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Catalan president praises “exemplary” referendum in Swiss canton shift

The town of Moutier decided to transfer from Bern to Jura in a peaceful decision respected by both parts

19 June 2017 12:23 PM


ACN | Barcelona


The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, on Monday praised the “exemplary” reaction from the German-speaking Berna canton to the town of Moutier’s decision to transfer to French-speaking Jura. In a referendum on Sunday, the town voted in favor of joining Jura with 51.7% of the vote. In a press release, the Executive Council of Bern said it “accepted” the decision and invited Jura to start the “negotiations on the specifics of the transfer” as soon as possible. The government of Bern also explained that it has always chosen to have an attitude of “tolerance and openness towards separatist movements”.

“We have always looked for and encouraged dialogue,” the Bern executive added, admitting, however, that their option was defeated in the referendum. “The reaction by the Bern canton to Moutier’s decision to abandon it and join Jura is an example of democracy and respect,” stated the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont.  

The canton of Jura was funded in 1979 but only three of the seven historic districts of the French-speaking territory joined it, while the others stayed with German-speaking Bern. The Jura cantons had been under the jurisdiction of Bern since 1815, after the Congress of Vienna. Now, through a referendum, the town of Moutier has decided to join the rest of the French-speaking areas.

Catalonia is planning to hold an independence referendum on October 1. The Spanish government, however, has not engaged in any discussions about the vote and is warning that it will not allow it to go ahead. 


  • Puigdemont

  • Close-up of Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont (by ACN)