Carles Puigdemont was President of Catalonia throughout the constitutional crisis that shook Spain in 2017. The Spanish government dissolved the Catalan parliament in October of that year, and, facing arrest, Puidgemont quit the state. He has not yet returned. In the Catalunya Barcelona documentary series, Puigdemont is featured in episode nine, A New Millennium, and episode ten, 2017.
Carles Puigdemont replaced the man who was actually voted in, Artur Más. He hasn’t been up for election yet. He said that he wouldn’t run again whatever the situation after the 1st of October. He said he was leading the coalition of Junts pel Sí, of the old Convergència, and Esquerra Republicana, Junts pel Sí. And with the support of the CUP …issues aplenty there, but they’ve been able to preserve unity. That brings us us to the current situation. He’s accomplished what he set out to do, make Junts pel Sí a mandate. So he’s proven himself to be a leader who can deliver, so I consider him honest.
Ramon Alberch discusses Carles Puigdemont’s commitment to independence.
I know Puigdemont. He’s been mayor of Girona or many years and we’ve long known each other. Puigdemont has extra credibility for two reasons. First, he was already an independentist when few people were, so he has a history, he hasn’t jumped in at the last moment, which is the accusation that could be made of Artur Mas or some surrounding him: “They joined in exclusively to cover up their corruptions and shames.” It was easy to make that argument. Not so with him, as he was pro- independence long before it was reasonable. Meaning, it wasn’t a majority opinion. It’s always been reasonable. Many of us thought an agreement with Spain was inevitable. He’s also someone, besides being shrewd, sticks to his principles. That is, it’s unlikely he’s going to suddenly change his mind. He’s also proven that he doesn’t have any political ambition. He’s stated repeatedly that he doesn’t want to continue, that he’ll see this through, then go back home or to maybe prison, poor guy, but he won’t continue. In the case of President Puigdemont, and his group, I’m not suspicious of an ulterior motive. I think there’s a high dose of patriotism. I think he really is one of the many of us who think an independent Catalonia could be freer, more prosperous, better managed, more culturally evolved… And, anyway, that’s his mission. Whether he’ll pull it off, that’s another thing.
Estela Fernandez discusses the action Carles Puigdemont’s government took in spring of 2017.
So… I was shocked because I saw the headline that said that Cataluña is going to become independent whether there’s a referendum or not. And I was like excuse me? So I kept on reading and it said that Carles Puigdemont, which is the new governer or president, him and his team had been working on a secret document to eject Cataluña from Spain by a unilateral decision if the Spanish government didn’t allow them to hold the referendum in October this year. I am shocked and at the same time I understand their move. There should be a referendum. I’m against… Not maybe against, but I’m not in favor of an independent Catalan state but I am in favor of there being a referendum because I think that’s what democracy is about. You want to know what people think. And you know, chances are the result will be no. Look at what happened with Scotland, that’s exactly what happened. I find that people who are in favor of independence are a lot louder than the people who don’t want it. You know, they make a lot of noise. And the people who don’t want it don’t make any noise. So their noise is the only one heard. I think it would be a mistake to have a unilateral sort of decision of ok, we’re not part of you anymore because half of Cataluña doesn’t want independence. So what kind of an independence would that be if it was like certainly like the Catalan government says poom, we’re not part of Spain anymore, what about the other half of Cataluña? I’m part of that other half. So I’m being, you know, imposed something really large that is not what I want. So I wonder how much of it is bluff, how much of it is true… You know what I mean? You know, newspapers sometimes they really try to have this like super catchy headlines and alike, no? So I wonder how much of it is true. I was surprised that they were working on a secret document and everything was like so secretive because it kind of goes against the social state that they want to build, social, transparent and free of corruption state that they want to build. So yeah, I’m here wondering what will happen in October. I hope that the Spanish government finally sees that there has to be a referendum and that making it illegal is not helping anyone, not really.
2017 – Carles Puigdemont meeting with Catalan parliament.
2017 – Carles Puigdemont on-hand at rally for independence
2017 – Carles Puigdemont giving a press conference.
2017 – Carles Puigdemont speaking from within the Catalan Parliament building.
2017 – Carles Puigdemont in procession commemorating the terrorist attack in August.