SILVIA HINOJOSA, BARCELONA 11/08/2020
Antoni Bayona, former lawyer-in-chief of Catalan Parliament in the turbulent autumn of 2017, has published his second book on the process, in which he advocates resolving the issue of the right to decide and for an agreement between the State and the Generalitat for a substantial improvement of the self-government.
Bayona defends that “the essential thing now is to govern and solve real problems”
Is the process still alive?
I think so. The latest movements in the political sphere, the new elections, indicate that it will continue to form part of the political and social debate and in a very intense way.
Go to Catalonia in a loop, because of the process, which has short-circuited institutional and social life.
Yes. The procés implied in theory a great change, but not only has independence not been achieved, but it has also generated a social conflict and has produced a period that has made governance impossible.
How is this collapse overcome?
What you cannot do is persist in the same idea, that people should already see that it has failed. Not so much independence, which is legitimate and democratic, but the path of unilateralism and permanent conflict with the State, in which Catalonia cannot win. The essential thing now, with the crisis, is to govern and solve the problems that are real and concrete in Catalan society.
What solution do you see from the political conflict with the State?
We have reached a rather critical point. Both parties should find some points to start a dialogue. The State must become aware that there is a crisis of consent of a very important part of Catalan society with the Spanish constitutional and institutional system. Righting this situation requires putting more than the usual recipes for cooperative federalism on the table.
Is your recipe right to decide or more self-government?
The idea of the right to decide should be able to find an outlet within a legal and democratic framework. On the other hand, it is necessary to reach an agreement, even if it is convenient, to reinforce self-government.
He proposes to recover the 2006 Statute and take advantage of the legislation to obtain more powers.
There is room for maneuver without the need for major reforms that is being ignored. Through state laws, the most content parts of the Statute that the Constitutional Court deactivated could be recovered. On the other hand, the territorial organization system is especially undefined, and that potential can be exploited. There could be substantial changes in terms of self-government and also in financing, which was for a long time the workhorse, rather than the right to decide.
Would holding a referendum be a solution?
Another one-sided referendum is absurd. The result of 1-O could not be recognized by anyone, without a legal framework or guarantees. Another thing is to seek, like the Scots, a formula that allows the exercise of the right to decide, agreed with the State, which would have the guarantees and from which the consequences of what is asked could be drawn.