Foto: Sergi Alcàzar
The Catalan independence referendum has been called. All the members of the Government collectively signed the decree, at half past eleven last night, in room 4 of the Parliament building, while the plenary was still ongoing at that quite unusual time. The intention was to go on to the appointment of the members of the election commission after the opposition maneuvers to delay the approval of the Referendum Bill.
Once the ministers signed the decree, after voting for a change in the agenda allowing the appointment of the election commission to be voted, the entire Catalan Government held a conference in the Parliament auditorium.
Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, ensured that the government and the Parliament would assume its responsibilities in defending the right to vote and its best efforts, “will and commitment”. “This is what the governments must do, when their land reach moments such as this, a crossroads, a moment when the Government and the Parliament must undertake their commitments”, he added.
He did, however, point out that it is also a moment for the citizens. , “Deciding by way of a ballot, accept the outcome, this is democracy. Denying that right, treating Catalans as subjects of a State that creates threats at the same rate as it creates violations, this is not democracy; that is something else “.
The Catalan President ensured that it is the citizens who would decide whether they want to constitute a State and that decision shall not be made by a council of ministers or a constitutional tribunal. “No one has the authority or the power to seize our right to decide. it belongs to the Catalan people. We will not allow our right to be confiscated “, he proclaimed.
The Catalan President said that this is a moment that does not admit fear, where risks must be taken and determination must be strong. “At moments of change, sitting back comfortably and not doing anything is an attitude of resignation that does not allow progress”, he warned.
The decree could not be signed until the Referendum Bill was published in the Official Gazette of the Catalan government. That Bill had been signed by the President an hour earlier.
The Government has also passed a decree with complementary regulations for the referendum. Among other points, they guarantee the protection of any person involved in the organization of the referendum, it specifies how voting abroad will take place and issues such as the census to be used. It also authorizes the government to approve necessary expenditures related with the holding of the referendum.