Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Pragmatic Issue

Citizens' Voice Series

Sergi Cortés

Publisher since 2005 of Cupatges, a magazine about the Catalan culture if wine, with its own mobile appliations and TV programs
Member of the board of APPEC (Association of Periodic Publications of Catalonia).
Founder and CEO of CONTRAETIQUETA and Enoteques Associades de Catalunya (the association of wine vendors of Catalonia).
In June 2010, the Spanish Constitutional Court (known as TC) issued the sentence on the Statute of Autonomy Catalonia, approved by the Catalans in referendum in 2006. The new relation established between Spain and Catalonia was now pretty clear: the Constitutional Court overturned fourteen articles and twenty-seven more were revisited. Catalonia was still what Spain wanted it to be.

The hopes of some Catalans for "federalism" (I've never understood that “federalism” thing, and neither does Spain) turned to nothing. A few days later, over one million Catalans took the streets to claim for their right of self-determination, in the most spectacular exercise of democracy I've ever seen.

I put that in perspective because I strongly believe all of that will be part of the process to achieve a Catalan State. It is clear that Spain could have been smarter, approving our statute, as we would have remained, in the forthcoming years, like we’ve been for almost the last three hundred years. But I think, however, they made us a great favor by telling us we no longer fit in their country, that we are condemned not to understand each other in a common state. Therefore, it is clear that they won’t give us any other option other than the creation of an independent state within the European framework. All alternatives have been exhausted, and most of us have it quite clear that independence is the only way left. The political forces in the Catalan Parliament think so too, as sovereignty is clearly the political tendency in our Parliament.

I believe we are getting closer than ever to the end of the road because the process is not about identity anymore. Our right to decide, as a country, does no longer involve a matter of identity. It lies in a matter of survival, and this makes us much stronger. Catalonia is so strangled by Spain, fiscal spoliation is so brutal, that in a few days we will gather under our cause even the most retrograde and Spanish-friendly sectors from our country. They also pay taxes (to Spain), and have children (if they can afford it financially), and take them to nursery schools (if they find any), and use social security (as soon as they get visiting hours) and pay tolls (each and every time they take the car), and they can see, like us, how their social rights are cut back every day. You’ll see, it's just a matter of time.

I won’t assess the spoliation figures because they’re like the number of participants in a demonstration, which according to the local police are always less than what the organizers say; but what is clear is that we keep giving a lot of money that never returns, and that’s why Spain never publishes its tax balances (so to speak, the state of accounts between Spain and Catalonia). The lie ought to be too big, and no one would believe it.

We’re getting close to the end of the road because nationalism is no longer fashionable, now pragmatism succeeds: we leave, or we stop being.

Sergí Cortés
www.cupatges.cat

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