A bid for reconciliation

Xavier García Albiol's picture
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Catalonia is at a crossroads. In the next election, Catalans have the opportunity to choose between two paths. One is the path of those who say they will proclaim independence in two years. It’s a path disguised by epic tones but which can be very dangerous. The other path is that of the realistic reform that we want to lead. It has been hard for all of us to build the contemporary Spain that we have today, a space for plurality, liberty and progress. It has been hard to overcome the economic crisis. It doesn’t make sense to ruin everything in order to put back in place old medieval borders.

Catalan separatism is very populist, it is based on speech which constantly focuses on differences and grievances and claims to be victimised and antagonised by the whole of Spain. Separatism is presented as a magic solution and they want Catalans to believe that Spain is responsible for all evils and that an independent state is an immediate solution to all problems. Europe must overcome this populist outburst that uses people’s suffering for partisan aims.

Separatism has systematically omitted the costs of independence. It has hidden the declarations by international leaders warning in all languages about an exit from the European Union. Secession would have enormous economic, social and political costs. Capital flight and business relocation would be immediate. But beyond future economic turbulences, we are now certain and have evidence that Catalan society is being broken and socially divided by the independence process.

Our party does not present a magic and immediate solution to the problems. We propose an alternative of concord and progress to offer stability, jobs and well-being to all citizens within the framework of a constitutional Spain. We won’t overcome the crisis with ventures that aim to break down the law. We won’t overcome the crisis with new national freedoms. We will overcome it with more civil liberties. It would be a pity to miss the opportunities offered by the 21st century because we are hijacked by a debate that belongs to the 19th century.

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