CiU and ERC close the deal for the Catalan referendum of independence

Last night Catalan President Mas and ERC’s leader Oriol Junqueras closed the deal to support CiU’s government this term until the referendum takes place. Both leaders have just signed it at the Parliament in front of the media.

After the election results from November 25th and following the popular mandate for those two parties to pilot the national transition for Catalonia to regain its State both parties have come to an agreement. CiU’s government will, thanks to this deal, be supported by ERC with the common goal to hold a referendum of independence on 2014. This way the national transition will be led by the two main Catalan parties to the right and left of the political spectrum.

The agreement to hold the referendum is open to other Catalan parties in order to seek the maximum amount of consensus within Catalan society.

The Spanish Government has already threatened (ca) it will use all tools at its disposal to stop the referendum.

Via digital newspaper Nació Digital we find a link to the part of the document (ca) that CiU and ERC have signed which explains the main steps to take in order to set the ground for the referendum. Please find below a translation to english I have made:

During the last 30 years an important section of Catalan society has dedicated itself to transforming the Spanish State. This was done with an eye to making it possible for Catalonia to fit into Spain without renouncing its legitimate national aspirations, self government or its continuity as a nation. But the negative response of the Spanish government to these attempts have led to a dead end. That is why CiU (Convergence and Union) and ERC (The Republican Left) consider that Catalonia has to start a new phase based on a right to decide– to guarantee social progress, economic development, democratic reinforcement and the promotion and conservation of the Catalan culture and language.

In this regard, CiU and ERC express their explicit commitment and political determination to hold a referendum so that the people of Catalonia can democratically and freely decide their collective future.

Catalonia is today facing an opportunity that only appears once every several generations. This is the opportunity to build a new country. The opportunity for the Catalan people to lead our own history. The opportunity to place politics in the centre of the public debate. The opportunity to assert our commitment to democracy, to peace and to Europe.

Like any other nation, Catalonia needs to equip itself with the instrument of a State to allow it to ambitiously develop its national project. Catalonia has the potential for a much better standard of living that it has now. It would if it could dispose of, on one hand, all the resources generated by Catalan citizens and companies and on the other, the capability to make political decisions everything that is ours and concerns us.

For all these reasons, CiU and ERC express the commitment to allow the Catalan people to decide, by means of a referendum, the possibility for Catalonia to become a European State, in order to provide itself, thus, with the tools needed to overcome the economical crisis, encourage growth and guarantee the cohesion and welfare of Catalan society.

In this regard, and in accordance with the described commitments, CiU and ERC agree:

  1. To formulate a “Declaration of Sovereignty of the Catalan People” in the first plenary session of the tenth term, with the object of guaranteeing the right to decide of the Catalan people.
  2. To pass the Referendums Law based on the work started during the previous term, adding amendments and modifications that will be agreed upon. In this regard, the commitment is to begin the parliamentary process at the end of January 2013 at the latest.
  3. To open negotiations and dialogue with the Spanish State to exercise the right to self determination and to include the right to hold a referendum, as set out in Law 4/2010 of the Catalan Parliament, of popular referendums. In this regard, the commitment is to formalize the petition within the first half of 2013.
  4. To create the Catalan Council for the National Transition, as the entity to drive, coordinate, participate and advise the Generalitat Government with regards to the referendum and national transition processes, and with the goal to guarantee its drive and execution.

    This body will consist of well-known and respected personalities and/or representatives of the diverse areas linked to the national transition process and the preparation to the referendum.

    The Council will encourage the economic, social and cultural entities of our country to take part, as well as those political parties that support the right to self determination and a referendum taking place.

  5. CiU and ERC commit to work all the possible formal, legal and institutional procedures until December 31st 2013 in order to be ready, from then on, to call a referendum according to the legal framework that will provide it, within the next year, unless the socioeconomic or political context requires a postponement. In any case, the date will be agreed, at least, by the two signing parties.
  6. To call a referendum so that the people of Catalonia may decide upon the possibility of Catalonia becoming a European State.

(with thanks to Emily McBride for checking the translation)

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