Santi Vila /FERRAN NADEU
Fidel Real interviews former regional minister of JxCat.
Former regional minister Santi Vila (Granollers, 1973) has already served his sentence after the trial of the ‘procés’. In this interview he confirms the increasingly widespread thesis that 1-O was not a referendum whose result should be applied, but an exercise in pressure to negotiate a legal consultation with the state. And the ‘ex-president’ Carles Puigdemont was also involved in this. Vila censures Junqueras for his change of criteria and confirms his real interest, now that he is no longer disqualified, in returning to political activity to bring about a change in Barcelona City Council.
-Having served your sentence for the trial of the ‘procés’, what are your feelings?
-I can’t say that I have any special joy. As long as someone remains in prison, there will be no cleansing. The fairest sentence for all politicians would have been disobedience. Now the feeling is bittersweet. On the one hand you feel liberated from this condemnation, as true as the disproportion of the punishment on other comrades has been so great that you cannot feel joy because it would be insensitive and extravagant.
-The ‘exconseller’ Turull has appealed the sentence to the European Court of Human Rights. Do you see a way forward?
-In the activists, for sure. In the Jordis, for sure. I think the injustice is flagrant. In the politicians, the crime of disobedience and embezzlement can be discussed, the crime of rebellion and sedition is not understood by anyone in the world. Therefore, the appeals have a way to go.
“The activists’ appeals to the Court of Human Rights have a way to go, for sure”. Santi Vila
-Jordi Sànchez affirms that the referendum was not about independence, but about negotiating.
-It is an objective fact, I wrote it in the book ‘De héroes y traidores’ (Of heroes and traitors). My interpretative proposal, which is included in the Supreme Court ruling itself, is that in the Government we knew that in the best-case scenario of the successful experience of 1-O we would obtain an agreed referendum. We all know this.
-Was President Puigdemont also along these lines?
-‘President’ Puigdemont has been the first to say that he wanted to hold a referendum in order to negotiate afterwards, not to achieve independence…
-President Puigdemont and the entire government knew that from 1-O a great force could emerge to negotiate and force the achievement of a referendum that would be recognised internationally and in accordance with the law. I am pleased that Jordi Sànchez has said this because it is what we all knew.
-That is to say that 1-O was not a referendum to implement the results…
-I already wrote it.
-And the ‘president’ was in this situation: a referendum not to implement independence but to force a negotiation…
-I have this conviction, you would have to ask him.
-But you spoke with him a lot…
-I think there is no doubt. Not him, but the entire government. Except perhaps the ‘consellera’ Ponsatí.
-What do you think of the letter from ERC leader Oriol Junqueras, renouncing unilateralism?
-It arouses an ambivalent feeling in me. Politically, I welcome it. Anything that helps us to look forward is to be welcomed. On a personal level, it inevitably arouses a touch of acrimony because if I had had this generous and lucid outlook in 2017, I would not have ruined President Puigdemont’s life.
“If in 2017 Junqueras had had the generous and lucid look he has today, he would not have ruined the life of ‘president’ Puigdemont”.
-ERC has taken a turn since 2017. How do you see Junts per Catalunya, if the agenda of pardons and dialogue moves forward?
-I don’t think it has a chance. The confrontation has always come from the Spanish government’s immobility towards Catalan nationality and diversity. If we have a government that is more or less sensitive and committed to getting things back on track, the rupturist or unilateralist path will once again have the relative weight it should have in any advanced society: marginal weight.
-Is Santi Vila a political orphan?
-Honestly, yes, I don’t feel represented. In the last elections I voted for PDECat by post the day before the cordon sanitaire with the socialists. If I had voted on Sunday, I wouldn’t have done so, because I considered it scandalous.
“I feel politically orphaned, I will try to help as much as I can to bring about a change of government in Barcelona”.
-Would you like to contribute to a change of government in Barcelona City Council?
-I will try to help as much as I can.
-By giving interviews, with articles in the newspaper, making civic commitments…. It doesn’t necessarily mean being a candidate or being on any list.