Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Puigdemont invites Rajoy to attend conference on referendum in Madrid


Barcelona (ACN).- Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, has invited his Spanish counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, and his whole team to attend the conference he will give in Madrid on May 22nd. The talk  ‘A referendum for Catalonia: Invitation to a democratic agreement’ has been presented by the Catalan executive as the last chance to negotiate an agreed-upon referendum with the Spanish Government. At the same time, Catalan Government spokeswoman, Neus Munté, dismissed the reports by some media outlets that said Puigdemont will announce the date of the referendum at the conference. “We won’t announce any date or any question until we have a response from the Spanish State,” emphasized Munté. Both the Catalan VP and Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs will join Puigdemont at his talk, which is the same one given by the three Catalan leaders in Brussels in front of some 500 people.

Other Spanish political leaders and public personalities have been invited to the event, which will be held in the Caja de la Música auditorium, which has a capacity of about 250 people, after Puigdemont’s petition to give the talk at the Spanish Senate was rejected.

Munté dismissed the possibility reported by Catalan newspaper ‘La Vanguardia’that during the conference Puigdemont may announce that the referendum will be held on October 1st. The Catalan Government spokeswoman insisted that the Catalan executive will follow the established roadmap, which allows the National Pact for the Referendum (PNR) to finish its task first and gather as much support as possible for calling the referendum. Then, the Catalan executive will offer one last chance to reach an agreement with the Madrid government. “No further step will be taken until receiving an answer from the Spanish State,” Munté emphasized.  However, she also insisted that the Government’s “commitment”to calling a referendum “during the second half of September at the latest” will remain the same, regardless of the Spanish State’s response on this matter. 

Finally, Munté also complained about the statements made by former Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García Margallo, advising Rajoy not to attend Puigdemont’s conference. García Margallo said he thought the conference was in violation of the Spanish Consitution. “He said so even before knowing the exact content of the conference, before it has actually taken place,” said Munté, describing the use of the Constitution “as a cage, as a muzzle, yet again”. 

  • Puigdemont_Rajoy

  • Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont and Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, shaking hands in Barcelona on May 12th (by ACN)