Tuesday, October 14, 2014

President Mas' explanation of new formulation of #9N Catalan vote

Photo: Lluís Brunet

Question: International community is already somewhat confused about difference between "referendum" and "consultation", and now you are proposing this third option, that, if I understand correctly, is preliminary answer to "definitive" referendum which you said could only be result of a plebiscite election. How will you explain this to international community?

#CatalanPresident Artur Mas "Some months ago, we asked the Spanish Government to allow a referendum in Catalonia and they were not willing to accept a referendum in Catalonia in agreement with Spanish institutions. After that, we decided to pass a law on consultations in Catalonia. We approved it some weeks ago, and I signed the decree to hold this consultation.

"A consultation is not exactly the same as a referendum. Well, it is more or less the same. In fact, the final purpose is to know the opinion of the Catalan people. And this is something that you can organize through a consultation or through a referendum. This is what we are trying to maintain for November 9, to maintain this consultation, so that people will be able to go to the polling stations and vote. We'll have to change the way to do it. But the aim is exactly as before, to know the opinion of the Catalan people, about the political future of Catalonia according to the two-part question that was agreed on some months ago. So this is also a consultation but held through other ways.

"And my final statement would be that the definitive referendum in Spain can only be held through elections. In other parts of Europe and the world, there are other possibilities of doing that, other chances. For example in the UK, the British government accepted negotiations with the Scottish government to agree on the terms of the referendum in Scotland. But that is something that is not possible in Spain. It is just not possible. It's a pity of course. It's a big pity but that's just the way it is. That's just the way it is. Unluckily.

"So, in the Spanish State, the only way to hold a definitive referendum is via elections. In my personal opinion, in order to make sure that the international community will understand the outcome of this referendum well through or via elections, the only way is with one list and one program. And if this list, and this electoral program shapes the absolute majority in the Parliament, then the outcome is clear: the referendum has been won.

Here's my live-tweeted, translated into English on the fly, transcript of the rest of President Mas' press conference which preceded the above question:

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