Carles Puigdemont was elected as head of Spain’s Catalonia region in January last year on a platform of delivering independence.
He has promised a referendum on that issue by September 2017 at the latest.
During a visit to Brussels, he spoke to euronews’ Sergio Cantone, who started by asking him what he hoped to achieve.
Carles Puigdemont: It is not my objective today, when I am here in Brussels now, to be received by the representatives. The time will come when I will ask for a meeting and I expect, as has happened with other leaders from the European regions, to be received by the highest authorities and speak freely and openly about Catalonia
Euronews: Do not you think that the word referendum, the word separation today in Europe frightens other countries, and the EU institutions?
Carles Puigdemont: It should be noted that the first time the referendum word was associated with something governments opposes is when citizenship is expressed in a manner contrary to the interests of states.
Euronews: Would you agree to find a new form, bearing in mind Spanish constitutional reforms, of coexistence between Catalonia and the rest of Spain?
Carles Puigdemont: When the status of the autonomy of Catalonia was modified it was within the constitutional framework, it was a compromise to remain part of Spain and to have better relations than we have today . But in all these remarks Spain’s answer has always been the same: no. Spain has always said “No”. Now, if Spain after always saying “no”, says “we are ready to talk”, we always said we are ready to listen. I do not want to make a declaration of independence. I want to make a declaration of interdependence, because we must accept that in the twenty-first century the relations between states must be based on cooperation.