Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont on Friday called on the European Commission to hold dialogue with the Catalan pro-independence group just as it is doing with the Spanish Government. “I am not asking the European Commission to change its opinion, but simply to give us a hearing,” Puigdemont told the press in Brussels on Friday.
On Thursday night, Europe announced that it would not comment on the “regional election” held in Catalonia on 22 December, won by the pro-independence bloc.
“For regional elections, it is all the same curious to seek the opinion of Manuel Valls,” quipped the separatist leader, who said he was “happy”, all the same, that the views of the former French Prime Minister, who was born in Barcelona, had been sought.
Speaking in Catalan before the referendum held in Catalonia on the 1st of October, Valls had come out against independence for Catalonia which, he said, would mean the end of Europe as a union of nation states.
Puigdemont, the candidate of Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia), felt that the former regional government deposed by Madrid had emerged from Thursday’s poll “stronger than ever”. He therefore asked the “European Commission or other institutions to listen to the Catalan people, and not just the Spanish State”.
He said the strategy of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who placed the region under federal tutelage using Article 155 of the Constitution, had shown its limits and it was time to opt for dialogue. “This is not new,” he added. “I have always called for dialogue at the three previous press conferences” given in Brussels, where Puigdemont and four of his former ministers are “in exile”.