm and here:

Original Speech in Catalan:
26-10-2017 17.15
President Puigdemont: “Correspon al Parlament procedir sobre l’aplicació contra Catalunya de l’article 155”

Barcelona, 26 d’octubre de 2017

En aquestes darreres hores, abans no expiri la meva potestat per convocar eleccions al Parlament com a resultat de l’entrada en vigor de les mesures proposades pel Govern espanyol en aplicació del 155, he considerat la possibilitat d’exercir-la i convocar eleccions. És la meva potestat i diversa gent m’ha interpel·lat en aquests dies si pensava exercir-la o no. EL meu deure i la meva responsabilitat és esgotar totes les vies, absolutament totes, per trobar una solució dialogada i pactada a un conflicte que és polític i que és de naturalesa democràtica. He estat disposat a convocar aquestes eleccions sempre i quan es donessin unes garanties que permetessin la seva celebració en absoluta normalitat. No hi ha cap d’aquestes garanties que justifiquin avui la convocatòria d’eleccions al Parlament. El meu deure era intentar-ho honestament i lleialment per evitar l’impacte sobre les nostres institucions de l’aplicació de l’article 155 tal i com l’ha aprovat el Consell de Ministres i s’aprovarà al Senat. És una aplicació fora de la llei, abusiva i injusta, que busca eradicar no només el sobiranisme sinó tota la tradició del catalanisme que ens ha portat fins aquí. No accepto aquestes mesures, per injustes i perquè amaguen gairebé sense dissimular la intenció venjativa d’un Estat que es va veure derrotat el dia 1 d’octubre.

Tampoc hi ha cap intenció d’aturar la repressió i de procurar unes condicions d’absència de violència en què unes possibles eleccions s’haurien de celebrar.

He intentat obtenir aquestes garanties. Crec haver obrat d’acord amb la meva responsabilitat i amb el sentiment de gent de diferents opcions que ho ha anat plantejant. Però això no ha aconseguit, una vegada més, una resposta responsable per part del Govern espanyol, que ha aprofitat aquesta opció per afegir tensió en un moment en què el que cal és màxima distensió i diàleg.

En aquest punt, i naturalment sense haver signat cap decret de dissolució de convocatòria d’eleccions, correspon al Parlament procedir amb el que la majoria parlamentària determini en relació a les conseqüències de l’aplicació contra Catalunya de l’article 155.

Ningú no podrà retreure a la part catalana voluntat de diàleg i de fer política. Ningú no podrà dir que no he estat disposat a sacrificis per garantir que es posarien totes les facilitats al diàleg. Però una vegada més comprovem, amb molta decepció, que la responsabilitat només ens és exigida i pressionada a uns, i a d’altres se’ls permet la seva absoluta irresponsabilitat. És la lògica d’una política feta a base de clams com el “a por ellos” en lloc d’una basada en el “con ellos”.

La societat catalana, mobilitzada, ens ha dut fins aquí a base de participació, compromís i serenitat, també de responsabilitat. Jo he intentat tenir a la meva presidència, i en aquests dies que ens queden per culminar el camí, aquest mateix compromís, aquesta mateixa serenitat, cadascú amb la seva responsabilitat. La meva de president era esgotar fins els final totes les opcions que jo tenia a la mà. La societat catalana ho ha fet sempre, com aquest govern, invocant la pau i el civisme, militant en la pau i el civisme. Cal que en aquestes hores que se’ns presenten el compromís amb la pau i el compromís amb el civisme es mantinguin més ferms que mai perquè només d’aquesta manera, i subratllo, només d’aquesta manera, podrem acabar guanyant.

Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó President de la Generalitat de Catalunya