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Puigdemont goes ahead with referendum summit despite TC’s decision: "we will vote, we will debate and we will meet"

The President of the Catalan Government met with the President of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol

A steady course towards the referendum. Such was the President of the Generalitat Carles Puigdemont’s response to the Constitutional Court’s (TC) decision to suspend the plan approved by Junts pel Sí and the CUP and the Catalan Parliament regarding the roadmap to independence. Following a meeting with the president of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, Puigdemont appeared at the Government Palace to declare that "the roadmap which the people of Catalonia and Parliament have decided on remains in place".

Puigdemont added that a meeting between institutions and political parties on December 23 to discuss the referendum would go ahead, regardless of what the TC might say. Therefore, faced with "constitutional populism" according to which —he said— Catalans are not allowed to vote, debate or meet, Puigdemont declared that: "We will vote, we will debate and we will meet".

The President of Catalonia also referred to tomorrow’s appearance by the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, before the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC). He emphasised his support for Forcadell, stating that it is not an individual who is on trial, "but rather an institution that represents the will of the Catalan people".

Sources close to the president announced that Puigdemont will attend Parliament early in the morning and will form part of the delegation which is to accompany Forcadell to the door of the TSJC, although in Puigdemont’s case, the president will only accompany Forcadell for part of the way, leaving before her arrival at the entrance to the court.

Today's meeting is the second between the two presidents since they met in Majorca on May 20 to formalize the Islands’ re-entry to the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), an institutions which aims to "promote the outreach of the Catalan language and culture in a joint effort between the two territories". Armengol commended the joint initiatives undertaken by the two governments and the fact that institutional normality has once more been restored after previous Balearic governments had "decided to flee" the IRL.

The conference of presidents and the funding model

The meeting between the two presidents was also marked by the announcement of a conference of presidents to be held in January to address Spain’s regional funding system. Armengol stated that she would be delighted if Puigdemont were to attend the meeting, though she respected his decision not to do so.

The Catalan President once again reaffirmed his decision today, alleging that many of the 46 requests which he passed to Mariano Rajoy when they met are the result of breaches in agreements reached in such forums. Puigdemont asked "What are they saying? That we ought to go in order to accumulate even more violations by the state?".

Meanwhile, Puigdemont stated that his government "will not give up a single euro that belongs to the citizens of Catalonia". In fact, as both presidents were keen to point out, teams from the two governments, headed by Guillem López Casasnovas, have been working on the issue for some time.

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