Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

VIENNA, September 22 (EFE).- Carles Puigdemont, the former president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, assured today that his party, JXCAT, had not launched an ultimatum to the ERC, but insisted that its government partners must abide by what was signed.

“This is not an ultimatum. We signed it, which was not respected and it’s time to do something”, assured Puigdemont at a conference at the Central European University in Vienna.

“I am not the president of the party and I do not want to get involved in the conversation between Eskera and Zante, but it is normal for the Zante to respect the contract”, he stressed.

Puigdemont said the two parties had agreed to negotiate a political solution with the Spanish state, coordinating the efforts of the two parliamentary groups in the Spanish parliament and “working together to create a new united leadership on how to take the next step.”

MEPs assured that “the Catalan-independence movement must decide together how it should work”.

“I hope in the end it will be the response of the Esquerra Republicana. I think they will honor the agreement. I have no doubt that, in the common interest, he will honor the agreement”, he said.

Puigdemont made these statements during a conference on statehood and sovereignty, in front of an audience of about 100, mainly CEU students and academics, during which he justified and explained the Catalan independence movement.

Puigdemont referred to the illegal referendum on independence of Catalonia, which was called under his presidency, and which will be five years old on October 1, and assured that the call was due to the Spanish government’s refusal to agree to a proposal or finance the new deal.

“All efforts to improve our self-governance have failed. We had no choice. The only option was to organize a referendum”, he assured.

Puigdemont denied the 2017 referendum was a failure and claimed it allowed the Catalan parliament to launch a declaration of independence.

“We do not need a new referendum or a new declaration of independence. The only way to organize a new referendum is if the Spanish authorities agree to agree with the Catalan government on a new and binding one,” Puigdemont said.

Asked about the possibility of radicalization of the independence movement, Puigdemont admitted that “there is always a risk” but also assured that this sector is only a minority.

He said, there is no place for violence or extremism here.

“After five years of repression, there is anger and there are frustrated people, even with Catalan institutions and politicians”, admitted Puigdemont, who assured that, despite this, “the reaction is peaceful”.

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