Sergi Quitian, Silvia Hinojosa – Barcelona – 26/02/2020 – Image Alex García
“Politics is hard, in a way it is a world of ice ”, confesses Artur Mas (Barcelona, 1956), in Cold Head, Warm Heart (Peninsula), the book in which he addresses the sovereign process that he promoted from the presidency of the Generalitat (2010-2015). After two years of disqualification imposed by justice for the 9-N consultation, he can return to the political front line, but says it is not his priority.
The former president of the Generalitat can return to the first political line, but says that it is not his priority
The dialogue table
“I have spoken with Torra and Puigdemont and I believe that, if the State wants to negotiate, we will be in it”
Are you not excited to be a candidate?
I am not excited nor do I feel like it either
Have they asked for it?
Formally nobody from my party. Different people have encouraged me and others tell me that I can’t even think of it.
Have you talked to Puigdemont?
No. We have not talked about this.
Do you think Puigdemont should top the list?
He has to do what he wants, he represents the JxCat space. If he thinks he should go, we will all defend it.
But it will not be invested.
True. If it goes on the list, it must be made clear that it is to reinforce the process, not to head the Generalitat.
How about the proposal for a list of presidents?
I am not very favorable, I do not like these personalisms.
President Torra will be disabled for keeping the banner with the yellow ribbon. How would you have acted?
A professional politician as I have been, in such a circumstance, looking forward, acts differently. But I understand that Torra is not and prioritizes his personal values.
That leaves the post-convergent space without a candidate at the gates of an election.
The natural candidate is Puigdemont. But if it’s not him, you have to choose another. And it would be necessary to have the definition of this JxCat space.
What is your preference?
That is a sum of different sensibilities, with a country project, but flexible to add different people. And if it is not possible, before a break I prefer the coalition.
Will the PDECat be split?
I hope not, but if there were a separation I would not be on either side.
In your book you propose that the Government focus on management and that the process be carried out by the Consell per la República, entities and parties.
We have to learn that the Generalitat is a government-controlled administration, has an unequal position and that in a negotiation is not good.
What role would the government play?
Negotiate with Madrid the improvement of the daily life of the Catalans, whether independentist or not. The process must continue but from outside the Government.
You also ask for explanations. You say that if the ERC that was an ally had acted as now is acting, many things would not have happened.
I lived an ERC that was always in a hurry, which thought that independence had to arrive in 48 hours and distrusted those of us who were in charge. Now they are more pragmatic.
What do you feel when you see that ERC occupies the central space of Catalanism that had Convergence?
He pretends that it is not the same. When CiU occupied that space, his adversary was the PSC. Now there is no hegemonic ERC and a small JxCat, there is more balance.
ERC makes the speech to broaden the base, do you want to keep the Great House that you planned?
With the difficulties of the sovereign world, the partisan aspiration should be lowered and unity strengthened. I propose, with the horizon of two legislatures and if we have a majority, alternate the presidency.
You talked about the rush of ERC in the process. What would you do differently?
I admit mistakes. If I had a majority, I would not have set the deadline of 18 months, but it was the condition of ERC. I was wrong.
And now the PNV takes advantage of the emptiness of the Catalan parties for its “benefits for me”. And the “benefits for me” got a lot for Catalonia.
True. But it doesn’t work the same, and they showed it with the Statute. In addition, when the Basques ask for things, in Madrid it is usually accepted. If requested from Catalonia seems sin. I do not refuse to improve autonomy. But what we have done since 2012 requires an answer.
To go to the dialogue table with the bet of a self-determination and amnesty as the goal or either negotiate the 44 points of Sanchez?
We defend independence. What does the state propose? And when we have both offers, we should be able to vote in Catalonia a referendum with two questions.
Do you see room for that?
Little bit. But you have to make assignments. Sovereignty must renounce the idea that the vote in favor of independence has to have immediate consequences and the State must accept that independence is not impossible.
Do you see independentism and Torra and Puigdemont leaderships mature to slow down?
In conversations with them I have always concluded that if the State is put into negotiation mode, we will be in.
And what are your plans for you?
I have had a long history and I want to have a political future, but I no longer see myself leading lists or leading a party. I prefer to dedicate myself to generating ideas, drawing a country of future that is worthwhile and identifying talents for politics.
The book shows the yearning of the Consells de Govern.
I miss it a lot. I liked being up to date, that regional ministers explain projects or problems, that there be dialogue, finding solutions among all. But this yearning has never weighed more than the sense of reality.