Artur Mas's Investiture Speech in Ten Key Sentences

Parliament of Catalonia - 9/11/2015

On the afternoon of November 9th 2015, Artur Mas made the investiture speech as candidate for the Presidency of the Generalitat of Catalonia. Parliament would vote on the candidacy the next day and, given that his party, Junts pel Sí, only held 62 seats out of 135, it looked unlikely that he would win.

In the first round of votes, an absolute majority of 68 was needed and the ten pro-independence deputies of the far left CUP party were unwilling to back a conservative candidate.

However, earlier that day the Parliament of Catalonia had voted in favour of the Declaration of the Beginning of the Independence Process. The political moment was transcendental so there was always the chances that some CUP deputies could be convinced to give Mas a simple majority of 64 in a second vote later in the week.

In a speech lasting an hour and a half, Artur Mas looked back at his governments actions over the previous legislature and also looked forward to introducing more socially just policies in the coming one.

The majority of the ten quotes from the speech below came in the last section of the speech, where President Mas looked at the real issue at hand: the creation of the new Catalan Republic and the reason why a strong government was needed at this historic moment.

I've included the translation of the phrase in English together with the original in Catalan.

Artur Mas's 10 sentences in English and Catalan

1. It depends on the majority that there is no blockage or an unnecessary waste of time before we start the process that wil take us to the Catalan State. Without investiture there's no definitive government and, consequently, the process will run aground.

"De la majoria depèn que no hi hagi bloqueig ni pèrdua innecessària de temps per iniciar el procés que ens ha de portar a l'estat català. Sense investidura no hi ha Govern definitiu i, conseqüentment, el procés queda encallat".

2. Noboby would understand the fact that we have a fully operational Parliament with a government that comes from the previous legislature. Such a strong start to the legislature requires a government that's up to the challenges we've set ourselves and for which we have a democratic mandate.

"No s'entendria que tinguéssim un Parlament plenament operatiu convivint amb un govern que deriva de l'anterior legislatura. Una arrencada tan potent de la legislatura requereix un govern a l'altura dels reptes que ens hem marcat i per als quals disposem d'un mandat democràtic".

3. The State doesn't want to understand, it wants to destroy. It feels it's under attack, when what it should feel is questioned. The State is too politically handicapped to accept a challenge of the depth and democratic importance that is being posed by a very significant part of Catalan society.

"L'Estat no vol comprendre, vol destruir. Se sent atacat, quan el que s'hauria de sentir és qüestionat. L'Estat està políticament incapacitat per acceptar un repte de la profunditat i de l'altura democràtiques que li està plantejant una part molt significativa de la societat catalana".

4. The process is driven by a majority, ordered and broad-ranging movement, comprising the generosity of many who have understood that freedom is more important than ideoplogy or political parties.

"El procés està impulsat per un moviment majoritari, ordenat i transversal, configurat per la generositat de molts que han entès que la llibertat està per sobre de les ideologies i de les sigles dels partits".

5. The challenge is to transform the Catalan autonomy into the Catalan State, and in order to achieve it we need everyone who believes and is committed. Everybody is necessary. I repeat: everybody is necessary.

"El repte és transformar l'autonomia catalana en l'estat català, i per aconseguir-lo fa falta tothom que hi cregui i que s'hi comprometi. No sobra ningú. Ho repeteixo: no sobra ningú".

6. To talk about Catalonia, the Spanish government has called on everyone apart from the representatives of Catalonia. That's pretty ridiculous.

"Per parlar de Catalunya, el govern espanyol ha convocat tothom menys els representants de Catalunya. Això frega el ridícul".

7. With less support, referendums have been organised in other countries. This happens in high quality democracies. In the low quality or pseudodemocracies, they make use of the public prosecutor, the police and the courts. Between these two types of state, which would we rather live in? Which would it be worth fighting for?

"En altres països, amb menys suport, s'han organitzat referèndums. Això passa en les democràcies d'alta qualitat. En les de baixa qualitat o pseudodemocràcies es fa servir la fiscalia, la policia i els tribunals. D'aquests dos tipus d'estat, en quin els agradaria viure? Per quin valdria la pena lluitar?".

8. The declaration of the beginning of the independence process is the result of dialogue, negotiation and agreement. Like all agreements, it implies both parties giving up things in order to benefit the agreement, so that each side cedes for the greater good.

"La declaració de l'inici del procés cap a la independència és fruit del diàleg, la negociació i el pacte. Com tot pacte, implica cessions mútues en benefici de l'acord, en què cada part cedeix per arribar a un tot".

9. All of us who continue calling for a referendum will have one, on the future Catalan Constitution.

"Tots els que seguim reclamant un referèndum el tindrem, el de la futura Constitució catalana".

10. Catalonia has been through a tough difficult situation. We have too many families who have gone over the poverty threshold. We have our hands tied. The State has imposed unfair and unsupportive deficit limits. It hasn't assumed or paid its debt to Catalonia. Catalonia generates enough resources to have a welfare state that it doesn't have now. Catalonia could have maintained the level of its welfare state without cuts if it had had its own State.

"Catalunya ha viscut una situació dura, difícil. Tenim massa famílies que han traspassat el llindar de la pobresa. Tenim les mans lligades. L'Estat ens ha imposat uns límits de dèficit injustos i insolidaris. No ha assumit ni pagat els deutes amb Catalunya. Catalunya genera prou recursos per tenir un estat del benestar que ara no té. Catalunya podria haver mantingut el nivell de benestar sense retallades, si hagués disposat d'un estat propi".


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