Puigdemont: ‘The Struggle for Independence Continues’
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has affirmed in an interview with UK newspaper The Times, that “the fight for Catalan independence goes on” – a quote which the conservative London daily offers as its headline. In an interview with a close, personal tone (paywall access), the newspaper highlights the political strength of the Catalan independence movement and the importance of the figure of Carles Puigdemont, whom they portray as “Spain’s public enemy number one” at present, Elnacional.cat reports.
Puigdemont admits to The Times that the Catalan leadership did not expect such a “heavy handed” repressive reaction from Mariano Rajoy’s Spanish executive on October 1st. “We hoped that after 40 years of democracy, and becoming a member of the European Union, there was a new generation. We were wrong,” he confesses. The president judges now that, in the light of what has happened, “there was never going to be dialogue with the Spanish state” and admits that he made an error in suspending the declaration of independence – on October 10th – in the hope that political talks could begin.
Puigdemont recognizes that he never thought of handing himself over to Spanish justice, since he believes that he would become a “hostage with no freedom of speech, no freedom of movement”. The president states that his goal, and that of the other exiled political leaders, it is make use of their freedom “to defend our situation and denounce the Spanish authorities”.