Puigdemont announces legal referendum for independence before the end of September to global consulate representatives in Barcelona today.

The referendum on Catalan independence will take place “in September at the latest”, and it will have “all the legal and democratic guarantees”, Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, announced this Wednesday to a group of foreign consulates based in Barcelona.

Before 60 international diplomats set in the Catalan capital, Puigdemont emphasised the Government’s “determination” to hold the referendum regardless of the Spanish State’s “threats”. However, Puigdemont insisted that the Catalan executive “will always bid for reaching an agreement with the Spanish State and for permanent dialogue” so that the Catalan citizens will be able to “exercise their right to self-determination”.

Puigdemont, who was joined by the Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, and the chairwoman of the consulate corps in Barcelona, Peru’s consul Franca Lorella, made these statements were made during the annual meeting of foreign consulates based in Barcelona.

Puigdemont admitted, “There are a unilateral opposition and stubbornness from the Spanish State” which lowers the Catalan Government’s expectations regarding the possibility to reach an agreement. Thus, the executive “is not very optimistic” on this matter,.

Nevertheless, Puigdemont insisted before the consul’s corps that these circumstances “won’t discourage” the Government neither will “the threats” of the Spanish State. “The will of the Catalan citizens to exercise their right to self-determination is incorruptible.”

Puigdemont also forecasted that the referendum will take place “in September at the latest”. “We are working for the referendum to have all the guarantees and standards, all the transcendence and responsibility,” he said and added that “it will take place, it will be well-done, and it will have all the legal and democratic guarantees so that the people will be able to decide”.

The Catalan President also presented Catalonia’s and Barcelona’s “great attraction power” to the world and assured that Catalans have never liked “to be closed within their own borders”. “Our open-mindness has been well proved: our world is the world”.

Puigdemont also emphasised the “benefits” of investing in and keep trade relation with Catalonia. He nuanced that Catalan economy “grows higher than the Spanish average” and that in 2016 “lead the creation of business in the Spanish State and has been recognised as the best region in Southern Europe to invest in”.

Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva, assured that Catalonia “wants to take part” in European and international discussions “having its own voice and aiming to analyse and contribute to addressing the challenges”. Thus, he insisted that Catalans believe that the best way to do so is “through democracy”. “We ask the consulate corps to help us doing so”, he said.