We have the right to decide

Francesc Homs i Molist's picture
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Beginning a new era, that of Catalonia’s right to decide its future; a first step in this direction is the Catalan Economic Agreement. This is the political proposal of Convergència i Unió for the future that is already here.

The actions of the Spanish government over the last few years to cut down our self-government (the Dependency Law, the decree on a third teaching hour for Spanish language lessons, etc) and the Constitutional Court’s sentence opposing the Catalan Statute of Autonomy have shown that the path taken over the last 30 years to move forward towards our self-government is a now a road to nowhere. The Spanish State does not want to be changed.

Faced with this situation we can either resign ourselves to this scenario or move on. We are therefore proposing a new path – a Catalan Transition – based on the Catalan people’s right to decide. The right to decide means freedom and democracy. And a limitless horizon. Who could possibly oppose democracy as an absolute value?

We propose that the first part of this new journey is the Catalan Economic Agreement. Catalonia must have a funding model that allows it to administer all the taxes provided by Catalans – this is a necessity for the future of Catalonia, taking into account the enormous fiscal deficit we are enduring. Spain’s retention of 10% of the wealth created by Catalonia is unsustainable. No country would withstand this situation. If we wish to leave the crisis behind, the management of our own resources must be a leading objective.

The Catalan Economic Agreement is an ambitious project, which we know will be difficult to achieve. However, wasn’t removing the Guàrdia Civil from our roads or getting rid of civil governors difficult as well? Yet we did it.

And in response to those who confront us with legal excuses, we should make clear that the Economic Agreement fits into the Constitution. This merely establishes very general, basic principles with respect to revenue redistribution and does not predetermine any kind of specific model. As such, the Constitution neither grants a specific economic agreement to the Basque Country or to Navarra, nor does it stop it from being made with Catalonia. The distinction between Autonomous Communities with a common model and those with specific models is the result of the Organic Law on the Funding of Autonomous Communities, a law that established that the common model was not applicable to the Basque Country and Navarra.

The demand for a Catalan Economic Agreement is one that enjoys wide support in our country, a fact that lends it a great deal of strength. We will need a strong government, and behind it a social and political majority which give it active support, but we may succeed. If we pool our forces, we can move ahead. If we pool our forces, Catalonia will be able to decide its own future.

 

Francesc Homs i Molist

Director of the CiU electoral programme and the author of the book “Dret a decidir. Estació concert” (The Right to Decide. Economic Agreement Station)

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Comments

I think few would dispute the reasonableness of Catalonia's demands but the problem is that Spain will never concede them unless it is under duress. Many of my Catalan friends feel that after three decades or so of pursuing greater autonomy, Catalonia has now reached a dead end. It is hard not to share their pessimism.

 

How is that The Constitution (Spain's, that is) is treated like a sacred cow when it concerns Catalan autonomy yet can be changed in emergency session at the whim of Spain's two biggest parties? Under such circumstances, Catalonia needs to explore other ways of pursuing its goals.