The Catalan National Assembly

Last April after the last round of popular referendums for independence there was a question floating in the air: “and now what?” What should we do with the network of thousands of volunteers who had worked to achieve those amazing results? A few days after the last round in Barcelona took place a first meeting of the ANC (Catalan National Assembly) and after a lot of work almost one year later has resulted in its constitution on March the 10th in Barcelona at Palau Sant Jordi filled with almost 7000 independentists from all over the country.

The meeting was closed by the popular actor Sergi López and the main result was the voting of the ANC’s structure and the approval of an ambitious route plan towards Catalonia’s independence.

The actions start this year and aim to raise the awareness towards the need for independence with a March for Independence all over the country. During 2013 together with the Associació de Municipis per la Independència (which as of yesterday hit 324 member municipalities) will organize referendums of independence in every municipality in Catalonia. After that it’ll be the turn of the Catalan government to take the lead towards organizing a referendum of independence on 2014 and, if this was refused by the Spanish State, to declare independence.

During the meeting a manifesto was approved to denounce the “continuous Spanish attempts to assimilate Catalonia” and “the Spanish refusal to recognize Catalonia as a nation”.

What in my opinion makes the ANC different from other independentist initiatives are the following reasons:

  • Not tied to any political party and has voted never to become one
  • It’s a mature movement which puts independence before itself
  • It comes from serious people who work anonymously for Catalonia’s independence
  • It aims to concentrate and add visibility to Catalan society’s demand for a Catalan State from outside the political establishment

which is why it can become a very effective tool to achieve this target.

Some people expect the leaders which will finally lead the process towards a Catalan state within the European Union will emerge from the ANC. However, the ANC has until now remained an association with no visible leaders.

Representatives from the Catalan parties, from the main cultural associations, like Òmnium Cultural, the Association of Municipalities for Independence and a representation of Catalan intellectual activists also attended the meeting.

The video of the full event is available here.

Per què el PP no pot, encara que vulgui, donar el concert econòmic a Catalunya

És impossible que cap govern espanyol accepti concedir a Catalunya res remotament semblant a un concert econòmic. Per què?

  • Per a justificar el concert econòmic per a Catalunya el govern espanyol hauria de reconèixer davant l’opinió pública espanyola que en realitat el que volen els catalans és just i que Catalunya ha estat qui més ha contribuït a l’estat espanyol des de fa una pila d’anys. Que és just que Catalunya deixi de contribuïr a la solidaritat amb altres territoris ara que Espanya és un país equiparable als més rics del món. Això després de 30 anys d’atiar l’odi contra Catalunya és impossible.
  • Donar a Catalunya el mateix tracte fiscal que el País Basc causaria a curt termini un ajust dels serveis públics de què gaudeixen els espanyols mentre que la situació a Catalunya milloraria. Per als partits de govern espanyols és preferible la independència de Catalunya que pagar el cost polític d’aquesta operació. Després de la independència l’ajust a curt plaç arribaria igualment però ja s’inventarien alguna cosa per a no reconèixer que fins aleshores els serveis els pagava Catalunya. això sí, a mig i llarg termini Espanya se’n beneficiaria econòmicament i social tant del concert econòmic com de la independència de Catalunya.
  • El concert econòmic per a Catalunya impulsaria ràpidament demandes similars dels altres territoris espoliats, el País Valencià i les Illes Balears.
  • Per al PP la independència de Catalunya seria beneficiosa ja que significaria escombrar el PSOE durant molt de temps. Per al PSOE és impossible tonar a governar Espanya sense els vots catalans.
  • Una advertència sobre el “pacte fiscal” que proposa CiU. Qualsevol tipus de finançament que no sigui exactament el mateix de què gaudeixen les comunitats forals serà immediatament neutralitzat per alguna altra via per a continuar amb l’espoliació fiscal. Com ja s’ha demostrat amb els successius pactes fiscals dels últims 30 anys. Fa només uns dies l’economista Sala-i-Martín ens ho explicava. No importa quins canvis es facin al finançament de Catalunya, al final l’espoliació segueix constant any rere any.
  • La independència de Catalunya és preferible a mantenir-la dins l’estat espanyol sense poder-ne extreure recursos ja que Catalunya és increïblement molesta com a entitat nacional diferenciada per a un estat que vol ser homogeni culturalment.
  • Suposem que d’alguna manera Espanya concedeix a Catalunya el concert econòmic. A no ser que es fessin les coses molt malament aquesta esdevindria una altra vegada en pocs anys el principal pol econòmic de la península ibèrica en detriment de Madrid i això és un escenari intolerable per als espanyols, els quals s’ha passat 30 anys afavorint Madrid com a pol econòmic en detriment de Catalunya. A més, l’increment en qualitat de vida no faria sinó incrementar el desig d’independència de Catalunya i finalment el resultat seria el mateix.
  • Ara mateix ja tenim una majoria social àmpliament a favor de la independència. L’estratègia que segueix Espanya és contenir les aspiracions catalanes a través de l’estructura de l’estat, els jutges i les elits polítiques catalanes que fins ara estan fent el paper de contenció del moviment sobiranista (conscientment o no, això ho sabran ells) i utilitzar la immigració fins que Catalunya s’hagi empobrit tant i s’hagi assimilat tant que esdevingui una província castellana més i ja no hi hagi reivindicació identitària ni existeixi l’espoliació fiscal. Aquesta estratègia ja ens la va explicar fa uns mesos el President Pujol. Una vegada Catalunya estigui completament assimilada Espanya ja no podrà extreure’n més recursos però tampoc no hi haurà cap tipus de reivindicació identitària. En aquest escenari els espanyols hauran aconseguit un empobriment de l’estat espanyol però mantenen el territori conquerit. És trist però és la seva estratègia i objectiu, encara que comporti un empobriment general d’Espanya per sempre més.

We take your money, then we blame you for being broke (part 1)

We already knew that the PP was going to do exactly what they are doing. Which is more or less the same that the PSOE did, just more “in your face”. Blaming the autonomous communities for the excessive Spanish public debt, even though they only account for 20% of the Spanish debt and manage the most expensive responsibilities, like education, healthcare or police forces. As we already mentioned here.

On December 2011 the Spanish Government failed to pay Catalonia 759 million euros which were committed on the 2011 Spanish budget and put the Catalan finances on a dire situation. For a few days it was unclear whether the Generalitat would be able to pay its workers (police, doctors, teachers, etc.). The Generalitat solved this by borrowing money. This situation hasn’t replicated anywhere in Spain. To this we should add another pending payment of 1450 million euros from the “competitivity fund” which Spain failed to pay Catalonia also on 2011.

This had the twofold effect of transferring the public deficit from Spain to Catalonia making their numbers look better, and simultaneously putting Catalonia on the verge of insolvency. Then in a display of hipocrisy Spain told off the Generalitat for its excessive deficit and threatened an intervention.

Now the Spanish Government has announced that they are preparing a law according to which the Spanish Government will have to supervise and approve the Autonomous Communities’ budgets. This would essentially mean the end of Catalonia’s self-government since the budget would have to be approved by the Spanish PP then Catalonia would effectively cease to be governed by CiU, the elected party. In fact it remains unclear whether that would even allowed by the Spanish Constitution. Even though that would probably not stop them since the Spanish Judiciary system is systematically being used to attack Catalonia’s self-government (like here or here)

While the PP has a point in pointing out that the Spanish Autonomous Communities have spent too much money it is also true that the PP governs in most Spanish Autonomous Communities which puts the blame right back on themselves for the mess.

This all goes back to the late seventies. In the post Franco period Spain never liked the idea of giving Catalonia a differentiated status and so as to dilute Catalonia’s personality gave the same status to any Spanish region that requested it. Thus creating a new set of Autonomous Communities with their Parliaments, flags, anthems, governments in regions where there was never a claim for self-government. This created a new layer of bureocracy and a regional political subsystem which has proved to be a source of money wasting and corruption.

Now, behind all these so called economic measures is the aim to achieve political targets against Catalonia while at the same time Spain fails to tackle the root of the problem problem which is a bloated state structure which wastes its resources on a things like an army which costs 16500 million euros a year or building high speed trains to rural areas (in the midst of a severe crisis Spain is the second country in the world after China in amount of high speed train kilometers under construction), to name just a few.

Using Catalonia as a scapegoat and stir xenophobia is irresponsible and the Catalan Government should take immediate action to stop this situation for once and forever.

Spanish elections analysis

Yesterday’s Spanish elections showed a predictable result in Spain with the absolute majority of right wing Spanish nationalists PP and the also predictable collapse of PSOE due to their mistakes in managing the crisis. This shows a uniform blue painted Spain for the first time.

In the midst of the blue tide in the Spanish State only Catalonia and the Basque Country appear clearly politically differentiated. Catalan CiU have for the first time been the most voted party in Catalonia at the Spanish elections with 16 deputies. The most noticeable change has been PSOEs collapse going from 25 deputies to 14. PP with 11 hasn’t even achieded their best results from 1993.

On the other hand we have ERC-RCat. With 3 deputies (maybe 4) Bosch has done remarkably well in stopping the downwards spiral that had started in the last two elections and was threatening to leave them without any deputies according to polls from only two months ago. Instead, they have increased their representation and could even achieve one deputy for Girona, depending on the expat votes. This shows it was a mistake to not have Reagrupament’s Quim Torra be the candidate for Girona, as Junqueras wanted.

However, these results validate Junqueras’ change of direction and shows that ERC+RCat have the potential to become the core of a broad Catalan independentist coalition for the 2014 Catalan elections. An important date since it will be the 300 anniversary of the Spanish occupation in Catalonia.

Also good news is that Catalan left wing ecologists ICV have trebled their representation and now have 3 deputies. Meaning that Spanish parties, which traditionally dominated the Spanish elections in Catalonia, with 25 deputies are quickly losing ground to Catalan parties with 21 deputies.

In the Valencian Country for the first time Coalició Compromís has managed to break the dominance of the Spanish parties and the Valencian voice will be heard in the Spanish Congreso.

In Euskadi the abertzale coalition Amaiur have achieved historical results and have become the most voted party. This hints the possibility that in the next Basque elections Basque parties could concentrate the great majority of the votes which could potentially trigger serious political changes in that country.

The clear differences in the results in Catalonia and the Basque Country with Spain question the legitimacy of any of Spain’s predictable future attacks to Catalonia’s self government, culture and institutions. A desperate Spanish State with undermined political and economic independence by the severe measures that Europe will impose will turn to Catalonia’s self-government as a scapegoat. Hopefully, with a lot of work and a bit of luck these may be the last Spanish elections for Catalonia.

In the meantime, even though they are two very different situations in Catalonia we have some lessons to learn from the Basques. Until April it was them who looked towards Catalonia because of the popular referendums of independence but after the successes of Bildu in May and now Amaiur they seem to have found a way to translate the popular demand for independence into a political representation in a way that Catalan parties have failed to do.

Update: Syniadau have written an excellent analysis of the Spanish elections results. I recommend it.

Pictures by El Punt Avui

Per què he votat ERC-RCat-CatSí

Per si a algú li pot interessar avui estic content. Estic content perquè ja he enviat el meu vot, ja que sóc resident a l’estranger i ho he pogut fer a una llista que de fet m’agrada, em sembla que abans només m’havia passat una vegada.

Després de tot el que ha passat amb els partits independentistes els últims anys finalment es veuen brots verds. ERC i Reagrupament concorren junts a unes eleccions i per mi la presència de Reagrupament és la garantia que aquesta vegada per a ERC la independència no és un objectiu secundari i es posa la llavor per a una gran coalició independentista en un futur proper.

Vaig ser molt crític amb ERC al passat i puc entendre que per a molta gent encara estan en fase de proves per a veure quina és la dimensió de la renovació. Però després de la davallada d’ERC a les últimes dues eleccions només un nom em venia al cap com a possible renovació: Junqueras. I va passar. Els militants ho han vist i l’anterior direcció s’ha fet a una banda sense crear més faccions i obrir nous conflictes.

En quant a en Junqueras ja fa temps que el seguia llegint amb interés sobre les seves iniciatives al Parlament Europeu i escoltant els seus discursos i no només vaig descobrir algú que coneix profundament la història del seu país sinó es va guanyar la meva confiança per pensar que ho intentarà amb totes les seves forces. I no acaba aquí, no només en Junqueras ara és al capdavant d’ERC sinó que a sobre tenim com a candidat a Madrid a l’Alfred Bosch i per no parlar de pesos pesants com en Carretero donant un cop de mà a la campanya.

Per altra banda, no he pogut trobar motius per a votar CiU, no només no m’agrada que fins ara després que l’any passat fessin una campanya centrada en l’eix nacional i el concert fiscal una vegada al govern només s’han concentrat en les retallades sense fer cap tipus de pedagogia sobre l’espoliació, semblen no tenir més idees que retallar i retallar, vacil·len en la defensa del país davant dels constants atacs d’Espanya, el concert fiscal va passar a dir-se “pacte fiscal” i no semblen tenir cap projecte de reconstrucció nacional.

I centrant-nos més en en Duran. El candidat al Congreso és anacrònic, porta més de 30 anys dedicant-se a la política de forma professional i està totalment amortitzat. Diu que no vol la independència del seu país, i defensa orgullosament que va actuar amb “sentit d’estat” (espanyol, s’entén) salvant-lo repetidament d’una intervenció europea. Encara que aquest sigui el mateix estat que perpetra l’espoliació fiscal, es carrega l’estatut votat en referèndum, tomba la immersió lingüística, bloqueja l’oficialitat del català a Europa, actua contra els nostres interessos estratègics, com el corredor mediterrani o els aeroports, instiga el racisme anticatalà o fa broma sobre bombardejar Barcelona, entre moltes altres coses.

Quan el centre polític del país s’ha mogut massivament cap a posicions independentistes no podem tenim a un aferrissat defensor de l’estat espanyol al capdavant d’un partit català a Madrid. Penso que no votar Duran és facilitar la renovació de CiU i l’acostament d’aquesta cap a posicions sobiranistes. Que en Duran hagi estat repetidament el polític més ben valorat pels espanyols és senyal que no fa la seva feina.

D’altra banda l’Alfred Bosch m’agrada, i m’agrada perquè no és un polític professional, perquè està fent una campanya excel·lent en clau positiva i dirigida als catalans i a aquests es dirigirà des de Madrid amb l’altaveu li donarem. M’agrada que per fi una coalició catalana hagi decidit que no vol canviar Espanya, que només vol començar a preparar el divorci. Recomano aquesta entrevista a l’Alfred Bosch a l’Àgora de TV3.

I mentrestant s’haurà de pressionar a CiU per negociar la independència fiscal (a la qual no hem de tenir por ja que no faria més que augmentar les ganes d’independència, com a Euskadi i Navarra) i quan no s’aconsegueixi estendre-li la mà i ajudar-la en el seu camí cap a la construcció d’un estat català.

Madrid és un altaveu que no hem de desaprofitar ja que tots els corresponsals estrangers llegeixen la premsa espanyola, de la qual tots en coneixem la seva qualitat i que per tant tenen una idea molt esbiaixada de la realitat a Catalunya. Per desgràcia en la majoria de casos aquests corresponsals repeteixen tal qual als mitjans internacionals allò que llegeixen i escolten allà.

Necessitem una veu com la de Bosch a Madrid. S’apropen temps difícils i cal que els catalans tinguem una veu clara, valenta i el més forta possible per a tirar endavant el gran repte de la nostra generació, crear l’estat català. El moment decisiu s’apropa.

Upcoming elections in Spain and Catalonia’s invisibility

Next November the 20th, on the anniversary of Franco’s death, there will be elections to the Spanish Parliament. Nobody has any doubt that right wing PP will win by an overwhelming majority of the votes since the current crisis and Zapatero’s frivolous policies have payed too high a toll on PSOE’s credibility. However, nobody knows what PP will do once they win, probably not even themselves.

Even though some Catalans claim that there’s no reason for Catalans to vote on those elections I disagree. Representation at the Spanish Parliament is very important since, while we are not independent, many things affecting Catalonia are decided there and therefore we need to defend our interests. Plus it is also a good way of publicizing Catalonia’s independence since many Catalans read Spanish centric media and all foreign correspondents are based in Madrid and only see what goes on there.

Last tuesday there was a face to face debate on the Spanish public TV between PSOE’s candidate Rubalcaba and PP’s Rajoy. Ignoring the fact that there are 10 different parties in the Congreso de los Diputados and therefore no reason to invite only 2 of them to a debate. During the debate Catalonia was not mentioned once. Not a single word regarding the Catalan fiscal deficit, the Constitutional Court amendment of the Catalan Statute, the dismantling of the the language immersion in schools or the mediterranian freight railway line or even their opinion how 75.7% of voters think Catalonia needs a new fiscal deal that guarantees collection of all taxes or that 65% of votes would go to independence. Nothing.

To illuatrate this, when the show started and the presenter greeted the Portuguese and Italian audiences (since the debate was being broadcasted by TV channels from those countries) in their languages but did not say a word in their languages to the Catalan, Basque or Galician speaking audiences (even though ignoring all other languages that are not Spanish is the norm in Spanish public TV)

On wednesday there was another debate on the Spanish public TV where out of the 10 parties only 5 were allowed to take part and ERC, with 3 deputies, was left out while IU (Spanish left wing), with only 2 deputies, was included. They claimed IU is a “nation wide” (meaning Spanish State-wide ) party as opposed to ERC which only available in Catalan countries. Therefore IU is more relevant. This left out a party that represents more than 200000 voters when the easiest would have been to bring extra chairs.

To me, all this, aside from the lack of democratic culture. Shows how scared the Spanish are of any actual debate about Catalonia (or Catalonia’s independence).

And finally some self criticism. I guess Spanish politicians don’t really feel that they need to say much about Catalonia since PP and PSOE are going to be two of the 3 most voted parties in Catalonia. They probably feel they have more to lose than to gain from doing so.

However, it is worrying that at the time when independentism is as its height voters don’t feel any of the available Catalan parties will be able to defend their interests in Madrid. This has been studied before. Voters change their vote depending of the elections. For the Catalan elections they’ll vote the party the party they want at the Generalitat but for the Spanish elections they’ll vote with a Spanish frame of mind.

Only a referendum of independence will show actual support of independence. One cannot infer that ERC’s 3 deputies at the Spanish Parliament reflect the social support to Catalonia’s independence. It would be like saying that only people who vote ecologist parties are concerned with the environment.

Also, some good news, it seems that, as I pointed out before, the change in the leaderships in ERC is already improving the expected results, which initially predicted ERC would lose their 3 deputies. Now it seems they may be able to keep them. I’m also happy about how the integration with Reagrupament and Catalunya Sí brings us closer to a broad Catalan independentist coalition for the next Catalan elections in 2014.

Former Scottish Minister, Jim Mather, in Barcelona

Very interesting initiative by the Cercle Català de Negocis, a lobby of Catalan Businesspeople for the independence of Catalonia. They invited Jim Mather, the former Scottish Minister of Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, to give a conference named: “Why “small” means “more” in the wealth of nations” especially aimed at Catalan Businesspeople at the Universitat de Barcelona.

Out of the main concepts he spoke about (link in Catalan) and from an interview to online newspaper Nació Digital (link in Catalan), I’d highlight three concepts that apply to both countries:

  1. For small countries like Scotland and Catalonia the best way to take advantage of the opportunities globalisation brings is to have their own state. In fact, out of the 20 richest countries in the world, 11 are small.
  2. Both in Scotland and in Catalonia the unionist points of view are based in negative (based on fear) or emotional reasons. There are no solid arguments for Scotland to remain in the United Kingdom or for Catalonia in Spain
  3. Convincing the businesspeople is a key factor to advance towards independence. In Catalonia’s case the middle classes are already favourable to independence. But not so much the businesspeople, who are still scared of a negative reaction in the Spanish market when independence arrives. Luckily, this trend seems to be slowly changing, and the CCN are doing a great job in demistifying those fears by analysing the actual economical impact independence would have and its advantages

This is a great initiative and it is extremely important that the pro independence movements both in Scotland and Catalonia cooperate since we’ll have to go down similar roads to become states inside the European Union sooner rather than later.

However, I’m quite envious since in Scotland the SNP are taking the lead and working from the institutions openly for independence while in Catalonia CiU are slowly being pushed by society towards more pro independence positions.

photo by twak

Catalan wins. Major disobedience against Spanish law triggered

Catalan school and government have frontally rejected the imposition of the end of Catalan immersion and the schools have already warned they will disobbey any imposition from Spanish law in this respect. Disobedience has been encouraged by the platform, plataforma per la llengua, Òmnium Cultural, the Federation of Association of Mothers and Fathers of Students and the major teachers’ union, USTEC, amongst many others. The Facebook page setup to support disobedience has already more than 40000 likes in little more than one day and the hastags #jonoacato and #somescola reached were trending topics in Twitter on friday.

The Catalan Minister of Education, Irene Rigau, has said that “if she must leave politics because of the language issue, so be it” with regards to possible legal fines and penalties that would disqualify her from public service. Catalan society is with the government and expects it to defend the language to the last consequences.

The consensus about Catalan language immersion is absolute throughout society and a lawsuit made by 3 families cannot change the system of a whole country, especially if this law is imposed from the legal system of a foreign country.

Now we’ll have to see what excuse Madrid makes up to justify their backing off when they realise they can’t enforce it.

I personally know that my mother, who was a secondary school teacher, would have been horrified by this imposition and embarrassed, since she taught in Catalan language for 25 years and understood how important Catalan is as an integration tool in Catalonia. She was born is Spain and couldn’t learn Catalan in school because of Franco’s era ban on the language.

Madrid’s efforts to expel Catalonia from the Spanish State are accelerating. This has proven that Catalan society cannot be stopped if it acts united against aggression from Spain. Way to go.

Photo by Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya

Spain attacks Catalonia’s core, the language immersion

Spain gives Catalonia 2 months to dismantle the Catalan language immersion. As a consequence of last year’s Spanish Constitutional Ruling, which made 1 million Catalans take the streets in protest now the Spanish Judiciary system has given the Catalan Government 2 months to dismantle the Catalan immersion system and give Spanish the same weight as Catalan (Spanish is currently taught as a subject in Catalan public schools).

The immersion system has guaranteed during the last 30 years that the children who live in Catalonia finish their compulsory education being fluent in both Catalan and Spanish and has been praised internationally as a model of integration. Catalan is the language of Catalonia. Spanish media and Spanish speaking immigration (both from Spain and latin american countries) exert great pressure over Catalan and the Spanish Constitution theoretically should grant the language diversity protection.

But this not new, this is just yet another attack against Catalan language from Spain during the last 300 years. Not long ago it was banned during 40 years from public life during Franco’s dictatorship. This new initiative would have the results of creating two separated societies where the newcomers would not be able to speak the language of the country and would of course minoritize over time the usage of Catalan until making it residual.

Incidentally, it is completely impossible to find a school in the Spanish State outside of the Catalan speaking countries where Catalan education is an option. And Catalan is not an official language in Spain or in Europe, despite being with 10 million speakers the language number 13 in a European Union with 27 official languages.

Right now the internet is burstling with protests against this measure and calls to civil disobedience are made from all sectors of Catalan society and the hashtags #jonoacato and #somescola are trending topics both in Catalan and in the Spanish twitter rankings .

I am losing count of the primary and secondary teachers who have already already replied in twitter that they will not stop teaching in Catalan no matter what.

The Catalan government hasn’t yet officially replied to this.

Spanish Constitutional amendment aimed against Catalonia’s self-government

Spanish parties PP and PSOE have agreed, practically overnight and in secrecy, to do what they had fiercely opposed for 30 years every time anyone suggested: to amend the Spanish Constitution.

The current Spanish Constitution was written after 40 years of a fascist dictatorship and with the army overlooking the whole process it contains many totalitarian articles (like article 8, which allows military action against secession attempts) and intentionally overlooks the national diversity inside the Spanish state.

Every time is was suggested that it should be updated to acknowledge the different nations inside the Spanish State, the right of self determination, or the reorganization of the Spain as a federal state the Spanish replied that their Constitution is sacred and can’t be changed. To illustrate this, Spanish parties call themselves “Constitutionalists” instead of simply Spanish nationalists.

But now the PP and PSOE have decided to make a change to it to limit the public deficit. They have done this without a previous debate, leaving aside all other parties in the Spanish Parliament (the Catalan and Basque ones, for instance) and without the mandatory referendum with the excuse that they need to do it urgently to inspire confidence to the markets following France and Germany’s advice.

The problem with this amendment is the way it will limit the Catalan Government. In countries like Germany where similar laws exist there is also a fiscal deficit limitation, which limits also the transfer of wealth from richer to poorer areas. Not so in Spain, effectively limiting the indebtment that Catalonia can take but not limiting consequently its fiscal deficit with other Autonomous Communities (which is now a whopping 10%) therefore adding an unsustainable pressure to Catalan finances. The Generalitat already has to take care with the most expensive public services of the state like healthcare, education or police. PP and PSOE have of course ignored CiU’s requests to include a clause to limit the fiscal deficit. To this, even CiU, still shocked, has warned of a clash of unforeseeable consequences. I am quite skeptical.

So this reform has proven a few points:

  1. that the Spanish Constitution can be modified, it is not as sacred as the Spanish had made us believe
  2. in any changes to the Spanish Constitution the Spanish nationalists will use their majority to impose their decision over the other nations in the state
  3. any changes will be aimed at weakening Catalan self government
  4. skipping the referendum and blatantly ignoring the society is the latest display lack of democratic culture in Spain

By refusing to debate this reform and by pushing it without the support of the other parties PP and PSOE have broken whatever was left of the Spanish Constitutional “deal” therefore morally freeing Catalan parties, like CiU, which had originally agreed to it, to act outside of it. Catalonia must recover its Constitution.

Picture by Gustavo Bravo