Bartomeu analyses the current vote of censure process
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Below we reproduce the words of Josep Maria Bartomeu on the vote of censure from his appearance after the Board of Directors' meeting:
"From the validation of the signatures of the Vote of Censure, we have put in motion all the pertinent mechanisms to proceed with voting. Given the exceptional times we are living in due to the pandemic, we proposed, for the first time in the Club's history, that the voting could take place over two days, 1 and 2 November. A weekend day and a working day, on the understanding that this would allow a greater number of members to vote.
However, we did not stop there, and also for the first time in the Club's history we also proposed that voting could take place in 21 different voting stations, distributed geographically, 13 in Catalonia and 8 in the rest of the State.
Taking into account the worsening pandemic and with 110,132 members with the right to vote, we championed the creation of a working committee made up of representatives from the health authorities and the Government with the aim of developing together an activities record that took into account all the necessary measures and recommendations in order to guarantee not just a greater turnout, but also, most importantly, to guarantee the health, safety and well being of all our members.
The committee carried out several meetings in which we put forward one basic condition: we needed the voting protocol approved at least 15 days beforehand to have the necessary time to carry out all the necessary logistics to organise such a complex process.
In the meetings we were told that it was necessary to follow the development of the pandemic. The Club requested legal cover to extend the deadlines given that the days were passing and the voting protocol had not been finalised. We were told that we would have the legal cover necessary.
The technical meetings that were to continue tomorrow, Tuesday, were interrupted suddenly last Thursday when we were hurriedly asked for a meeting with representatives from the Catalan Government, who gave us new indications to complete the protocols. Without that protocol being approved, we were told that we would have to hold voting on 1 or 2 November. In other words, our request for the 15 days notice was not respected. A request, I repeat, that was initiallly accepted.
On the same Thursday we asked the councillor to the presidency of the Catalan Government to give us cover for our proposal, to postpone the vote until 15 and 16 November, a weekend day and a working day. A postponement of 15 days to organise a decentralised vote.
As you well know, last Friday afternoon the Catalan Government turned down the Club's request to hold a decentralised vote of censure on 15 and 16 November.
Minutes after informing us of their response in writing, the Catalan Government than made a public appearance to urgently request a State of Alarm from the Spanish Government. At the same time they asked the people to restrict their movements as much as possible to reduce the risk of infection.
Yesterday, Sunday, the President of the Spanish Government announced the approval of a new state of alarm for the whole country which brings with it, amongst other measures, a curfew for those autonmous regions who request it, adding a restriction of a maximum of six people meeting in a public place.
Immediately, the Catalan Government decreed a night time curfew for the whole of Catalonia. Once we were aware of these measures, we sent a letter to Pere Aragonés, asking if the decision that there was no legal or health reason for not holding the vote on 1 and 2 November was to be maintained.
In that letter we also made it known that, in terms that had been approved by them, we could not hold the vote in the conditions initially proposed (21 electoral voting stations distributed geographically, 13 in Catalonia and eight in the rest of the state) and that as a result it would have to take place in one single venue, in this case Camp Nou, as it has always been held.
In the same letter we also asked them how we were able to guarantee the collective right to vote for members over 65 years of age, as well as the safety of more than 300 staff, who would have to be physically present, when the Government was asking people companies and businesses to work from home.
The response received from the Catalan Government vice presidency is that it be transferred to the Health and Interior councils so that they can adopt the necessary resolutions.
Let me inform you of the Board of Directors' astonishment at these contradictory decisions.
We are living in extraordinary circumstances that necessitate a brave attitude to take and implement exceptional decisions. Working for the general interest of citizens, the protection of their health and the guarantee of their fundamental rights is incompatible with partisan strategies.
Having reached this point, the Board of Directors, before taking any decision, awaits the formal reply of the Catalan Government. Once received, the Board will meet once more. "
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