Catalonia will vote
We have many problems in Catalonia. Among others: high unemployment rates, social exclusion and few opportunities for our youngsters. Catalan citizens have mobilised themselves strongly to look for solutions from different ideological stances. The greater part of Catalan society has organised itself in order to allow us to decide on our future as a country by voting. We want to decide whether we want to become an independent State. We want to vote to provide ourselves with the necessary tools to govern ourselves and solve our own problems.
The international press talks about a solution to the Catalan problem. Undoubtedly they have understood the strength of civic mobilisation in Catalan society and they observe the lack of answers from the Spanish Government with perplexity. We, the Catalan Independence Left-Wing, want to build a new State that can contribute to shaping a new Europe. We are pro-European and for this reason we want to change Europe, making it more democratic and open. Based on its founding principles, the European Union needs to set a democratic example by allowing the Catalan people to express itself freely and by respecting its decision.
We want more democracy, more Europe and more Catalonia. We propose a federal model for Europe, in which Member States would give the EU greater powers. We European citizens have a unique opportunity to reclaim the project envisioned at the foundation of the EU and to build it on new equality criteria. Catalonia wants to become an example of this and for this reason the opposition to some Spanish laws has been led from our country, for example opposing the new regulation on abortion, the civic security law that attacks freedom of expression and the new education law that aims "to Hispanicise Catalan pupils", in the words of José Ignacio Wert, Education Minister in Mariano Rajoy's Government.
For this reason we want to vote and we will vote. More than 80% of Catalans demand it. Democracy is the best tool to solve conflicts, and the European Union is an example of this with valuable experience. We propose building a new State within the European Union, from a Centre-Left, democratic and pro-European perspective. We are going to Brussels and Strasbourg to present our democratic endeavour, but also to bring our knowledge and experience. We want to be listened to but we will also work for building the New Europe that so many Europeans are dreaming of. And for all of this, Catalonia will vote on the 25th of May and on the 9th of November.
by Josep-Maria Terricabras
Main candidate of the Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, ERC) in the 2014 European Parliament Elections