FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3
La Punxa d'En Jap, Punt Avui, November 3
[DOCUMENT: Declaration of priests and deacons of the Bishopric of Vic]
We, the undersigned priests and deacons:
NOTE the turmoil that we have been living through in Catalonia for a long time now, but especially in the last few weeks and days: everything has been done to stop us from voting, peaceful people have been brutally beaten, information has been misrepresented through lies and denial, and two men of peace [Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart] have ended up in jail. Finally, with the application of article 155, a whole people has been subjugated by abolishing the institutions democratically voted for by its citizens, with politicians voted by the people threatened with thirty years of jail... In short, it is desired through unjust measures to deny our people the exercise of their right to self-determination.
Pope John Paul II, speaking in the UN (on October 5,1995), vindicates this basic right when he says: "Neither a state, nor another nation nor any international organisation, has any right to affirm that a certain nation is not worthy of existence."
From this perspective, and especially in view of how fundamental rights are being trampled, we as priests and deacons of our communities:
DENOUNCE the violence, lies, imprisonment, persecution of freedom of assembly and expression, the abolition of our institutions, Parliament and Government, the political use of the courts with the threat of extraordinary punishment and a very long, well known list of other violations that have disturbed social harmony.
CALL ON all citizens, the forces of public order and the politicians who direct them, to always use dialogue and peaceful means to promote the historical rights of our people, and;
AWAIT the return of basic rights and the highest Institutions of Government, the abolition of political trials, the release of the detainees and respect for plurality of opinion and the legitimate aspirations of the Catalan people.
Let us pray about all that we are experiencing, in the desire that calm, respect and peace prevail.
Bishopric of Vic, November 2, 2017
[TWEET] Jorge Arreaza M (Venezuelan foreign minister): "We express our solidarity with the people of Catalonia. We understand the anguish and pain it is suffering in these difficult moments."
[TWEET] Jorge Arreaza M (Venezuelan foreign minister): "We demand that the Spanish authorities free the political prisoners. Democratic dialogue, not repression, must be the way."
[TWEET] Jorge Arreaza M (Venezuelan foreign minister): "We hope that the Spanish government will respect the human and political rights of the prisoners of conscience and that democracy will prevail."
- Podemos Catalonia leader Albano Dante Fachin denounces a war by Spanish state leader Pablo Iglesias to remove him as general secretary. Fachin states that the attack, which consists in having various Podemos branches in Catalonia demand a special congress to vote on his position, is unconstitutional because Podemos statutes says that such a call cannot be made before 18 months have passed since the elections of the general secretary (in Fachin´s case, in January 2018, given that he was elected in July 2016).
- Manchester City trainer Pep Guardiola: "We can't forget that these politicians, who haven't even broken a window, are in jail because they wanted people to vote."
- The Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) and the Catalan Association of Municipalities and Shires (ACM) to set up permanent coordinating committee to drive campaign in defence of Catalonia's institutions. First mission is a visit to Brussels to win support of European entities.
- The Catalan footballer Román Golobart, who plays for second division team Elx (Valencian Country) severely criticised by fans for these tweets:
[TWEET]: "1940: Franco shoots [Catalan premier] Companys. 2017: Rajoy jails Puigdemont. Little has changed... #PresosPoliticos"
[TWEET]: "And those who don't want to mix football and politics laughing about the evil I am pointing out."
- National High Court turns down the appeal for the release of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart.
- Owen Jones in support of a Catalan right to decide on BBC TV.
- Spanish government spokesperson Iñigo Méndez de Vigo says arrest warrant for Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont has been issued but not announced by the National High Court.
- Five more PSC councilors on Terrassa council join mayor Jordi Ballart in leaving the party.
- Catalan ombudsman Rafael Ribó says that activation of article 155 violates basic human and civil rights and calls for its suspension.
- La Vanguardia captures video of Spanish police exchanging gross sexual slurs against Catalan ministers as they are driven to prison.
- Fernando de Páramo, spokeperson for Citizens, says that "the law has to be applied, even to people called Puigdemont and Junqueras". He is opposed to banning the CUP, supporting "defeating them at the polls".
- Marta Pascal, coordinator of PDECat, calls for a single pro-sovereignty list for the December 21 Catalan elections: "We're asking everyone that we all be able to reach agreement. We are totally prepared to join forces so as to work out a ticket that calls for releasing the political prisoners and the recovery of the institutions ... a ticket that values and validates everything we did on October 1 and what we did in Parlament."
- The minority union confederation Intersindical-CSC calls strike for November 8.
- Far-right party Vox launches case for making PDECat, the ERC and the CUP [i.e, parties supporting Catalan independence] illegal.
- Spanish Constitutional Court rejects the Catalan government's appeal against the activation of article 155 as "premature".
- Former business minister Santi Vila released on payment of €50,000 bail.
- Barcelona Councils adopts resolution demanding the release of jailed ministers and the "two Jordis", with PSC, Citizens and PP voting against.
PDECat councilors on Barcelona Council demanding "freedom ("llibertat") for the imprisoned ministers
- Joan Josep Nuet, leader of the United and Alternative Left (EUiA) and third deputy speaker of the Catalan parliament who has also been charged with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds, tells radio RAC1 that a united ticket against the Spanish state intervention in Catalonia cannot be built on defence of the Catalan Republic declared on October 27, but on the broader grounds of defence of the Catalan right to decide, release of the political prisoners and opposition to the article 155 activation.
- Burning his PSC membership card.
- Numerous roads blockades in protest against jailing of ministers. CDR Poblenou blocks Gran Via in Barcelona here.
[SOLIDARITY WITH CATALONIA]: Sinn Fein
Jailing of Catalan Ministers is a stain on European democracy - Carthy
2 November, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has condemned the arrest and imprisonment of eight Catalan ministers on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds and called on the EU to intervene in the escalating crisis.
Matt Carthy said:
“The imprisonment of democratically elected Ministers for implementing the will of the Catalan people is a stain on democracy.
“Repression and jails are not the solution to political disputes. Political dialogue and negotiation are the only options.
“The European Union must not stand idly by as the Government of a member state incarcerates elected political opponents for the ‘crime’ of implementing the democratically expressed wishes of their people.”
- Catalunya en Comú reserves third place on its December 21 election ticket for Podemos Catalonia, but this position will not be filled by Podemos Catalonia leader Albano Dante Fachín, who is bocotting the referendum of Podemos members in Catalonia imposed by Podemos at the level of the Spanish state.
- Road blockades by tractors in protest against the jailing of the Catalan ministers.
- Rail line Barcelona-Sant Cugat blockaded by protest against jailings.
Today's front pages
"Puigdemont abandons his own"
"To jail without Puigdemont"
'Junqueras in jail: arrest warrant for Puigdemont"
"Prison for rebellion"
"What do these people want?"
'Freedom for the political prisoners: [NAMES]'
'The judge sends nine Puigdemont ministers to jail'
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2
Ferreres, El Periódico, November 2
Miquel Iceta (Secretary, PSC): "I've been badly misunderstood. I never said 'Pedro, free us from Rajoy'. I said 'Pedro, let's go with Rajoy'"
Pedro Sánchez (Secretary, PSOE): "I understood it at the first opportunity."
- NacióDigital report: Imprisonment of ministers increases pressure for single list in support of Catalan sovereignty and right to decide fro December 21 election.
- Massive cassolada across the whole of Catalonia in protest against arrest of ministers.
- Former Constitutional Court counsel Joaquín Urías describes decision of judge Lamela as "pure repression".
- Barcelona Council to hold extraordinary session tomorrow to condemn arrests.
- Puigdemont makes institutional address condemning the arrests.
[TWEET] Carles Puigdemont: "The legitimate government of Catalonia imprisoned for its ideas and having been loyal to its mandate and to parliament."
- José Montilla, former Catalan PSC premier, finds sentence "totally disproportionate", but accepts as lawful.
- 25 Catalan media publish same editorial: "With the Legitimate Government of Catalonia".
- EH Bildu demands that the Basque parliament suspend its session in solidarity with arrested Catalan ministers: when rejected walks out of the chamber.
- Catalunya en Comú spokesperson Elisenda Alemany calls on PSC to "stop being the crutch to the PP".
- Intersindical-CSC trade union confederation calls general strike for next week. Details to be announced tomorrow.
- Demonstrations against imprisonment of Catalan ministers begin. Cries of "strike" and "general strike" heard at most rallies.
Olot, Reus, Granollers,
Barcelona Town Hall (below)
Parliament (Barcelona, below). Estimated crowd (council figure): 20,000
- Decision on whether to issue arrest warrant for Puigdemont postponed.
- The detained ministers are taken to different prisons to avoid them communicating.
- Àngel Ros (mayor of Lleida): "The law must be respected, but today is a sad day."
- Jordi Ballart resigns as mayor of Terrassa (Vallès Occidental) and tears up his PSC membership card.
- Hundred European intellectuals and politicians, including Yanis Varoufakis and Iceland's former foreign minister Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, sign declaration deploring silence of European Union on arrests of Catalan politicians.
[TWEET] Ada Colau (Mayoress of Barcelona): "Black day for Catalonia. A government democratically elected at the ballot box in prison. Needed: common front to win the freedom of political prisoners."
[TWEETS] Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish premier): "The disagreement about Catalonia’s future is political. It should be resolved democratically - not by the jailing of political opponents. Regardless of opinion on Catalonia, the jailing of elected leaders is wrong and should be condemned by all democrats."
[TWEET] Pablo Iglesias (Podemos general secretary): "I am ashamed that in my country oppositionists are jailed. We don't want independence for Catalonia but today we say: freedom for the political prisoners!"
[TWEET] CUP: "Repression cannot stop a people! Everyone onto the street! Freedom for the ministers!"
- Carmen Lamela, judge of the National High Court, has ordered all members of the Catalan government who appeared before her today into preventive detention. Included is business minister Santi Vila, who will remain in detention until he pays €50,000 in bail.
- Charles Michel, prime minister of Bel¡gium, orders all his ministers to refrain from comment on Catalonia in order to presereve the stability of the country's ruling coalition.
The Spanish prosecutor's demands that the judge issue a European arrest warrant for Puigdemont.
Paul Bekaer (Puigdemont's Belgian lawyer): "I wouldn't trust the Spanish legal system a millimetre."
[Solidarity with Catalonia] "Catalan flag step closer to flying over City Hall after Dublin City councillors vote in favour of motion". See story here.
- Bank of Spain [Spanish central bank] warns that 60% of projected growth could be lost between 2018 and 2019 if Catalonia-Spain conflict continues.
- Barcelona Council rejects PP motion condemning the October 27 UDI. In favour: PP, Citizens, PSC. Against: ERC, PDeCAT, CUP, Democrats, Barcelona en Comú (which says that while it does not support the UDI, cannot vote with the PP).
Calendar of the December 21 Catalan elections
(NOTE: These elections will take place under the Spanish general election law, because Catalonia is the only "autonomous community" that has been unable to develop its own electoral law in 38 years, basically because of CDC defence of the rural gerrymander favouring it. The electoral roll is 5,553,983, of which 5,329,139 are resident in Catalonia and 224.844 resident abroad.)
November 7: Deadline for the presentation of alliances (that is, if parties want to run in coalition like the "Together for the Yes" coalition that won in 2015). Deadline for councils to provide list of polling stations they will make available.
November 12-17: Deadline for presentation of candidate lists. Deadline for registration of names of scrutineers.
December 1-14: Voters requesting postal vote, including Catalans resident abroad, to receive ballot papers.
December 5-19: The official election campaign fortnight.
December 11: Deadline for posting vote from abroad (outside the Spanish state).
December 17: Deadline for other postal and early voting.
December 20: "Day of reflection".
December 21: Polling day
- Barcelona Council rejects PSC motions greeting December 21 elections as "new opportunity for understanding". PP, Citizens and PSC in favour, all others against with Barcelona en Comú (Colau's party) abstaining.
- Barcelona Council recognises that the Puigdemont government is the only legimitimate government of Catalonia, but does not recognise the Catalan Republic.
- Spanish government cuts access to Facebook and Twitter of all Catalan delegations abroad.
- Civil Guard returns to search Catalan police headquarters in Lleida.
- Defence lawyer for Catalan ministers appearing before National High Court say that Puigdemont's refusal to appear is prejudicing their case for avoiding preventive detention.
- Judge allows former business minister Santi Vila to avoid prison on payment of bail. Prosecution demands that bail be set at €50,000.
[VIDEO] St James Square resounds to cries of "Puigdemont is our president". pic.twitter.com/oIsMNFVjgh
- Barcelona demonstration in support of Catalan political prisoners
- Hearing against parliament speakership panel members adjourned to November 9, with the accused having to be contactable by telephone by the police.
- Barcelona Council rejects the Spanish government's decree facilitating the shift of company headquarters out of Catalonia.
- New party Lliures (Free) will take part in the December 21 election as "Catalanists, liberals and humanists". Lliures is one of a number of attempts to reorganise the vote that used to go to the anti-independence and now defunct Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC), of christian democrat inspiration and a former governing partner with Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) in Convergence and Union (CiU).
- Albano Dante Fachín, general secretary of Podem Catalunya, tells radio RAC1 that his "future is not in another party. What we will try is to build is a citizens' response above and beyond parties."
- Cataunya en Comú coordinator Xavier Domènech demands that all left parties, including the PSC, include two points in their program: an end to the intervention under article 155 and amnesty for all facing charges related to the October 1 referendum.
- Barcelona mayoress Ada Colau announces that this morning's council session will break at 1200 hours so that councilors can join the ANC-organised demonstration of support to the ministers and MPs charged by the National High Court
- Ex-premier Artur Mas outside the National High Court: "Everytime the Spansih state has tried to put and stop to the independence movement it has achieved the opposite."
- [SOLIDARITY WITH CATALONIA]. The following motion has been tabled for debate and vote in the Scottish Parliament:
That the Parliament calls on the international community to recognise the vote of the Catalan Parliament for an Independent Republic of Catalonia; believes that the EU, Council of Europe and all other European institutions, as well as the wider international community, have a critical role in ensuring a peaceful, diplomatic and transparent transition of power from Spain to Catalonia, and calls for peace and dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan governments, upholding human rights, democracy and what it believes is the fundamental right to self-determination.
Supported by: Alex Neil, Gordon MacDonald, John Mason, James Dornan, Ivan McKee, Graeme Dey, Clare Haughey, Stuart McMillan, Richard Lyle, Christine Grahame, Angus MacDonald, Gillian Martin, Maree Todd, David Torrance, Sandra White, John Finnie, Jenny Gilruth, Fulton MacGregor, Ruth Maguire, Mairi Gougeon, Rona Mackay, Ben Macpherson
- Carmen Lamela, National High Court judge hearing today's case against the Catalan ministry and pro-sovereignty members of the Catalan Parliament's speakership panel, has had recourse to Franco-era legislation to establish her competence to hear the charges of "rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public moneys" being faced by the Catalan politicians.
- Jaume Asens, civil rights activist and Barcelona's fourth deputy mayor, says that Puigdemont's move too Brussels was "clever", because it puts Spanish law under the international spotlight and makes any eventual deportation of the Catalan president more difficult for the Belgian justice system to agree to.
- Barcelona Council to debate attitude to article 155 intervention: majority will recognise the Puigdemont government as "Catalonia's only legitimate government".
- [DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION OF CATALAN REPUBLIC] Israel refuses to state explicit support for the unity of Spain: Palestine government expresses support for a "strong and united Spain".
[VIDEO] Pro-independence supporters surround ultras at Sants(Barcelona) railway station after farewelling Catalan parliament speakership panel members leaving to testify in the National High Court in Madrid.
Today's front pages
"Arrest warrant against Puigdemont if he doesn't appear today"
"Today the independence movement will have to answer to the law"
"Puigdemont's flight brings Forcadell and ministers closer to prison"
"Puigdemont forces his own arrest and abandons the [Catalan] government to the judge"
"The prosecution will demand jail"
"Puigdemont stays in Brussels and will not go to declare"
"Puigdemont and his devotees defy the judge"
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 (All Saints Day holiday)
Anthony Garner, Ara, November 1
- Poll by Spanish-patriotic web-based daily El Español has pro-independence forces maintaining a narrow majority in the December 21 Catalan elections. According to editor Pedro J. Ramírez, "the result is not worrying, it is very worrying."
(NOTE: Cs is Citizens, PSC is Party of Socialists of Catalonia, PP is People's Party, CSQP is Catalonia Yes We Can, JxSí, Together for the Yes, is the ruling coalition in Catalonia, made up of PdeCAT (Catalan European Democratic Party), ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) and pro-independence independents, CUP is People's Unity List.)
- Catalan National Assembly announces day of demonstrations in support of Puigdemont government for tomorrow. Demonstrations will take place in St James Square, Barcelona, outside Parliament and in front of town halls.
- Communiqué of Catalan president Puigdemont and ministers in Brussels as to why they will not appear physically before the National High Court.
The legitimate Government of Catalonia faces court hearings before the National High Court on the terms that President Puigdemont announced yesterday.
Given the summons decreed by the judge of the National High Court Carmen Lamela against the Government, we would like to recall:
a) That these summons are formulated in pre-trial proceedings without a legal basis that only seek to punish ideas. We are facing a political trial.
b) The disproportional penalties requested by the prosecutor--who has been censured by the Spanish Congress--are equivalent to those for crimes such as murder or terrorism and show that we are facing a political trial carried out according to the diktat of the government of the Spanish State.
c) The President of the Generalitat of Catalonia already explained yesterday what would be the approach to be followed by the ministers of the Government who face this summons.
--Puigdemont explained that some ministers will go to the National High Court to denounce the lack of safeguards in the Spanish judicial system and its desire to persecute political ideas;
- At the same time, another group of ministers will remain in Brussels in order to denounce this political trial before the international community, and especially urge Europe to support a negotiated solution to the conflict.
- In no case are the ministers and the President who remain in Brussels contemplating evading justice: rather it is precisely that they are asking for and they will reply to the summonses that have arrived in accordance with the mechanisms that are already contemplated in the European Union in these circumstances.
d) The commitment of this Government to the defence of the rights and freedoms of the Catalan people is total. We regard the prison sentences that await us as a denunciation of the situation in which democracy lives in the Spanish State and as a cry for the freedom of our people
- Catalan Parliament speakership panel members met with ultra-right demonstration on their arrival at Madrdi's Atocha station.
[VIDEO] Catalan Parliament speakership panel members met with ultra-right demonstration on their arrival at Madrid's Atocha station. pic.twitter.com/oAPkqwivwX
- PP Catalonia leader Xavier García Albiol does not exclude article 155 intervention being maintained in the case of a pro-independence victory at the December 21 election.
[VIDEO] Members of the Catalan parliament's speakership panel going to Madrid to appear before the National High Court tomorrow farewelled at Barcelona's Sants station.
They also face counter-demonstration of ultra-right. https://t.co/Wn6Y0RgqYs pic.twitter.com/oJFvuctf9i
- Vice-president Orio Junqueras publishes this article ("Catalonia Will Not Retreat") in the Opinion section of the New York Times.
- Vice-president Junqueras and the Catalan ministers still in Catalonia will appear tomorrow before the National High Court.
- President Puigdemont's Belgian lawyer, Paul Bekaer, proposes that he do his appearance before the National High Court by teleconference from Belgium.
[TWEET] All Saints Day castling competition at Vilafranca del Penedès begins with a "pilars of four" demonstration in support of Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez. pic.twitter.com/KMqk061mUx
[TWEET] Ada Colau (mayoress of Barcelona): "I want to confront the irresponsibility of the Together for the Yes government with arguments, not prison! Needed: politics, not vengeance!"
- Elisenda Alemany, spokesperson for Catalunya en Comú, says that the "comings and goings" of president Puigdemont are "incomprehensible", even while condemining the Spanish prosecutor's charges against him and his ministers.
- The Spanish state prosecutor will demand preventive detention for all Puigdemont cabinet members with the exception of Santi Vila (who resigned before the vote on independence was taken) and for all members of the speakership panel with the exception of Joan Josep Nuet of Catalonia Yes We Can (becasue he is not pro-independence).
- NacióDigital reveals that various councils in Spain have been offering Catalan firms special deals on relocating their headquarters out of Catalonia.
- Two young people in Lleida who criticised Spanish police action on October 1 on Facebook have been warned they are being investigated by the Civil Guard on a possible charge of "inciting hatred".
NOTE: THE SITUATION WITH INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION OF CATALAN INDEPENDENCE
No state in the world has given recognition to the Catalan Republic as an independent state, but the Assembly of Corsica welcomed the October 27 declaration of independence as, in the words of speaker Jean-Guy Talamoni, "an historic event: all European democrats have to give support to a people that is only asking to be able to exercise its rights freely." The Scottish government called on Madrid to accept a negotiated referendum to allow a proper exercise of the Catalan right to self-determination.
However, the other important category of reactions to the Catalan declaration of independence are those countries which have maintained a silence on the situation, important to register in the case of the European Union in the light of the Spanish government's draft media statement for them to fill out (repeated at the end of this note).
So far, the EU countries that have maintained silence over the issue are: Finland, Sweden, Greece and Slovenia (whose foreign minister reaffirmed the country's support for the right to self-determination on the day Catalan independence was declared). In the Greek case, the Spanish ambassador had to apologise for an outburst over the Greek government's failure to fill in the Spanish diplomatic form.
Some other countries that have to date avoided taking a position on the Catalan declaration of independence are: Israel, Cuba, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Venezuela, Honduras, Belize, Ecuador and Brazil.
Sources: Ara and Directe
Spanish government diplomatic note to EU members states
We will send a note shortly on the Unilateral Declaration of Independence that was just approved by "70 Representatives of the people" in the Catalan regional parliament in a secret ballot without the presence of the opposition. But a clear statement would be very welcome and would help a lot. Here are the lines we ask you to include in the statement, short and clear:
1 [Name of Country] does not and will not recognise in any form the illegal unilateral declaration of independence issued today in the Catalan regional parliament.
2. We condemn it as a blatant breach of the rule of law, Democracy and the Spanish Constitution, which is part of the EU legal framework.
3. We trust the Spanish Government and its democratic institutions to restore the rule of law and the constitutional order to guarantee the freedoms and rights of all of its citizens.
I cannot exaggerate the importance to attach to our friends support right now.
- Puigdemont ministers Joaquim Forn and Dolors Bassa booed by a group of Spanish unionists on their arrival at Barcelona airport after returning from Brussels media conference.
PODEMOS DIFFERENCES OVER CATALONIA
- "Podemos sources" cited by OK Diario state: "Albano [Dante Fachin, spokeperson of Podemos Catalonia] has decided that he is not the general secretary of Podemos Catalonia but a politician in Catalonia with his own agenda." In his press appearance yesterday Fachín said that Podemos Catalonia would talk to all parties and movements in Catalonia before deciding its orientation to the December 21 elections. This goes against the line decided by Podemos at the level of the Spanish state, which is to support the campaign to be run by Catalunya en Comú ("the commons") according to the slogan "neither 155 nor UDI".
- Leader members of the Anticapitalistas current in Podemos, Teresa Rodríguez (general secretary Podemos Andalusia and head of the Podemos fraction in the Andalusian parliament) and José María González ("Kichi"), mayor of Cadiz), issue a commmuniqué disagreeing with the Anticapitalistas communiqué on the Catalan situation (see under Sunday, October 29, 2200 hours for translation). Their communiqué states that "as Podemos has expressed on various occcasions, unilateral solutions, short cuts that don't take account of the other half of society, whether from one side or the other, will not work." It strongly criticises the Spanish state's intervention under article 155 and says they "continue committed to the road of dialogue and negotiation to achieve an agreed referendum to solve the crisis."
- Web site of "the president in exile" launched here.
- Last night's "Sausage Sizzle for Dignity" fills the central square of Vic (capital of Osona shire), with 8000 sold. Proceeds to support fund for Catalan politicians facing huge amounts of bail and fines.
- Mallorcan tennis player Rafa Nadal comments that the Catalan situation is "sad and diffficult. It is hard to express yourself 100 per cent freely when you might hurt someone and enough damage has been done already."
- ANC, Omnium Cultural and other pro-independence forces to meet on November 3 to try to develop single pro-independence ticket for the December 21 election.
- Civil Guard raids various stations of the Catalan police searhing for communications related to the October 1 referendum.
- English account of Puigdemont's Brussels press conference here.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31
- Miquel Buch, president of the Catalan Association of Municipalities and Shires (ACM), says that the independence movement should go to the December 21 election with a ticket led by Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Cuixart (the imprisoned presidents of the ANC and Omnium Cultural), Carles Pugdemont and Oriol Junqueras.
- Xavier Albiol García to be the PP's lead candidate in the December 21 elections.
- The cruise ships housing the Spanish National Police and the Civil Guard to prolong their stay in Barcelona and Tarragona ports.
- Spanish Constitutional Court suspends Catalan declaration of independence.
- The National High Court (Audiencia Nacional) cites Puigdemont and all his ministers to appear before it on November 2 and 3.
- The CUP to decide its position on the December 21 election at a November 11 special assembly. The CUP also describes Puigdemont's appearance in Brussels as an "act of dignity", but criticises the Puigdemont government for not having put in place more "structures of the Republic".
- Belgian prime minister Charles Michel on Puigdemont's stay in Belgium: "He will be treated like any European citizen."
- Catalan Centre of Opinon Studies releases its third quarter barometer (see here for English summary). Main results:
- Support for independent Catalan Republic has climbed from 41,1% to 48,7% since the second (June) quarter, while opposition has fallen from 49.4% to 43.6%.
- Identification with Catalonia ("I am a Catalan who lives in Catalonia") has increased from 43.3% to 49.7%.
- If an election were held today the balance of forces in the Catalan parliament would barely change, with the pro-independence camp (Together for the Yes plus the People's Unity LIst) getting 68-72 seats (presently 72, a majority is 68), while total seats in the unionist camp would pass from 52 today (Citizens 25, PSC 16, PP 11) to 47-52 (Citizens 20-22, PSC 17-19, PP 10-11). Catalonia Yes We Can would increase from 11 to 12-13.
Given the volatility of Catalan politics today--and the dependence of the final result on the participation rate--these figures should be treated with caution.
- Puigdemont addressing the International Press Club in Brussels (200 journalists present, a record). He says he will accept the result of the December 21 election and challenges Rajoy to do the same. Also:
- He will return to Catalonia when it is safe to do so;
- He is not seeking political asylum;
- He challenges the European Union and the international community to support Catalonia's right to self-determination;
- Denounces the legal action taken against his government for doing what it promised to do;
- He repeats the commitment of the Catalan government and pro-independence parties to non-violent methods, but calls for resistance to the Madrid takeover under article 155;
- Insists that his government is still working;
- Advises the Catalan people to prepare for a "long journey"; and
- Asks for recognition of the work of his ministers.
Carles Puigdemont (centre, speaking) with six of his ministers. (From left to right) Meritxell Serret (Agriculture), Joaquim Forn (Interior), Clara Ponsatí (Education), Meritxell Borràs (Housing and Public Administration), Toni Comín (Health), Dolors Bassa (Social Welfare)
- PSC leader Miquel Iceta says that Puigdemont's voyage to Belgium is "strange" and the idea of a government in exile "perfectly ridiculous".
- The Supreme Court agrees to hear the charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds brought against the Catalan cabinet and the pro-independence members of the speakership panel by the Spanish state prosecutor.
- Podem Catalunya leader Albano Dante Fachin says that the membership consultation imposed from Podemos at the state level is not acceptable in democratic terms, "kills the spirit of October 1", and says he will boycott. "Pablo Iglesias has intervened in Podem Catalunya in the same way as Mariano Rajoy has intervened in Catalonia."
- Jaume Asens, fourth deputy mayor of Bareclona and civil rights activist, says the conditions exist for granting Puigdemont political asylum.
- Puigdemont to appear at the International Press Club in Brussels, at 1230 hours.
- Internal plebiscite of Podem Catalunya members imposed by State Podemos leadership to run from November 1 to November 7. The question to be asked is: “Do you support Podemos standing in the December 21 elections in coalition with Catalunya en Comú and related political forces that do not approve either the declaration of independence or the application of article 155, with the word Podemos in the name of the coalition and on the voting paper?”
- Former business minister Santi Vila offers himself as leader of PDECat campaign for December 21 on a program of "building towards independence from moderate positions", with the goal of reaching a negotiated referendum agreement. Says that some of his fellow cabinet members were "naïve" in their expectation of an easy transition to independence.
- Marta Madrenas, the PDECat mayoress of Girona, announces new division of labour after breaking alliance with the PSC.
- Marta Pascal, the general coordinator of PDECat, says that the party will look for the best way in which Catalan sovereignty can win the December 21 election.
- Catalan National Assembly supports participating in December 21 elections, but with a joint strategy.
- Catalan government web sites govern.cat and president.cat closed down.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 30
Ferreres, El Periódico, October 30
- Imprisoned ANC president Jordi Sànchez tweets. "No credibility in any news that comes out about me, They want to confuse and demoralise. Psywar. I'm strong and well. Let's keep going."
"Freedom for political prisoners"
The Commissioner of Aran, Occitan-speaking Pyrenean shire of Catalonia, expresses concern at the impact of article 155 intervention on the region.
- The ERC gives support to Sabadell mayor Matias Serracant (CUP) for his decision to lower the Spanish and European flags on council buildings.
- The PSC, ruling in Terrassa, decides to bre it alliance with PDECat.
- Spanish economy minister Luis de Guindos urges companies that shifted their headquarters out of Catalonia under the Puigdemont government to return.
- CUP MP Mireia Boya says that Demeber 21 elections are "illegitimate" and have to be "confronted".
- Citizens' leader Ines Arrimades demands that the PSC and PP sign a pact to support the most-voted unionist party to form government if unionism wins a majority on December 21.
- José Manual Maza, the Spanish state prosecutor-general, charges all Catalan ministers and the pro-independence members of the speakership panel of parliament with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public money.
- ERC breaks council pact with PSC in Montmeló (Vallès Oriental).
- PDECat in Terrassa (Vallès Occidental) prepared to continue supporting mayor Jordi Ballart if he leaves the PSC.
- The case against Puigdemont and Forcadell to be heard by Carmen Lamela, the same judge who has had Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart jailed.
- Premier Puigdemont and five cabinet members in Brussels to talk with Flemish leaders.
- Since October 1, 1821 companies have shifted their headquarters out of Catalonia.
- Puigdemont and Forcadell charged with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.
- Tarragona Council (SC) removes official portrait of Puigdemont.
- National Committee of PDECat meets without Puigdemont.
- Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell accepts that the Parliament has been dissolved.
- Spanish government gives Catalan ministers two hours to leave their office, acompanied by police. If they refuse, the police to notify the Spanish state prosecutor.
- Amadeu Altafaj, Catalan government representative to the European Union, accepts his dismissal.
- Former Scottish premier Alex Salmond condemns EU and UK "guilty silence" on violence of October 1.
- Catalan ministers and senior government executive going to work as per usual.
- The Spanish state prosecutor is to charge Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell with "rebellion", which carrries a jail sentence of up to 30 years.
- [October 29]. Catalunya en Comú to stand in December 21 Catalan poll. Statement below.
At its meeting this Sunday the Executive Committee chose to participate in the elections to Parliament to defend its project for sovereignty and change
The National Coordinating Committee of Catalunya en Comú will be asked to confirm next Sunday, November 5, the decision to participate in the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia convened for December 21. This was agreed by the Executive Committee today, which met to assess the current political context and the calling of the election, and has chosen to participate in the December 21 poll.
The leadership of Catalunya en Comú considered it essential to defend its project for sovereignty and change at the ballot box and not leave this space empty in the electoral fight in Catalonia. The decision was relayed this evening to the members of the National Coordinating Committee of Catalunya en Comú so they can vote on it at the next meeting of that body.
The Executive Committee of Catalunya en Comú will meet next Friday, November 3 to prepare a proposal for the ticket and code of ethics, which will also have to be endorsed by the Coordinating Committee on Sunday. Subsequently, all persons affiliated to Catalunya en Comú will be able to ratify the candidacy and the code of ethics at a mass meeting.
- [October 26]. Quebec Committee of Solidarity with Catalonia launched. Statement:
The behavior of the Spanish Government towards the people of Catalonia, which has exercised its right to self-determination by voting for their independence, is an outrage to all those who care about democracy. Brutality and repression, which have been the Spanish response to this legitimate democratic exercise, are unacceptable. The peaceful and courageous actions of millions of Catalans and Catalans are an inspiration for all. But this movement still needs concrete actions of support.
Civil society and human rights organisations in Catalonia have called for international solidarity. That is why we are launching the Quebec Committee of Solidarity with Catalonia.
In addition to the imprisonment last week of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, presidents of the Catalna National Assembly and Omnium Cultural, this Friday the Spanish Senate will apply Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to suspend the autonomy of Catalonia. With this gesture, the Madrid government aims to dismiss the president and all his government, control the public media and the Catalan police and dissolve the Parliament of Catalonia so as to trigger elections where the separatist parties could even be deprived of the right to stand.
The times are serious, but the determination and capacity of mobilisation of the Catalan people are unshakeable. Let's show our solidarity with Catalonia from Quebec. We will see you this Thursday evening, in the middle of a crucial week for democracy where, as the poet Miquel Martí i Pol said: "Everything remains to be done and everything is possible".
Live music, talks and analysis of the political situation in Catalonia.
- Sigma-Dos-El Mundo poll on attitudes towards a referendum and Catalan independence
The questions in order are:
♦ Are you in favour of the Catalans having a legal referendum agreed with the government of Spain?
♦ Are you in favour of Catalonia becoming independent of Spain?
♦ Do you consider that any possibility exists of Catalonia becoming independent?
Answers are given, on the left, for all of Spain and, on the right, for Catalonia.
(NOTE: C's is Citizens, PSC is Party of Socialists of Catalonia, PP is People's Party, CSQP is Catalonia Yes We Can,
JxSí, Together for the Yes, is the ruling coalition in Catalonia, made up of PDeCat (Catalan European Democratic Party), ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) and pro-independence independents, CUP is People's Unity List, UP is Unidos Podemos)
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29
- King's Square in Sant Cugat renamed October 1 Square in honour of the struggle to hold the October 1 referendum in the face of police repression.
- Pablo Iglesias (Podemos general secretary) demands that Podemos Catalonia conduct a poll of members to decide if it will run with Catalunya en Comú in the forthcoming Catalan elections.
- PDECat to confront internal debate on how to relate to Decmber 21 election.
- Anticapitalists current in Podemos (spokepersons MEP Miguel Urban and Podemos Andalusia general secretary Teresa Rodriguez) issue position on Catalonia, recognising the result of the October 1 referendum.
- Belgian prime minister Charles Michel says that asylum for Puigdemont is "in no way on the table".
- Spanish National Police put up tweet of helicopter footage of today's unionist demonstration with demonstration slogan "We Are All Catalonia".
- Spanish CP federal committee: "We were not present at today's demonstration. Frutos does not represent us."
- Former French prime minister Manual Valls (of Catalan origin) announces that he will come to Catalonia to campaign for the unionist side in the December 21 elections.
- Ultra thugs attack Sikh man after unionist demonstration.
- The CUP demands that the Catalan government implement the decrees in Friday's independence declaration.
- Image from today's unionist demonstration doing the round of the social networks. The quote at the top is from a famous harangue by PSC leader Miquel Iceta (second from the left with glasses in the photo). "(Pedro [Sánchez], liberate us! Liberate us from Rajoy and the PP. For God's sake, liberate us, liberate us!" In the photo Iceta is accompanied (from left to right) by PPers Enric Millo (Spanish government delegate to Catalonia), Dolors Montserrat (Spanish minister for health) and Xavier Garcia Albiol (PP leader in Catalonia).
- Participants in unionist rally attack a station attendant, a taxi driver, the TV3 outside broadcast van, Catalan police and the Catalan government building in St James's Square (below):
- Josep Borell (PSOE) describes Catalan deputy president Oriol Junqueras as an "absolute totalitarian", the Catalan progressive daily Ara as "sowing hatred" and calls on everyone to vote on December 21.
- Former Communist Party of Spain (PCE) general secretary Francisco Frutos addresses demonstration, saying "the left that calls itself non-nationalist [reference to Catalunya en Comú], why isn't it here?" He says the nationalist left is creating a "racist identity" and defines himself as a "botifler" [Catalan collaborationist with the Borbons during the War of the Spanish Succession].
- Unionist ("constitutionalist") demonstration behind banner "We Are All Catalonia" draws 300,000 according to Municipal Police and 1.1 million according to organisers Catalan Civil Society. Most popular chant: "Puigdemont to jail". Salute Civil Guard helicopters with "That's our police".
- Spokesperson for the Catalan police union says that the country's political leaders are those elected and not those imposed from without.
- Secretary of Belgian immigration department says offering asylum to Puigdemont is not out of the question.
- Unionist rally begins in Barcelona.
- Catalunya en Comú spokesperson Elisenda Alemany states that the formation will stand in the December 21 elections, and without any alliance with pro-independence forces.
- Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras writtes in Punt Avui:
In the days to come we will have to make decisions that will not always be easy to understand. We need a shared strategy as [Podemos Catalonia leader] Albano Dante Fachin has been saying, whom we must thank for his unequivocal commitment to freedom and justice, to the universal values we all have to defend. On the often long and steep road that we have to travel to progressively establish a new fraemwork for our freedoms it is essential to create solid alliances with all those social and economic forces that are determined to build a state truly at the service of citizens. We have already begun the journey and we will continue, in the knowledge that they will put all sorts of obstacles in our way, that they will make things as difficult as possible for us, that they will spare no resources to make us fail and that there may be times of uncertainty and doubt or contradictions between what we want and the way we choose in each phase to achieve it. We have no choice but to move forward, accumulating forces, making our case ever more convincing, sharing the disappointments and the joys, the failures and the hopes, knowing how to withstand the blows so as to rise again, without ever giving up on the ballot box as the way to validate the Republic and preparing the future municipal elections that must be key in the establishment of this Republic.
- Former judge Elpidio José Silva explains to Catalan TV3 why the Spanish government cannot charge Puigdemont with "rebellion".
- The voice of Spanish centralism: El País founder Juan Luis Cebrián's special comment in today's edition of the paper (in English).
- London rally greets founding of the Catalan Republic.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28
Garner, Ara, October 28
Ferreres, El Periódico, October 28
Rajoy (in steamroller): "Whatever you do, you'll get your just desserts"
Junqueras to Puigdemont: "Who told you the PNV [Basque Nationalist Party, ruling the Basque Country] had a lot of influence with Madrid?"
Urkullu [Basque premier]: "I did what I could with the budget you brought me"
La Punxa d'en Jap, Punt Avui, October 28
El Roto, El País, October 28
- Sigma-Dos poll shows pro-independence forces losing their majority at December 21 election.
IF REGIONAL ELECTIONS WERE HELD IN CATALONIA TODAY, FOR WHICH PARTY WOULD YOU VOTE?
(NOTE: C's is Citizens, PSC is Party of Socialists of Catalonia, PP is People's Party, CSQP is Catalonia Yes We Can,
PDeCat is Catalan European Democratic Party, ERC is Republican Left of Catalonia, CUP is People's Unity List.
"Independ." if pro-independence, "Constit." is constitutionalist). Sample: 1000
- What happens on Monday? Or how to resist the article 155 onslaught (main points of NacióDigital report)
Main points of the passive resistance being planned against article 155:
- Ministers and senior executive to go to work as normal, challenging the Spanish administration to remove them physically;
- Puigdemont to continue to work from the main government building (the "Palau") in St James Square, Barcelona, protected by special group of Catalan police;
- Parliament to meet as usual (with meeting of speakership panel set for Tuesday);
- The main public sector union, USTEC, has voted not to accept instructions from executives imposed under aricle 155 intervention. Workers Commissions (CCOO) will not offer disobedience. However, many workplaces have had all-in mass meetings and voted that they will not accept orders from executives imposed from Madrid.. The minority unity confederation Intersindical-CSC has already held over 30 mass meetings to impart methods of peaceful resistance.
- The PP demands that the Spanish and European flags, lowered from Sabadell town hall after Friday's independence declaration, be re-hoisted.
- Former Catalan police chief Trapero's replacement leaves structures and personnel of his predecessor unchanged.
- Spanish government complains that Catalan public television Channel 3 presented Juigdemont as "president".
[TWEET] Juan José Ibarretxe (former Basque premier): "Respect, affection and recognition for the Catalan Republic."
- Catalan police chief Trapero acccepts his dismissal, writing an open letter to all members of the force asking them to "continue building the future".
- New Omnium Cultural video "Welcome Catalonia".
- Catalan President Carles Puigdemont gives public address over Channel 3
"The best way we have for defending the achievements made to date is democratic opposition to the application of article 155"
October 28, 2017
Yesterday we lived through a historic day, a day full of democratic and civic significance. The Parliament of Catalonia fulfilled what the citizens voted for on September 27, 2015, when the majority that emerged from the ballot box entrusted Parliament with the proclamation of independence.
Yesterday, too, the Spanish Council of Ministers agreed to the sacking of the entire Government of Catalonia, intervention into our self-government and the dissolving of Parliament. These are decisions
contrary to the will of the citizens of our country as expressed at the polls. They know perfectly well that in a democratic society it is up to parliaments to choose or dismiss presidents.
However, citizens, in these first moments, all of you have understood that the phase we have now entered we must continue to defend--with a tireless civic spirit and with a commitment to peace. Your reaction is that of a mature country that knows where it wants to go and how it wants to arrive there. Let's not get diverted from that: let's continue to persevere in the only attitude that can make us winners. Without violence, without insults, in an inclusive way, respecting people, symbols and opinions and also respecting the protests of Catalans who do not agree with what has been decided by the parliamentary majority.
Our desire is to continue working to fulfil our democratic mandates and at the same time seek maximum stability and calm, understanding the difficulties logically involved in a phase of this kind, one that our country has never been through, in any case never before in the way that is happening now.
The message I would like to address to you is this: let's have patience, perseverance and perspective. On that basis we can be clear that the best way to defend the gains won to date is through democratic opposition to the application of article 155, which is the end point of a premeditated aggression against the will of we Catalans who by a very large majority and over many years have felt ourselves to be a nation of Europe.
We have to do this by protecting ourselves against repression and threats, but doing that without ever, ever in our life, not at any moment, abandoning a public-spirited and peaceful conduct. We can't be, nor do we ever want to be, right through might. Not us. I ask this of you convinced that this request is what everyone expects, also from outside our country.
We shall continue working to build a free country, to guarantee a society that has less injustcess, 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 strengthen ties on the basis of respect and mutual recognition.
Thank you very much.
Carles Puigdemont and Casamajó
President of the Generalitat [Government] of Catalonia
- Spanish government appoints number two of Catalan police force (Mossos d'Esquadra) to be the new chief.
[TWEET] Mikko Kärnä (Finnish Centre Party, for seat in Lapland): Congratulations to the independent Republic of #Catalonia. Next week I will submit a motion to the Finnish Parliament for your recognition. [October 27]
- Council of Rubí (Vallès Occidental) votes not to condemn article 155 intervention on casting vote of mayoress.
- Spanish government appoints Ferran López, the number two of the Catalan police, as chief.
- Lleida mayor Àngel Ros (front line, in grey jacket, with glasses) takes part in unionist demonstration in Lleida.
- God relieved (in the Spanish state): "The chairman of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, Ricardo Blázquez, today expressed support for efforts to restore the constitutional order under article 155." (Europa Press)
- Ferran Mascarell, the Catalan delegate to the Spanish government sacked by Rajoy, will appeal the decision to the courts because the article 155 resolution adopted by the Senate is "manifestly unconstitutional".
- Albano Dante Fachín (Podemos Catalonia): "It would be an enormous contradiction to say one million times "No" to 155 and then take part in elections as if nothing had happened ... At the present time I personally find it very hard to think of the December 21 elections as normal elections while the Jordis are in jail."
- Some international press front covers on the declaration of Catalan Republic.
- St Carles de Ràpita raises the senyera in celebration of the declaration of the Catalan Republic.
- Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy appoints his deputy, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, as premier of Catalonia.
- Here is the Spanish government note to European Union member states outlining the declaration Madrid wants them to make with regard to the Catalan declaration of independence (revealed on the Twitter page of Markus Preißde, Brussels correspondent of the German TV channel ARD).
We will send a note shortly on the Unilateral Declaration of Independence that was just approved by "70 Representatives of the people" in the Catalan regional parliament in a secret ballot without the presence of the opposition. But a clear statement would be very welcome and would help a lot. Here are the lines we ask you to include in the statement, short and clear:
1 [Name of Country] does not and will not recognise in any form the illegal unilateral declaration of independence issued today in the Catalan regional parliament.
2. We condemn it as a blatant breach of the rule of law, Democracy and the Spanish Constitution, which is part of the EU legal framework.
3. We trust the Spanish Government and its democratic institutions to restore the rule of law and the constitutional order to guarantee the freedoms and rights of all of its citizens.
I cannot exaggerate the importance to attach to our friends support right now.
- The General Union of Workers (UGT) and the Workers Commissions (CCOO) in the Spanish state reject the Catalan declaration of independence and see a solution in elections. They demand of the Rajoy government "prudence and moderation" in the application of article 155.
- Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said this afternoon [October 27] that the Declaration of Independence made by the Catalan Parliament is “a historic step towards Catalan statehood” and “it is time for Spain to seize the opportunity for dialogue”. Teachta Adams said:
“The democratically elected Parliament of Catalonia have today made a Declaration of Independence. It is a historic step towards Catalan statehood.
“The right to self-determination is a corner stone of international law and this declaration must be respected.
“I want to express my solidarity with the people of Catalonia on this historic day.
“I believe it is now incumbent on the Spanish government to agree an internationally mediated process on the way forward. That is what the Catalan government have offered. That goodwill must be reciprocated.
“It is time for the Spanish government to seize the opportunity for dialogue.
“I would encourage the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to urgently press for this process with the Spanish Prime Minister.”
- Madrid orders the sacking of Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero.
- Andorra [whose national language is Catalan] does not recognise the Catalan Republic.
- Italy "does not recognise and will not recognise" the Catalan Republic.
[TWEET] ANC: "We are being asked about Rajoy's measures, but it is not our habit to comment on the policy of foreign governments."
- El País (in English): Putin encourages independence movement via envoy to Catalonia
- El País (in English): Is Catalonia independent?
- El País (in English): Orwell and Catalan doublespeak (viewpoint of an adviser to Tony Blair)
Today's front pages
"55 days of 155"
"The State arrives to stifle the insurrection"
"Spain decapitates the coup"
"Law against the rebellion"
"The Republic proclaimed and the government dismissed"
"Rajoy aborts the UDI: elections on December 21"
"Rajoy intervenes in the Catalan government to calls elections for December 21"
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27
Fer, El Punt Avui, October 27
Removal of Francoist symbols [Plaque says: National Housing Institute]: Rajoy: "Let me go!"
- First meeting of government of new republic ends.
- Ultra-rightists smash-up doors of Catalonia radio and attack car of channel BTV (Barcelona TV)
- The castellers ("castlers") of the Tamp de Tarragona welcome in the Republic with a special exhibition.
- Pablo Iglesias demands that the December 21 elections in Catalonia take place "without repression".
- PDECat and PSC dissolve their governing alliance on Girona city council.
- People in St James Square, Barcelona, call for Puigdemont to come out onto the balcony of the government building.
Celebration of the Republic--Vic
Celebration of the Republic--Sabadell
[TWEET] Ines Arrimadas (Citizens): "On December 21 we'll be out to win the election at the ballot box. We're going to re-establish democracy, social harmony, lawfulness and Catalan levelheadedness. A new period for all Catalans awaits us."
[TWEET] Miquel Iceta (PSC): "On the saddest day because of the mistaken and irresponsable decision of the pro-independence forces, a ray of light: elections on December 21."
- Carlos Lesmes, the chief judge of the Supreme Court and president of the Supreme Council of the Judicial Power sends a letter to all Catalan magistrates demanding their loyalty to the Spanish constitution and legal order. Jesús María Barrientos, chief judge of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia, states that "no declaration, informal or formal, implicit or explicit, of independence can supplant any legal instruction."
- Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy dismisses the premier of the Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, and the entire government. and dissolves the Catalan parliament. Also suppressed are all foreign delegations of the Catalan government and the director-general of the Catalan police, the Mossos d'Esquadra.
- Jean-Guy Talamoni (speaker of the Corsican parliament): "Madrid didn't bother for years to take notice of the desires of the Catalan people to make progress towards sovereignty. These desires constitute a political reality as revealed by a fully democratic process."
400 unionist youths marching through Barcelona. Police keeping them away from St James Square.
- NATO secretary-general Jans Stoltenberg: "Catalonia issue must be resolved within Spain's constitutional order. Spain is committed Ally, with important contributions to our security."
Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevicius says that, while recognising the unity of Spain, opportunities for negotiated solution were not exhausted.
- Estonia and Cyprus state their support for the unity of Spain.
- UN Secretary-General António Guterres urges Spain and Catalonia to find a solution "within the frameowrk of the constitution".
[TWEET] PSOE Andalusian premier Susana Díaz: "Sad for what happened today. I ask Andalusians and the rest of the Spanish to have confidence in the rule of law. Lawfulness will return to Catalonia."
- European Parliament president Antonio Tajani (PPE) says that "no-one" will recognise the Catalan declaration of independence.
- All associations of prosecutors calls the Catalan declaration of independence "illegal" and "anti-democratic".
[TWEET] Judges for Democracy: "We reject the break with the Constitution. Any process of changeneeds consensus about these decisions and by the political nation."
- The CUP demands that Barcelona mayoress immediately recognoise the Catalan Republic.
- Statement of Scottish minister for culture Fiona Hyslop, on behalf of the Scottish National Party government:
“We understand and respect the position of the Catalan Government. While Spain has the right to oppose independence, the people of Catalonia must have the ability to determine their own future.
“Today’s Declaration of Independence came about only after repeated calls for dialogue were refused.
“Now, more than ever, the priority of all those who consider themselves friends and allies of Spain should be to encourage a process of dialogue to find a way forward that respects democracy and the rule of law.
“The imposition of direct rule cannot be the solution and should be of concern to democrats everywhere.
“The European Union has a political and moral responsibility to support dialogue to identify how the situation can be resolved peacefully and democratically.”
- General Council of Aran, the Occitan-speaking shire in the north-west corner of Catalonia, says it will meet on Tuesday to discus whether to remain part of Catalonia.
- General Union of Workers (UGT) federal secretary, Catalan Josep Maria Álvarez sats he is "sad" and that independence declaration represents "a failure of politics".
- UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson says its position on recognising Catalan independence has not changed.
- PP MPs and staff ask for Mossos d'Esquadra protection to be able to leave Catalan parliament.
- German, French and Colombian governments state that their interlocutor remains the Spanish state, and that they do not recognise the Catalan declaration of independence.
- Celebrations in St James Square, Barcelona.
[TWEET] Charles Michel (Belgian prime minister): A political crisis can only be solved through dialogue. We call for a peaceful solution with respect for national and international order.
- Pedro Sánchez (PSOE federal secretary):The UDI adopted by the Catalan parliament is "a road leading to a dead end" that will sow "division, fragmentation and violate priciples and freedoms". "Catalonia will remain being Spain."
- Spanish flag lowered at Girona town hall.
[TWEET] Pablo Iglesias (Podemos): "We are against repression and for a negotiated referendum, but the declaration of independence is illegitimate and favours the strategy of the PP."
- Ada Colau (mayoress, Barcelona): "Not in my name, neither UDI nor 155 ... Now is the time to defend the Catalan institutions and to struggle to preserve the prosperity and social cohesian of Barcelona and Catalonia."
[TWEET] Donald Tusk (European Council president): "For EU nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor. I hope the Spanish government favours force of argument, not argument of force."
- Albert Rivera (Citizens): " With a coup against democracy they are trying to take away what we are--Catalans, Spaniards and Europeans. They are not going to succeed in breaking up Catalonia, nor in breaking up Spain, nor in taking uis out of the European Union."
[TWEET] Basque Nationalist Party: "Respect for Catalonia and the decisions of its legitimate institutions. The new period demand democracy and a sense of responsibility."
- Former Catalan president José Montilla absents himself from the Spanish senate to avoid voting on activation of article 155.
[TWEET] Arnaldo Otegi (EH Bildu): "Welcome Catalan Republic!"
[TWEET] Joan Coscubiela (CSQEP): "Today's decisions will have consequences in the life of many people. No-one has the right to dodge their responsibility before the citizens."
- Big losses for Catalan banks BankCaixa and Banc Sabadell on the Spanish stock exchange.
[TWEET] Mariano Rajoy: "I ask all Spaniards for calm. The Rule of Law will restore legality in Catalonia".
- DECLARATION OF CATALAN INDEPENDENCE ADOPTED (70 FOR, 10 AGAINST, 2 ABSTENTIONS, 53 NOT VOTING (HAVE LEFT CHAMBER)
- Declaration of independence being voted.
- PP abandons the chamber, leaving Spanish flags on its seats.
- Intervention of Carlos Riera (CUP): "The moment has arrived, without state structires, to construct the Republic from below. Today we are determining our future, against the elites of Spain and of Catalonia."
- Intervention of Alejandro Fernández (PP): "Mr Puigdemont, is there any part of you that is not fascist and like Maduro?"
- Intervention of Marta Ribas (Catalonia Yes We Can): "You do not have the democratic legitimacy to adopt a declaration of independence. We propose dialogue and the constuction of broad majorities to advance."
- Intervention of Eva Granados (PSC): "Are you aware of the fear and worry you're causing people? Nobody wants to see 155 applied but it's the result of your deliberate break with legality."
- Intervention of Carles Carrizosa (Citizens): "Today is a sad and dramatic day for Catalonia. A definitive coup against democracy is taking place." Tears up the independence resolution to the applause of his MPs.
Crowd outside Parliament
- German government supports Spanish government in the application of article 155 against Catalonia.
- Comment of Catalunya en Comú coordinator Xavier Domènech on Facebook:
We commit to working to get 155 out of our lives and to really build our collective future. We can have a doubts about a lot of things but we can never have doubts about ourselves when we've collectively given the best of ourselves.
Mayors of Berguedà shire in the Catalan parliament to support the declaration of independence
- Citizens, the PP and PSC will leave the Catalan parliament chamber if independence is put to the vote.
- Catalan parliament's legal counsel advises that the JxSí and CUP resolution violates the Spanish Constitution and rulings of the Constitutional Court.
- Spanish prosecutor's office charges the Catalan parliament's speakership panel with "rebellion" for allowing debating and vote on the declaration of independence.
- Joint resolution of Together for the Yes (JxSí) and the People's Unity List (CUP) to today's session of the Catalan parliament:
We, democratic representatives of the people of Catalonia, in the free exercise of the right of self-determination and in accordance with the mandate received from the citizens of Catalonia:
CONSTITUTE the Catalan Republic, as an independent and sovereign State of law, democracy and social justice;
DECLARE enacted the Law of Juristictional Transition and Founding of the Republic;
INITIATE the democratic, citizen-based, all-embracing, participatory and binding constitutuent process;
AFFIRM our desire to open negotiations with Spain, without any prior conditions, aimed at establishing a collaborative system for the benefit of both parties, with negotiations necessarily conducted on an equal footing;
BRING TO THE ATTENTION of the international community and the authorities of the European Union the constitution of the Catalan Republic and the proposal for negotiations with Spain;
URGE the international community and the authorities of the European Union to intervene to stop the violation of civil and political rights presently under way and to monitor and be witnesses to the negotiation process with the Spanish State;
EXPRESS the desire to build a European project that reinforces the social and democratic rights of citizens, as well as the commitment to continue applying, without a solution of continuity and unilaterally, the norms of the legal order of the European Union and those of the legal regime of the Spanish State and of the Catalan autonomous government that are incorporated into this European order;
AFFIRM that Catalonia has the unequivocal desire to become integrated as quickly as possible into the international community. The new state is committed to respecting the international obligations that currently apply to its territory and to continuing to be part of the international treaties to which the Kingdom of Spain is a party.
WE APPEAL to all States and international organisations to recognise the Catalan Republic as an independent and sovereign State.
WE URGE the Government of the Generalitat [Catalan government] to take the necessary measures to make this Declaration of Independence and the Law of Juristictional Transition and Founding of the Republic fully effective.
WE CALL ON each and every citizen of the Catalan Republic to make us worthy of the freedom we have given ourselves and to build a State that translates collective aspiration into action and conduct.
WE ASSUME the mandate of the people of Catalonia expressed in the October 1 Self-determination Referendum and declare that Catalonia now becomes an independent state in the form of a Republic.
- Rajoy to Senate: "September 6 and 7 in the Catalan parliament "the worst attack on democracy in our country since [the failed military coup of] February 23, 1981.
- PSOE and PP negotiating "softening" the proposed intervention into Catalan public means of communication.
- Spanish National Police deny they are studying suspending Girona-Real Madrid fixture.
- The PSC to present three resolutions to today's session of the Catalan parliament: withdrawal of UDI and 155, return to status quo and start new stage of discussion re Catalan autonomy.
- Main trade union confederations the Workers Commissions (CCOO) and the General Union of Workers (UGT) demand simultaneous withdrawal of UDI and article 155 action.
- Police said to studying if Girona v Real Madrid match (set for Girona this Sunday) should be allowed to go ahead.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26
Ferreres, El Periódico, October 26
Catalan premier Puigdemont and vice-premier Junqueras at the crossroads. DUI is Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI)
- Minister for business Santi Vila, who lead campaign within Catalan ministry to have early elections and not declare independence, resigns.
[TWEET] Business minister Santi Vila: "I resign. My attempts at dialogue have failed. I hope to have been useful right up to the last moment to premier Puigdemont and the Catalans."
- Catalan Association of Municipalities and Shires (ACM) and Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) calls on mayors to attend tomorrow's session of the Catalan parliament.
- Celebrations of the impending declaration by parliament of the Catalan Republic in various towns
- Cristina Cifuentes, PP premier of Madrid, says that Puigdemont can no longer call elections even if he wants to because he is now "illegal".
- PSOE sources say they still hope to convince the PP to exclude Catalan public media from the targets of article 155 and to stop its application in case of Catalan regional elections.
- Parliamentary session ends.
- Spanish Senate votes for the implementation of article 155.
- Lluís Corominas (summarising for JxSí): "We shall not let down the people who have got as far as this."
- Albert Botran (CUP): [to Puigdemont] "The PNB [Basque Nationalist Party, which tried to mediate between the Catalan and Spanish governments] are not good counsellors. Be careful of your travel companions."
- Benet Salellas (CUP): "The application of 155 represents a victory for the hardest, most reactionary sectors of the Spanish state."
- Xavier Garcia Albiol (PP): "Between doing nothing and seeing Spain break up and applying measures that certainly won't be easy, we go for democracy and social harmony."
- Albano Dante Fachin (Podemos Catalonia): "There's a majority of people in this country who believe that the way to solve problems is by debating and voting ... Does the PP believe that by appying an article they can make two million people disappear?"
- Lluís Rabell (CSQEP): "The government should do everything possible to avoid the introduction of article 155, making clear that independence was never voted and having early elections which forces opposing 155 would easily win. "The UDI is the worst service thatyou [Puigdemont] can do for Catalonia.
Student protestors tent in St James Square. Placard on rights says: "Neither 155 nor elections"
[TWEET] Universities for the Republic: "We celebrate that finally premier Puigdemont is not going to call elections. We demand compliance with the popular mandate of October 1 and the proclaiming of the Republic."
- Catalan Council of Statutory Guarantees, which monitors the constitutionality of legislation concludes that Catalan governemnt cannot be sacked under article 155 of the constitution.
- Miquel Iceta (PSC): "The [independence] process has not seen the country advance a millimetre." The core of the problem were the parliamentary sessions of September 6 and 7 which violated the rights of the opposition parties. It's better that this government leave than that businesses leave. Calls on Puigdemont to go to the Senate to explain his position.
[TWEET] Omnium Cultural: "We place all our trust in the Catalan parliament making effective in the hours to come the will of the Catalans as expressed at the ballot box on October 1."
- Ines Arrimadas (Citizens): "Puigdemont can't deliver independence, but he can destroy Catalonia's autonomy...Catalonia will not be independent but it will be poorer, less safe and more fractured."
- Ana Gabriel (CUP) supports position of JxSí.
- Plenary session of Catalan parliament begins. Lluís Corominas, spokesperson for JxSí group, indicates that JxSí will move tomorrow the ratification by parliament of the result of the October 1 referendum.
- PSC general secretary Miquel Iceta, involved in negotiations to get 155 suspended in exchange for early elections, says there is still time to reach an agreement along these lines.
- Demonstrations against the the calling of early Catalan elections called off.
- Soraya Saenz de Santamaria: "We have to rescue Catalonia".
- Soraya Saenz de Santamaria presents motivation for the implementation of article 155 to the Senate.
- Ferran Mascarell, delegate of the Catalan government in Madrid, prevented from putting the Catalan case to the Senate because he is not an elected representative.
- Puigdemont: "Now it is up to parliament to decide according to what its majority thinks."
- Puigdemont: "The commitment to peace and community spirit is needed more than ever because only in this way can we end up winning."
- Puigdemont: "Nobody can say that I didn't try to exhaust all possibilities."
- Puigdemont: "I tried to get guarantees that 155 would be withdrawn in exchange for early Catalan elections. I received none."
- Guillermo Fernández Vara, premier of Extremadura, says calling Catalan elections "de facto amounts to a restoration of legality".
- The PP accepts a proposal from the PSOE that article 155 be implemented "gradually".
- The governing board of Omnium Cultural in emergency session.
- PP sources say that they will proceed with activating article 155 even in the case that early elections are called in Catalonia.
- Puigdemont to make public announcement at 1700 hours from the Catalan government building.
- Session of Catalan parliament put back one hour (to 1800 hours). Puigdemont has not yet signed the decree dissolving parliament and calling early elections.
- Puigdemont summons ERC leader and deputy premier Junqueras to the Catalan government building.
- Germà Bel, independent MP within JxSí, resigns as MP: "No point dragging this out until the beginning of 2018."
- Alberto Núñez Feijóo, PP premier of Galicia, says that stopping the application of article 155 doesn't depend on the calling of early elections in Catalonia (the PSOE position) but on a clear renunciation from the Catalan government of independence aspirations.
- Tarragona City Council (PSC mayor) carries consensus resolution against the application of an article 155 intervention.
- Spanish Supreme Court rejects the appeal of the Catalan government against the article 155 procedure before the Senate because "at the present moment this has only begun and for that reason is not producing any of the juridical impacts claimed by the appellants."
- European Central Bank governor Mario Draghi says of Catalan crisis: "We are following developments with close attention. They are important and significant."
- Emergency meeting of the ERC national executive decides to withdraw from the Puigdemont government if the premier follows though on his decision to call elections. ERC spokesperson Sergi Sabrià tweets that the only ballot boxes that count are those used on October 1. He calls on Puigdemont to reverse decision: "We still have time."
- [TWEET] CUP: "We don't take a step back. Let's mobilise. Let's demand the Republic now. Let's obey the mandate of October 1. Everyone to St James Square."
- Democrats calls on premier Puigdemont to reconsider his decision.
- [TWEET] Omnium Cultural: "We know that with you we are not alone. The students are the dignity of this country. Thanks for demanding freedom for the Jordis."
- [TWEET] Catalan National Assembly: "We join the students' protest. We will listen carefully to the president. We reaffirm that our position is clear: Declaration of Independence."
- Catalan TV announces that Puigdemont's conference will be held in the government building after all.
- Catalan TV announces that media conference of premier Puigdemont will be held not in the government house, but at the parliament, because he had not received guarantees from Rajoy government that article 155 would not be introduced despite calling of Catalan elections.
- [TWEET] Lluís Rabell (president, Catalonia Yes We Can parliamentary fraction): "Puigdemont's decision helps avoid a scenario of confrontation in which we could lose self-government. A prudent decision by the premier."
- [TWEET] Neus Lloveras (president of the Association of Municipalities for Independence): "I respect the decision of the premier, but don't share it. I have to weigh up the situiation and make personal decisions."
- [TWEET] Súmate (Organisation of Spanish-speaking supporters of independence: "We don't accept Catalan elections, you have a mandate from the Catalan people and you must fulfil it. Everyone to St James Square to demand the Republic."
- Student demonstration gathering outside the Catalan government building in central Barcelona.
- [TWEET] Antoni Castellà (spokesperson, Democrats, and JxSí spokesperson): "Despite being excluded form decision-making bodies, we have been loyal. Not for this! Not for this! Disappointment. We will not turn our back on the people."
- José Manuel Barreiro, PP spokesperson in the Senate, says calling of elections doesn't automatically mean article 155 is suspended.
- [TWEET] Republican Left of Catalonia Youth (JERC): "Faithful to the popular mandate and to the people, who've done the work. Some people have sold us out. We keep going, we will keep going until the end."
- Resignations from PDeCAT already starting, including of MPs in the Together for the Yes (JxSí) ruling coalition.
- [TWEET] Antonio Baños (lead CUP candidate, 2015 elections): "If we stay at home, Mas and Puigdemont win. Organisation, serenity and mobilisation continue. We're going out to build the Republic. Let's keep going!"
- Spanish Stock Exchange jumps by 2% on news of Puigdemont's announcement of early elections.
- PSOE premier of the Valencian Country, Ximo Puig, says he will oppose application of article 155 if "lawful" elections carried out in Catalonia.
- Committee for the Defence of the Referendum (CDR) of the Barcelona neighbourhood of Gràcia calls for demonstration outside the headquarters of PDeCAT.
- [TWEET] Alberto Garzón (national coordinator, United Left): If Catalan elections are confirmed for December and without a DUI it will be great news. Neither DUI nor 155. Dialogue and politics is the way forward.
- [TWEET] Adrià Alsina (media officer ANC): "Frau, Fraude, Fraud."
- Student demonstration in Barcelona becomes an outcry against early elections: "Not a step backwards!", "Those who are in prison don't want elections!", "Betrayal", "No independence without disobedience"
- CUP Barcelona councilors hang banner from Barcelona Town Hall demanding release of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart. Removed by council staff.
- [TWEET] Gabriel Rufián (ERC MP in Spanish parliament): "155 pieces of silver."
- [TWEET] Joan Coma (CUP): "Have no doubt that everything we've have learned in these months we shall now use against the people who are carrying out this swindle. Mobilisation!"
- European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker tells Portuguese public TV that "Catalans are not oppressed by Spain".
- Puigdemont to dissolve parliament, with early Catalan elections to be held on December 20.
- [TWEET] Pablo Iglesias (Podemos): "Elections in Catalonia will not solve the problem, but they they will make the implentation of article 155 harder and give more time to look for dialogue."
- [TWEET] People's Unity List (CUP): "We will not support any scenario of early elections. We reaffirm the popular mandate of October 1. Republic Now without any more delays.
- Puigdemont's acceptance of early elections reported in El Periódico to be the result of a mediation process carried out by the Basque premier Iñigo Urkullu and a group of Catalan business people.
- Clash between Spanish National Police and Catalan police at Barcelona incinerator. The Catalan police had arrived with a judicial order permitting the destruction of documents, but 15 Spanish National Police blocked their path into the incinerator.
- LATEST: After morning cabinet meeting premier Puigdemont changes course and is reported by "sources close to the cabinet" to be about to propose new elections to the ruling Together For The Yes (JxSí) parliamentary group.
- Barcelona Council rejects the application of article 155. In favour of rejection: Barcelona en Comú, PDECat, ERC, CUP and Democrats. Against: PSC, PP and Citizens.
- Catalonia Yes We Can MP and third deputy speaker Joan Josep Nuet, interviewed on TV3, calls on Puigdemont to abandon UDI: "Not even the pro-ondependence bloc can get agreement about this."
- Escala (Alt Empordà) votes to condemn aplication of article 155, with PSC in favour and only PP against.
- Vic (Osona) council votes motion comdemning aplication of article 155.
- University student strike under way (poster below)
"October 26, STRIKE! The people have voted. Republic Now!"
- Ana Gomes (Portuguese Socialist Party Member of the European Parliament, interviewed by NacioDigital): "Many in the PSOE have ligned up with the PP's extremism."
- Scenes from yesterday's rallies in defence of the Catalan education system. Banner: "Don't touch our ... education!" (play on Catalan expression of irritation, "Don't touch my balls").
- Anonymous denounces Spanish National Police infiltration of its operations through the Twitter site @anonCatalonia.
- After prolonged negotiations with all parts of the independence movement and after coming under great pressure to call early elections to avoid the application of article 155, it seems probable that premier Puigdemont will declare Catalan independence on Friday, October 27. On the same day the Spanish Senate will enact the application of article 155. It is not excluded that one or more ministers in the Catalan government will resign over the decision. Puigdemont will continue negotiating this morning. The parliamentary session to decide the declaration of independence will start this afternoon, with the declaration expected tomorrow.
- Text in English of joint statment of Catalan public broadcasters:
The public broadcasters TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio were founded in 1983 under a mandate from all the political parties then represented in the Catalan Parliament, the institution which represents the will of the citizens of Catalonia whom it is our duty to serve.
From Catalonia and in the Catalan Language, we have for 34 years striven to inform about world events with the maximum pluralism and veracity, and this has made us the most trusted and highest-rated source of news in Catalonia.
The threat by the Spanish Government to take direct control of Catalan public media, including the ACN (Catalan News Agency) constitutes a direct attack on the citizens of Catalonia, and a denial of their right to true, objective, pluralistic, balanced information - a fundamental right in any democracy.
The simple fact that a government plans to take over and control these media is proof enough of its intent to infringe these rights. Government control is not compatible with freedom of the press.
This government interference in the media is unacceptable in a democratic Europe, it is a direct attack on the founding principles of the European Union.
"Puigdemont launches Catalonia into the abyss"
"Plan Puigdemont: UDI and resistance"
"Puigdemont bolts and prepares independence"
"The Catalan government inclined to declare independence"
Catalan language dailies
"Puigdemont calls emergency meeting of ministers"
"Radical milieu pushing Puigdemont towards independence"
"The Republic gains strength"
"Tension over the UDI"
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25
"It's [chief Spanish state] prosecutor's Maza's favourite hobby."
- Unanimous condemnation of article 155 intervention by town council of les Preses (Garrotxe).
- Sergi Sabrià, ERC parlliamentary spokesperson, tells meeting in Sabadell: "In the days ahead we shall not fail you" but sees "complicated times ahead".
- Drunk Spanish police provoke row in Barcelona bar and owner has to call Catalan police.
- Results of an internal poll commissioned by ERC (date: October 21-22, Sample 800, filtered for region, age and sex).
- Would early elections help solve the Catalan crisis? Yes 38% No 49% Don't Know 13%
- How would you vote in the case of a new referendum on independence? Yes 48% No 39% Don't Know 13%
- Do you agree with the application of article 155 to Catalonia? Yes 11% No 77% Don't Know 12%
- Who is most responsible for the political situation having reached its present impasse? Catalan government and independence movement 7% Spanish government and the PP 71% Both 19% Don't Know 3%
- Demonstrations in front of the town halls of various towns in support of the Catalan educational model.
- "Hacktivists" enter the web site of the Spanish Central Of National Intelligence.
- Demonstration in central St James Square in Barcelona calling on the Catalan government to declare the Republic.
St James Square: CDR banner of the Eixample barrio
- Councils of towns in the shires of Pallars Jussà and Pallars Subirà condemn the planned article 155 intervention.
- The Constitutional Court provisionally suspends two Catalan laws that have been appealed for inconstitutionality by the Spanish government: one deals with "digital life" of dead persons and the other with the right of people at risk of social exclusion to not suffer eviction.
- Barcelona en Comú and its partners in government in Barcelona Council, the PSC, agree a text rejecting the article 155 intervention but also a Catalan declaration of independence. Barcelona en Comú may also supprt the draft resolution of PDeCAT and the ERC.
- PDeCAT and ERC senators appeal to the Constitutional Court on the grounds that their rights as senators have been violated by the actions of the PP majority.
- Catalan government launches an "e-residence" project allowing companies to operate in Catalonia without a physical presence.
- BBC organises "macro-debate" in Barcelona on Catalan crisis with 300 participants.
- Pablo Iglesias (Podemos general secretary) says that any declaration of Catalan independence would be "illegal and illegitimate" and expresses disappoinment that Puigdemont will not be appearing before the Senate because "any space for dialogue would be positive".
- The Democracy Roundtable calls for demonstrations against article 155 outside town halls at 1900 hours tomorrow.
- Workers in Catalan public TV and radio hold televised press conference to state their position against the application of article 155. The communiqué is read in various languages.
- The People's Unity List (CUP) calls an emergency demonstration for 1930 hours today outside the Catalan palace of government, to march afterwards to parliament.
- Premier Puigdemont finally decides not to appear before the Spanish Senate.
- Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell puts back tomorrow's plenary session from 1000 to 1600.
- PSC-run council of Granollers (Vallès Occidental) "cannot" have plenary to discuss article 155 because of scheduling problems.
- Iñigo Urkullu, premier of the Basque Autonomous Region in the Spanish state, publishes this opinion piece on the Catalan crisis in the Guardian.
- Spanish education minister Iñigo Méndez de Vigo admits that the Catalan education system does not engage in indoctrination, despite some "shocking situations".
- Unionist Catalan Civil Society calls rally for Sunday, October 29 under the slogan "We are all Catalans".
- ANC calls rally ouside Catalan parliament for midday Friday, October 27.
[TWEET] "So many years asking ourselves what was the point of the famous territorial assembly otherwise known as the Senate and it turns out it's to cut back the freedom of the territories!"
- See the BBC interview where Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis said that images of police violence on October 1 were falsified here.
- Web site El Nacional.cat now providing coverage in English.
- Anonymous crashes the Spanish Royal House web site.
- Margarita Robles, PSOE spokesperson in the Spanish Congress, says that if Catalan premier Puigdemont calls early elections, no grounds for applying article 155 remain. This puts the PSOE at odds with the PP government, which says that the intervention will go ahead as soon as adopted by the Senate.
- Manresa (Bages) city council condemns 155 intervention with PSC abstaining.
- PSC abstains in the vote condemning the 155 intervention in the city council of Olot (Garrotxe).
- On Tortosa (Baix Ebre) city council, the PSC abstains in the vote condemning the article 155 intervention.
- Jaume Collboni, PSC deputy mayor on Barcelona Council, accuses the PDeCAT and ERC of wantint to "divide the council into two ireconciliable blocs".
- Initiative for Catalonia-Greens councilor on Berga (Berguedà) city councils abstains on motion to condemn article 155 intervention because resolution accepts October 1 as a binding referendum and voting the resolution paragrapgh by paragrpah not allowed.
- People's Party leader in Catalonia, Xavier García Albiol, says that public servants who do not follow instructions from Madrid "could lose their job".
- Student strike starts with roadblocks of major highways.
- Catalan web-based daily NacioDigital carries the following report:
- The News Council of Spanish Radio and Televison (RTVE), the internal body monitoring the quality of its coverage, issues a 72-page report stating that the broadcaster manipulated TV footage so as to give a biased coverage of the October 1 referendum and the police violence involved.
- Girona Council approves motion condemning the article 155 intervention and declaring the Borbon Spanish royal house personae non gratae. [NOTE: King Philip is also the Prince of Girona--this is like Cardiff declaring Charles, Prince of Wales, a persona non grata]. The motion enjoys the support of the PSC.
"First cracks in the PP-PSOE pact on the use of 155"
"The Government disagree with the PSOE: election don't avoid 155"
"The high schools use their students against Francoist 'repression'"
"Rajoy will adopt 155 even without the support of the PSOE"
Catalan language dailies
"Together for the Yes: independence and resistance"
"The call for elections grows within the Catalan government"
"Open debate in government over calling elections"
"Division in government over calling elections or UDI"
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24
Ferreres, El Periodico, October 24
"The fatherland is in danger!"
October 22 statement by CUP affiliate Poble Lliure
In light of the coup d’etat and the attempt to liquidate our people...
Let’s proclaim and defend the Catalan Republic!
The Spanish Government, with the support of parties that bolster the corrupt regime
emerged from the post-francoist transition, has opted for the "final solution" with regard to
the democratic challenge raised by the Catalans: the coup d’état and liquidation of the
The pretention of removing the legitimate Catalan Government, taking over the Catalan
media, threatening public servants and purging the public administration, destroying the
educational system and calling for new elections while banning certain political options,
after imprisoning Catalan pro-independence leaders, can only be named FASCISM!
This has not been the response from a Government, but from the whole apparatus of the
State, starting with a King of the dynasty that acceded the Crown for the first time by
ravaging the Catalan Countries in blood and fire, and who was restored by the dictator
Francisco Franco. Continuing with a judiciary and special courts that are heirs of the
fascist regime, and ending with medias that are seen around the world as an example of
manipulation and complete lack of credibility!
As the pro-independence movement had been denouncing for decades, the regime of 78
was nothing more than a makeover of the regime of 39 (the Franco dictatorship and its
oligarchs) and, now, with a people mobilized in a massive, civic and democratic way, it has
no choice but to show its true face!
At this point, it is clear that the only way move forward the path to democracy and to
defend the rights, freedoms and institutions of our country before the cultural, social and
political destruction is the immediate proclamation of the Catalan republic!
A proclamation that, before the shameful behavior of the bureaucrats of the EU, a
antidemocratic club willing to protect only the interests of the oligarchies, needs to be
defended with the same large doses of civic and massive popular mobilization that has led
us to where we are now: a step away from freedom!
The civil disobedience, a people united and mobilized in defense of its institutions, and the
support of all the democrats of around the world, will make possible a Republic that, not
only is going to be a tool to build a future of justice and freedom for the people of
Catalonia, but it will also be an open door to democracy for the rest of peoples currently
oppressed by the monarchic post-francoist Spanish regime!
Thus, from Poble Lliure:
- We summon the Government and the Parliament of Catalonia to immediately proclaim
the Catalan Republic, as set forth in the Referendum and Juridical transience laws
approved on 6 and 7 September, and after the clear victory of the “yes” option on the 1st
- We call Catalan citizens as a whole, our organisations, trade unions, and civil society in
general to the mobilitsation in defense of our institutions, the Catalan Republic, for the
departure of the Spanish occupying forces, for the freedom of political prisoners and to
open the Constituent Process of the new Republic!
-We call the democratic Governments of around the world, international organisations
and the progressive forces to immediately recognise the Catalan Republic, to denounce
the repression and to promote sanctions and boycotts against the fascist drift of Spain.!
Barcelona, Catalan Countries, October 22th, 2017
- Faculties of communication in Catalonia's universitites reject plans to take over Catalan public audiovisual media.
University of Barcelona student protest
- Nearly one thousand Catalan lawyers sign a declaration calling for the release of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, pointing out that the charge of sedition is disproportionate and that the National High Court, descendant of the Franco-era Court of Public Order, is not competent to hear their case.
- MPs from the ruling pro-independence group Junts pel Sí (Together for the Yes) explaining to packed public meetings that the line they have adopted is to declare independence and call on the citizens of Catalonia to resist the article 155 intervention.
- Barcelona en Comú postpones decision on its governing alliance with the PSC.
- In the Spanish Congress the PP remains alone in defence of the police action of October 1, abandoned by Citizens and its almost unconditional ally, the Union of the People of Navarra.
- The town council of Igualada (capital of Anoia shire) votes to condemn article 155 intervention, with the support of the PSC.
- The city council of Vilafranca de Penedès, capital of the Alt Penedès shire, votes with the support of PSC councilors to condemn the article 155 intervention. The motion includes a call on former Catalan PSC premier now senator José Montilla to vote against the proposal when it comes before the Senate on Friday.
- The council of the L'Hospitalet (Baix Llobregat), industrial and working-class city to the south of Barcelona governed by PSC mayoress Núria Marín, votes to condemn the article 155 intervention. The resolution is supported by the CUP-Poble Actiu, ERC, CiU-PDeCAT and Let's Change L'Hospitalet (alliance of Initiative for Catalonia Greens, the United and Alternative Left and the Pirate Party). The PSC also votes in support but reminds the meeting that its position is for early elections to avoid the implementation of 155. Citizens and the PP vote against. The meeting takes place before a packed public gallery that interrupts PP and Citizens speakers such that mayoress Marin has to call repeatedly for order.
- Spanish police unions denounce conditions on cruise ships housing Spanish National Police and Civil Guards in Barcelona port and demand meeting with interior minister.
- Independent councilor ruling with the PSC in Les Planes d'Hostoles (Garrotxa) breaks alliance over article 155 intervention.
- Wall Street Journal editorialises that Rajoy is "doing nothing undemocratic" in opinion piece entitled "Rule and Law in Catalonia: Rajoy tries to stave off mob rule until voters takes responsibility".
- City council of Reus, capital of Baix Camp shire, adopts motions condemning article 155 intervention with the support of PSC councilors. PP and Citizens' councilors abandon the meeting before the vote.
- Citizens spokeperson in the Spanish parliament, Joan Carlos Girauta, says PDeCAT and ERC MPs should have their pay docked for repeated non-attendance at parliamentary plenaries and commissions.
- Barcelona en Comú begins meeting to debate whether it should continue to govern in alliance with the PSC.
- PdeCAT and community list Som Voltregà ("We are Voltregà") reach agreement to vote out PSC mayor in Sant Hipòlit de Voltregà (Osona)
- PSC of Tarragona calls for release of "the Jordis" and for Puigdemont to call early elections.
- Together for the Yes (JxSí), the ruling parliamentary fraction, advises that its position is to declare independence and resist with the support of the citizens.
- Jacques Chagnon, speaker of the Quebec National Assembly and president of the Francophone Praliamentary Assembly demands respect for the Catalan parliament.
- ERC demands of independent mayor of Sant Fruitós de Bagés (Bagés) that he cease to govern with the PSC.
- Over 100 territorial meetings organised by the ANC and Omnium Cultural to explain the meaning of an article 155 intervention starting this evening.
- The semi-official Council of the Student Body of Catalan Universities (CEUCAT) to join Thursday's student strike against the article 155 intervention.
- Catalan agriculture minister Meritxell Serret says the sector has lost €31 million in funding since Spanish treasury takeover of Catalan funding.
- Rajoy's offers to debate Puigdemont in the Spanish Senate.
- Carmaker SEAT reaffirms its commitment to stay in Catalonia "because there is legal certainty".
- Yesterday's mass meeting of Catalan TV3 workers to organise resistance to any State intervention into Catalan public broadcasting.
Manifesto of mass meeting of TV3 workers
1) Denounces and rejects outright the desire of the Spanish government to intervene in the Catalan government, dismiss the Catalan cabinet, occupy ministries and threaten ctizens' right to information through a takeover of the public media of the CCMA [Catalan Corporation of Audio-visual Media], TVC [Television Catalonia], Catalonia Radio and the Catalan News Agency (ACN);
2) Reaffirms that in accordance with the Law of the current corporation, the governing bodies of the CCMA can only be appointed and dismissed by the Parliament of Catalonia: they are the only ones that we workers recognise as overseeing the service to the public with which we have been entrusted;
3) Agrees to appeal to all European and international bodies in defence of the right to information and in defence of the media with which Catalonia has provided itself;
4) States that we will continue to work in accordance with the principles set forth in the Law of the CCMA to guarantee true and rigorous information and quality programming to all citizens, and that we will defend these values against any attempt to violate them;
5) Demands for this reason the immediate withdrawal of the agreement of the [Spanish] Council of Ministers, which is an extreme application of article 155, and demands that it be rejected by the Senate, particularly by Catalan senators;
6) Rejects the appointment by the Spanish Government, bypassing all democratic and legal procedures, of new public media executives. If this happens we will have no choice but to not recognise their authority.
NO STATE CONTROL OF TV3, CATALUNYA RADIO and ACN
FOR FREE AND INDEPENDENT PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA
Sant Joan Despí, October 23, 2017
- The Constitutional Court agrees to hear the complaint of the Spanish government against the Catalan government's law on the Catalan Agency of Social Protection.
- People's Unity List (CUP) spokespeople Carles Riera and Joan Coma say an early election would see the end of the CUP's alliance with the ruling Together for the Yes (JxSí) parliamentary group.
Riera: "The government must ratify, take on board and proclaim what the people voted for on October 1, the Catalan Republic...[early elections would be] the most lethal, efficient and devastating instrument for stopping the process of self-determination." The application of article 155 would not only be a coup d'etat but a process of "recentralising and hispanifying the country: a cultural and national genocide is under way." The CUP sees a long, difficult struggle under the violence of the Spanish state ahead.
Coma: "The organisations that connect the country together will be key to constructing republican legality in a non-violent way."
- Barcelona magistrate agrees that the Spanisn National Police have a case to answer for their seige (failed) of the CUP headquarters on September 20.
- VilaWeb articles in English: (1) CECOT (the Shire Business Confederation of Terrasa, grouping together small and medium Catalan business) supports Catalan right to self-determination at its annual general meeting; (2) Former Slovenian president Kučan slams EU for inaction over Spanish violence in Catalonia.
- Various local councils in Osona shire adopt resolutions comdemning article 155 intervention.
- Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart will demand transfer to a jail in Catalonia.
- PDeCAT spokesperson in Barcelona Council, ex-mayor Xavier Trias tells mayoress Ada Colau that if she breaks with the PSC, she will have the collaboration of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and Democrats and that the PDeCAT will not let her administration fall.
- Spanish government spokesperson Iñigo Méndez de Vigo tells the Times he is prepared to use force to retore order in Catalonia.
Petrol station showing "Free the Jordis" placard
- Spanish attorney-general Rafael Català warns that all Catalan MPs who vote for independence will "have to face the consequences".
- PdeCAT and ERC offer to join Barcelona en Comú administration of mayoress Ada Colau in replacement of present minor partner, the Party of Socialist of Catalonia (PSC), which supports the article 155 intervention.
- The council of Calafell (Baix Penedès) adopts motion condemning article 155 intervention, with support of PSC councilors. Citizens councilors leave the chamber rather than vote.
- Tuna fishing company Ricardo Fuentes and Sons shifts its fleet from the Catalan port of Ametlla del Mar to Cartagena "because of the present political situation".
- Matadapera (Vallès Occidental) becomes the latest council to pass resolution condemning 155 intervention.
- Le Monde editorial accuses Puigdemont of following "the worse, the better" politics to maintain unity in the pro-independence camp and condemns Catalan "micronationalism" for "living in a bubble".
- el.diario reports that Catalan premier Puigdemont was yesterday lobbied by a high-level delegation of the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT), led by former premier Artur Mas, to maintain the suspension of the independence declaration so as to favour the broadest possible front ot resistance to article 155.
- On the Sexta TV channel, Juan Carlos Girauta, spokesperson for Citizens in the Spanish Congress, falsely accuses demonstrators outside the Catalan economics ministry building on September 20 of stealing guns from parked Civil Guard cars.
- Tiempo magazine (from the same stable as El Periódico) entitles its front page story "The Jordis in Jail: History of Two Fanatics"
GESOP poll for El Periódico on social impact of rise of independence struggle in Catalonia.
(NOTE: C's is Citizens, PSC is Party of Socialists of Catalonia, PP is People's Party, CeC is Cataunya en Comu , PDeCAT is Catalan European Democratic Party, ERC is Republican Left of Catalonia, CUP is People's Unity List.)
The questions in order are:
1. Do you think the independence debate is affecting social harmony among Catalans?
2. Have you stopped yourself from talking about independence?
3. Have you stopped talking to or seeing someone?
4. Have you stopped talking about politics with a friend of family member?
5. Have you left a Whatsapp group for this reason?
COMMENT: Notice the contradiction between the negative impact a majority of those interviewed think the independence debate has had on social harmony and the majorities who say that it has had no negative impact on their own forms of social interaction.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 23
Anthony Garner, Ara, October 23
Three-In-One motor oil
[Rajoy, to PSOE leader Sánchez and PSC leader Iceta]: "Let's get the machine working!"
- Chief prosecutor of the Spansih state, José Manuel Maza, says he will order the Catalan police to arrest premier Puigdemont if he declares independence.
- Puigdemont decides to address the Spanish Senate during its session to activate article 155.
- Catalan social welfare minister Dolors Bassa says €10 million has been cut from Catalan social progams (affecting over 500 entities) since Spanish state takeover of Catalan finances.
- PP spokepeople imply that article 155 can be applied to other autonomous communities, especially those whose governments are critical of the Rajoy government decision to apply the article to Catalonia (The Basque Autonomous Community and Navarra).
- Catalan police unions oppose article 155 intervention.
- Anonymous hacking campaign in solidarity with Catalonia claims the web site of the Spanish National Centre of Intelligence (CNI).
- European President Jean-Claude Juncker says he "respects" the "desire to have one's own identity", but opposes "separatism".
- Six councils of the Baix Montseny region (shared between Vallès Occidental and La Selva) program special sessions to condemn article 155 intervention.
- Economic thinktank the Economy Circle says that early elections are the only solution for the Catalan crisis.
- Unionist umbrella Catalan Civil Society will demonstrate on Sunday in favour of "dialogue" from a position of supporting the article 155 intervention.
- Miquel Lupiáñez, PSC mayor of Blanes (La Selva), says he will leave the party if it votes in favour of activating article 155.
- Catalan foreign minister Raül Romeva tells the BBC that public servants will obey the instructions of the democratically elected Catalan government, which will not be resigning under the article 155 intervention.
- The news journalists of Spanish Radio and Television (RTVE) demand "coherence from the [Spanish] government and the parties who support the application of article 155 ... We feel it is appropriate to underline the paradox involved in wanting to intervene in TV3 'to guarantee the transmission of truthful, objective and balanced information respectful of political plurality' when RTVE is not complying with this mandate."
- According to Martí Anglada, the Catalan government representative to France, Spanish King Felipe rang Volkswagen, urging them to shift their headquarters from Catalonia.
- PDeCAT coordiantor Marta Pascal says the party is moving to break all municipal agreements with the PSC if it votes for 155 intervention. [NOTE: Girona PDeCAT had previously said it would not break with the PSC, which keeps it in the mayoralty.]
- European Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas says the application of article 155 is constitutional and hence has European Commision support.
- ERC parliamentary spokeperson Sergi Sabrià says that the proclaiming of the Republic is the best answer to threat of 155.
- Citizens' spokesperson in the Catalan parliament accuses speaker Forcadell of "having put parliament at the service of the coup-mongers".
- University students to strike on Thursday against implementation of article 155. The strike has been called by the platform Universities for the Republic (UxR).
- Tweet exchange between former French prime minister Manuel Valls and his sister Giovanna Valls, living in Catalonia.
[TWEET] We must support the response of the democratic Spanish state. [in French and Catalan]
[TWEET] Enough, for the love of God! In the name of grandfather Magí! It's not democratic and neither is article 155. Since when have we seen anything so brutal as cutting freedoms?
- Spanish deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria calls on Catalan premier Puigdemont to appear before the Senate when it is discussing the activation of article 155.
- Javier Pacheco, leader of the Workers Commissions (CCOO) in Catalonia, tells public Radio Euskadi, that the union will not call for "labour disobedience" to stop the application of article 155: "Unilateralism of neither side is the answer".
- Characters from Catalan TV Channel 3 cartoon programs confront the Civil Guard: "TV3 will always be ours!" [variant of the chant "the streets will always be ours"]
- PP Catalonia leader Xavier García Albiol advises that calling Catalan elections will not stop the application of article 155.
- José Montilla, former Catalan premier and now-senator in the Spanish parliament, tweets that he "knows what he has to do" when the Senate votes on Friday to activate article 155.
- En Peu de Pau ("On a Peaceful Footing") sets up Twitter site with detailed information on non-violent resistance.
- Former German foreign minister, the Greens' Joschka Fischer, attacks Catalonia's independence movement: " Catalonia's illegal bid for independence, like the United Kingdom's ill-fated Brexit referendum, amounts to a historical absurdity. After decades of bloodletting in the twentieth century, and in view of competition with economies like the US, China, and India, the need for deeper European integration in the twenty-first century should be obvious."
- Plenary session of Catalan parliament to discuss response to article 155 intervention brought forward to Thursday, October 26.
- Former PSC minister Xavier Sabaté demands that the party hold an internal plebiscite on whether it supports the article 155 intervention.
- The People's Unity List (CUP) demands an immediate declaration of Catalan independence as the only way to defend Catalonia from "the biggest attack on the Catalan people's individual, civil and collective rights since the Franco dictatorship".
- The main Catalan high school teachers' union USTEC-STEs (Trade Union Alliance of Education Workers of Catalonia-Education Union of Catalonia) declares it will not collaborate with any authority imposed from the Spanish state:
We are definitely living in exceptional times. As a union, we have never had to face such a serious and dangerous political situation. Out of responsibility to the education community, we have to be where needed: with the people, the Catalan institutions and the education community iself.
First of all, we demand the release of political prisoners. Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart have been detained for their ideas and because they represent millions of Catalans. Feeble legal pretexts are worth nothing here. As long as they are in jail, we live with evidence of intolerable dictatorship.
Secondly, the activation of article155, based on a biased and self-interested interpretation of the legislation itself, amounts to an unacceptable suspension of Catalan institutions and representatives democratically chosen by the people of Catalonia. Article 155 is the legal excuse to implement a dictatorship that was already in place from the moment that, during the October 1 referendum campaign, websites were closed, public employees arbitrarily detained, private correspondence violated and an endless list of violations of human rights and individual liberties took place. Therefore, we in USTEC-STEs are and will be where we have to be right now: alongside Catalan institutions and Catalan democracy in their struggle to survive.
Finally, and based on the evidence of the attacks of the PP and C's and of some former PSOE leaders--along with their dope-pushers in the media--there may be a risk of intervention in the Catalan school system. If that happens, USTEC-STEs will not recognise as valid interlocutors those who do not represent the expression of the people's will: we also call on the educational community to resist the demands of a state that, based on the lessons of reality, can no longer be considered democratic.
The first mobilisation, called by the Education Community United Framework (MUCE) will be on Wednesday October 25 at 1800 hours, in front of the town halls of the shire capitals. Our desire is that it be to open to all society and all organisations.
USTEC-STEs, October 22, 2017
- According to Spanish media, 300 Catalan government executives have been marked for dismissal.
- Yesterday's demonstration in Madrid in solidarity with the two Jordis and Catalonia's right to decide.
Revolt within the PSC against the leadership's support for the article 155 intervention grows: so far over 30 PSC mayors have come out in support of an open letter from the mayors of Granollers, Terrassa, Santa Colomer de Gramanet and Castellar de Vallès calling for withdrawl of PSC support for the intervention. In addition, historic leaders of the PSC, Raimon Obiols, Jaume Bellmunt, Laia Bonet, Daniel Font, Jordi Font, Joan Carles Mas, and Eduard Rivas, have signed an open letter stating that "in no way can we accept an abusive application of article 155."
Jordi Cuixart (left) and Jordi Sánchez (right) entering the National High Court on October 16, day of their detention
The Road to Freedom
The National Court’s decision to deprive us of our freedom is, quite simply, an outrage
An article by the President of the ANC Jordi Sànchez, after being jailed without bail (Ara, October 17)
The road to freedom is not always an easy one. But when one is accompanied by so many people, it becomes a pleasure. The actions of Spain’s National Court come at a time when some may have thought that it would be a decisive factor in crushing the will of a people that has been expressed at the ballot box.
Spain has rejected the road of politics and dialogue a thousand times. Only today, President Puigdemont gave them an opportunity to hold talks over the next two months.
Spain is a strong state and it possesses all kinds of mechanisms of power with which to try to impose its version of the truth. We saw this to be true on 1 October, and not for the first time. It is clear that the path chosen by Spain’s rulers puts us under a lot of pressure, it causes us pain and forces us to be wary of every step we take. But we have the strength of the will of our people. We are unbeatable, if only we stay true to our goal.
Our commitment to continue the road to freedom is clear and considered. We have nothing to hide. We wish to be a state in the form of a Republic. We are democrats above all else. Nobody can change us.
The National Court’s decision to deprive us of our freedom is lacking in any legal or procedural basis. A decision already taken several days ago, according to the hundreds of comments made at the 12 October reception at Madrid’s Royal Palace and thousands of tweets and leaks prior to our appearance today before the court. It is a decision which Spain must justify before the world’s public opinion, before both houses of Parliament and the European courts. It is, quite simply, an outrage. The shame of Europe.
I do not accept the sentence. I do not accept the decision to hold me on remand or the accompanying measures. The decision to deprive me of my freedom is unjust. The Spanish authorities ought to be ashamed of this decision.
I look forward to the order announcing my release. I know it will come, it cannot be otherwise. When no crime has been committed, there can be no prison sentence. I ask, I hope, I demand a rectification of this great injustice that has been committed today by the Spanish courts.
I know for sure that the citizens of my country will have a civic and peaceful response, as has always been the case. We have every right to express ourselves and demand our rights and liberties. But I also ask that we do so with an unwavering commitment to non-violence. We have never fallen into the trap of violence. We will not do so now, either.
Perhaps there will be more arrest warrants, along with the suspension of self-government and perhaps Spain will take more aggressive political measures. Nevertheless, we mustn’t lose our heads. If we remain as confident, committed, mobilised and civic-minded as we are right now, as we were on 1 October and during the subsequent strike on 3 October, we will all attain independence together.
At this point I would like to express my total confidence in any decisions that may be taken by the majority of our Parliament and the strategy in favour of dialogue proposed by President Puigdemont and Vice President Junqueras on behalf of the entire government. They wish to see us divided, we must join forces in order to finish the final stretch. Without giving up or turning back, with a clear head and a brave heart, in order to keep moving forward now that we our goal is within our reach.
Nobody can beat us if we remain together, strong, united in plurality, and peacefully mobilised in defence of freedom, democracy and the Catalan Republic.
Freedom is either dignified and absolute, or it is not freedom! Forward together!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22
- Josep Carod-Rovira, former ERC deputy premier in the 2003-2010 "tripartite" PSC-ERC-ICV [Initiative for Catalonia-Greens] government, calls on his former premier José Montilla (PSC), now a senator, not to vote in favour of article 155 intervention.
- Officers of the Basque regional police, the Ertzaintza, launch manifesto in support of the Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra.
Latest GESOP poll (published in El Periódico).
(NOTE: C's is Citizens, PSC is Party of Socialists of Catalonia, PP is People's Party, CeC is Cataunya en Comu , PDeCAT is Catalan European Democratic Party, ERC is Republican Left of Catalonia, CUP is People's Unity List.)
a. Election for the 135-seat Catalan parliament
Main trends: 1) The pro-independence parties maintain their majority (70-73, presently 72). 2) ERC replaces PDeCAT as the main pro-independence force. 3) The PSC picks up votes from Citizens and competes with it as main opposition party 4) CeC loses support shown in previous polls, probably to the CUP, which recovers from possible loses shown in previous polls.
b. Election for the 47 Catalan seats in the 350-seat Spanish parliament
Main trends: 1) ERC displaces CeC (presently ECP) as main Catalan party in Spanish parliament. 2) PDeCAT loses three seats, becoming one of three minor parties, with PP and Cs.
- Catalunya en Comú proposes the creation of a broad pro-sovereignty front to "work out defensive action to counter the blow of article 155 and, on the other hand, to work out offensive action based on rethinking the [pro-independence] road map, which would have to be a constituent process about model of country." According to another Catalunya en Comú source "as broad a democratic front as possible is needed, which doesn't mean we're defending an electoral front."
- Catalan agriculture minister Meritxell Serret says that the intervention by the Spanish state "puts at risk the policies that the agricultural sectoe needs for its day-to-day functioning".
- Catalan Journalists Union (SPC) rejects "radically and frontally" the planned intervention in Catalonia's public media. That it is being done in the name of "truthful, objective and balanced information" can only be regarded as "pure irony", coming from a party that uses Spain's public media (RTVE) the way the PP does.
- PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez tells the closing session of the party's Madrid congress that "all European states have their 155 to confront unilateral assaults aimed at breaking up their territorial integrity" and that "nothing has done so much damage to self-government in Catalonia as secessionism".
- Girona PDeCAT decides to maintain local alliance with PSC despite PSC and PSOE support for Spanish government intervention.
- Ada Colau (Barcelona mayoress): "Elections in the worst conditions, under an intervention into the Catalan government and Catalan institutions, would be a democratic anomaly, with great tension and even more polarisation. And I doubt whether elections in these conditions would solve anything."
- Workers is Basque public radio and television (EITB) demonstrate in solidarity with their Catalan colleagues.
- Madrid mayoress Manuela Carmena calls on Madrid citizens to exercise pressure for a negotiated solution to the Catalan crisis.
- School principals and teachers launch network to organise disobedience to intervention, based on recognition of Catalan education department as only legitimate authority.
[TWEET] We resisted 40 years of dictatorship. We shall also know how to resist the intervention into our schools and our government. Teachers, forward!
— Rosa Sensat
- Catalan foreign minister Raül Romeva, at a ceremony in memory of Republicans executed by Francoist forces in Barcelona, says: "The Republic isn't just an option, it's an absolute survival need."
- The Workers Commissions (CCOO) branch in the Spanish Television (TVE) facility at Sant Cugat denounces the presence of plain clothes police in the establishment.
- The Associations of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) and the Catalan Municipalities and Shires Association (ACM) to promote motions denouncing the article 155 intervention in town and shire councils around the territory.
What package of measures will be applied under the article 155 intervention?
(from forthcoming article in Links--International Journal of Socialist Renewal)
The plan the Spanish government will put to the Senate on October 27 amounts to a comprehensive toolkit for repression of Catalan self-rule, to which further tools can always be added on request to the PP-dominated Senate. Here are the main aspects:
• Removal of premier Puigdemont. Once the Senate authorises the dismissal of Puigdemont all his powers, including the power to call early elections, are taken over by the central government. It is not yet clear how exactly the central government will try to exercise its powers—by remote control from Madrid or by imposing a provincial governor and/or team.
• Sacking of the Catalan cabinet. In addition to the removal of all Catalan ministers, all senior departmental officials (“political appointees”) will also be sacked. In addition, Madrid reserves the right to remove or create any position within the Catalan government.
• Parliament stripped of its powers. While the Catalan parliament will continue to meet, it will become a shell, with the Spanish government and Senate empowered to veto Catalan legislation. Parliament will not be able to propose a new government (because of its pro-independence majority) nor hear no confidence motions. Parliamentary speaker Carme Forcadell will not be sacked because she is facing charges of disobedience in the Supreme Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) and will be found guilty.
• Early elections. Rajoy said that he would like to see “elections as soon as possible” and within six months at maximum. However, since the PP-dominated Senate can decide to extend the time-frame of the intervention, this amounts to saying to Catalonia: “You’ll get elections if you behave and if we are certain of getting a unionist majority.”
• Catalan police. The Mossos d’Esquadra will come under the control of the Spanish interior ministry, and its first decision will be to sack police chief Josep-Lluís Trapero. If the Catalan police do not obey orders, they will be replaced by Spanish National Police or the Civil Guard.
• Public broadcasting media. The Spanish government will make changes at the executive level of the public Catalan Corporation of Audiovisual Media (CCMA), including sacking the head of public TV Channel 3. This is to be done in the name of “guaranteeing the transmission of truthful, objective and balanced information, respectful of political, social and cultural pluralism.” Anyone who has had experience of the public media of PP-run administrations (as in Madrid and Valencia) knows what that means.
• Economy. The goal is to guarantee that no public money is devoted to “activities or goals linked or related to the secessionist process”. This is a catch-all concept that will enable Madrid to cut funding to any business, social, cultural and sporting activity that it finds suspicious and to redirect funding to reliable unionist operations.
• Internet. The intervention will seize control of all the Catalan government’s telecommunications and digital services.
• Loyalty of public servants. Any public servant that refuses to obey an instruction will be charged with “not fulfilling their duty to the Constitution and the [Catalan] Statute”. The consequences could include loss of income and assets.
All these measures--which give the lie to all the spin of a “155 lite” that was swirling through the Madrid media in the days before the decision—will be backed up by the most important measure of all, severe and persistent economic pressure. Spanish minister for finance Cristóbal Montoro will apply and cut funding so as to meet the central goal of the Spanish authorities and establishment: the creation of unionist bloc that can win the next election (which won’t be held until a unionist victory is practically guaranteed).
- Javier Maroto, the PP's deputy secretary of social and sectoral police, attacks Basque premier (lehendakari) Iñigo Urkullu for supporting Catalan institutions against the Rajoy government's intervention. He says that Urkullu is "putting stability in the Basque Country at risk."
- Catalan News analysis of events of yesterday (includes the part in English of Catalan premier Puigdemont's TV address).
- [VIDEO LINK] Wives of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart explain the situation of their husbands in this video, subtitled in English.
- Catalan government spokesperson Jordi Turull says that early elections are not on the table.
- Civil Guard colonel Guàrdia Civil Manuel Sánchez Corbí compares the situation in Catalonia to that of the violent kale borroka ("street struggle") in the Basque Country during the ETA years.
- Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis tells the BBC that the images of police charges against Catalan voters on October 1 were "fabricated".
- Former PSOE housing minister María Antonia Trujillo tweets that she will not be going back to a Madrid restairant because they served her Catalan mineral water Font Vella.
- The Marches for Dignity call a demonstration for today in Madrid to demand the release of Sànchez and Cuixart.
- 44th anniversray of the death in 1973 of famous Catalan cellist, conductor and peace activist, Pau Casals. See his English speech ("I am a Catalan") on receiving the UN Peace Medal from Seceratry-General U Thant in 1971 here.
- PP and Citizen's spokespeople criticise Barcelona FC president Josep María Bartomeu for expressing the club's support for Catalonia's institutions in the face of the article 155 attack.
Background reading on Jordi Aànchez and Jordi Cuixart
- Read Ara's analysis of the flimsiness of the legal grounds for their detention here.
- Read Washington Post backgrounder on Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart here.
- Àngel Ros, PSC mayor of Lleida, calls on Catalan premier Puigdemont to call elections.
[TWEET] Our force has become a guarantee of protection and service to people in Catalonia. We work and will continue to work for the security of everyone.
— Mossos (Catalan police force)
- Xavier Vera Gonzalez, PSC secretary for organisation in the city of Manresa, resigns over PSOE support for Madrid's article 155 intervention.
Ferreres, El Periódico, October 22
[Meeting of PSOE federal executive committee, with PSC secretary Miquel Iceta serving the drinks. PSOE slogan on the wall: "We Are The Left"]
A: "We're not doing well if we still have to remind ourselves that we're the left."
B: "Well, inside the party there are some who have doubts. Outside the party no-one has any."
1. Spanish-language media
"155 rescue for Catalonia"
"155 against the separatist coup: The hour of democracy"
"155: the Government takes absolute control of the Generalitat [Catalan government]"
"The Government restores constitutional order in Catalonia"
2. Catalan-language media
"Back to the past"
"Rajoy announces the dismissal of the [Catalan] government and Puigdemont summons parliament"
- Videos covering yesterday's 450,000-strong demonstration calling for the support of Catalan political prisoners Jordi Sànchez (ANC president) and Jordi Cuixart (Omnium Cultural president) and opposing the Rajoy government's planned intervention to end Catalan self-rule.
1. María del Mar Bonet sings Què volen aquesta gent? [What do these people want?] at end of demonstration
NOTE: This song, about the Francoist police hunting down and killing a student activist, was an anthem of the anti-dictatorship struggle. It has returned as an anthem of the struggle against the Spanish state's attack on Catalan self-rule. Its author, singer-songwriter María del Mar Bonet, sang it at yesterday's massive demonstration. At the end of the clip you can see Catalunya en Comú coordinator Xavier Domènech visibly moved by this powerful moment.
2. Clip by La Vanguardia
3. The complete demonstration (thanks to Art Young for drawing attention to this)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21
- ERC leader in Barcelona Council, Aldred Bosch, says the PSC cannot be part of the government of the council "one second longer" and calls for a meeting of all forces opposed to 155 so as to configure a new ruling alliance.
- Aranese Democratic Converegence says that the 155 intervention de facto paralyses the government of the Vall d'Aran [autonomous Occitan-speaking region of Catalonia].
- Unionist force Catalan Civil Society sees the Spanish government intervention in Catalonia as "positive".
- Spanish state prosecutor general José Manuel Maza says that a charge of rebellion against Puigdemont would entail a heavy punishment (up to 30 years imprisonment).
- The pro-independence majority in the Catalan parliament sets Friday, October 27 as the day when the parliament's response to Rajoy's atricle 155 intervention will be discussed and a declaration of independence could result.
- Núria Parlon, the PSC mayoress of Santa Colomer de Gramanet, resigns from the federal executive of the PSOE in protest at its support to article 155 intervention in Catalonia.
- Carles Puigdemont addresses Catalonia live on TV, describes the implementation of article 155 as "the liquidation of the self-government of the Catalans" and announces that he will ask for a session of Parliament "to debate and decide on this attempt to destroy self-government and democracy." Part of his speech is given in Castilian (Spanish) in an appeal to Spanish democrats and part in English (in an appeal to democrats in Europe).
- Former PSOE prime minister José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero says the Catalan government still has time to "rectify".
[TWEET] Painful to see Sánchez today together with Rajoy and Rivera. The rank and file have been forgotten, no democratic change will come through him but only despite him.
— Gerardo Pisarello (first deputy mayor, Barcelona Council)
- José Luis Soro, leader of the Aragonist Union, says: "Rajoy is exploting a non-existent unilateral declaration of independence to do what he has always wanted: take away the Catalans' self-government. Everyone's: those who voted Yes, those who voted No and those who didn't vote at all in the referendum of last October 1."
- Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell declares that "Rajoy wants Parliament to stop being a democratic parliament and we won't allow it ... We won't take any step backwards."
- Workers of Catalunya Radio say they will not collaborate with any management imposed from Madrid.
- Catalan Corporation of Communication Media (CCMA) says its will continue to provide objective, balanced, quality service
Workers at Catalan public television put banners in support of democracy on the sides of headquarters
- Manchester City trainer Pep Guardiola says today is "a very sad day for democracy".
- PSC mayors of major Catalan cities Granollers, Santa Colomer de Gramanet, Terrassa and Castellar de Vallès call on PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez to stop supporting Rajoy's article 155 intervention and that Puigdemont not make a declaration of independence.
- Ada Colau calls for PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez to abandon support to Rajoy's 155 intervention.
- Demonstration in support of Sànchez and Cuixart and against Spanish state intervention begins. Municipal police estimate of attendance is 450,000 (see video and images below). Thousands demonstrate in Catalan towns Reus and Lleida.
"Freedom for Jordi Sànchez! Freedon for Jordi Cuixart! In defence of rights and freedoms". Roundtable for Democracy.
"Freedom for political prisoners. Bring the Jordis home."
"92 years old and sticking to my guns. Free Catalonia"
- Catalunya en Comú, calling for the broadest possible front in defence of Catalonia's institutions: "An unjustifiable offensive against a UDI that never existed."
- Josep María Bartomeu (president, Barcelona FC): "We reiterate our absolute supprot to Catalonia's institutions ... the club has always stood beside the Catalan people and their institutions."
- Soraya Saenz de Santamaria (Spanish deputy prime minister in charge of operations in Catalonia): The central government will intervene in Catalan public radio and televison to give "objective, truthful and balanced information".
[TWEET] Rajoy has suspended the self-government for which so many people struggled. A serious attack against the rights and freedoms of everyone, here and everywhere.
— Ada Colau (mayoress of Barcelona)
[TWEET] The measure is extreme and diproportionate. The Catalan government can count on our support in the search for a constructive future.
— Iñigo Urkullu, premier Basque Autonomous Region (Euskadi)
- PSC calls on Puigdemont to agree to early elections.
- Mariano Rajoy announces the main measures to be put to the Senate in order to implement article 155:
- Sacking of premier Puigdemont, deputy premier Junqueras and all ministers;
- Their functions to be administered from Madrid by the equivalent ministers in the Spanish government;
- Catalan parliament to continue, but to be prohibited from adopting any unconstitutional measures;
- Elections to be held when the situation has "normalised", in six months at most.
- The Catalan police to be replaced by Spanish National Police and Civil Guard "where necessary".
- Spanish cabinet approves package of measures to be applied under article 155.
- Spanish prosecutor's office confirms that it will charge Catalan premier Puigdemont with rebellion if Catalan independence is declared.
- Pointed speech at Princess of Asturias awards ceremony of Donald Tusk, president of the European Council.
- Anonymous launches its first cyberattack in support of Catalan self-government: web site of the Constitutional Court brought down.
- Regional assemblies of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) advance the idea of a government of national unity in defence of Catalan institutions and against the article 155 intervention. The government to be composed of pro-independence and pro-sovereignty forces, including Catalunya en Comú and PSC tendencies opposed to the intervention.
- Barcelona daily La Vanguardia reports that the Spanish state prosecutor is preparing a charge of "rebellion" against Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont.
No, Spain is not a democracy
SUSO DE TORO (Ara, October 19)
Spain is governed by a party which has been found guilty of systematic corruption. If society tolerates such behaviour, then it can accept all manner of things. However, this ought not to happen in a democratic country and it is proof that the system is corrupt.
Some years ago, this corrupt sociopolitical system initiated a fundamentally anti-democratic process, involving a petition "against the Catalans", and the Constitutional Court’s case against the Statute, both designed to attack the Catalan government at the time. This ideologically motivated strategy caused frustration and harm to Catalan society, in the first instance. Subsequently it was denied any alternative, leading us to where we are today. The Spanish state and its political parties had nothing to offer Catalonia, with the independence movement being the only alternative for society.
This democratic anomaly, the continuity of Rajoy’s administration —despite evidence of its corruption— with the support of the PSOE in maintaining its policies aimed at Catalonia, is only possible because it is in the interest of the State’s powers. It is evident in the direct actions of the economic powers that be —the boycott of the Catalan financial structure is a closely coordinated political operation— and through control of the Spanish media, its Madrid-based newspapers and TV stations, in particular. The striking similarity between the headlines in print and on the TV news can only be explained by them following a precise instruction: “Don’t cut the Catalans any slack".
This anti-democratic diktat is a response to the systematic distortion of language: "The separatist / pro-independence threat"; referring to the referendum as "illegal" even before the Constitutional Court had issued its verdict; the use of vocabulary employed by the police when referring to criminals, in expressions like “taking out the ringleaders of the referendum", "seizing the ballots papers" and so on. All via news reports and commentators which exclude anyone who might express the Catalan government’s position. The Spanish media is not democratic, it is a totalitarian machine that aims to turn Spanish public opinion against Catalonia. It is only right that it has been criticised by international institutions for its bias.
Social and political life is conducted via the media. The freedom of information, opinion and expression all depend on them to not be drowned out, as is happening at present. However, what ultimately guarantees democratic freedom is an independent legal system, and this does not exist in Spain, either. The democratic nature of the justice system has never been guaranteed.
With no clean break with the previous regime, public prosecutors and pro-Franco judges remained in their posts and were promoted, Madrid’s National Court took over from the Public Order Court. Furthermore, Rajoy profoundly changed the justice system. This is shown by the fact that both the Justice Minister and the public prosecutor have been formally reprimanded by the Spanish Parliament. This policy began with a reform that made the access to legal counsel more difficult and costly for the general public. It continued with the so-called Gag Law, which limits the exercise of the freedom of expression. Rajoy also did away with the concept of an independent judiciary by systematically placing those loyal to his party in every institution, from the Supreme Court to the Constitutional. It could be said that the new law passed by the Constitutional Court without prior consultation not only did away with the court’s moral authority, but it also had a similar, delayed effect on the Constitution itself.
The flagrantly partisan use of the judiciary by such an authoritarian and corrupt party goes a long way to explain the imprisonment of two Catalan activists who support democracy. It is telling that before the trial, the Minister of Justice Rafael Catalá met with the Public Prosecutor José Manuel Maza. The judge sent the accused to prison, but it was the prosecution, at the orders of the government, who asked for a prison sentence alongside none other than the head of the Catalan police who was in charge of the anti-terrorist operation this August. The jail sentences, the fines, attempts to ban democratic parties... are all the actions of a totalitarian government. When such policies, carried out by the institutions, are also countersigned by two political allies, and when the head of state, who was appointed by the Franco regime, supports such policies, we are talking about an undemocratic regime. It cannot be called fascist, but it is anti-democratic and with and tends towards totalitarianism.
The authoritarian regime estimates that Catalan public resistance stands at around fifty to a hundred thousand activists, while ignoring the existence of the millions of Catalans who are peacefully defending their sovereignty as citizens and as a nation. We are witnessing a clash between a government strategy and a social reality. The Madrid-based courts believe they are facing a few independence parties while blissfully unaware that what they are facing is a truly democratic movement unlike any other in Europe or the rest of the world. Its plan is a simple one: a refusal to negotiate, while humiliating and destroying the movement —which they call “separatism"-- and that Catalan society loses its nerve. Once it has been reduced to a few provinces, leaderless and under Madrid’s control, it will be recognised and receive additional funding in compensation.
How can such a thing possibly happen within the European Union? The explanation is that the EU, or rather the European Commission and the ECB, have redefined the European project. The European Charter of Fundamental Rights, which guarantees the rights of its citizens, isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. The EU takes it for granted that some states are democratic, while others are not. The Kingdom of Spain, for example, is on a par with certain countries of the former Soviet Union. Civil liberties within these states are of no concern and their supposed sovereignty only exists as long as they repay their debt. In other words, Merkel and Juncker let Spain do whatever it likes with the Catalans, so long as it tries to balance its budget.
- Results of GESOP poll published in El Periódico this morning
1. El Periodico, which has been one of the leaders of the anti-independence campaign has chosen to present the results of this poll by giving prominence to question 1, which leaves unspecified who should call early elections. Question 2 shows divided opinion as to what premier Puigdemont should do. Question 3 shows that a clear majority think that the results of the October 1 referendum cannot de regarded as binding. The answers to all the other questions show clear majority opposition to Spanish state operations in Catalonia and to the implentation of an article 155 intervention.
2. The graphics below also give the breakdown of opinion by party supported by those questioned. (C's is Citizens, PSC is Party of Socialists of Catalonia, PP is People's Party, CeC is Cataunya en Comu , PDeCAT is Catalan European Democratic Party, ERC is Republican Left of Catalonia, CUP is People's Unity List)
1. "Are you in favour of early elections as a way of trying to resolve the conflict?"
Yes: 68.6% No 27.4% Other (Don't know, no answer) 4%. (With independence sentiment: Yes 48%, No 47.2% With anti-independence sentiment: Yes 87.7%, No 9.7%)
2. "What should the premier do now?"
a. Immediately declare independence, 29.3% b. Give up the unilateral declaration and negotiate with the State, 24.8% c. Call elections to avoid the suspension of regional government, 36.5%. Other ,9.5%
3. "Do you think the October 1 referendum had enough safeguards for its result to be regarded as binding?"
4. "Do you think that police action on October 1 was justified?"
5. "Were the actions of the State to prevent the referendum proportionate or disproportionate?"
6. "Would you approve or disapprove of the State applying article 155 of the Constitution and intervening in Catalan self-rule to put a stop to plans for independence?"
- Owner of a restaurant in Calella (Maresme) summoned by the Civil Guard for showing a blackboard with the message "Non-regional forces of order not served".
- El País reporter Anabel Díez writes that the Spanish government will sack the entire Catalan cabinet under its application of article 155, with elections taking place within six months at the latest (and not in January as announced yesterday by the PSOE). According to the report the activity of the Catalan parliament will not be suspended.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20
Anthony Garney, Ara, October 20
Franco (emerging from tomb): "Did someone call?"
- The PSC group of the shire council of Bagés state that "activating article 155 is not the solution because it will entail the loss of Catalonia's self-rule." The group also calls for the release of Sànchez and Cuixart.
- Students at the Autonomous University of Barcelona's Faculty of Communication Sciences make video (in Catalan and Spanish) to reply to Spanish media allegations that Castilian (Spanish) speakers are discriminated against in the Catalan education system.
- Former Party of Socialists of Catalonia (PSC) minister Joan Majó resigns for the party. In this resignation letter Majo, who was never a member of pro-independence currents in the PSC, says:
I do not accept that my party could continue to be considered a "sister party" of a party [the PSOE] that has decided to adopt positions at the level of the State of full support to the current Spanish government ... I do not want to support in any way, neither directly nor indirectly, the PP's policy, as the PSOE says it is and actually seems to be doing.
[NOTE: Craig Murray is a former UK diplomat. See here for background.]
- Speakers' panel of the Catalan parliament drafts a resolution for Monday's session calling for the freeing of "political prisoners" Sànchez and Cuixart and an end to the investigation of Catalan police chief Trapero.
- European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament chair Antonio Tajani receive Princess of Asturias prizes in Oviedo. King Felipe delivers a speech saying an "unacceptable attempt at secession" will be stopped with the instruments of the state. Tajani says that the rule of law and constitutionality must be respected. Juncker praises the role of the Spanish monarchy.
- 24 Nobel prize winners sign letter demanding talks between Catalan and Spanish governments.
- 140 European Commission workers sign letter expressing outrage with the Commission's indifference towards the October 1 violence.
- Anonymous announces a massive cyberattack in defence of Catalonia.
- Council of Sitges (Garraf) transfers half a million euros to an ethical bank in protest against the imprisonment of Sànchez and Cuixart.
- Council of Argentona (Maresme) announces that it is withdrawing its funds from Banc Sabadell and CaixBank (two main Catalan financial institutions that have shifted their headquarters out of Catalonia).
- Anonymous minister of Rajoy government reported in the media: "the agreements [on content of 155 intervention] are not yet finalised" [in contradiction to earlier announcement by PSOE spokesperson Carmen Calvo].
- Catalan police chief Trapero to National High Court judge Lamela: "The greater part of the Civil Guard testimony is false." Of the videos submiited as evidence of Catalan police passivity on October 1, Trapero says: "They are very partial videos, they capture the situation of a minute of two in a school."
- Union confederation Workers Commissions (CCOO) of Catalonia calls on movement resisting the application of article 155 not to apply commercial boycotts.
- Carmen Lamela, the National High Court judge investigating the incidents of September 20, orders that communications between ANC and Omnium Cultural presidents Sànchez and Cuixart and Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero be made available to her.
- The PP councilor on the town council of Sant Joan de Vilatorrada, one of the most affected by police and Civil Guard attacks on October 1, blames mayor Gil Ariso (Convergence and Union) for the episode.
- Catalan Association of Municipalities (ACM) issues a statement defending the Catalan model of education, which has been under attack from the PP and Citizens for supposed discrimination against Castilian (Spanish) speakers.
- Two PSC councilors abandon the governing council alliance with the Republican Left of Catalonia ERC) in the town of Vacarrises (Vallés Occidental).
- Banc Sabadell, targetted by Omnium Cultural and the ANC in campaign for members to withdraw deposits, falls 2% in one day on Spanish stock exchanges. The other specific target, La Caixa, falls 0.7%.
- Party of Socialists of Catalonia (PSC) spokeperson Alícia Romero says that PSC support for the PSOE's agreement with the PP's article 155 intervention is not automatic: "It depends on what decision the PSOE takes, We will not give the PSOE a blank cheque. If it talks to the PP and agreement is reached in cabinet, we will have to see what agreement has been reached and from there the support that the PSOE gives and what of that the PSC agrees with."
- Spanish government announces that it will appeal the Catalan parliament's creation of a commission to investigate police violence on October 1 in the Constitutional Court.
- PP spokesperson Iñigo Ménez de Vigo evades setting date for elections in Catalonia under article 155 [in contradiction to PSOE which says agreement exists with PP for them to take place in January].
- Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy tells Brussels media conference: "We've arrived at this situation because they wanted us to arrive here."
- The director of the Catalan police (Mossos d'Esquadra) says at opening of course at the Institute of Public Security: "We will not allow anyone to question our professionalism." Although (as usual) invited to the ceremony, the Spanish National Police, High Court of Justice of Catalonia, Civil Guard, Spanish prosecutor's office and Spanish army do not send representatives.
- Catalan health department gives final tally of injured on October 1: 1066 in total, with 23 of these older than 79 and two under 11.
- Catalan parliament speakers' panel to decide on session to declare independence on Monday.
- Catalan vice-premier and treasurer Oriol Junqueras says the country is economically prepared for independence.
- In its weekly Friday meeting Barcelona Council ruling party Barcelona en Comú votes down proposal to declare King Felipe persona non grata. Deputy mayor Gerardo Pisarello says it would be "inopportune".
- Detained ANC president Jordi Sànchez says the National High Court has made an "extravagant interpretation" of the law, and calls on his detention to be replaced by withdrawal of his passport or a requirement to report regularly to court.
- The town council of Torredembarra (Tarragonès) declares King Felipe VI, Mariano Rajoy and Enric Millo (Spanish government chief delegate in Catalonia) personae non gratae.
- Spanish Football Federation opens disciplinary proceedings against Catalan club Reus (Second Division, A), for displaying a large senyera (official Catalan flag) at its last match, on the grounds that this could provoke "violence, racism, xenophobia or intolerance" (see below).
- The Commission for Dialogue, Mediation and Conciliation, whose spokesperson is former UNESCO director Mayor Zaragoza, calls for one last effort at dialogue from the Spanish government and for both sides to abandon "extreme positions".
- PSOE spokesperson Carmen Calvo says that the PP and PSOE have reached agreement that regional Catalan elections will take place in January 2018 under the article 155 intervention.
- Calvo confirms that Catalan public broadcasting will be targetted under the article 155 intervention: "The government, the security forces and the means of communication have to be neutral."
- Colau calls on Catalan premier Puigdemont to abandon any Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) and says she could not support it, "no matter what form it takes".
- Colau calls on PSC leader Miquel Iceta to support "dialogue" and not article 155.
- Barcelona mayoress Ada Colau tells Catalan public TV's morning program that the governing alliance in Barcelona Council with the Party of Socialists of Catalonia (PSC) works "very well", but would not survive PSC support for an intervention under article 155.
- People's Unity List (CUP) MP Benet Salellas tells Catalan public TV's morning program that "the Catalan Republic is the only way to defend ourselves against the attacks of the Spanish state".
- Civil Guard enters Catalan government Centre for Communication and Information Technologies (CTTI) in search of communications around the October 1 referendum.
- Catalan vice-premier Oriol Junqueras tells public Catalunya Radio that the declaration of independence will come "in the best way and the shortest time possible."
- Fernando Marínez-Maillo, the general coordinator of the ruling People's Party (PP), says that the Catalan government has until the Spanish senate meets in full session to "rectify and return to lawfulness".
- Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont's October 19 letter to Spanish prime minister Rajoy.
H.E. Mr. Mariano Rajoy Brey
President of the Government
Palacio de la Moncloa
Dear President Rajoy,
On 1 October the people of Catalonia decided on independence in a referendum endorsed by a high percentage of the voters. A higher percentage of eligible voters than that which allowed the United Kingdom to start the Brexit process, and with a larger number of Catalans supporting this than those who voted to approve the Statute of Autonomy.
On 10 October the Parliament held a session to evaluate the results of the referendum and its effects, where I proposed to leave the effects of the popular mandate in suspense.
I did this to propitiate dialogue, something that had been asked of us both by political and social institutions and individuals from around Europe and the world. In my letter to you on Monday I proposed a meeting to that end, though that request has not been answered.
Likewise there has been no response to my request to reverse the repression. On the contrary, the repression has increased, bringing with it the jailing of the presidents of Omnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly, civil society groups with a respected peaceful and democratic history.
This suspension is still in place. The decision to apply Article 155 corresponds to the government, with prior authorization from the Senate. In spite of all these efforts and our desire for dialogue, that the only response is to suspend home rule indicates that you are not aware of the problem at hand and that you don’t want to talk.
Finally, if your government persists in blocking all dialogue and continues with the repression the Parliament of Catalonia could proceed, if it believes this opportune, to vote a formal declaration of independence that it did not vote on 10 October.
Carles Puigdemont I Casamajó
Barcelona, 19 October 2017
- New York Times editorial on "defusing" the Catalonia crisis here.
- Latest backgrounders from Catalan diplomatic service DIPLOCAT here (on detention of ANC and Omnium Cultural presidents) and here (on coming suspension of Catalan self-rule under article 155 of the Spanish constitution).
- Catalan satirical TV program Polonia does this spoof ("Forget Catalonia!") of Omnium Cultural video calling on Europe to help Catalonia (in English, subtitled in Spanish). The speaker is Spanish vice-president, in charge of Spanish state operations in Catalonia, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria. See original under MONDAY, OCTOBER 16.
- ANC and Omnium Cultural, in first of series of planned actions of peaceful resistance, calls on members to withdraw money from banks who have relocated their headquarters out of Catalonia under pressure from Spanish government.
- Car manufacturer SEAT, based in the Catalan city of Martorell, denounces Spanish government and "monarchical" pressure to relocate its headquarters out of Catalonia.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19
Ferreres, El Periodico, October 18 and 19
"Seditious music" [sounds of a cassolada, banging of pots and pans]"
- Catalan treasurer Oriol Junqueras says that the government is "not at all satisfied" that 700 firms have shifted their headquarters our of Catalonia, but notes that there are 260,000 businesses in the country.
- European Council president Donald Tusk announces that there is no room for European institution mediation in the Spain-Catalonia conflict.
- The announcement of the intervention under article 155 sees Ibex 35 [Madrid Stock Exchange index] close down by 0.74% and risk premium of Spanish 10-year bonds over their German equivalent increase from 117 to 123 basis points.
- The Spanish state prosecutor notifies the Spanish ministry of the interior of likely charges against Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero with a view to his being dismissed on the grounds of "disloyalty to the [Catalan] statute and the constitution.
- Madrid ministry of foreign affairs emails Belgian ambassador in Madrid: "We are stupified by the declarations of the prime minister to Belgian daily Le Soir." (See under 1100 HOURS)
- Spanish Civil Guards Association calls for Civil Guards sent to Catalonia to be relieved. Says it is sure "volunteers will not be lacking".
- European Parliament avoids debate on imprisonment of Sànchez and Cuixart (Socialists and Democrats group blocs with People's Party of Europe).
- Basque premier (lehendakari) Iñigo Urkullu calls on Rajoy government not to activate article 155 because Catalan independence never declared by Parliament.
- Supreme Court rejects Catalan government appeal against Spanish government intervention in Catalan government finances.
- Alberto Garzón (United Left) says that Puigdemont should not have maintained in his letter to Rajoy the threat of UDI in case of activation of article 155. The Rajoy government should have taken the opportunity to suspend the application of 155 given the clarification from Puigdemont that independence had not be declared.
- Senate not able to vote on article 155 application until the end of October, because of need to discuss in commission beforehand.
- Former PP prime minister José María Aznar says constitutional reform must not be "an instalment plan to buy off Catalan secesionism".
- Spain summons Venezuela ambassador after Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro's comments (Deutsche Welle).
- Prime minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel says "Europe cannot ignore Catalonia".
- Pro-independence parties Together for the Yes (PxSí) and the People's Unity List (CUP) postpone decision on action against article 155 until it is activated by the Spanish government.
- Detatchment of Civil Guards being maintained at airports, ports and other essential infrastructure
- PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez meets with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
- Prime minister Rajoy and French president Macron to hold informal meeting on Catalonia during Council of Europe summit in Brussels.
- The Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) announces that it will vote against implementing article 155 when it comes before the Senate.
- PSC leader Miquel Iceta acknowledges that Puigdemont's reply makes clear that Parliament made no UDI on October 10, but that the threat of a UDI justifes the activation of article 155.
- Albano Dante Fachin (Podemos Catalunya): "We do do support a UDI, but reach out for ways to create a democratic front."
- Secretary general of the Slovenian socialists, Dejan Levanič, says that "true social democrats would stand alonside the Catalans" and that he is certain the Slovenian government would recognise an independent Catalonia.
- Civil Guard raids the Lleida headquarters of the Catalan police in search of documents regarding October 1 referendum.
- Pablo Iglesias: "The activation of article 155 after the Catalan parliament did not declare independence is a step backwards for democracy."
- PSOE spokesperson José Luis Ábalos confirms his party's support for Spanish government action under article 155.
- Albert Rivera calls on Rajoy to guarantee legal elections in Catalonia under 155: "It would be nice to see the Civil Guard putting out ballot boxes."
- Joan Tardà, ERC MP in the Spanish parliament, demand that the Spanish government "leave 155 in stand-by". Says that there is a "legal and legitimate" majority in the Catalan parliament to declare independence.
- En Comú Podem (largest Catalan force in the Spanish parliament and including Podemos in Catalonia) describes the activation of 155 as a "brutal irresponsibility" given that the Catalan parliament did not declare independence.
- Joan Ribó, mayor of Valencia, complains on radio that none of the far-right activists arrested for violence against a peaceful demonstartion on Valencia National Day (October 9) has been charged.
- PSC mayor of Terrassa Jordi Ballart will have to resign from the PSC to keep his word that he would not remain in the party if it supported the application of article 155.
- "Spanish fury against Michel" headline of De Morgen article describing Spanish government reaction to Belgium prime minister Charles Michel's declarations on the Catalan crisis, condemning police violence on October 1 and calling for dialogue.
Spain did not accept the blackmail of 23F [attempted military coup on February 23, 1981] nor of ETA terrorism: we are not going to accept Mr Puigdemont's.
--Albert Rivera, spokeperson of Citizens
- Spanish government to hold special cabinet meeting on morning of Saturday, October 21, in order to decide implementation of article 155.
Puigdemont has decided to blow up Catalonia's self-government. The Spanish government is legitimised to re-establish it.
--Xavier García Albiol, PP Catalonia spokesperson
- Catalan premier Puigdemont replies to Spanish prime minister Rajoy: "If the Government of the State persists in blocking dialogue and continuing repression, the Catalan Parliament will proceed, if it considers it opportune, to vote on a formal declaration of independence that it did not vote on on October 10."
- Zurich Insurance moves its headquarters from Barcelona to Madrid.
- Catalan pro-independence parties negotiating final details of united response to the application of article 155.
- En Peu de Pau ("On a Peaceful Footing") movement launched by Catalan social and movement organsiations to strengthen non-violent action techiques and promote responsible use of social media. Web site here (in Catalan only so far).
Graphics from last night's Champions League match between Barcelona and Olympiakos, the first since the October 1 referendum.
The club management decided that it would only allow a banner saying "Dialogue, respect, sport". The Catalan National Assembly (ANC), whose president Jordi Sànchez has been detained, commented: "We don't believe this reflects the feeling of the majority of Barça fans... [an organisation] that regards itself as 'More Than A Club' [Barça's motto] would not hang this banner at the ground."
The first graphic shows the banner that the ANC and Omnium Cutural wanted to hang inside the stadium, saying "Freedom" underneath pictures of Sànchez and Omnium Cultural president Jordi Cuixart.
The second graphic shows a protestor being taken off the field.
Spanish state daily newpapers, October 19
'Government and PSOE in doubt about extent and timing of 155'
'Rajoy will not approve application of article 155 today...
...and Puigdemont plans to declare UDI and elections'
'Rajoy uses the procedure of 155 to give Puigdemont another chance'
'Rajoy offers amnesty in exchange for legal elections'
Catalan language daily papers, October 19
'Support for UDI if 155 is activated'
'Puigdemont warns he will give go ahead to UDI if 155 applied'
'PDeCAT to rely on UDI if 155 applied'
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18
More graphics from last night's rallies in support of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart
CARTOON OF THE DAY
Rajoy (surrounded by the most notoriously corrupt PP figures):
"Mr Puigdemont, return to the rule of law!"
- Spanish prime minister's office: Decision of PDeCAT special national council (see under 2100 HOURS below) is "unacceptable blackmail".
- Catalan business minister Santi Vila says that the Spanish government is deliberately creating an atmosphere of "fear and anguish" that could affect the economy.
- PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez says in Brussels that the Catalan independence process "is the material expression of the anti-politics that is taking place in other parts of Europe, such as Hungary or Poland."
- Catalan radio RAC1 reporter attacked at unionist demonstration in Barcelona. Unionists only let cars pass if drivers say "Viva España".
- Catalan premier Puigdemont tells extraordinary national council meeting of PDeCAT that if the Rajoy government rejects talks he will lift the suspension of the declaration of independence.
- Amnesty International Spain calls for release of Sànchez and Cuixart, saying charge of sedition is "excessive".
- Attitude of Catalan parties to Rajoy government's last-minute offer of Catalan elections: ERC, reject; Citizens, accept; PdeCAT, reject after initial "we'll look into it"; CUP, reject; foreign minister Raül Romeva, "not in our scenario".
- Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy and Citizens' leader Albert Rivera meet to discuss details of application of article 155.
- Civil Guard summons director of Catalan web-based daily Directe.cat to appear for interrogation on publicity given to October 1 referendum.
- PSOE-initiated parliamentary commission on reform of the Spansh constitution fails to start, because of Unidos Podemos and PdeCAT refusal to participate while article 155 is about to be invoked. ERC, also, has decided to boycott the commission on principle.
- Members of the European parliament (MEPs) call for a debate on the jailing of Cuixart and Sànchez. Whether debate will happens will depend on the attitude of the social-democrat group.
No need to be afraid. People of Slovenia stand with Catalonia. And I strongly believe that we will be among the first to recognize the new Republic. https://t.co/H9Cnutu2OU
— Jan Škoberne, deputy leader of Slovenia's Socialdemocratic Party (participates in governing coalition)
Slovenia is not Catalonia. True. Nevertheless, Catalonia has the same right to self determination and consequential proclamation of independence. Terror of Spanish Government only confirms this thesis.
— Jan Škoberne
- NacioDigital reports rising discontent among PSC mayors and councilors for the PSOE's alliance with the Rajoy government line on Catalonia and the PSC's acceptance of it.
- Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro replies to well-known Catalan TV journalist Jordi Evole, who requested an interview with him: "Whenever you like...[But] look out Jordi, in Spain they put Jordis in prison. They've already got two."
- ANC rejects Barcelona FC's offer of a banner at tonight's Champions League match with Olimpiakos. It would have said: "Dialogue, respect, sport". ANC comments: "We don't believe this reflects the feeling of the majority of Barça fans... [an organisation] that regards itself as 'More Than A Club' [Barça's motto] would not hang this banner at the ground."
- Jordi Sànchez demands a change of cell after being abused by fellow prisoners yelling "Viva España" in the Soto del Real jail.
- The National High Court demands polling station by polling station information on the identity and action of Catalan police on referendum day October 1.
- Rafael Ribó, Catalan ombudsman, denounces arrest of Sànchez and Cuixart as violating basic human rights, recalling that a previous sentence of the Constitutional Court supported the right to exist of parties whose hgoals would require the Spansih constitution to be changed.
- Anti-independence forces call demonstration for tonight: "Enough of Puigdemont! Enough of Junqueras!"
- Cost of Spanish police operation in Catalonia to date: €34 million.
- Spanish Treasury anticipates replacing Catalan treasurer Oriol Junqueras with a "technical figure" if article 155 is introduced.
- PSC secretary Miquel Iceta denies that Cuixart and Sànchez are political prisoners: the problem is that the charge under which they are being held --sedition--is excessive.
- Catalan foreign minister Raül Romeva reports in Brussels on the results of October 1 referendum, and demands that Europe get involved in solving the conflict with Spain.
- Catalan deputy `premier Oriol Junqueras (ERC) to Catalan TV 3/24: "Today the Spanish government pardoned six corrupt persons and imprisoned two honourable ones."
- Prime minister Mariano Rajoy avoids specifiying what measures the Spanish government will apply under article 155.
- Saenz de Santamaria evades Tardà´s question, saying that bilaterality already exists.
- ERC MP Joan Tardà asks deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria if Spanish goivernment will accept bilateral talks with Catalan government.
- MPs from Podemos and the left alliances of which it is part demand release of Sànchez and Cuixart in today's Congress session (below).
- Spanish congress session begins.
- Spanish government spokesperson Iñigo Méndez de Vigo says that Cuixart and Sánchez are not political prisoners but "persons subject to the rule of law".
- Barcelona's Diagonal closed because of molten wax from candles held last night by tens of thousands of demonstrators. Clean-up squad of 87 working to remove it.
- Manchester City trainer, Pep Guardiola, dedicates the team's 2-1 win over Naples in the Champions League to Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart.
- CUP affiliate Poble Liure (Free People) issues the following call for international solidarity:
AGAINST SPANISH FASCIST REPRESSION! FOR THE CATALAN REPUBLIC, LET’S MOBILISE! DECLARE INDEPENDENCE! GENERAL STRIKE!
The imprisonment of the ANC leader (Jordi Sànchez) and Òmnium Cultural’s (Jordi Cuixart) means an unprecedented aggression not only against the Catalan nation but also to the very sense of democracy in the heart of Europe. Let’s say it clearly: Spain is a fascist state.
The total lack of respect to the basic political rights, to the freedom of assembly, of expression and of demonstration, the use of the judicial power as a mere repressive means in the service of the governing party, the brutality of the police and the connivance of the state apparatus with the fascist aggressions leave the Catalan nation in a state of political and administrative defencelessness which can only be overcome by a permanent mobilisation and the proclamation of Independence. There will never be democracy for Catalonia inside the Spanish state!.
Because of all that, from Poble Lliure:
a) We demand to the Catalan political representatives to immediately declare Independence and proclaim the Republic, asking for the support of the UN.
b) We demand the immediate release of those arrested and the dismissing of all the penal proceedings against Catalan independentism, a movement which has widely demonstrated its civic and democratic nature.
c) we call for the International Community to actively boycott the interests of the Spanish state, starting by its expulsion from the EU, and to bring its leaders and both its police and juridical repressive apparatus to trial by the International Criminal Tribunal and the European Court of Human Rights.
d) We urge the whole Catalan nation to keep permanently mobilising in defence of our rights and freedoms. Let’s stop the Spanish fascist repression, let’s defence democracy, let’s build the Republic.
e) We call for all the European democratic forces, and especially the left-wing activism from all over the world to express its support to the struggle of the Catalan nation against the authoritarianism of the Spanish state. The recognition of the Catalan Republic; the denunciation of the repression and the neofascist drift of the Spanish state; and the boycott to the economic interests of this state and its elites must be, nowadays, included in the program of each and every internationalist.
Barcelona, Catalan Countries, 16th October 2017.
Spanish state dailies, October 18
[On right] "The secessionists invent their martyrs"
"The Catalans 'at the mercy of a power that knows no limit at all'"
"That which affect all can only be decided by all"
[quote from Constitutional Court decision ruling Catalan referendum law invalid]
"The PSOE wants 155 with immediate elections"
"Puigdemont will trigger the Assembly of Elected Members if they suspend him under 155"
Catalan dailies, October 18
"We are all Jordis"
"PP government plans to run [Catalan] ministries from Madrid"
'You are not alone'
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17
- 18,000 attend Lleida rally in support of the "two Jordis" (see below).
- 15,000 attend Girona demonstration in support of Cuixart and Sànchez (see below).
- Miquel Buch (president, Associations of Municipalities for Independence): "After these detentions, independence is the only road."
- Sabadell demonstration for release of Cuixart and Sànchez (see below).
- Barcelona demonstration with candles in support of the "two Jordis" draws 200,000 (council police figure). See below.
- British prime minister Theresa May rings Spanish prime minister Rajoy to reassure him that she will not recognise the result of the October 1 referendum.
- The Spanish state prosecutor's office clarifies that its release of Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero was because he was only investigated for his role in the September 20 demonstration outside the Catalan economy ministery building. Trapero will probably be summoned to re-appear before the National High Court when the role of the Catalan police in the October 1 referendum is investigated.
- Recycling: 40,000 of the candles distributed at tonight's Barcelona demonstration in support of the "two Jordis" were recycled from this Guinness Book of Records attempt at the world's biggest flag composed of candles, done in September in Llivia, the Catalan Pyrenean enclave inside France.
- PDeCAT MPs the Spanish parliament protesting the arrest of Sànchez and Cuixart. See below. Placards read "Freedom for Political Prisoners Sànchez, Cuixart".
- Sinn Fein foreign affairs spokesperson Sean Crowe expresses the "deepest concern" over the arrest of Sànchez and Cuixart, and calls on Madrid to accept the Catalan government's offer of talks.
- CUP spokeperson Mireia Boya announces after meeting with JxSí that "when they come for us they'll find rhe Republic already proclaimed".
- The pro-independence parties CUP and Together for the Yes (JxSí) in discussions on when to lift the suspension of independence.
- The Roundtable for Democracy calls a mass rally and march for Saturday, October 21, with route and possibility of supporting general strike to be decided.
EXHIBIT--letter to the Financial Times
An independent Catalonia is in Britain’s best interests
Unlike, I suspect, most commentators on the current crisis in Catalonia, I was born there. Can I point out what no commentator has yet fully understood, namely that it is in the permanent interests of the UK to prevent Iberia from being dominated by Madrid?
If the Catalans had not revolted in February 1640, Portugal would not have been able to regain its independence — very few British people realise that Philip II of Spain gobbled up Portugal in 1580 and the Armada was launched mainly from Lisbon. Moreover, Catherine of Braganza would probably not have married Charles II and Britain would not have prospered as we did — see Sir John Elliott’s excellent book The Revolt of the Catalans. Again, if the Catalans had not supported the Archduke Carlos in the War of the Spanish Succession, Prince Georg of Hesse-Darmstadt would probably not have been able to seize Gibraltar — and more importantly hang on to it — see my father’s book The First Peninsular War. (Incidentally Gibraltar should never be “handed back” to Spain until Spain has agreed to cede Melilla and Ceuta to the Moroccans, and Olivenza to Portugal.)
Although we abandoned the Catalans in 1713 and in 1938, they gave us much support in helping escaped British aviators in 1940-44 at a time when it took six weeks to build a bomber but six months to train a pilot. And also helped many others, notably Jews and artists, escape from the Nazis. In short, an independent Catalonia is in the best interests of the UK, especially at a time when our relations with other European nations are so fraught.
St Monans, Fife, UK
- Stay of cruise ships housing Spanish National Police and Civil Guard in Barcelona and Tarragona ports extended to November 2.
- Council of Breda (Selva) votes unanimously to call on Catalan government to lift the suspension of the declaration of independence.
- Roundtable for Democracy, covering major trade union federations, small and medium business and social, cultural and sporting organisations discussing if and when to call general strike.
- Spanish Constitutional Court unanimously declares Catalonia's referendum law "unconstitutional".
- Spanish government delegate in Catalonia, Enric Milló, says that the goal of article 155 is not suspension of Catalan government but "to guarantee self-rule".
- On the program "Public Mirror" on the militantly unionist Antenna 3 TV, Joaquim Gay de Montellà, president of Catalan employer umbrella Development of National Labour, says the independence movement want to create "hunger and misery".
- Raül Romeva (Catalan foreign minister): After the detention of Sànchez and Cuixart, "Catalonia is less than ever an internal Spanish affair."
- Demonstrations in support of Cuixart and Sànchez in towns across Catalonia (below, demonstration outside the town hall of Terrassa).
At midday students at the University of Pompeu Fabra maintain a minute's silence in the central quadrangle in support of the detained independence leaders. There was a mass rally at the Austonomous University of Barcelona (see below).
- CUP MP Mireia Boya tells press conference that a general strike until Sànchez and Cuixart are released in needed.
- Barcelona Council suspends all activity for today and tomorrow in protest against the arrest of Cuixart and Sànchez.
- PP deputy secretary for communication Pablo Casado tells media conference: "Independence is not positive and we have to consider how much to limit projects of break-up that are disastrous for the nation and the autonomous communities (states, in Australian terms)."
- Albano Dante Fachín (general secretary, Podem Catalunya): "The socialist party is the indispensable crutch of PP repression. It has to be said loud and clear. The PSC has to explain itself. Mr Iceta [PSC general secretary], do you agree with this total lining-up with the Rajoy government?"
- PP Catalonia leader García Albiol calls the arrest of Cuixart and Sànchez "a good example for the bulk of society" and demands that Josep Lluís Trapero, chief of the Catalan police (Mossos d'Esquadra) step down.
- The Civil Guard raids the headquarters of the emergency number 112, looking for recordings made on October 1.
- Catalan police chief Trapero receives an ovation on arrival at work after being required by the National Court to surrender his passport and report every 15 days (see below).
- Gabriel Rufián, Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) MP in the Spanish parliament, calls for a general strike to protest arrests of Cuiart and Sànchez. "This is the definitive end of the rule of law in the Spanish state."
- Victoria Prego, head of the Madrid Press Association, tells COPE radio that article 155 "is trivial. Greater force is needed."
- Tarragona Committee for the Defence of the Referendum (CDR) maintains the demonstration outside the Spanish government´s sub-delegation building in the city, for those who cannot go to Barcelona for the main protest.
The PP's corrupt people free. Catalan supporters of independence in jail. The PP and its government are destroying Spanish democracy. #NotInOurName
- Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru, describes jailing of Sànchez and Cuixart as "shameful" and "horrible".
- Story in Nacio Digital: Spanish interior minister Juan Ignacio Zoido awarded the police order of merit to National High Court judge judge Carmen Lamela some days before she began investigating Trapelo, Cuixart and Sànchez. Lamela had already been awarded an equivalent decoration by the Civil Guard. Last year she presided over a case in which there was a brawl between Civil Guards and youths in a bar in Altasú (Navarra). She described the behaviour of the youths as "terrorism". The accused have been in detention for 300 days, awaiting final sentencing which could amount to 12.5 years per person (375 years in all).
- Josep Mayoral, PSC mayor of industrial town Granollers, calls arrests of Cuixart and Sànchez "madness".
- Enric Millo, the Spanish government delegate in Catalonia, says Cuixart and Sànchez are not political prisoners, but have been put in preventative detention "for their deeds".
- Agustí Alcoberro, vice-president of the ANC, says that the possibility of the banning of the pro-independence mass organsiations "has to be taken into account".
- The ANC calls the following demonstrations in Europe:
- Berlin, 1700 hours, outside the European Commission;
- Budapest,1830 hours, in front of the Spanish embassy;
- London, 1900 hours, in front of the Spanish embassy;
- Brussels, 1230 hours, in Luxembourg Place.
0100 HOURS (Tweets on the arrests of Sánchez and Cuixart)
Spain just created its first high level political prisoners over Catalonia's referendum. This evening it jailed (for 'sedition') the heads of the rather fittingly named ANC (Catalan National Assembly, @assemblea_int) and Catalonia's cultural promotion organization @Omnium. pic.twitter.com/ukZhXXXqBF
— Julian Assange
Prison for organising peaceful demonstrations? Totally unjust and a serious mistake that takes us further from dialogue. Stop taking everything to court!
— Ada Colau (Mayoress of Barcelona)
Welcome to Turkey.
— Gabriel Rufián (Republican Left of Catalonia MP in the Spanish parliament)
Political prisoners again! Count yourself part of the success, Pedro Sánchez [PSOE leader]
— Joan Tardà (Republican Left of Catalonia MP in the Spanish parliament)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 16
Note: Owing to technical difficulties we were unable to keep this blog running consecutively from Saturday, October 14 at 0900 until 0800 today.
- PSC mayor of Tarragona, Josep Fèlix Ballesteros, says that the arrest of Cuixart and Sànchez are "disproportionate and don't help social harmony".
- Firefighters in Lleida set off sirens in protest at arrests.
- People's Unity List (CUP) statement: The jailing of Sànchez and Cuixart "crosses a red line with respect to the most elementary principles of the rule of law and democratic guarantees". The Spanish state is acting "in a spirit of revenge and haterd" towards people who represent "a society mobilised in defence of its national rights". There is "no democratic future inside the Spanish state".
- Web site "Let's Paste Up" announces that it will be producing posters for community paste-ups in protest against jailing of Sànchez and Cuixart.
Spain jails Catalonia's civil society leaders for organising peaceful demonstrations. Sadly, we have political prisoners again.
-- Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont
Video of Omnium Cultural asking for support to Catalonia
- Central squares of cities and towns occupied across Catalonia. See Girona below.
- Spontaneous cassoladas (banging of pots and pans) start up in protest against the arrests.
- ANC and Omnium Cultural call for peaceful mass demonstrations at 5pm after protest work stoppages at noon.
- Judge of National High Court (Audiencia Nacional) orders the preventive detention of Jordi Sànchez, president of the ANC, and Jordi Cuixart, president of Omnium Cultural ("the two Jordis"). They are taken to the Soto del Real prison outside Madrid.
- Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström sees opportunity for dialogue between Spain and Catalan government because tone of Puigdemont letter is "conciliatory".
- National High Court judge Carmen Lamela allows Catalan police chief Josel Lluís Trapero to go free, on condition that surrenders his passport and reports every 15 days.
- CUP group in Barcelona Council calls for the Spanish royal family to be declared non grata and be stripped of all honours.
- CUP affiliate Poble Lliure (Free People) calls for a Catalan government of national unity and an assembly of all pro-independence elected officials "to be set up to make the declaration of independence effective."
- 215,000 (to date) sign on-line petition demanding that Catalan education department take legal action against PP Catalan leader García Albiol for saying "in most Catalan public schools students are taught to hate Spain".
- German foreign affairs minister Sigmar Gabriel (social-democrat) says there is margin for negotiation between Spain and Catalonia.
- PP Catalan leader García Albiol calls for the prohibition of parties that advocate "the destruction of Spain".
- The PSC says that Puigdemont and ERC leader and deputy premier Oriol Junqueras will be the only ones responsible if there is an article 155 intervention in Catalonia.
- Junqueras to Rajoy: "Do you want to have a meeting between the Spanish and Catalan governments?"
- Prime minister Rajoy, demanding a Yes or No answer: "Prolonging this situation of uncertainty only favours those who want to liquidate civil harmony and impose a radical and impoverishing project on Catalonia." If intervention under article 155 takes place only Puigdemont will be to blame. Makes no answer to the request for a meeting between the two sides to the conflict.
- Deputy prime minister Saenz de Santamaria says of the article 155 summons: "It wasn't a difficult question. Yes or No?". The Catalan government now has three days to return to "legality" (10am, Thursday, October 19).
- Xavier Domènech, coordinator of Catalunya en Comú, tells the New Economy Forum that pro-independence and pro-sovereignty forces have to develop a constituent process "jointly".
- Jordi Sànchez., Omnium Cultural president Jordi Cuixart and Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero enter the National High Court in Madrid to continue being examined on possible charges of sedition for their role in the Septmber 20 demonstration outside the Catalan government's economy ministery.
Initial reactions to Puigdemont's reply to Rajoy:
- Xavier García Albiol (leader of People's Party in Catalonia): "After reading this reply it's obvious this man is an irresponsible type who wants to spoil everything."
- Jordi Sànchez (president, ANC): The lettter is "coherent" but he doubts that it will have any effect on the Rajoy government.
- Rafael Català (Spanish attorney-general): "The reply is "not valid" for "lack of clarity".
- People's Unity List (CUP) MP Mireia Boya insists that the pro-independence majority must declare the Catalan Republic "in order to negotiate on equal terms with Madrid".
- Lorena Roldán (Citizens): "The Catalan government has missed a golden opportunity to return to legality".
- Alfonso Dastis (Spanish foreign minister): "Not a reply to the summons ... the most radical voices have prevailed."
- Marta Pascal (PDeCAT spokesperson): "Dignity, coherence, courage, conviction. Thank you again, premier. Is there anyone on the other side?"
- Manuel Valls, former prime minister of France, says that the mayor of Perpignan proposed that he and Anne Hidalgo offer themselves as mediators in the Spain-Catalonia crisis.
- Catalan premier Puigdemont replies to the summons issued under article 155 by the central government with a letter that does not answer the demand as to whether Catalonia has declared independence or not (in English here). The goal of the Catalan government is to undertake two months of talks and that "all those institutions and international, Spanish and Catalan personalities that have expressed their desire to open up a path for negotiations have the opportunity to explore it." Puigdemont's letter to Rajoy makes two requests: that legal and police repression in Catalonia stop and that a meeting take place between the Catalan premier and Spanish prime minister.
- In an article in La Vanguardia, Francesc Xavier Mena, Minister for Business and Economy in the 2010-2012 government of former premier Artur Mas, calls on Puigdemont to stop the independence process. "The process is, from the legal point of view, a shambles that distances us from Europe, from the economic point of view an exercise in irresponsibility, of improvisation without any contingency plan."
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15 (77th anniversary of the execution of former Catalan premier Lluís Companys by the Franco dictatorship)
- Puigdemont, vice-premier Oriol Junqueras, Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell and Barcelona mayoress Ada Colau lay wreaths on the tomb of Companys (below)
- Members of the Catalan National Assembly in Tarragona turn their backs on Party of Socialists of Catalonia (PSC) members as they a wreath in memory of executed Catalan premier Lluís Companys. pic.twitter.com/9gDAKM3f6B
- PSC calls on premier Puigdemont to reply to the article 155 demand of the Rajoy government to the effect that independence was not declared on October 10, and to go to early elections.
- 2000 demonstrate in Girona's Wine Square in support of lifting the suspension of the declaration of the Catalan Republic (see graphic below).
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14
- Antoni Castellà, leader of Democrats (Together for the Yes affiliate originally part of the pro-independence wing of the Democratic Union of Catalonia) says if the Rajoy government calls new elections under article 155, the pro-independence parties should not take part.
- Committees for the Defence of the Referendum (CDR) hold their first national gathering in Sabadell.
- Catalan web-based daily El Mon reports that no-one within the Catalan governmental alliance expects any sort of offer from the Spanish state and that "after 36 hours of intense meetings and phone calls everything points towards the premier lifting the suspension of the declaration of independence once the five days are up which Mariano Rajoy gave him to clarify whether Catalan independence had been declared."
- Catalan web-based daily VilaWeb ridicules European Commission president Jean-Cluade Juncker's argument that if Catalan independence were granted "we could have a European Union of 90 states within 15 years" (see graphic below).
Juncker did not even have the decency to explain that he came precisely from one of the smallest states with the least population in the European Union. So, considering that he himself chairs the Commission, his argument about the fragmentation and the size of the states did not make any sense. Only Malta, and by a long way, has fewer inhabitants than Luxembourg. The argument of antiquity can't be defended either, since there are now eight states of the Union's 27 that did not exist in 1990 with their current borders. But, in any case, the most grotesquely ridiculous argument was when he spoke of ninety states, since there are not, in any way, seventy situations equal to or comparable to the Catalan...
At the present time, the only independence process in Europe comparable to the case of Catalonia is that of Flanders, although it is following a very different path from the Catalan one. There are also two cases that could grow very quickly and at any time, those of the Basque Country and Corsica. The rest experience conditions that make it hard to conceive that they would have the possibility of creating their own states within fifteen years.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13
- Three MPs of the party Democrats--the pro-independence split from the christian democrat Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC), formerly governing in alliance with Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC, now PDeCAT)--write a letter to Carles Puigdemont severly criticising the decision to suspend the declaration of independence and complain that they were excluded from negotiations over the tactic. They are joined by former speaker Núria de Gispert.
- Former PSOE interior minister José Luís Corcuera says that the Catalan independence movement has carried out a coup d'etat and that the present PSOE leadership of Pedro Sánchez has been "too soft", adding "lukewarm positions never bring results".
- PSOE federal secretary Pedro Sánchez sends a letter to all members explaining that the party will "always stand by the State in the face of any threat to the constitutional order".
- Spanish treasurer Cristóbal Montoro says that the Spanish government will maintain its takeover of Catalan government finances even if Puigdemont government abandons its independence objective.
- Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission, says that if the Catalan governments wants change it has to begin by seeking to amend the Spanish constitution.
- Spanish foreign minister Alfonso Dastis tells French television CNews that "Spanish is discriminated against in Catalan schools". [A lie. While Catalan is the language of instruction in Catalan schools, Spanish (Castilian) is a compulsory subject. Moreover, a 2014 decision of the TSJC ruled that, where asked for by parents, 25% of teaching time had to be in Spanish.]
- See Economist article "The EU will not help the Catalan secessionists' cause" here.
- Spanish police unions demand the relief of police living on two ships in Barcelona Port.
- Catalan premier Puigdemont consults with ministers, Catalan mass organisations and political parties on the reply to make to the demand from the Spanish government for a clear statement as to whether the Catalan government has declared independence or not.
- Legal counsel of the Catalan parliament decide not to present a defence of the constitutionality of the Catalan referendum law, law of jurisdictional transition and Election Commission to the Spanish Constitutional Court, where they have been challenged by the Spanish government, on the grounds that the issues at stake are political and not juridical.
- The European and foreign affairs commissions of the Slovenian parliament in a joint sitting unanimously support a resolution that calls for a peaceful solution to the Catalan crisis, condemns the violence of October 1 and calls for support for the right of self-determination of the Catalan people.
- The High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) summons government spokesperson Jordi Turull and the Catalan parliament's legal counsel to appear before it in its investigation of the legality of the Catalan referendum law adopted on September 6.
- Catalan parliament speaker's panel to meet on Monday, October 16 to plan sessions for that week. The provisional decision to hold a session on Wednesday and Thursday is dependent on whether the CUP will remain in parliament, a decision to be discussed at a meeting of its Political Council tomorrow.
- Associations of judges and prosecutors object to the Catalan parliament creating a commission to investigate the violence of October 1.
- Interviewed on Spanish TY Antena 3, PP spokeperson Rafael Hernando says the Rajoy government will stop the "coup d'etat" and that it has more means than article 155 to do so.
- European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker says he can't mediate between Spain and Catalonia because only one side, the Catalan, has asked for mediation.
- Catalan ex-premier Artur Mas tells Catalan TV 3: "If what he[Rajoy] wants is a humiliating surrender, he won't get it". He also criticises the CUP and ANC for pressuring the Catalan government: "Everyone has their role, but none of them runs the government. Everyone will put pressure on, but in the end it will be the government that takes decisions."
- Demonstration in Navarra capital Pamplona (Iruñea in Basque) in support of Catalonia.
- The CUP demands by letter to premier Carles Puigdemont that the suspension of the declaration of independence be lifted.
- Deputy-premier and ERC leader Oriol Junqueras agrees with tweet by Ernest Maragall, former minister in the 2003-2010 PSC-ERC-ICV "tripartite" government, that "the time has come to run the risk of freedom".
TODAY'S FRONT PAGES IN THE SPANISH PRESS
"Constitutional Spain, united against the coup"
"The State shows its unity and strength in the face of separatism"
"The National Holiday converted into an outcry for the Constitution"
"PP and PSOE trust that Puigdemont will help dialogue"
"Cospedal reminds that the army watches over unity"
"Rajoy discounts using 155 if UDI rejected"
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 (Holiday in Spain to commemorate the 'discovery' of the Americas)
- The secretariat of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) calls on the Catalan government to lift the suspension of the independence declaration, saying that the suspension does not make "any sense at all" given the refusal to negotiate on the part of the Rajoy government. President Jordi Sànchez who did not attend the secretariat meeting that issued the call sends this letter to all ANC members:
After many intense moments we arrive at the moment of truth. The people spoke on October 1, the parliamentary majority and the government have taken the mandate on board and have developed a strategy to win.
The decision to offer dialogue and understanding to the Spanish government was made to make these last steps towards the Republic easier to make. In spite of this the prospect is of an undemocratic reaction by the Spanish government.
The decision to give an opportunity for dialogue on Tuesday was a risky but honest commitment. Nobody knows for sure whether dialogue will come to fruition, but the conviction is that it should have been tried. It was demanded by international players who are trying to open channels of communication between the Catalan and Spanish governments at this time.
The international press has registered and valued positively this desire for dialogue. The Spanish government and the principal parties have not positively valued the gesture and have taken refuge in the intolerance that is typical of them.
The next days will be decisive. Nobody should be afraid; the offer of negotiation is unconditional and sincere, but in no way conceals any abandonment of the proclamation of the Republic. Even less can it be interpreted as a step towards constitutional reformism. Nervousness and anxiety are understandable. But these must not lead us to now mistrust those who have so far represented us so well.
Monday will be the decisive day. In the morning, the National High Court will decide how to proceed on the allegations for sedition against me, the president of Omnium Cultural, and the chief and a superintendant of the Mossos d'Esquadra [Catalan police]. I have the feeling that we are being used as hostages by the prosecutor's office and other Spanish high courts. Also on Monday the government Rajoy will most likely decide to blow up the institutions of the Generalitat [the Catalan government] and put them under its own control.
Whatever happens in the next few hours, I say:
1. Let's maintain the chain of trust that has made us so strong today. We remain certain that there is no stepping away from our determination to build a new independent State in the form of a Republic.
2. Let's pay attention to the channels of communication in the face of possible mobilizations and not rule out massive stoppages of the country again.
3. Let's always keep a non-violent and peaceful attitude in the face of the more than likely repressive and violent attitude of the police forces. They need a narrative of violence in order to justify their decisions and repression. We shall not give it to them. We are peaceful people.
4. Let's not lose heart. If we, political leaders and people, remain united and firm, our strength is immense and winning.
Thank you for your commitment. With the effort and generosity of all, we shall win. A hug!"
- Standard and Poors says it sees no reason to downgrade the rating of Spanish debt.
- The Assembly of the Council of Europe (organisation of 47-member states dedicated to upholding human rights and democratic values) condemns the repression of October 1 and calls for a peaceful, negotiated solution to the conflict.
- CUP affiliate Endavant--OSAN (Forward--Socialist Organisation of National Liberation) issues declaration denouncing suspension of independence:
On October 10 the government of Catalonia betrayed the sovereignty of the people as expressed in the October 1 referendum and the October 3 general strike. The non-declaration of the Catalan Republic—and its replacement with a «suspension» that opens the door to negotiation with the State—is an attack on the sovereignty of the people. The Puigdemont government has caved in before the blackmail of the banks, the business elite and the European Union and before the fears of pro-sovereignty forces in government at the popular outpouring that allowed the success of the referendum and the general strike.
- Civil Guards denounce a bar-owner in Bagés who refuses to serve them because "they are not welcome".
- Secretary of state Rex Tillerson says the US supports a "strong and united Spain".
- Catalan welfare minister Dolors Bassa says on Catalunya Radio that the ruling Together for the Yes (JxSí) coalition had arranged a two to three week suspension period of the declaration of independence with the CUP.
- Spanish defence minister Doores de Cospedal says she doesn't believe military intervention in Catalonia will be necessary, but says that the armed forces "have the obligation to be prepared to defend the country."
- Republican Left of Catalonia Youth (JERC) hang estelada over the wall of the central citadel of Lleida in rejection of Spain's National Day.
- Ultra-right demonstrators at unionist demonstration abusing Catalan police (Mossos d'Esquadra)--(video). Chant (in Spanish): "This police doesn't represent us."
- The Civil Guard in the Bergà (capital of Berguedà shire, see map at head of blog) does not celebrate Spain's National Day. Bergà has a CUP mayoress.
- Most popular slogan at Barcelona demonstration: "Puigdemont to jail".
- Catalan council boycotts of the Spanish National Day holidays include municipal open days and sending all town hall flags to the laundry to be washed (Tortosa)-
Catalan Civil Society Demonstration for October 12: "Catalonia is Spain".
Ultra-right demonstration (150 at most) in Barcelona, chanting: "Traitor Rajoy, betraying the nation."
- Tweet from the People Party's Catalan president to premier Puigdemont: "Happy National Day, president. It's the national day of all Catalans."
- Human Rights Watch concludes Spanish police used excessive forced on October 1.
- More than 100 Catalan councils working as normal on the "Day of Spanishness" (Día de la Hispanidad), a holiday in the Spanish state, because "there's nothing to celebrate".
- People's Unity List (CUP) MPs interviewed by the Catalan web-based daily El Mon do not discard the possibility that the CUP's Political Council withraw support from the Puigdemont government. An anonymous CUP MP comments: "There are reasons for thinking the worst, but we've given the premier 15 days [for negotiations] which we lated extended to a month."
- Catalan National Assembly launches the Support Catalonia campaign
- Today's Guardian editorial
- Today's "Catalan News"
- Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont's speech declaring and temporarily suspending Catalan independence
Official Statement by the President on the political situation in Catalonia
Declaration of independence by the President of the Catalan Government
I stand here before Parliament to present to you the results of the referendum held on October 1 and to explain the political consequences derived from it. I am conscious, as I’m sure are many of you, that today I also stand before the people of Catalonia and before many others, who have focused their attention on what happens today in this chamber.
We are living in an exceptional time, of historical dimension. The consequences and effects run beyond our country and it’s evident that, far from being an internal and domestic affair, as we have often had to hear from those who neglected their responsibility by not wanting to know about what’s happening, Catalonia is a European issue.
Do not expect, from my speech, threats, blackmail nor insults. The current moment is serious enough for everyone to assume their corresponding responsibility and for the necessity to de-escalate tension and not to contribute to it, neither through word nor gesture. On the other hand, I wish to address the people; those who came out on the 1st and the 3rd of October, those who went to the demonstration on Saturday to advocate for dialogue, and those who came out massively on Sunday in defence of the unity of Spain. And to those who haven’t come out in any of those gatherings. All of us, with all of our differences, with all our points of understanding and divergence, all form part of the same people, and we must continue to work together, whatever happens, because that is how the history of a people who want to build a future is made.
Obviously, we will never agree on everything. But we do understand, because we’ve already demonstrated it, that the way forward can be none other than through democracy and peace. That means respecting those who think differently, and finding a way to make possible collective aspirations, with the realisation that that requires a large dose of dialogue and empathy.
As you may well imagine, in these recent days and hours many have spoken with me, suggesting both what needs to be done and what needs not be done. All of those suggestions are valid, respectable and appropriate for a moment like this. In all cases where I could I appreciated receiving them, because in each one I’ve heard good reasons which are worth listening to. I have also asked the opinion of many people, which has helped me and enriched the analysis of this moment in time and the perspective for the future, and I want to give them my heartfelt thanks.
But what I’m presenting to you today is not a personal decision, nor is it the obsession of any one person: it’s the result of the 1st of October, of the will of the government which I preside over having maintained its commitment to call, organise and hold a referendum of self-determination, and naturally of the analysis of the following facts which we have shared at the core of Government. Today is the time to talk about the results in the Parliament and that’s what we’re going to do.
We are here because on the 1st of October Catalonia held a referendum of self-determination. It was done in conditions, which were, rather than difficult, extreme. It’s the first time in the history of European democracies that an election day was held in the midst of violent police attacks against voters who were queueing to post their vote. From 8 in the morning until the close of polling stations, the Police and Guardia Civil beat defenceless people and obliged the emergency services to attend to more than 800 people. We all saw it, as did the world, which was horrified as the images came through.
The objective was not only to confiscate ballot boxes and voting papers. The objective was to cause panic and make people, as they saw the images of indiscriminate police violence, stay at home and renounce their right to vote. But those politically responsible for these ignominious acts shot themselves in the foot. 2, 286, 217 citizens overcame their fear, left their homes and voted. We don’t know how many were unsuccessful in doing so, but we do know that the polling stations which were closed down violently represented the votes of 770,000 more people.
More than two million two hundred thousand Catalans were able to vote because they overcame their fear, and because when they arrived at their polling station they found ballot boxes, envelopes, voting slips, constituted voting tables and an operative and reliable electoral list. The operations and police searches of the previous weeks in seeking ballot boxes and voting slips did not prevent the referendum. Phone taps, following people, cyber-attacks, the closure of 140 websites, interference in correspondence, none of these things could stop the referendum. I repeat: in spite of the efforts and resources dedicated to prevent it happening, when the citizens arrived at the polling stations, they found ballot boxes, envelopes, voting slips, constituted voting tables and an operative and reliable electoral list.
I wish, therefore, to recognise and appreciate all of the people who made possible this logistical and political success. To the volunteers who slept in the polling stations. To the citizens who kept the ballot boxes in their homes. To those who printed the voting slips. To the computer technicians who came up with and developed the universal electoral list. To the workers in the Government. To those who voted yes or no, and those who voted blank. To so many anonymous people who did their part to make it all possible. And above all, I send my best wishes and solidarity to all those injured and mistreated in the police operation. Those images will remain in our memories forever. We will never forget.
We must recognise and denounce that the actions of the state have caused tension and worry in Catalan society. As President of Catalonia, I’m very conscious that at this time there are many people who are worried, anxious and even scared about what is happening and what may come to pass. People of all ideas and political leanings. Gratuitous violence and the decision of some companies to transfer their headquarters, in a decision, allow me to say, more related to their markets than to real effects in our economy (what does have real effect on our economy is the 16 billion Catalan euros which are obliged to leave each year), are facts which without doubt have clouded the picture. To all those people who are afraid, I wish to send them a message of comprehension and empathy, and also of serenity and tranquillity: the Government of Catalonia will not deviate one millimetre from its commitment to social and economic progress, democracy, dialogue, tolerance, respect for difference and a willingness to negotiate. As President I will always act with responsibility and keeping in mind the seven and a half million citizens of the country.
I would like to explain where we are, and especially why we are where we are. Today as the world is watching us, and indeed, today as the world is listening to us, I think it’s worth going back and explaining ourselves.
Since the death of the military dictator Francisco Franco, Catalonia has contributed at least as much as anyone else to the consolidation of Spanish democracy. Catalonia has been not only the economic engine of Spain, but also a modernising and stabling influence. Catalonia believed that the Spanish Constitution of 1978 could be a good starting point to guarantee its self-government and its material progress. Catalonia was deeply involved in the process of returning the Spanish state to European and international institutions after 40 years of isolation.
The passing of the years, however, began to show that the new institutional structure which came out of the Transition, which Catalonia saw as a good starting point towards evolving to new heights of democracy and self-governance, was seen by the hegemonic elite of the state not as a point of departure, but in fact as a point of arrival. With the passing of the years, the system not only stopped evolving in the desired direction for the people of Catalonia, but began to devolve.
Consistent with this finding, in the year 2005, a large majority, 88% of this Parliament, I repeat an 88% majority in this Parliament, following the steps marked out by the Constitution, I repeat, following the steps marked out by the Constitution, approved a proposal for a new Statute of Autonomy, and sent it to the Spanish Congress of Deputies. The Catalan proposal unleashed an authentic campaign of Catalanophobia, tied to an irresponsible manner by those who wanted to govern Spain at any price.
The text which was finally submitted for referendum in 2006 was already very different from the initial proposal from the Catalan Parliament, but despite that was approved by the citizens who voted on it. Turnout was 47%, and the votes in favour of the Statute were 1,899,897. I’d like to point out that that’s 145,000 votes fewer than the yes vote for independence on the 1st of October.
The state, however, hadn’t had enough with the first reduction. In 2010, four years after the entry in law of the watered down Statute, a Constitutional Court made up of magistrates hand-picked by the two main Spanish political parties, emitted an disgraceful sentence which watered down the Statute for a second time, modifying the content which had been voted on by the people in a referendum.
It’s worth remembering this, and underlining it. Despite having followed all the procedures of the constitution, despite being backed by 88% of the Parliament of Catalonia, and despite popular approval in a referendum, the combined action by the Congress of Deputies and the Constitutional Court converted the Catalan proposal into an unrecognisable text. And it’s worth remembering and underlining also: this unrecognisable text, doubly edited and not voted upon by Catalans, this is the current law in force. This has been the result of Catalonia trying to modify its Juridical Statute by constitutional means: a humiliation.
But that’s not everything. Since the sentence of the Constitutional Court against the Statute voted upon by the people, the Spanish political system not only has not moved a finger to try to go back and repair this break, but rather it has activated an aggressive and systematic program of recentralisation. From the point of view of self-government, the last seven years have been the worst of the last forty: continual degradation of competencies through a series of decrees, laws and sentences; inattention and lack of investment in the basic system of infrastructure in Catalonia, a key part of a country’s economic progress; and hurtful disrespect towards our language, culture and the way of life in our country.
Everything that I explain in these short lines has had a profound impact in Catalan society. It’s got to the point that during this period many Catalans, millions of Catalans, have come to the rational conclusion that the only way to guarantee survival, not only of self-government, but of our values as a society, is the foundation of Catalonia as a state. The results of the last elections to the Parliament of Catalonia are a testament to this.
Furthermore, something even more relevant has happened: in parallel with the formation of a pro-independence absolute majority in the Parliament, a broad consensus has been forged that the future of Catalonia, whatever it may be, had to be decided by the Catalan people, democratically and pacifically, through a referendum. In the most recent poll by an important newspaper in Madrid, not from here, from Madrid, 82% of Catalans expressed this idea.
With the objective of making possible this referendum, in the last few years the Catalan institutions and civil societies have generated many initiatives before the Spanish government and its institutions. It’s all documented: up to 18 times, and in all possible formats, opening a dialogue has been proposed to agree a referendum similar to the one held in Scotland on 18 September 2014. A referendum with the date and a question agreed between the two sides, in which both sides could campaign and present their arguments, and in which both sides commit to accepting and applying the result through a negotiation which protects their respective interests. If that has been possible in one of the oldest, most consolidated and exemplary democracies in the world, as the United Kingdom is, why could it not also be done in Spain?
The answer to all of those initiatives has been a radical and absolute no, combined with police and judicial persecution of Catalan authorities. Ex-President Artur Mas and ex-ministers Joana Ortega and Irene Rigau, as with the ex-minister of Presidency Francesc Homs, have been banned from holding office for having promoted a non-binding participative process without juridical effect on the 9 of November 2014. And not only banned from public office, but also fined in an arbitrary and abusive way: if they do not deposit more than 5 million euros to the Spanish Court of Accounts, all of their assets will be embargoed and their families may be affected.
Apart from them, the bureau of this Parliament and dozens of municipal elected officials have been charged for expressing support for the right to decide and permit debates on the referendum. Charges have been brought against the President of the Parliament and its bureau to prevent them permitting the debate to take place. The last wave of repression against Catalan institutions has resulted in the detainment and arrest of 16 officials and public servants in the Government of Catalonia, who had to appear in court handcuffed and without being informed of the accusation against them. The world needs to know too that the leaders of the entities which have led the biggest peaceful demonstrations in Europe’s history are charged with the crime of sedition, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. These are people responsible for having organised demonstrations which amazed the world for their civility and lack of incident.
This has been the answer of the Spanish State to Catalan demands, which have always been expressed in a peaceful way and through the majorities obtained at the polls. The people of Catalonia have demanded the freedom to be able to decide for years. It’s very simple. We have not found anyone to dialogue with in the past nor are we finding one in the present. There is no State institution that is open to talking about the claim of the majority of this Parliament and of Catalan society. The last hope we could have left was for the monarchy to exercise the arbitration and moderating role that the constitution attaches to it, but the last week's speech confirmed our worst assumptions.
I now turn to the citizens of the whole of the Spanish state who are following with concern what is happening in Catalonia. I want to convey a message of serenity and respect, a willingness to dialogue and of political accord, as has always been our desire and our priority. I am aware of the information that is conveyed to them by most media and the narrative that has been established. But I dare to ask them to make an effort, for the good of all; an effort to know and recognise what has led us here and the reasons that have driven us. We are not delinquents, nor are we crazy, nor are we attempting a coup, nor just some bad people: we are normal people who ask to be able to vote and who have been willing to undertake all necessary dialogue to carry it out in an agreed manner. We have nothing against Spain and the Spanish. Quite the opposite. We want to understand each other better, and that is the desire of the majority in Catalonia. Because today, for many years now, the relationship isn’t working and nothing has been done to reverse a situation that has become unsustainable. And a people can not be compelled, against its will, to accept a status quo that it did not vote for and does not want. The Constitution is a democratic framework, but it is equally true that there is democracy beyond the Constitution.
Ladies and gentlemen, with the results of the referendum on October 1st, Catalonia has earned the right to be an independent state, and has earned the right to be heard and respected.
I must recognise that today Catalonia is being listened to and respected beyond our frontiers.
The yes to independence won an absolute majority in the elections, and two years later it has won a referendum under the attacks of batons. The ballot boxes, the only language we understand, say yes to independence. And this is the route I am committed to traveling.
As is known, the Referendum Law establishes that, two days after the official proclamation of the results, and in the case where the number of Yes votes is superior to the number of No votes, the Parliament (and I cite the wording of the law) “will hold an ordinary session to put into effect a formal declaration of the independence of Catalonia, its effects and agree the beginning of the constituent process”.
There’s a before and after the 1st of October, and we have achieved what we committed ourselves to at the beginning of this legislature.
Arriving at this historic moment, and as President of the Generalitat I take it upon myself to say, in presenting to you the results of the referendum before Parliament and our co-citizens, that the people have determined that Catalonia should become an independent state in the form of a republic.
That is what needs to be done today, responsibly and with respect.
In with the same solemnity, the Government and I myself propose that the Parliament suspends the effects of the declaration of independence so that in the coming weeks we may begin a dialogue without which it is impossible to arrive at an agreed solution. We firmly believe that this moment needs not only a de-escalation of tension but also a clear and committed willingness to advance the claims of the people of Catalonia from the results of the 1st of October. We must keep these results in mind during the period of dialogue which we are willing to open.
It is well-known that since the referendum different mediation initiatives have been put in place, regarding dialogue and negotiation and at national, state and international level. Some of these are publicly known, while others are not known yet. All are serious attempts, and were difficult to imagine happening just a short time ago. The cries for dialogue and for no violence have been heard from all corners of the globe; yesterday’s declaration by a group of eight Nobel Peace Prize winners; the declaration the group The Elders led by the ex-secretary general of the United Nations Kofi Annan and made up of people of great world relevance; the positions of Presidents and Prime Ministers of European countries, European political leaders…
There’s a prayer for dialogue which runs through Europe, because Europe already feels interrupted by the effects of what could happen with a bad resolution of this conflict. All of these voices deserve to be listened to. And all, without exception, have asked that we open a time to give dialogue with the Spanish state a chance.
That is also what needs to be done today, responsibly and with respect.
In finishing, I call on the responsibility of everyone. To the citizens of Catalonia, I ask that we continue to express ourselves as we have done up to now, with freedom and with respect fro those who think differently. To companies and economic stakeholders, I ask that they continue to generate wealth and not fall into the temptation to use their power to influence the population. To the political parties, I ask that they contribute with their words and actions to lower the tension. I also ask this of the media. To the Spanish government, I ask that they listen, not to us if they don’t want, but to those who advocate for mediation and to the international community, and to the millions of citizens around Spain who ask that they renounce repression and imposition. To the European Union, I ask that they get deeply involved and hold up the fundamental values of the Union.
Today the Government of Catalonia makes a gesture of responsibility and generosity, and again reaches out its hand in dialogue. I’m convinced that, if in the coming days everyone acts with the same responsibility and fulfils their obligations, the conflict between Catalonia and the Spanish state can be resolved in a manner that is serene and with accord, respecting the will of the people. For us, this will not stop here. Because we want to be true to our long history, to all who suffered and made sacrifices, and because we want a future of dignity for our children, for all those people who want to make Catalonia their land of welcome and hope.
Thank you very much.
Carles Puigdemont Casamajó
President of the Catalan Government
Spanish Federal Police Union (UFP) publishes this photo (October 9) with the comment "Let's talk?...with the coup-plotters?". "Let's talk" is the call of the movement for dialogue which demonstrated across Spain last week-end. (see photo at bottom of this blog).
Today's front pages
"Rajoy announces 155 but gives Puigdemont time"
"Time to talk"
"Rajoy activates 155 with the support of 72% of MPs"
"The Rajoy-Sánches deal to corner Puigdemont"
"Ultimatum to Puidemont: back down or 155"
"PP-PSOE agreement: article 155 and reform of the constitution"
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11
- Council of Sabadell (Vallés Occidental, see map above) declares Enric Millo, the chief Spanish delegate in Catalonia, persona non grata and calls for his dismissal.
- Premier Puigdemont tweets: "You ask for dialogue and they reply by putting 155 on the table. Understood."
- The PSC celebrates the "return to the Constitution" implied by the application of article 155.
- The council of Mont-Roig del Camp, whose people drove the Civil Gaurd out of town on October 1, celebrates by naming a street after the event.
- The Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations (CEOE) applauds the ultimatum to the Catalan government sent by Rajoy.
- Iglesias: "Spain will not survive if the Catalans do not want to be part of it."
- PSC mayor of Lleida Àngel Ros, governing with the support of the PP and Citizens, says that implementing article 155 will be the first step towards creating a federal Spain.
- Rajoy defends the police charges of October 1 as "acting in defence of the law".
- Rajoy, in summary gives the Catalan government five days to clarify what the declaration of October 10 means. If premier Puigdemont does not abandon aspirations to independence, article 155 will be invoked.
- Hernando: "The totalitarian independence movement indoctrinates children to despise the senyera [the official Catalan flag, supposedly being replaced by the pro-independence estelada].
- Rafael Hernando (PP spokesperson): "There wasn't a referendum because there were ballot boxes that arrived in polling stations already full of voting papers."
- Tardà: "In the end we will win. In the end democracy will win."
- Tardà: "Do you think the non-independentists in Catalonia will support you [if article 155 is invoked]? The only people who will support you will be the fascists in our country."
- Tardà: "For you [Rajoy] the unity of Spain takes precedence over democracy."
- Joan Tardà (Republican Left of Catalonia, ERC): "There is no constitution without respect for the democratic principle."
- Rivera: "We defend the constitution: the biggest threat to Europe is nationalism and populism."
- Alberto Rivera (Citizens): "Yesterday [the suspended declaration of independence by Carles Puigdemont] was a blow against Spanish democracy."
- Yolanda Díaz (En Marea, Galicia): "Stop the hatred against Catalonia: a referendum is the only way out."
- Xavier Domènech (En Comù Podem): "You [Rajoy] say you won't negotiate over the right to decide and with that you are already putting conditions on dialogue. Dialogue begins with recognising all actors."
- Pablo Iglesias (Podemos): "We are talking about a problem that we have had in Spain for a long time: the problem of plurinationality. You [the PP] are the main reason why Spain is breaking up."
- Robles: "In the spirit of the Transition we think everything can be presented and discussed."
- Robles thanks the PP for accepting a discussion on reforming the Spanish constitution.
- Margarita Robles (parliamentary spokesperson of the PSOE): "We cannot accept what happened on September 6 and 7 [adoption of the Catalan referendum law and the law of jurisdictional transition in the case of a Yes win].
- Rajoy: "The time has come to put an end to this agony."
- Rajoy: "No mediation is possible between the law and illegality."
- Rajoy on the unionist rallies of recent weeks: "The Spain that suffers for what is happening in Catalonia is the Spain that loves Catalonia."
- Rajoy on the right of nations to self-determination: "It's a deceitful way to present a right that no constitution entertains...Invoking the right to decide is false in a democratic country that abides by international law."
- Rajoy: "Today's Spain can't be understood without moderate, European-oriented Catalanism."
- Rajoy: "I commit to continue working to maintain and even widen the unity of the democrats."
- Rajoy: "All extremism destroys that which it says it supports. The independence movement is about to destroy the best period that Catalonia has ever known."
- Rajoy: "The farce of October 1 was an exercise against democracy and everything since then has been the inevitable consequences of breaking the law."
- Rajoy congratulates the Spanish National Police and the Civil Guard for their action on October 1.
- Rajoy: "The Civil Guard dismantled the infrastructure of the referendum. On October 1, the rules of the game were changed: vote where you want, as many times as you want because the result is already decided."
- Rajoy: "The Catalan government is following a deliberate strategy of separating Catalonia from Spain without the support of the majority of citizens."
- Rajoy: "The illegal referendum was a complete failure. No result of that referendum can be used to justify any political response."
- Rajoy: "We are free when we submit to the law. That which is not legal is not democratic."
- Rajoy (prime minister): "The rulers of Catalonia have perpetrated a dangerous and disloyal attack on the [Catalan] Statute, the Constitution and the citiens."
- Special session of Spanish parliament dedicated to Catalan crisis begins
- Interviewed on CNN, Catalan premier Puigdemont offers negotiations without prior conditions to the Spanish government, suggesting that two negotiators from either side should meet and decide on a mutually agreed mediator.
- More than 600 principals of Catalan schools demand that the European Commission condemn the violence of October 1.
- The High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) accepts that the petition of the right-wing party Vox demanding the arrest of premier Puigdemont be heard.
- The National High Court (Audiencia Nacional) cites Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, presidents respectively of the Catalan National Congress (ANC) and Omnium Culural, to appear before it on charges of sedition.
- Alberto Rivera, leader of Citizens, calls for the immediate implementation of article 155.
- The TSJC says that last night's declaration of independence by the Catalan government "has no legal status" and reaffirms its commitment to the "constitutional system".
- The Alternative Interunion Committee of Catalonia (pro-independence and left) announces a general strike for October 18.
- PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez supports the measures proposed by prime minister Mariano Rajoy, including support for the application of article 155, and adds that he has reached an agreement with Rajoy to initiate a process of reform of the Spanish Constitution. This would begin with a six-month discussion in the constitutional commission of the Spanish parliament.
- TSJC considering a petition from the far-right organisation Vox demanding that Puigdemont be arrested.
- Mikel Iceta, leader of the social-democratic Party of Socialists of Catalonia (PSC), thanks Mariano Rajoy for his "prudence" and "balance" and hopes that premier Puigdemont's reply will be "up to the mark".
- Spanish government, with the support of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and Citizens, requires a clear statement from Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont as to whether Catalan independence has been declared as a step previous to implementing article 155 of the Spanish constitution.
- Judges for Democracy spokesperson Joaquim Bosch on the Sixth Channel: "Puigdemont's declaration cannot be considered a crime."
CARTOON OF THE DAY
Dialogue, freedom, democracy....Mariano Rajoy: "Aaaaaaaagh" Fer, El Punt-Avui, October 11
- Pablo Iglesias (Podemos): "Unfortunately, the [Rajoy] government is acting more like a party than a government."
- Joan Coscubiela, Parliamentary spokesperson for Catalonia Yes We Can (CSQEP) says that applying article 155 would mean "total conflict".
- Leading Catalan publishing group Planeta decides to shift its headquarters to Madrid.
- Spanish government Council fo Ministers meeting to decide if and how to apply article 155 (suspension of regional government) of the Constitution.
- Jordi Turull, spokeperson for the Catalan government, tells Catalunya Radio: "We haven't given up anything, but we have given ourselves time out to explore negotiations. Yesterday we made a grand gesture. Today the Spanish government has the opportunity to make another...[However], if it sets article 155 [suspension of regional autonomy] in motion, then it's clearly not interested in dialogue."
- People's Unity List (CUP) MP tells Catalan public TV Channel 3 that they have always been open to negotiations but that "without the declaration of independence or the proclamation of the republic in an effective form we are not in a position that that allows dialogue between equals or compels the international community to undertake mediation." The CUP MP says that relations with the Puigdemont government have been damaged.
- Here is the English version of the coverage of Puigdemont's speech by the daily Ara.
- See here for the mixed reaction of the 30,000 waiting in Passeig Lluís Companys to Puigdemont's announcement of independence and then of a delay in its implementation to allow negotiations to proceed.
Today's front pages
'Independence postponed (for now)'
'Farce and blackmail'
'Puigdemont blackmails the government to gain time'
'Independence in stages that prolongs the chaos in Catalonia'
'Puigdemont announces and suspends independence'
'Pause for negotiation'
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10
- Civil Guard Closes web site of Catalan National Assembly.
- CUP joint national spokesperson Quim Arrufat says negotiations should only continue for a month at most.
- Spanish deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria says that "Puigdemont cannot draw any conclusions from a referendum law that doesn't exist and from a referendum that didn't happen." Spanish Council of MInisters to meet tomorrow at 9am to discuss implementation of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution (suspension of regional government).
- Together for the Yes (JxSí) and CUP MPs sign declaration of independence.
- Nuria Marin (PSC mayoress of L'Hospitalet): "Puigdemont has made a gesture of responsibiltiy: he hasn't proclaimed independence. Now, dialogue."
- Ada Colau, mayoress of Barcelona thanks Puigdemont for his "clear commitment to dialogue and mediation. Now Rajoy and the other political forces have to move."
- Leaders of ANC and Omnium Cultural recognise that Puigdemont had been exposed to extreme pressure and had come up with the best response possible, but insist he set a time limit for mediation.
- Crowd outside parliament applauds words of Anna Gabriel, but some whistle those of Together for the Yes spokesperson Lluís Corominas.
- Gabriel: "Negotiations? With whom? With a Spanish state that denies fundamental rights?"
- Anna Gabriel (People's Unity List): "We remain firm in our goal, to break the chains of the 1978 regime."
- Xavier García Albiol (to Puigdemont): "What do you want to discuss? About how to destroy the unity of Spain? About how long it will take for Catalans to cease to be Spaniards?"
- Xavier García Albiol (People's Party): "The Catalonia forgotten by nationalism did not shut up: we saw a million people on the streets [on October 8] saying Yes to freedom and democracy."
- Lluís Rabell: "We do not accept article 155 or any of the measures that Mr Rajoy seems so keen to implement."
- Lluís Rabell: October 1 and 3 were a massive mobilisation of the people, but not a referendum.
- Lluís Rabell (Catalonia Yes We Can): "We are grateful that you [Puigdemont] are giving an opportunity for dialogue."
- Mikel Iceta: "38.47% [percentage of Yes vote of electoral roll] isn't the people of Catalonia."
- Mikel Iceta: (Party of Socialists of Catalonia): "The referendum of October 1 cannot be considered binding. The international guests themselves said that."
- Ines Arrimades: "The majority of Catalans believe that Catalonia is their land, Spain their country and Europe their future."
- Ines Arrimades (to Catalans opposed to independence): "You are not alone, we are the majority and we will win the next, the real, elections."
- Ines Arrimades: "Mr Puigdemont, in the international sphere you are alone."
- Ines Arrimadas, leader of the opposition (Citizens): "Nationalism is the Antithesis of Europe: it identifies friends and enemies, supremacism over equality."
- Puigdemont proposes that Catalonia be declared an independent state in the form of a republic, but that the application of the decision be suspended by Parliament "for some weeks" to enable the negotiations and mediation proposed by many international actors and actors in the Spanish state to take place.
- Puigdemont demands that both sides to the conflict lower the level of tensions and seek ways of having dialogue.
- Puigdemont: "As president I recognise the decision of the people that Catalonia become an independent state in the form of a republic."
- Puigdemont: "With the results of October 1 Catalonia has won the right to be an independent state and to listened to and respected."
- Puigdemont (speaking in Spanish): "We are not mad. There's democracy beyond the Constitution."
- Puigdemont: "In recent years, there hacve been many initiative to launch a referendum--that's all documented: The answer has been a radical and absolute negative, combined with legal and police persecution of the Catalan authorities."
- Puigdemont: "All polls show that 80% or more of Catalans want to decide their relation with Spain by referendum."
- Puigdemont: Describes how Catalonia arrived at the present situation, beginning with the Constitutional Court decision on the "unconstitutionality" of the 2006 Statute of autonomy.
- Puigdemont starts speaking: Recognises the sacrifice of the people who made the referendum possible, including the 900 wounded by Spanish police and Civil Guard attacks.
- People's Party (PP) trying to hold up session with procedural manoevres. Speakers' panel now meeting while MPs wait.
- Start of parliamentary session postponed by demand of Puigdemont for a delay of one hour. PP and Citizens demand of the speakers´ panel that they suspend session.
- French president Macron critises the pro-independence position of the Catalan government as a "coup de force", motivated by economic egoism.
- Manresa Council tells its workers they are free to work on October 12 (Spain's National Day, celebrating the "discovery" of the Americas.
Waiting for the parliamentary session to start: Passeig Lluís Companys
- Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, to Puigdemont: "Don't do anything that would make negotiation impossible."
- Bloomberg reports that Catalan premier Puigdemont will be arrested immediately if he declares independence. An elite group of Spanish National Police is supposedly ready to carry out the arrest.
- The Supreme Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) declares illegal the strike called by the left pro-independence trade union confederation Intersindical-CSC for between October 11 and October 16.
- Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) group in the shire council of Montsià breaks its pact with the PSC because PSC councillor delivered material from the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) to the police.
- Council of the town of Valls votes to remove portrait of King Felipe VI from its chambers.
- Catalan government spokesperson Jordi Turull attributes shifting of company headquarters out of Catalonia to pressure from central Spanish government.
- Civil Guard asks the National High Court to allow it to freeze and investigate the bank accounts of the Catalan National Assembly and Omnium Cultural.
- Catalan public television's car on the island of Mallorca defaced with slogans: "Long Live Spain!" and "Out of Mallorca!"
CARTOON OF THE DAY
"Negotiate, negotiate" Ferereres, El Periodico, October 10
- Civil Guard surrounds its barracks in the town of Bergà with a security fence.
- Planet, the major Catalan publishing company, says it will transfer its headquarters to Madrid in the case of a declaration of independence.
- Former Catalan premier José Montilla (Party of Socialists of Catalonia, PSC) calls for premier Puigdemont not to make the declaration of independence: "We are going into a dead end."
- Josep Duran i Lleida, the former leader of the Democratic Union of Catalonia (UDC)--former partner with Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) in conservative Catalan governments--says that if Premier Puigdemont declares independence the Spanish state will reply by suspending the Catalan government under article 155 of the Spanish constitution. Also, the European Union will not intervene because an independent Catalonia "would mean the disintegration of Europe".
Slogan painted on road by two Civil Guard officers near the town of Alcarràs, in western Catalonia. It says, in Galician, "Puigdemont, Never Again". The Civil Guards were sprung by the local municipal police.
- The chief Spanish state prosecutor announces that a charge of rebellion may be brought against Catalan premier Puigdemont.
- The deputies of Together for the Yes (JxSí), the People's Unity List (CUP) and Catalonia, Yes We Can (CSQEP) appeal the decision of the Spanish Constitutional Court to suspend the October 9 session of the Catalan parliament to the European Court of Human Rights.
- Today's front pages of major media in the Spanish state and Catalonia:
ABC (monarchist and Catholic): "The day of truth"
El Periodico: ('progressive' unionist, published in Spanish and Catalan): "Journey's end"
Ara (progressive Catalanist): "Puigdemont's decision"
El Mundo (conservative muckraker, usually close to the PP): "The chiefs of the Mossos
[Catalan police] are involved in the [pro-independence] process"
El País ('journal of record' formerly close to PSOE, now nearer to PP):
"Separatism calls for seizing the streets to impose its republic"
El Punt Avui (Catalan conservative nationalist): "Everything ready to go"
La Razón (PP-aligned rag sustained by public subsidies): "Puigdemont could be arrested
for sedition if he declares independence"
La Vanguardia (Barcelona's 'serious' organ, published in Spanish and Catalan: "Uproar to stop the UDI"
MONDAY, OCTOBER 9
- Civil Guard tells the National High Court that the behaviour of the Catalan police (Mossos d'Esquadra) was "passive at best" on October 1.
- The Antifascist Platform of the Autonomous University of Barcelona collects 2000 signatures in one day in support of a petition demanding that Catalan Civil Society, organisers of the unionist rally of Sunday, October 8, be removed from campus for their links with far right groups.
- Eight Nobel Peace Prize winners calls for mediation and negotiation between Spain and Catalonia.
- Delivery company MRW shifts its headquarters out of Catalonia.
- Catalan real estate giant Immobiliària Colonial shifts its headquarters to Madrid.
- Catalan conglomerate Abertis shifts its headquarters to Madrid.
- PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez demands that Catalan premier Puidemont abandon declaration of independence and call early elections.
- Barcelona mayoress Ada Colau calls on the Puigdemont government not to declare independence and the Rajoy government not to implement article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, to allow talks to go ahead on a negotiated referendum.
- PP spokesperson Pablo Casado says he is in favour, personally, of outlawing all pro-independence parties.
- The Catalan National Assembly (ANC) calls for a mass demonstration of support for premier Puigdemont outside parlaiment house at 1800 hours tomorrow.
- Benet Salellas, a spokesperson for the People's Unity List (CUP) in the Catalan parliament, tells press conference that it would not be correct to postpone the Catalan declaration of independence "in the hope of a process of mediation". He adds: "The presence of international mediation may be necessary, but with two characteristics--that it be committed to human rights and condemn the repression of October 1 and that it recognise the right to self-determination...We don't need mediators that come here to maintain the status quo."
- German chancellor Angela Merkel rings prime minister Rajoy about the possibility of a negotiated solution to the Catalan crisis "within the constitution".
- Pablo Iglesias comments on Casado with this tweet: " Casado says Puigdemont could end up like Companys, who was tortured and shot. He's either an ignoramus or an irresponsible provocateur."
- Pablo Casado, spokesperson of the parliamentary fraction of the ruling People's Party (PP) in the Spanish parliament, says: that if Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont declares independence tomorrow "he will end up like the one who did it 83 years ago". This is a reference to Lluís Companys, the Catalan premier who on October 6, 1934 declared the "Catalan State in the Federal Spanish Republic" in response to a rightward shift in the Spanish government. Companys and his ministers were removed from power by the Spanish army after a brief clash with the Catalan police (the Mossos d'Esquadra). Casado adds that "this isn't a question of left and right, but of freedom versus totalitarianism, of totalitarian and xenophobic exclusionary nationalisms that unite at the extremes ... Those who are encouraging violence are the separatists."
- Catalan paper manufacturer Torraspapel shifts its headquarters to Madrid because of "the uncertainty due to the present catalan political context".
- The Catalan National Assembly (ANC) announces new mobilisations in support of the Catalan government. Leader Jordi Sànchez calls for calm, saying "whatever the Spanish state does, let's just respond with the community spirit and courage of people who are builders of a free and fair country raised upon the foundations of democracy and peace."
- Antonio Garamendi, vice-president of the Spanish Confederation of Employer Organisations (CEOE), comes out against a boycott of Catalan products, but warns that small and medium Catalan business could follow big Catalan firms in shifting their headquarters to other parts of the Spanish state.
- PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez says that constitutional reform is the only way to guarantee social harmony between Catalans and the Spaniards.
- Sergi Sabrià, spokesperson for the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), says that "the citizens have won the right to build a new, independent, democratic, social and law-based republic." He says "it will take shape tomorrow" [when premier Puigdemont is set to address the Catalan parliament], but stressed that there was a difference between proclaiming independence and exercising it.
- Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the opposition social-democratic Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), says "we will give support to the response that the rule of law requires in the face of any attempt at a unilateral break-up of Spain", but avoids saying if he supports the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution (suspension of regional self-government), despite persistent questioning by reporters.
- The chief judge of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) places responsibility for its security in the hands of the Spanish National Police.
- The Catalan anti-capitalist pro-independence People's Unity List (CUP) denounces the vandalising of its national headquarters, with spray-ups "Nazis" and "terrorists" and locks jammed with silicon.
- Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, the Spanish deputy prime minister in charge of Spanish government operations in Catalonia, tells COPE radio (owned by the Catholic church) that the government is prepared to apply article 155 of the Spanish Constitution (suspension of regional government) in the case of a Catalan declaration of independence. However, "we wll look for other parties to come with us. We are talking a lot to the constitutionalist groups that represent the vast majority of Spaniards so as to be able to move forward on the basis of agreement. It's time for unity, for dialogue so as to continue to advance with those parties united in the defence of sovereignty, freedom and equality."
- The former secretary of the Catalan economy ministry, Josep María Jové, arrested during the Civil Guard raids on Catalan government and government-related buildings on September 20, takes a case against his arrest to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
- The Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, Nils Muiznieks, demands that the Spanish interior ministry carry out a "rapid, effective and efficient" investigation of police violence on October 1.
Demonstration of "Let's Talk" movement, Barcelona, October 7
October 8 Barcelona demonstration for unity of Spain, October 8. Estimated numbers were 350,000 (municipal police) to 950,000 (organisers)