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THE INTERVIEW

'The door is open for dialogue with Madrid,' says Carles Puigdemont

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Carles Puigdemont is president of Spain’s Catalonia region. As national authorities crack down on the region’s preparations for an October 1 independence referendum that Madrid says is illegal, Puigdemont has accused the national government of adopting a “totalitarian attitude”.

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Puigdemont spoke with FRANCE 24’s Caroline de Camaret and RFI’s Sophie Malibeaux about the political crisis with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government and the potential consequences independence would have on Catalonia’s relationship with the European Union.

Asked why he won’t bow to pressure and call off the referendum, the Catalan leader told FRANCE 24 that regional elections provided the mandate to hold this vote. “This is not something we can cancel. We cannot say no to what has already been approved by the citizens. They decided on this through the ballot box,” Puigdemont said from Barcelona.

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