New Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont takes office
CNA / Sara Prim
Barcelona (CNA).- Carles Puigdemont has officially become Catalan President number 130. Former Mayor of Girona city and president of the Association of Municipalities for Independence (AMI) Puigdemont took office this Tuesday and received the medal of the Generalitat, the Catalan government headquarters, from the hands of former President Artur Mas. “We will respond to the people’s hopes” stated Puigdemont, which according to him “are not possible to guarantee with the skills we currently have, with the skills we have been left”. The Parliament’s President, Carme Forcadell, representatives from all the groups in the Catalan chamber and personalities from civil society attended the ceremony. Current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, and the Spanish Government’s Delegate in Catalonia, María de los Llanos de Luna, were the only representatives from the Spanish government to attend the event.
“We have come from far, but we are not tired” stated Puigdemont “we are full of hope”. The new Catalan President pledged to attend to “the people’s hopes”, which he described as “better living and working conditions, first-class public services, guaranteed basic rights and international solidarity”. According to Puigdemont, “with the skills we currently have at our disposal we can’t guarantee them. With what we have been left, we can’t do it”.
“We are financially choked and humiliated, despised in our identity” stated Puigdemont, and assured that achieving the necessary skills to guarantee such rights “won’t be done at the drop of a hat”. “We will launch the government plan and we will guarantee the legal coverage of all the decisions we make” he stated, referring to the pro-independence roadmap. Following this, he expressed his will to “get more people involved” in the pro-independence process and “consolidate the majorities” which will guarantee it.
Puigdemont concluded his speech by saying that “impossible is just an opinion”.
Expectation in front of government headquarters
Hundreds of citizens gathered together in Plaça Sant Jaume, the courtyard between Palau de la Generalitat, the Catalan government headquarters, and Barcelona’s Town Hall. They flew pro-independence flags and applauded the different personalities as they entered. Current Spanish Minister for Home Affairs Jorge Fernández Díaz and the Spanish Government’s Delegate in Catalonia María de los Llanos de Luna received the disapproval of the crowd and were booed.