The date of the Catalan referendum will be announced in June
Barcelona (CNA).- The date of the referendum on Catalonia’s independence will be announced in two months time. This will be a “good moment”, according to the Catalan VP and left wing pro-independence ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras. He made this statement this Wednesday in a radio interview with RAC1 and insisted on the need to let the Catalonia cross-party National Alliance, which is aiming for a negotiated referendum, finish its work. Otherwise, some of the organizations within the Alliance won’t like that some members “are imposing their calendar” said the Vice President. In a similar vein, Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, considered that the date should be announced only when there is absolutely no possibility of a negotiated agreement. “We have to follow the path of the negotiated referendum to the end and even a bit further, if necessary,” he said.
Earlier this week, radical left pro-independence CUP, governing coalition Junts Pel Sí's main partner, urged the Catalan executive to publish the date and the question of the referendum as soon as possible. Indeed, CUP MP Anna Gabriel warned Puigdemont “not to use the National Alliance as an excuse” and suggested continuing exploring a negotiated referendum “in parallel” while moving forward with decisions such as announcing the question and setting the date of the referendum.
“The date and the question must be the result of a broad agreement, not the whim of the President or that of a parliamentarian group,” responded Puigdemont. “All the actors, which are very diverse, will have to be involved in the decision,” he added and praised the work of Catalonia’s cross-party National Alliance for the Referendum, as he insisted on giving them the necessary time to complete it.
The Alliance “already has a great deal to do” and could be “really helpful” for convincing the citizens in the Spanish state that the current political deadlock between Catalonia and Spain “can only be solved through the ballot boxes and in a democratic way”.
Catalan VP says Spanish suspension of referendum budget is politically motivated
Catalonia’s vice president commented on Spain’s recent suspension of the Catalan budget line items that fund the calling of a referendum. He said the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) decision was “politically motivated” and criticized the TC’s composition, since many of its magistrates were members of Spain's governing conservative People’s Party (PP).
However, despite the suspension, Junqueras insisted they were “absolutely determined” to hold the referendum. Asked whether he feared the possible penal consequences that ignoring the suspension might have, as the Spanish executive repeatedly warned, Junqueras said that the Catalan executive is not afraid. “Despite being threatened every day, we are still here in order to do whatever it takes to fulfill the citizens’ mandate,” he said. “What are they going to do? Ban us from holding public office? OK, let them. Will they send us to prison? It is entirely up to them,” he emphasized.