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Catalan And Basque Pro-Independence Parties Propose Simultaneous Referendums

ERC and EH Bildu strengthen alliance, advocate for coordinated self-determination votes
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BILBAO, Spain — The good relationship that pro-independence parties the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and EH Bildu have maintained during this last legislature – one with a Catalan support base and the other, a Basque one – became clear a few weeks ago when they decided to run together in the senate elections and held a joint event in the Basque Country with the presence of Oriol Junqueras and the Republican candidate for Congress Gabriel Rufián. And this Monday, the ERC president reinforced his commitment to a new self-determination referendum, with the proposal to hold simultaneous votes on the independence of the Basque Country and Catalonia. “If we do it simultaneously it will be much more difficult for them to defeat us, and we will open the doors to the international community, which knows that it cannot turn its back on peoples who peacefully and democratically demand that their individual and collective rights be respected,” said Junqueras.

Arnaldo Otegi would not put a date on Junqueras’ proposal.

(L-R) ERC congressional candidate Gabriel Rufian; EH Bildu general coordinator Arnaldo Otegi; ERC president Oriol Junqueras and EH Bildu Senate candidate Jasone Agirre during a political act of EH Bildu and ERC, on 10 July 2023 in Durango, Biscay, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. ERC and EH Bildu are running in coalition on the lists for the Senate in the next general elections. They will do so under the name ‘Left for Independence’. H.BILBAO/EUROPA PRESS VIA GETTY IMAGES.

The Catalan Republican Left leader was speaking in Durango, a city in which EH Bildu achieved recent electoral success, but where the more conservative Basque Nationalists of the PNV took the victory away from them thanks to the votes of the Basque Socialists (PSE) and the Spanish conservatives, the PP. Junqueras didn’t mention these aspects, but rather focused on recalling the self-determination processes that Basques and Catalans have followed, regretting that until now they have followed separate paths, a fact that has resulted in defeats. For this reason, he opted to promote new sovereignty processes at the same time that should culminate in two simultaneous self-determination referendums.

For his part, Arnaldo Otegi, general coordinator of EH Bildu, has agreed to describe the Basque Country and Catalonia as two nations that aim for independence and a republic, but preferred not to put a date on this proposal by Junqueras: “When there is an opportunity, we will vote. When that arrives, we will decide and build the republic, and we will be independent states, and they will not be able to prevent it no matter how many repressive prescriptions they put in place,” said Otegi.

Produced in association with El Nacional En

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager

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