Artur Mas, Catalan President: “No one can use weapons to go against the will of a people”

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, signed the dissolution of the current Catalan Parliament on Monday, putting an end to the legislative term and calling for early elections. Mas stated that Catalan citizens have “to vote without fear” on November 25, as “no one can use weapons to go against the will of a people”. The Catalan President was referring to the recent threats sent by Spanish nationalists, threatening Catalonia with a military intervention to take control and block any self-determination process, or with access to the European Union vetoed in case of independence.

Mas sent a warning message to Spain: “act as a mature and sensible state” and “watch out” as the world is not only looking at the Catalan side, but also at Spain. Furthermore, Mas underlined that Catalonia’s self-determination is “a process with absolute democratic respect and a peaceful and constructive attitude”, and he guaranteed it will remain so as “Catalonia’s self-determination process is not going against anyone”. Mas emphasised that Catalonia’s self-determination process is not “a secession, a separation or a breakdown” but the “natural evolution” of a nation with 1,000 years of shared history. Regarding the speculation of Catalonia being out of the EU, Mas referred to the recent statement of Viviane Reding, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Justice and Citizenship affairs. In an interview with the Diario de Sevilla, from southern Spain, Reding categorically stated that the “international legislation does not say” that Catalonia would be automatically expelled from the EU. Furthermore, Reding praised “Catalan citizens’ deep European feelings”. The Catalan President emphasised that Catalonia’s will is clearly to be part of the EU. He added that there is no precedent and the legislation does not specify what the process would be, and therefore in the coming months there will be opinions from all directions and the solution will be negotiated. Mas stated that he will work to have the guarantee that Catalan citizens will not be expelled from the EU.

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