Post-referendum speech by President Puigdemont: translation of complete text

Unofficial rough translation from the Catalan by Alan McManus @gumptionology:

Document: The complete text of the speech by [President] Puigdemont

El Nacional

Institutional Declaration by the president of the Autonomous Region [Catalonia]

Palace of the Autonomous Region, 04.10.17 [3 day after the Referendum]


Welcome compatriots,

We come from some especially intense days, full of emotions and of experiences that will remain engraved on our memory. Once more, the people of Catalonia demonstrated yesterday that they are united, that they are one single people, that fight for the defence of the values of democracy, and do so as they always have and always will do things: with civility and in peace. There have been very symbolic images that help to understand this idea of fraternity and universality with which Catalonia faces its national challenges: persons with Spanish flags and starred [Catalonian] flags sharing fraternally the same cause [democracy]. The rejection of violence, the rejection of the unjustifiable repression by the police force [Spanish Civil Guard, not Catalan Mossos] against the civil population peacefully gathered in the defence of their civil rights that are basic to them.

In this way I would like to praise the courageous attitude of the hundreds of thousands of Catalans who yesterday mobilised in a [general] strike without precedent in our country. They did this without causing incidents, overcoming fears and menaces and, above all, being faithful to the peaceful attitude with which we wish to express ourselves always. Because of this we have to feel strong if we are united and maintain ourselves in this attitude. For all the violence that some wish to practice against us, deeds that are nowhere unacceptable and which have been rejected by many people and rejected with much concern in Europe, we have to maintain ourselves as one people. With differences, with discrepancies, with mistakes and, sometimes, because this also has to be said, with great uncertainty. This does not mean that we should mistreat those who, due to impotence, to fear or cowardice, want us [to act] in another manner. You do not know the admiration in which our people are held everywhere in the world for this attitude [which is] so civilised and so determined.

Disgracefully, not everyone wants things to go well. There are those who attempt to present the Catalan claim [to Independence] as something illegitimate, illegal and criminal. There are those who think that following ballot boxes, ballots and voting is an inexcusable requirement of the rule of law, and that all’s fair in impeding a people in being able to express themselves and being able to decide [for themselves]. We are all very tranquil and serene, and above all very comforted: what we have done, what we are doing and what we will do is what other peoples have already done and what other peoples will do in the future. We follow a path democratically marked by the will of the citizens, and so anywhere this is fought it should begin to be comprehended and respected. [The next 2, italicised, paragraphs are in Spanish not Catalan]

For this reason I want to address the Spanish citizens who in these days have expressed their commitment to the demands of the Catalans; citizens who have sent us their friendship and their solidarity, much valued in the moments in which we are living. Certainly the Spanish authorities should explain better what is happening in Catalonia, with more thoughtful views that help to understand a political problem that we know is complex.

Even so, I am grateful for the effort that we note directly from many people to accompany the Catalan people in our claims. We are one people, who love the languages we speak, who have no problem with identities, nationalities and cultures, who want to continue contributing to the development of the Spanish state and who will never ignore the enormous wealth that diversity represents.

We are, in effect, a society enormously cohered by diversity. Because of that, the message that the Head of State has decided to direct to a part of the population we cannot share nor accept. The King makes his own the discourse and the politics of the government Rajoy that have been catastrophic in relation with Catalonia, and deliberately ignores the millions of Catalans that do not think as they do. He deliberately ignores the Catalans that have been victims of police violence that has frozen the heart of half the world. The King yesterday lost an opportunity to address all the citizens to whom he owes his crown, and to whom he owes the respect incumbent upon him by the Constitution. A Constitution that grants him a role as moderator that in any case he has not had, and that yesterday he firmly declined. Neither has he taken any interest in getting to know the opinion and the view of the Government of the Autonomous Region in any moment of this crisis, and has accepted the assumption of an inadequate role that merely seeks to level the decisions that the Spanish Government makes while they plot to liquidate the aspirations of sovereignty of the Catalan people. Aspirations that he does not doubt [should be] treated as criminal and illegitimate, and against which he uses resources without limit.

I would like to address myself directly to His Majesty, in the language that I know he knows and speaks: like this, no. [The following is in very formal language as it is addressed to the King of Spain. Accordingly, I have translated vostè not as ‘you’ but as ‘Your Majesty’]

With Your Majesty’s decision yesterday Your Majesty disappointed many people in Catalonia, who appreciate Your Majesty and who have helped Your Majesty in difficult moments of the office [the Crown]. People that expected of Your Majesty another tone and a call to dialogue and to concord. As President of the Autonomous Region I believe it necessary to address myself to the whole of the citizenry, to everyone, whatever they think, to guarantee the dedication of the Government that I preside over to protect the whole of the citizenry, to keep watch over their rights to express themselves lucidly and to respect their decisions.

We [President & Catalan Government] do this with the dedication that we assumed at the beginning of the mandate. A dedication to do it with a door open always to dialogue and to respect for the other. We will not move from this, and I wish to guarantee to the citizens that listen to me that my Government has not deviated one millimetre from the dedication to peace and serenity, but now firmly, with which we wish to take action.

Because of this I repeat what I said on Monday: this moment demands mediation. We have refused various proposals in the last hours, and we will refuse more: you [formal: His Majesty and His Majesty’s Government] all know first hand my disposition to take on a process of mediation. I have repeated that this is necessary so many times. Peace, dialogue and accord form part of the political culture of our people. However, we have never rejected any positive response on the part of the State on any of the options of mediation that are already on the table, and I believe, with all sincerity, that it would be a grave irresponsibility not to attend the pleas sent from people from within and without Catalonia and the [Spanish] State that this conflict is managed by politics and not by the police.

Yesterday we neared [I’m uncertain of the sense] our historic desire. On Sunday we managed to hold a referendum despite a sea of difficulties and repression without precedent; yesterday we gave an example of the process of a general strike; and I am sure that these very days will become the best face of our country when the institutions of Catalonia apply the result of the referendum.

Meanwhile we maintain confidence and the exclusion of all provocation and all intention of violence. We do not want that at home nor anywhere else. We will make ourselves strong in dignity and we will be a people capable of making possible the dream that is proposed.

[translator’s note: glosses, added for sense, are mine; glosses in bold, added as explanations, are also mine]


[Thanks to Linnaea Mallette who has released her photo ‘Row of John Deere Tractors’ into the Public Domain]

Document: El text íntegre del discurs de Puigdemont

El Nacional

Declaració institucional del president de la Generalitat

Palau de la Generalitat, 04.10.17


Benvolguts i benvolgudes compatriotes,

Venim d’uns dies especialment intensos, carregats d’emocions i de vivències que ens quedaran gravades a la memòria. Una vegada més, el poble de Catalunya va demostrar ahir que està unit, que és un sol poble, que fa pinya en la defensa dels valors de la democràcia, i ho va fer de la manera com sempre fem i volem fer les coses: amb civisme i en pau. Hi va haver imatges molt simbòliques que ajuden a entendre aquesta idea de fraternitat i transversalitat amb què Catalunya afronta els seus reptes nacionals: persones amb banderes d’Espanya i banderes estelades compartint agermanadament una mateixa causa. El rebuig a la violència, el rebuig a les càrregues injustificables de les forces policials contra població civil pacíficament concentrada i la defensa dels drets civils que ens són elementals.

En aquest sentit voldria posar en molt de valor l’actitud dels centenars de milers de catalans i catalanes que ahir us vau mobilitzar en una aturada sense precedents al nostre país. Ho vau fer sense incidents, superant pors i amenaces i, sobretot, essent fidels a l’actitud pacífica amb què ens volem expressar sempre. Per això ens hem de sentir forts si estem units i ens mantenim en aquesta actitud. Per més violència que hi vulguin posar alguns, fet que no és acceptable enlloc i que ha estat rebatut per molta gent i rebut amb molta preocupació a Europa, nosaltres ens hem de mantenir com un sol poble. Amb diferències, amb discrepàncies, amb errors i, a vegades, perquè també ens ho hem de dir, amb grans encerts. No deixeu que ens ho malbaratin els qui, per impotència, per por o per covardia, ens voldrien d’una altra manera. No sabeu l’admiració que com a poble estem recollint arreu del món per aquesta actitud tan cívica i tan compromesa.

Per desgràcia no tothom voldria que les coses ens anessin bé. Hi ha qui pretén presentar la reivindicació catalana com una cosa il·legítima, il·legal i criminal. Hi ha qui pensa que perseguir urnes, paperetes i votants és una exigència inexcusable de l’estat de dret, i que tot s’hi val per impedir que un poble es pugui expressar i pugui decidir. Estiguem tots molt tranquils i serens, i sobretot molt reconfortats: el que hem fet, el que estem fent i el que farem és el que d’altres pobles ja han fet i d’altres pobles faran en el futur. Seguim un camí democràticament marcat per la voluntat dels ciutadans, i això enlloc de ser combatut hauria de començar a ser comprès i a ser respectat.

Por eso quiero dirigirme a los ciudadanos españoles que en estos días han expresado su compromiso con las demandas de los catalanes; ciudadanos que nos han enviado su amistad y su solidaridad muy valiosa en los momentos que estamos viviendo. Seguramente las autoridades españolas deberían explicar mejor lo que ocurre en Catalunya, con visiones más ponderadas que ayudaran a entender un problema político que sabemos que es complejo.

Sin embargo, agradezco el esfuerzo que nos consta directamente de mucha gente para acompañar al pueblo catalán en sus reivindicaciones. Somos un solo pueblo, que ama las lenguas que habla, que no tiene ningún problema con las identidades, las nacionalidades y las culturas, que quiere continuar contribuyendo al desarrollo del Estado español y que jamás va a prescindir de la enorme riqueza que representa la pluralidad.

Som, en efecte, una societat enormement cohesionada en la diversitat. Per això el missatge que el cap de l’Estat va voler adreçar a una part de la població no el podem compartir ni acceptar. El rei fa seu el discurs i les polítiques del govern Rajoy que han estat catastròfiques en relació amb Catalunya, i ignora deliberadament els milions de catalans que no pensem com ells. Ignora deliberadament els catalans que han estat víctimes d’una violència policial que ha glaçat el cor a mig món. El rei va perdre ahir una oportunitat d’adreçar-se a tots els ciutadans a qui deu la corona, i als quals deu el respecte perquè així li encomana la Constitució. Una Constitució que li atorga un paper moderador que en cap cas no ha tingut, i que ahir va declinar amb duresa. Tampoc no ha tingut interès a conèixer l’opinió i la visió del Govern de la Generalitat en cap moment d’aquesta crisi, i ha acceptat assumir un rol inadequat que només busca aplanar les decisions que el Govern espanyol fa temps que estudia per tal de liquidar les aspiracions de sobirania del poble català. Unes aspiracions que no dubta a tractar com a criminals i il·legítimes, i contra les quals usa recursos sense límit.

Voldria adreçar-me directament a Sa Majestat, en la llengua que sé que coneix i parla: així no.

Amb la seva decisió d’ahir vostè va decebre molta gent a Catalunya, que l’aprecia i que l’ha ajudat en moments difícils de la institució. Gent que esperava de vostè un altre to i una apel·lació al diàleg i a la concòrdia. Com a president de la Generalitat crec necessari adreçar-me al conjunt de la ciutadania, a tothom, pensi com pensi, per garantir el compromís del govern que presideixo de protegir el conjunt dels ciutadans, de vetllar pels seus drets a expressar-se lliurement i de respectar les seves decisions.

Ho farem amb el compromís que vam assumir a l’inici del mandat. Un compromís de fer-ho amb una porta oberta sempre al diàleg i al respecte cap a l’altre. No ens mourem d’aquí, i vull garantir als ciutadans que m’esteu escoltant que el meu govern no es desviarà ni un mil·límetre del compromís de pau i serenor, però alhora de fermesa, amb què volem fer les coses.

Per això reitero el que ja vaig dir dilluns: aquest moment demana mediació. Hem rebut diverses propostes en les darreres hores, i en rebrem més: totes elles coneixen de primera mà la meva disposició a emprendre un procés de mediació. Ho reiterarem tantes vegades com faci falta. Pau, diàleg i acord formen part de la cultura política del nostre poble. Tanmateix no hem rebut mai cap resposta positiva per part de l’Estat a cap de les opcions de mèdiació que ja hi ha sobre la taula, i crec, amb tota sinceritat, que torna a ser una greu irresponsabilitat no atendre els precs que envien gent de dins i de fora de Catalunya i de l’Estat per tal que aquest conflicte s’encarrili des de la política i no des de la policia.

Avui tenim més a prop que ahir el nostre desig històric. Diumenge vam aconseguir fer un referèndum enmig d’un oceà de dificultats i d’una repressió sense precedents; ahir vam donar un exemple en el seguiment de l’aturada general; i estic segur que en els propers dies tornarem a ensenyar la millor cara del nostre país quan les institucions de Catalunya haguem d’aplicar el resultat del referèndum.

Mentrestant mantinguem la confiança i l’aïllament a tota provocació i a tota intenció de violència. Ni la volem a casa ni la volem enlloc. Fem-nos forts en la dignitat i serem un poble capaç de fer possible el somni que es proposi.


A Murder Has Been Arranged

Hilary Lynas, as always, was hilarious as soon as she walked onstage as the nouveau-riche Mrs Arthur, picking up the pace of A Murder Has Been Arranged by Emlyn Williams, performed by the Kirkintilloch Players. We were glad of the slow start (ably introduced by Tamara Horsborough as the deceptively dedicated Miss Groze and by David Mitchell’s avuncular Cavendish and Sheila Todd’s crosspatch Mrs Wragg, in counterpoint) as the plot then got rather thick rather quick.
It takes skill to turn an audience against such a charming figure as Arran Summers’ Jimmy North – AKA Simon Richardson AKA Richard Simonson – and Mrs Arthur gave it her best shot but we all love young love (even when there’s an inconvenient older-but-rich husband) and the warmth of the lovely Lady Beatrice Jasper (Tierney McLeod) overcame the frost from Mater and maid alike. Sir Charles Jasper himself (Gordon Brown) was all urbane dignity and his serene acceptance of the risk of being fooled by his young wife was quite touching.
Enter the wickedly fun villain in the form of Maurice A. Mullins (Craig McEwan) and the eerie character, known only as ‘A Woman’, whose performance by Anne-Marie Connor had us on the edge of our seats. The stage was set and the eleventh hour approaching…
Special mention must go to Tamara Horsborough for the complexity of the role of Miss Groze in this very complex play but to explain that would give the game away! Also to the deft production by Ian Atherton and Bette MacKenzie, and the seamless stage management (if it wasn’t, we didn’t notice) by Iain Carmichael, the atmospheric lighting by Graham Carmichael and the moody music by Gordon Jahn. The attention to detail in the set, props & sumptuous costumes drew us deeper into the spell.
Another great night by the Kirky Players, enjoyed as much by my mother and neighbour as by myself, showing once again the joy of community theatre.
A Murder Has Been Arranged is on at the Turret Theatre, 7:30 pm each night till Saturday 14th Oct. Tickets from


Poster by Kenwil/ Ian Atherton

St Francis, AIDS & Bad Pharma

When I worked for the Iona Community, sitting in the cold Abbey in summer or in the freezing chapel of St Michael in winter, we would recite this prayer every Friday morning:

‘Take us outside, O Christ, outside holiness, to where soldiers curse and nations clash, at the crossroads of the world.’ (Iona Abbey Worship Book, p.20)

Theologically it doesn’t make a lot of sense and the alliteration covers an assumption widespread in the Community that while male aggression is the curse of the world, female empowerment is its salvation. Yet it is an arresting image. To step outside the cosy piety of churchiness. To risk misunderstanding of our motives, indeed vilification.

However, performing a grand gesture isn’t always laudable, no matter our motives. When I was a Franciscan novice, I was very attracted by the story of St Francis stripping off his fine clothes and throwing them at the feet of his father, in the Residence of the Bishop of Assisi. In this place (the ‘Room of Renunciation’) Pope Francis stated:

“The Christian cannot coexist with the spirit of the world, with the worldliness that leads us to vanity, to arrogance, to pride.” (OSV Newsweekly)

Nowadays I am ready to admit that Franco Zeffirelli’s filmic presentation of the beauty of Graham Faulkner may have had something to do with the attraction of this scene. I, now, also feel much more sympathy with the father – who surely only wanted to lavish his love on his only son and to set him up securely in turbulent times.

The other, earlier, scene which moved me was Francis getting off his high horse, giving his cloak to a leper and kissing him. Brother Sun, Sister Moon was filmed in 1972 and by 1984 (fateful year) the paperback edition of St Francis: A Model for Human Liberation was out in English. I’m not sure if it was the author, Fr Leonardo Boff, who first said that, ‘if St Francis was around today, he would kiss an AIDS victim’.

Following his example, many saintly people have done exactly that, St (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta and Pope Francis among them. Liberation theologians from South America have taken St Francis out of the birdbath and shown his piety to be far more radical than the smug spirituality of ‘being kind to animals’ (while eating them and being complicit in their torture for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries). St Francis is a model of solidarity with the marginalised and oppressed.

In 1984 it became clear that there was a new category of marginalisation. Dr Robert Gallo patented ‘the AIDS virus’, ELISA and Western Blot test kits (which give different results for the presence of the sections of the proteins taken to be HIV antibodies) were hastily manufactured and people all over the world began to receive AZT, a chemotherapy drug that interferes with the most basic cellular functions. Within months many were dead.

Since then, antiretroviral drugs are not so lethal and people on them are living longer. Just stop and think about that sentence for a moment.

Dom Hélder Câmara, archbishop of Olinda & Recife in North East Brazil, famously said:

‘When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.’

Similarly, when you comfort those supposedly dying of AIDS, they call you a saint. When you ask why they are dying, they call you a ‘denialist’.

For over 30 years, the biomedical scientists who constitute the Perth Group (based in the research facility of the Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia) have been asking two simple questions:

  • Where is the scientific proof of the existence of HIV?
  • Where is the scientific proof of the hypothetical link between HIV and AIDS?

These questions remain unanswered. Other biomedical scientists have raised dissident voices, most controversially Professor Peter Duesberg, member of the American national Academy of Sciences, and Dr Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize winner. More controversially still, in 2000, President Mbeki of South Africa sought advice and organised a conference of biomedical scientists, two-thirds of whom were of the establishment view on HIV/AIDS. These refused to debate the dissident view and vilified the President for daring to question the findings and remedies of the international pharmaceutical industry.

As Dr Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos of the Perth Group has said, the burden of proof is not on the dissidents but on the scientists who have made the claim that HIV exists and that it causes AIDS. This claim has never been substantiated (both scientists credited with the discovery of ‘the AIDS virus’, Gallo and Montagnier, have repudiated their original positions) and every other related biomedical establishment publication is based on it. Other eminent biomedical scientists, such as Professor Gordon Stewart of the University of Glasgow, have challenged this claim on epidemiological grounds.

The reaction of most good, fair-minded and compassionate people to the news that there are still eminent biomedical scientists who dispute this claim is one of disbelief – usually followed by ridicule and unflattering comparisons to Flat Earthers and other conspiracy theorists. Yet, as Professor Peter Duesberg painstakingly points out (in his book Inventing the AIDS Virus which has detailed references) this is not the first time that the well-funded ‘virus hunters’ of the pharmaceutical industry have brought about huge iatrogenic harm. Dr Ben Goldacre (who is not an ‘AIDS dissident’) shows comprehensively, in Bad Pharma: How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients, that:

‘Doctors around the world – except in Norway – are taught which drugs are best by the drug companies themselves. The content is biased, and that’s why companies pay for it. For decades people have stood up, shown that the content is biased, written reports against it, demonstrated that weak guidelines fail to police it; and still it continues.’ (Bad Pharma, 2012, p.320)

Inspired by the saint of the marginalised, is it possible for us to step outside of our drug-funded respectability, to risk being ridiculed and vilified, being considered lacking in compassion for the sick – to ask why it is that our unexamined piety is killing them?

Brother Sun 6-1

Photo source: Brother Son, Sister Moon via DarkUFOBlogspot