In his first interview since 90 percent of Catalans voted in favour of independence in the referendum that the Spanish government and courts have banned and called illegal, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont told the BBC “we are going to declare independence 48 hours after all the official results have been counted.”
As general strikes and protests continue across Catalunya following the October 1st referendum, in which nearly 500 people were injured in clashes between activists, voters and Spanish police, Catalunya's regional government seems determined to push towards independence.
“No society should accept a status quo it doesn't want, against its will through force and beatings,” said Puigdemont, adding that the situation can only be resolved “through democracy.”
Despite Spain's highest court declaring the referendum illegal, the intervention of thousands of Spanish police forces and rebukes from Spain's King Felipe VI, Puigdemont argued that Catalunya has no obligation to adhere to the Spanish constitution.
“There are people who interpret the Constitution as a bible, that it contains absolute truth. That it's more important than the will of the people” replied Puigdemont to a question about defying Spain's national agenda.
“It's obvious that we are part of Spain but we can and we have the right to create our own state and there is a very clear popular desire which I don't think anybody disputes anymore for us to decide our own future,” added Catalunya's president and the main force behind the referendum and Catalunya's independence movement.
“If, finally, through a non-binding consultation, a referendum or whatever mechanism they want there's a majority of Catalans who want to create an independent state, there has to be a political response. We should never lose sights of this,” added Puigdemont.
Spain's chief public prosecutor, Jose Manuel Maza said on Monday October 1st that Carles Puigdemont could be charged with civil disobedience, abuse of office and misuse of public funds for pressing ahead with preparations for the October 1st referendum.
Xavier Muro, the secretary of the Spanish Parliament, wrote an open letter to Catalan MPs saying it was their “duty to impede or paralyze” Puigmont's efforts to declare independence, according to El Mundo.