Today all catalan newspapers have published a joint editorial titled “La Dignitat de Catalunya” (Catalan language version) or check here Catalonia’s Dignity, a translation into english.
That article is a defense of the Catalan Statue that was passed by the Catalan and Spanish Parliaments and then approved in a referendum by the Catalans. This text was already an extremely watered down version of the text originally approved by the Catalan Parliament which Zapatero had promised to approve without any changes but finally didn’t and had to endure very difficult negotiations that had as a result the elimination of its most important points that would have increased Catalonia’s self governance both financially and in its identity and cultural aspects to move it a little bit closer to normal federal states.
PP appealed the Catalan Statute to the Spanish Constitutional Court since they believed the text doesn’t comply with the Spanish Constitution but mostly following their usual attitude against anything that comes from Catalonia since many Autonomous Communities, following Catalonia’s lead, renewed their Statute with similar articles but PP didn’t appeal those.
No court has any legitimacy to deny what has been approved by the Parliaments and the people. The citizens’ will is the base of any democracy. With only 10 out of 12 positions currently filled and with five of them holding expired positions the Spanish Constitutional Court is formed by extremely policitally biased members that were nominated exclusively by the two main Spanish parties, PSOE and PP and is basically doing the dirty work that the Spanish Parliament didn’t do since it would have been unpopular with the Catalans.
Even though the current Statute is not really the tool that the Catalans need right now since it is so watered down that it won’t improve anything it was approved by the Catalans and therefore it should be respected. However, the Spanish Constitutional Court have filtered information to the Spanish media that they will cut most of its main articles.
In an attempt to influence this soon to come sentence all Catalan newspapers, even the ones with a more openly unionist profile, like La Vanguardia or El Periódico have published the same editorial appealing to Catalonia’s dignity so that the Constitutional Court doesn’t tamper the Catalan Statute.
This has had an immediate reaction from the Spanish media which and have published very aggressive editorials. Following is an excerpt of the first reaction in El Mundo: “What’s at stake is not “Catalonia’s dignity”, as these colleagues say, but the attempt of a political oligarchy to control the Catalan society by means of a Statute designed to distance it from the rest of Spain at the expense of breaking the Constitutional order and the model of democratic coexistence”. Other reactions include declarations by popular Spanish radio presenter Federico Jiménez Losantos saying that the Catalan society is “sick” and that the Spanish are “the jews of the Catalan nazis”.
While I agree that most Catalan newspapers are not independent what doesn’t make sense are the accusations of wanting to destroy Spain since the Catalan government is currently in the hands of a unionist party, the PSOE of Catalonia.
Therefore, what is the conclusion that the Catalan society has to extract from this? The certainty that the Spanish don’t seem to understand or respect that Catalonia is a nation and every attempt from the Catalans to try to fit more comfortably in Spain has always been received with extreme aggressivity or war
How much longer will the Catalans’ patience last?