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Artur Mas speaking in the British Parliament…

The former president of the Catalan Generalitat, Artur Mas, assured that the Spanish Government has entered ‘a phase of total intolerance and repression’ against the sovereigntist referendum on October 1.

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Artur Mas – Archive photo

Mas was attending a chat titled ‘The rights of Cataluña to decide her future’ in a British parliamentary committee, under the auspice of Sir John Alderdice, member of the House of Lords and president of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict.

In a brief press conference in the London Liberal Club, Mas explained the interest of Lord Alderdice in the Catalan question and assured the expectation in the UK to know ‘if we reach the end’

‘The polling booths are the essence of democracy and of good practice’ noted Mas, who compared his plans with those for Scottish independence in 2014.

‘The difference is in the British politicians, even unionists such as David Cameron and Nick Clegg, who was then deputy PM, decided face to face against the Scottish politicians and failed to give backing, and not judicially pursuing and shooting, as has occurred in Spain, said Mas prohibited for two years of holding any public position for his role in the November 9 protest.

According to Mas, the reopening of the Scottish independence question ‘was produced precisely from the root of another referendum, the Brexit called for the exit of the EU.

Mas recognised the contexts between Scotland and Cataluña being different, but admitted interests on how the politics continue the process. ‘Every time I come to the United Kingdom I have the sensation that here they listen to us, they value our opinion and understand our democratic wishes, something which does not occur in Madrid’

Mas explained how the political tension had aggravated after the recent terrorist attacks and spoke of ‘the sensation of solidarity of the Catalan people’ in the streets of Barcelona, in contrast to the ‘intolerance and repression’ shown by the Spanish Government.

‘We are trying to defend our ideas democratically and pacifically’ he said ‘what the Spanish government has done is to prohibit our natural right of expression’
Mas recommended to the Catalans ‘calm and eat well’ before October 1 and called on the independence forces to ‘come together and move forward’ against the ‘intimidations’ of the Spanish government.

‘Independence will be won or lost on October 1’, he said ‘If we lose we will accept the defeat as good democrats. If we win, we will start to construct independence, without imposing it. We have to negotiate and listen to what Spain and the EU have to say’