- Title: Catalonia president bemoans lack of dialogue, proposal from Spanish government
- Date: 22nd October 2019
- Summary: BARCELONA, SPAIN (OCTOBER 22, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CATALONIA REGIONAL PRESIDENT QUIM TORRA WALKING INTO ROOM FOR INTERVIEW VARIOUS OF TORRA SPEAKING WITH REUTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: "We believed that we could start a sincere dialogue on this. They left us. They left us alone at the table. But here we are. We are here waiting. It's the majority of the population of Catalonia that feels 'how is it possible for Spain to represent us in an unpleasant situation, not attending the needs of Catalonia?' And that's what no one understands. No one in Catalonia understands that. And no one in the rest of Spain understands that, as well as in the international community." TORRA SPEAKING SOUNDBITE) (English) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: "I think that more and more this is becoming an international issue and above all the international community is asking themselves, 'Why is the Spanish president not talking?' This is something that they think is unbelievable for any European international politic (politician) because well the situation is grave and we think that now have to put the focus on this point. Again, that there is no proposal from the authorities of Spain and silence the president of Spain, I think that is irresponsible and should change immediately." TORRA SPEAKING WITH JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (English) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: "We are saying let's talk about everything. Let's talk seriously in a one to one negotiation. That's what we want, but we want a serious negotiation. Obviously, the government of Catalonia will go to this negotiation with our proposal over the table. And that is a referendum agreed between Spain and Catalonia with the international community behind it. You have to ask the president of the Spanish government, with which proposal are they going to this table of negotiation. We still Don't know. After many years and years and years, and after the year and a half of my presidency, we still don't know what's the proposal of the Spanish government." TORRA SPEAKING WITH JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: ""How is it possible that this point of irresponsibility exists. If you allow me, the government (of Spain) is not complying with the responsibility of its role. Because we are waiting. Considering the urgency of finding a solution to the situation that we're in, we are the ones who want a political solution to this conflict. Therefore, it seems to me it's necessary (to have dialogue). We are, I was there yesterday available at the Generalitat palace and the stance of Sanchez, who only had to come see me, was that he did not come, he did not want to talk. It doesn't depend on the Catalan separatists, it depends on the Spanish government to realize the importance of sitting down and considering that Catalonia is a valid interlocutor, a political subject that they have to listen to." TORRA SPEAKING TO JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: "Regrettably, what we know now in the year and a half that Sanchez has been president, he's done the same as (former president Mariano) Rajoy. And that is what has hurt us because we believed that there was an alternative, we believed that the PSOE had a proposal for Catalonia. In the year and a half, I have not heard it. We have only seen that a conflict has occurred. We have only seen the continuation of repression. And there's not been a single concrete proposal, unless you know it, but no concrete proposal for Catalonia and that is a grave irresponsibility." TORRA SPEAKING WITH JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: "I have said that we consider at this time, the demand of the majority demand of the Catalan society, thus the demand of those who favor independence, it's the majority of this country, (the majority) is saying that we do that again (the referendum vote again). It's to say, for each right that has been refused, we will exercise the right to freedom of expression, the right to protest, the right to demonstrate, and as well as the right to self-determination. I said it, I have a personal proposal as president of the Generalitat because, and as president of the country (of Catalonia) in this legislature, I believe that we should vote again for independence of Catalonia. What is the instrument? I don't know but it is not important now. What's important now is that with this proposal, and others that may come, all the forces of independence compare on a great national accord of amnesty, of freedom, and of exercising the right to self-determination." PIN ON TORRA'S COAT (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: "The problem is political. The problem is the sentence that they have produced. That is the root of the problem. I have condemned the violence every time that it has happened. That same Monday (October 14) the entire government went out, the Tuesday we made a statement to the international press to condemn it as we have always condemned it. This is not a issue. This is an excuse of the Spanish government and no one understands, an excuse not supported by the facts and the reality of our actions. If the Spanish state wants to continue scrutinizing a fact that it is not true to justify its incapacity and its abandoning of its functions, then it seems to me to be an even greater irresponsibility." TORRA GETTING UP FROM SEAT (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: "I only want to simply say that this sentence, so grave, so disproportionate, so unjust, has provoked the indignation of Catalonia. No prisoner has asked me for a pardon. What they have said to me is that they want an amnesty law." TORRA STANDING IN COURTYARD (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: "How is it possible that in this serious situation, there is no such political will to find an agreement. This is what Catalan society has deeply assumed and I am sure that massively, democratically, peacefully, how it has always been done, they will continue to demonstrate that what it wants is that, that we sit down, talk and reach an agreement." TORRA WALKING IN COURTYARD (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: "I support the peaceful protests that are convened peacefully with a will to express oneself democratically, in a civic manner or whatever. I support the "Tsunami Democratic" that made this protest peaceful and with the will to be nonviolent as before, and I say so far, unfortunately, the Spanish government has closed its website, something that for me is incredible. It ("Tsunami Democratic") always, always, always has been shown in the eyes of the people as being organized, peaceful, democratic and nonviolent in their objectives." TORRA WALKING AROUND TERRACE (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) QUIM TORRA, PRESIDENT OF CATALONIA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, SAYING: "Naturally, like what they had in the last European elections, where it (the result) was close to 49 percent or above, close to 50 percent, and that's the objective: to surpass the 50 percent mark, and, if possible, do it in the next Spanish parliamentary (election)." VARIOUS OF PHOTOGRAPHER TAKING TORRA'S PHOTO
- Embargoed: 5th November 2019 17:59
- Keywords: Spain Catalan politics Barcelona Quim Torra Quim Torra interview with Reuters Catalonia Spanish politics Catalonia independence movement Catalonia protests
- Location: BARCELONA, SPAIN
- City: BARCELONA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001B26K85J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Catalonia's secessionist movement aims to get over 50% of the region's vote in a Nov. 10 Spanish election after mass protests over the jailing of nine separatists, which would strengthen its push for independence, the regional government head told Reuters on Tuesday (October 22).
Quim Torra said in an interview at the Generalitat government palace in Barcelona that the independence process is irreversible, especially after having not seen a proposal from President Pedro Sanchez, who did not meet with Torra during a visit to the region on Monday (October 21).
"Regrettably, what we know now in the year and a half that Sanchez has been president, he's done the same as (former president Mariano) Rajoy. And that is what has hurt us because we believed that there was an alternative, we believed that the PSOE had a proposal for Catalonia," Torra said.
Catalan separatist parties have fallen short of 50% of the vote in recent elections in the region, although they still hold the majority of seats in the Catalan parliament after garnering 47.5% in 2017's regional election.
Torra reiterated his call for talks with Madrid to start as soon as possible on an independence referendum in Spain's most economically important region.
Asked about the possibility of such a plebiscite being held without Spain's consent, Torra said he was seeking a wide agreement among Catalan parties on a road map towards the region's independence, so no options were ruled out.
The wealthy northeastern region was rocked by nine consecutive nights of protests after nine Catalan separatist leaders were convicted of sedition for leading a failed 2017 bid for independence that included holding a banned referendum.
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