The vice-president declares that all ministers of the Catalan Government will sign the Refendum call together.
“The day we find ourselves observed from outside, we will be able to say that we have followed all the required legal steps. And we will do this answering not before a Spanish judge, but before the International Court of The Hague”. This was the explanation given by Oriol Junqueras, vice-president of the Catalan government, in an interview with the RAC1 radio broadcaster.
“We will carry out the referendum and we will win it, and then we will negotiate the division of assets and liabilities with the state”, has said Junqueras. And when asked why should the Spanish Government wish to do so, he has answered: “Spain wants to raise the costs of transition before doing the referendum, and for the same reason, Spain will want to negotiate the day after so as not to finish worse off in the separation”.
It is well known that Oriol Junqueras does not like to forecast future scenarios. “My job is to do the referendum, not to make a lot of statements. If I start to explain exactly what we shall do we will be giving hints”, he has declared. Anyway, he assures that it will be a combination of the Government action with the “permanent mobilisation” of the citizens on the street.
Because of this, he has given few details about how the referendum will be carried out, specially because everything will depend on “what the state will do to prevent it from taking place”, which he assumes that will happen. Junqueras, when asked about what could prevent the poll, he has answered: “If the state should decide to declare a state of siege, as they it has recently been said, it will be difficult to hold a referendum, but we will se what they want to do. They are also aware that some determinate actions would acknowledge that we are right”. Because of this, the vice-president comments “They also have got limits and must move within this balance”.
“Everything is ready [to carry out the referendum]. I have the feeling that everything is going on the right track”, he has firmly assured. What Junqueras does not foresee, despite the rumours, are new advanced regional elections: “On the short term, elections are totally off the question”.
In front of the insisting questions on what the Catalan government will do should the State do what it is claiming that it will, i.e. prevent the referendum from taking place by all means necessary, Junqueras has used a football metaph
or: “This is like asking me: would you rather win the Champions league by a free kick shot by Messi or on a head goal by Umtiti? I don’t know, I want to win. The same with the referendum, what is important is to hold it, and we will see how we do it according to the State’s opposition, and we already know that the referee will not favour us…”.
The Government will sign collectively the referendum announcement.
After Mas, Ortega and Rigau have been disqualified, should Junqueras sign the referendum announcement decree, the same could happen to him. “If I am disqualified, I will be disqualified, this will not intimidate us. If we are independent, the new republic will disqualify no-one. There is a compromise that decisions such as the decree signature will be collective. In any case, he has added: “I must work so that the day where I’m not here, no-one will miss me. I have people around me that are far better than I”.
The reform of the Parliament rules in order to be able to pass the Disconnection laws in only one day has been most polemic and has received many political criticisms. Junqueras, however, tries to reduce its importance. “The rules reform will be useful for many positive things”. However, he has admitted that the objective of this change, and others, is “to have the best toolbox and, when the moment comes, we will see which is the best tool for every moment”. Everything will depend on which tool the State will use to try to prevent the referendum from happening, he has assured.
Asked whether if he was more shocked by the declarations on the 9th of November consultation trial or on that of the corruption case affecting his coalition partner, the PDECat and the Palau de la Música (Palace of Music) Trust, he has answered: “Everything is terrible; it’s terrible to condemn someone for setting ballot boxes and the corruption we are subjected to is terrible”. Indirectly, Junqueras has said “Often it is said that ‘Illegal financing affects all parties’, it is not true; ‘all parties are indebted’, it is not true: us [Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, the left-wing independentist party headed by Oriol Junqueras] have got zero debt”. And asked on whether he believes more the words of Artur Mas, former prime minister or Millet, former Chairman of the Palau Trust accused to allow this association to launder money for Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya, the antecessor of the PDECat, he has said. “I’d rather trust president Mas, and if the judge saids that nothing has happened, I will be very happy”.
Source: ARA, 15th of March, 2017.
Author: A. S.