BARCELONA (AFP) - Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont stepped back on Tuesday (Oct 10) from making an immediate declaration of independence after a banned referendum, calling for more time for talks with Madrid to resolve Spain's worst political crisis in a generation.
Here are the main points of his speech to regional lawmakers, as well as the "suspended" independence declaration he later signed:
1. Suspends independence declaration
"Arriving at this historic moment, as president of the Generalitat (Catalan government), I take it upon myself to say, in presenting to you the results of the referendum before Parliament and our co-citizens, that the people have determined that Catalonia should become an independent state in the form of a republic.
"With the same solemnity, the government and myself propose that the Parliament suspends the effects of the declaration of independence so that in the coming weeks, we may begin a dialogue without which it is impossible to arrive at an agreed solution."
2. Catalonia is a European issue
"We are living in an exceptional time, of historical dimension. The consequences and effects run beyond our country and it's evident that, far from being an internal and domestic affair... Catalonia is a European issue."
3. Need to de-escalate tensions
"Do not expect from my speech threats, blackmail or insults. The current moment is serious enough for everyone to assume their corresponding responsibility and for the necessity to de-escalate tensions and not contribute in raising them, neither through word nor gesture."
4. Nothing against Spain
(In Spanish): "I now turn to the citizens of the whole of the Spanish state who are following with concern what is happening in Catalonia."
"We are not delinquents, nor are we crazy, nor are we attempting a coup, nor just bad people: We are normal people who ask to be able to vote and who have been willing to undertake all necessary dialogue to carry it out in an agreed manner. We have nothing against Spain and the Spanish. Quite the opposite. We want to understand each other better, and that is the desire of the majority in Catalonia."
KEY POINTS OF THE DECLARATION
- "We establish the Catalan republic, as an independent and sovereign, democratic and social state of law."
- "We state our will to open negotiations with the Spanish state, without any pre-conditions, aimed at establishing a collaborative system for the benefit of both parties. The negotiations must be held on an equal footing."
- "We urge the international community and authorities in the European Union to intervene to stop the current violation of civil and political rights and to monitor and be witness to the negotiation process with the Spanish state."
- "We call on international states and organisations to recognise the Catalan republic as an independent and sovereign state."