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Dilluns  29.09.2014  11:48

Artur Mas: 'They cannot stop us voting'

Catalan president is interviewed by the Spanish La Sexta state television channel


'The ballot boxes will be out on the 9-N', Artur Mas, the president of the government of Catalonia said in the interview of the Spanish La Sexta state television channel. He also took the chance to address the Spanish citizens and called upon Spanish public opinion to encourage the state institutions to act in the same way as the United Kingdom over Scotland.' 'We have built the whole of the legal architecture so voting can take place on the 9-N and they will not prevent us from voting; in Catalonia we are at the height of the circumstances', he added. The president insisted that when the Constitutional Court suspends the consultation he will work to convince it that it is legal and to agree to lift the suspension before 9 November.

And what if this were not the case? Well, he made it clear that he would take the decision in accordance with all of the parties in favour of the consultation. One option would be civil disobedience, which is something both the ERC and CUP political parties have suggested. Mas talked about this. 'Civil disobedience is a term which may be logical at some times, but not others. This is not a process of civil disobedience, but rather a democratic, peaceful, legal and majority process. This is not civil disobedience.'

Concerning the suspension of the call once it is admitted to proceedings by the Constitutional Court, Mas said, 'Suspension means that they have to address us and we have to give our opinion. We will tell the Constitutional Court how we have made the decree and I hope we will convince them. We can make allegations. They will have to listen to our position if they are impartial arbiters.' He added, 'The Constitutional Court cannot be used to solve political problems. We have a political problem, so let’s solve it from politics.'

'The concept of Spanish unity is not sacred’

He also said that he did not discard 'any possible option for making the consultation'. However, at the present time he does not foresee early elections. 'I am not thinking of elections. I will do whatever I can to have the voting on 9-N. It would seem that the world is going to end on 9-N, that Spain will disintegrate, but all that will happen is that we will know people’s opinion.' And he said, 'The concept of Spanish unity in neither sacred nor biblical.'

Mas went further, 'I am democratically shocked that before approving the consultation law and before the decree was made they were already saying it was illegal. How can this happen in a democracy? This is manipulation of a legal framework, not the work of jurists but rather of politicians.'

Gerard Piqué, proud of Mas 

One of the most striking reactions to Artur Mas’s interview on la Sexta was that of the FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué, who placed a message on Twitter saying 'It is great to have President Mas representing Catalonia' and thanking la Sexta TV for broadcasting the interview for Spain.

Piqué already showed his support for the consultation on 9 November some days ago. In a press conference he explained that he had taken part in the ‘V’ formation in Barcelona on 11 September. 'I was in the crowds on National Day because I am Catalan and it was the Catalan holiday. I went there with my family, I enjoyed the day and I had a good time. The day was remarkable for the number of people who were there and for the festive atmosphere.' And he added, 'I am in favour of the consultation; I think it is the most democratic of events, something that has to happen, because in the end the people must have the right to vote.'

He received an array of criticisms and insults on the social networks for having made a couple of tweets showing him with his son in the ‘V’ on the Catalan National Day.