Press release

Attn: news desks / political correspondents 

For immediate release: Thursday 16 November 2017

TRIPLE CHALLENGE FROM PRESIDENT IN EXILE PUIGDEMONT IN INTERVIEW ON THE ALEX SALMOND SHOW

FILMED IN A SECRET LOCATION IN BRUSSELS DEFIANT CATALAN LEADER SAYS "DEMOCRACY WILL PREVAIL"

Carles Puigdemont has today, (Wednesday 15 November 2017) been revealed as one of the first guests on Alex Salmond’s new political chat show, due to air on RT today (Thursday 16 November 2017).

In his first ever in-depth interview in English (his fourth language) for The Alex Salmond Show, the President of Catalonia called on the Spanish Government, the EU and the United Nations to meet with his government to bring the political crisis to an end and find a way forward for his country.  

Carles Puigdemont has been living in exile in Belgium following the Spanish State’s decision to press criminal charges on him and his government for declaring Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence from Spain. The Parliament of Catalonia voted overwhelmingly to declare independence following a referendum on 1 October 2017.

In his interview, conducted entirely in English, and filmed at a secret location in Belgium, President Puigdemont said:

"There is no future for Catalonia in Spain under these circumstances...

"...The mentality of the Spanish State, particularly from Mr Rajoy, looks at the unity of Spain like a religion. It is not a political matter, it is a spiritual, or [a religious] question about faith.

"So, there is an incapability, an intellectual incapacity to admit the possibility, the real possibility, that Spain could be different in future. Without Catalonia, or without the Basque Country, if the will of the people want this."

Commenting on the criminal charges brought against him by the Spanish State, which could see the democratically elected president sent to prison for up to 30 years, he said:

"Did you see the march in Barcelona last week? Full of people demanding freedom. No one demands freedom for criminals. We are not criminals.

"We are legal and legitimate representatives of Catalonia." 

The President ends his interview with a ringing declaration to the people of Catalonia to maintain the path of peace in the face of violence: 

"The message is to be confident, passionate and resilient because we will win. We will succeed. Finally, democracy will prevail."

ENDS

The Alex Salmond Show will air on RT today (Thursday 16 November 2017) at 0730, 1830 and 2330 GMT on the following channels:

·        Freeview: Channel 113 (HD) / Channel 234
·        Freesat: Channel 206 (SD/HD)
·        Sky: Channel 512 (SD/HD) / Channel 518 (SD)
·        You can also watch a live stream online for free here:https://www.rt.com/on-air/rt-uk-air/