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Ex-Catalan President Mas gets public support as he faces Spanish courts
Tuesday 7 February 2017 12:02

More than 40.000 people were outside the court in Barcelona chanting "you are not alone", "democracy is not a crime" and "independence" as Artur Mas, President of Catalonia (2010-2015) was put on trial by the Spanish state for “disobedience” and “perverting the course of justice” related to the 2014 public consultation on the future of Catalonia. The 2014 vote, defined by Mas as "political initiative", has been backed by early elections in 2015 which produced pro-independence majority in the Catalan parliament.

At its last Congress, Liberal International expressed “regret that the Spanish Government has disregarded that 2,305,290 Catalans cast their vote on the future of their nation, yet instead chose to initiate prosecution proceedings against the Catalan President and two Catalan ministers.”

Reacting to the latest development, Secretary General Emil Kirjas recalled the policy of Liberal international which “encourages the government of Spain to respect the wishes of the people of Catalonia on all matters, including their autonomy and independence.” He said: “When a government has lost touch with reality over a certain territory for quite a while, it can very easily end up losing the [control over the] territory. Of course Artur Mas will come out stronger out of this judicial farce and theatre. He deserves all the support.”

In the Congress resolution, “Liberal International expresses confidence that the Catalan political process will continue to be conducted democratically and peacefully, supports the decisions taken by the Catalan people and calls for a political solution over the future of Catalonia.” Further, LI  Congress “reiterates that the democratic model set by the governments in London and Edinburgh, where an agreement was reached between the two governments to hold a referendum to decide the political future of the Scottish nation, should be used as a positive  example in the discussions between the governments in Madrid and Barcelona.”

Liberals outside of Spain have consistently reacted in line with the positions Liberal International adopted at the 59th Congress which state that “potential  or  future  discussions  between  the  two  governments  [in Madrid and Barcelona] should  never  imply  the  renunciation of  the  right  of  the  Catalan  people  to  decide  their  own  future,  granting  that  this  is  always  set  up through  democratic  means” and that the “European  Union  has  to  be flexible  and  strong  to  offer  a  viable alternative for those people that want to democratically express themselves within.”

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