Carles, now what?

Few hours after Carles Puigdemont’s  speech at the Press Club Brussels Europe, both Catalonia and Europe remained confused regarding Catalonia’s future. .

There is no more secrets. It’s confirmed: the man is here. The former President of the Catalonian regional government came to the Belgian capital on Monday and gave yesterday an incredible press conference at the Press Club Brussels Europe. Puigdemont’s speech raised two issues: Why is he Brussels? What does he really plan to do over the upcoming weeks?

We found Carles Puigdemont. History is happening at the Press Club Brussels Europe.

Publié par Brussels Express sur mardi 31 octobre 2017


If you remember well, the Catalonian referendum from October, 1 did not get any support from the European institutions. Both the European Commission’s President, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the European Council’s President, Donald Tusk, called to comply with the Spanish constitutional law and explicitly stated that the Spanish government was the only authority that they could, and will, talk with. Only Charles Michel, the Belgian Prime Minister, appealed for dialogue in order to find an acceptable political solution to everyone.

Carles Puigdemont decided to come to Brussels at the beginning of the week to “talk with the EU institutions”, in order to express the Catalonian point of view with regard to the events that took place in the Spanish region over the last couple of days. If you only consider the political opportunity: Puigdemont’s visit was surely useless. He knows he has no support across Europe and although he could have engaged a debate with the EU leaders, all the pro-independence Catalonian leaders are aware of the impossibility of the EU institutions changing their mind.

Even if Puigdemont has no support at the top political level, the public opinion has a different view on this issue. Multiple videos and pictures of police violence have been spread on the media and social media, and most of the EU citizens do not agree with the lack of democracy and violations of fundamental rights that took place in Catalonia. The press conference he gave at the Press Club Brussels Europe was then a perfect strategic opportunity. This tiny press room welcomed the press from all over Europe and the World rushed from where millions of people could hear Puigdemont’s speech. As the Rajoy’s government has been being not very efficient on its communication, it is probably the only rational reason why Carles Puigdemont and five members of his “government” have popped down in Brussels this week.

Now what?

That point is definitely unclear and uncertain. There are many reasons to doubt Puigdemont real motivations. The former President of the Catalan government stated he still was the “legitimate” head of the government and talked about the process of independence. Nevertheless, he stressed that the impossible dialogue with the Spanish government led him to reconsider the timing of the creation of the Republic of Catalonia. He indeed said that the Catalan government will slow down the process of independence. 

But the main point we should keep in mind is about the upcoming regional elections. In the framework of the article 155 of the Spanish constitution, Mariano Rajoy and the Spanish government have decided to set up new regional elections in Catalonia on December 21. Carles Puigdemont stated he was ready to take part of this election, as well as his political party will recognise the results of them.

How can a golpista recognise the results of elections set up by the authority that he pretends to have reversed? It then seems Carles Puigdemont admitted independence was not possible, isn’t it? Difficult to predict what will happen in the near future but following yesterday’s day the Catalonian independence seems to be seriously compromised. In the end, is it really surprising?