Jordi Sànchez, President of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), said on Friday in an interview with ARA's Antoni Bassas that "there are many people who stand by the independence process, but also many who want it to be over already". For Sànchez, the people have done their job by demonstrating in the streets when necessary, but now it is up to the politicians to finish the process. That said, he noted that in the next few months the independence movement will have to demonstrate once again, this time to guarantee the referendum and a "Yes" vote for independence.
"It's important to be prepared, because everything is set to culminate in the upcoming months", he said. Sanchez assured that the Government and Parliament "will need the active mobilization of the people to be able to finish off the job". "What the Spanish government can't do is disqualify 50,000 people or block the Parliament from approving a law if there are tens of thousands of citizens outside encouraging the representatives to do their job". He was alluding to the law of legal transitoriness, which is designed to provide legal coverage for the referendum, and must be approved before holding the consultation.
For the ANC president, "this is the hour of truth" and the moment in which the people "hold the key that no other institution possesses".
Sànchez said that it would be "very difficult" for the Spanish government to stop the referendum if it is backed by social mobilization. In his view, the Spanish government is trying to "fuel uncertainty", but he called for "trust" in the nation's people because of everything that they have done in recent years --referring to the September 11 rallies.
The ANC expects that the date and question for the referendum will be announced before the summer, as the president has already said he would do.
"It's good news, as it means they are taking a position", said Sànchez on what Barcelona en Comú said yesterday, when they opened the door to supporting a unilateral referendum if the Venice Commission endorses it.
"It's not necessary to delay calling and holding the referendum any longer", as the Venice Commission does not issue reports on a referendum before it is held, only afterwards. He noted that what this body issues are protocols for good practices related to consultations and elections.
Sànchez spoke just one day before the organization's fifth ordinary general assembly, to be held in Granollers. One of the key issues of the gathering will be the approval of a roadmap that includes the "ongoing mobilization" of the people to push the Government and Parliament towards calling and holding a referendum. The document also provides that, in the event of "physical" impediment of the consultation by the Spanish government, the Parliament would approve a unilateral declaration of independence.
On the obedience of civil servants: "They are there to observe the laws passed by Parliament"
Asked about the controversy surrounding the statements by Junts pel Sí representative Lluís Llach about public employees, Sànchez assured that what was said is "common sense". "What country allows civil servants to disobey an approved law?", the ANC president asked, in reference to the law of transitoriness designed to protect the referendum. "Civil servants are expected to observe the laws issued by Parliament", he added, thus highlighting the "clash of legitimacies" that might occur between the Generalitat and the Spanish government when it comes to holding the referendum.
Discrepancies between ERC and PDECat
He also referred to discrepancies between the pro-independence parties that, he said, have often put off independence supporters. At the same time, he said that in these moments of crisis President Carles Puigdemont has been the key figure. "The trust that President Puigdemont inspires in the pro-independence majority is huge", he stated. "The process has a number uncertainties, but they are just uncertainties; this doesn't mean that they will lead to chaos, only that this is a very dynamic process and we must know how to manage it", he said, adding that the people should trust the political leadership, which is "determined" to finish the process.
The general assembly in Granollers
Unlike last year, the ANC is more cohesive this year, as there is a consensus on the roadmap and the code of ethics presented by the national secretariat. There will not be hours of votes on amendments proposed by territorial groups, but rather a single vote on the text in its entirety. Sànchez has announced that the President of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, and Carme Forcadell, the Speaker of the House, will be present at this assembly, in addition to Javier Pacheco, Secretary General of the CCOO. It will be the first time the President of the Generalitat has attended a general assembly of the ANC.
The Assembly intends on Saturday to stage the beginning of the campaign for the "yes" vote in the independence referendum, which the Government is aiming to hold in the second half of September. The ANC will thus get a jump on the beginning of the joint campaign that all of the pro-independence groups will begin once the route laid out in the National Pact for the Referendum has run its course.