Mas meets with think tanks in New York

The Catalan President wants to “dispel doubts, go under the spotlight, and explain the advantages” of Catalonia to media groups and investors

Artur Mas, President of the Generalitat, met on Wednesday with think tanks, financial investors, and media groups during his official visit to New York. Hours before making a speech titled “Catalonia at the crossroads” at Columbia University, the president, without giving names, said that he will make contacts to “dispel doubts, give information and go under the spotlight, and explain advantages and virtues” about Catalonia and the process that are “of interest”. Mas will appeal to the financial viability of Catalonia and affirmed that it is “reassuring” to know that Catalonia can “manage” its debt, for example, with money from the fiscal deficit.

The president, who said that he doesn’t have any media interviews scheduled, hinted that he would also meet with media groups. “No interviews. But whether or not I have contacts with media groups, is a different matter”, he said, without wanting to be more specific.

He is having the meetings, he said, because the process could generate “a measure of uncertainty” and with the get-togethers he aims to “clear any doubts” by answering any “harsh and difficult” questions that might be asked. “The best way of dispelling doubts is to explain things”, he said in a statement to the media before visiting the Catalan government’s office in New York.

The President said that in the United States, the notions of democracy and self-determination “are understood” because they are the “offspring” of such concepts, but he admitted that the creation of a new state “causes uncertainty”. One of the areas of concern is the financial viability of a Catalan state, and on this subject Mas aims to “reassure” people that he sees it as “perfectly” viable, not unlike Austria, Denmark, or Portugal, which are comparable in economy and population.

To illustrate his point, Mas pointed to the 15 billion euros in annual fiscal deficit, and that, according to his government, after independence “more money would stay in Catalonia”. “It’s reassuring” he said, as it shows that “Catalonia would manage its public debt perfectly well”.

The president explained that the Spanish consul met him at the airport on Tuesday. He added that there has been no interference by the Spanish government with his visit-- and that strictly political contacts would have to be done in San Francisco with the Governor. “They tend to stick their nose in when we make political contacts, as it makes them anxious, but they can’t prevent get-togethers at economic or university forums”, he added. Or with the media: “I know that they don’t like what we are doing; that’s too bad. But we must do what we need to do”, he concluded.