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One of the most important aspects of President Puigdemont’s speech is the reminder that as people protest Spain’s takeover of Catalan government and institutions that they must continue to do so peacefully, without violence, without insults, in an inclusive manner, respecting people and symbols, respecting opinions, including those Catalan protestors who don’t share the majority opinion: “we will continue to have the only attitude that can make us victors. Without violence, without insults, in an inclusive way, respecting people and symbols, opinions…“. That violence is the way of the Spanish government, but not the Catalan way: “We don’t have or want the reason of force. Not us.“. See the official English translation of his full speech-statement below.
The video of his speech in Catalan is here: http://www.ccma.cat/tv3/alacarta/programa/puigdemont-diu-que-nomes-el-pot-cessar-el-parlament-i-demana-una-oposicio-democratica-al-155/video/5698166 and on youtube here: http://youtu.be/L38RxSVkSi8
President Puigdemont: “We will continue to work to build a free country”
Official Statement by President Puigdemont following the Declaration of Independence
Barcelona, 28 October 2017
My fellow citizens,
Yesterday we lived a historic day, a day filled with democratic and civic feelings. The Parliament of Catalonia complied with what the citizens voted on September 27 when, through the polls, the majority entrusted Parliament with the proclamation of independence.
Yesterday, also, the Spanish Council of Ministers agreed to the cessation of the entire Government of Catalonia, the intervention of our self-government and the dissolution of Parliament. These are decisions contrary to the will expressed at the polls by the citizens of our country who know perfectly well that in a democratic society it is the parliament that elects or removes presidents.
However, in these first few hours, all of you have understood that the stage in which we have entered must be defended with an untiring civic sense and peaceful commitment. Your reaction is one of a mature country that knows where it wants to go and how it wants to go there. We will not steer away from this path: we will continue to have the only attitude that can make us victors. Without violence, without insults, in an inclusive way, respecting people and symbols, opinions and also respecting the criticisms of the Catalans who do not agree with what the parliamentary majority has decided.
Our will is to continue working to fulfil the democratic mandates and at the same time to seek the maximum stability and tranquillity, understanding the logical difficulties involved in a stage of this nature, one which our country has never experienced, or at least never before under these circumstances.
The message I would like to address to you is that we need to have patience, perseverance and perspective. We are sure that the best way to defend the achievements reached to date is through the democratic opposition to the application of Article 155, which is the consummation of a premeditated aggression against the will of the Catalans who for many years, and in a majoritarian way, have felt to be nation of Europe.
We must do so by protecting ourselves from repression and threats, and without ever abandoning our civic and peaceful conduct. We don’t have or want the reason of force. Not us. I’m convinced that this demand is what everybody expects, outside of the country as well.
We will continue to work to build a free country, to ensure we have a society with less injustice, more equality, more solidarity and more fraternity with all the peoples of the world, starting with the peoples of Spain with whom we want to remain connected through respect and mutual recognition.
Thank you very much.
Carles Puigdemont Casamajó
President of the Catalan Government“. Original English here: http://www.catalangovernment.eu/pres_gov/government/en/news/303890/president-puigdemont-will-continue-work-build-free-country.html (Emphasis our own.)
Note that in this context, President is the President of the Government, essentially the Prime Minister. So, parliament elects or approves the Prime Minister, as well as removes him. In the US system, Congress has the power to remove the President through impeachment but not elect. If only the US Congress would do its job!
“Catalan president calls people to “democratically oppose” Madrid takeover, Puigdemont does not accept the Spanish government’s suspension of the Catalan government“, 28 October 2017 02:50 PM by ACN, Barcelona. Link to news article and to the first half of the speech with English subtitles here: http://catalannews.com/politics/item/catalan-president-calls-people-to-democratically-oppose-madrid-takeover