The solution to the Catalan conflict will only be solved with dialogue and political agreement. But also with actions. And the most adequate to solve the problem is to reform the Constitution to turn Spain into a federal State. These are the principles that drive the conference “Diálogos Cataluña-Andalucía”, promoted by the Catalan historian Javier Tébar and the Andalusian professor of literature, Javier Aristu, which between this Friday and Saturday will gather in Barcelona a hundred intellectuals, politicians or journalists of both communities.
The conference, which had its first edition in Seville last October, aims to establish bridges of dialogue at a political and social level to find a solution to the Catalan conflict. The way to achieve this, according to the organizers, is first to “recognize the other” and, secondly, to sit down and talk to reach an agreement. Neither the unilateral ways nor the suspensions of self-government are valid options to resolve the conflict, according to the conveners of the conference. Hence the commitment to the reform of the Constitution to move towards a federal model of State.
“The autonomous state has died, because for Catalonia it does not work”, said Xavier Domènech, former MP of Cataluña en Común-Podemos in the Congress, who added that in Andalusia that model is being torpedoed because “the party that supports the government wants to end the State of autonomies”. According to the Andalusian sociologist, Manuel Pérez Yruela, in Andalusia there is also a certain discontent with the autonomic model, which was positive at first, since it helped to improve the living standards of many Andalusians, but in recent years has proven insufficient. “We still represent 75% of the average Spanish income, we cannot overcome the barrier of the Spanish average”, he said.
However, the road to a federal system may run into some “obstacle”, as Yruela acknowledged, when some of the regions, like the historical ones, claim some type of “singularity” or “asymmetry”. This can run up against the Andalusian principle, added Yruela, of “we do not want to be more than anyone nor less than anyone”. Domènech raised another question of more depth: if the longing for a federal state is lived in other regions.
For her part, the Catalan sociologist Marina Subirats abounded in the causes that have generated and fueled the Catalan conflict, from an insufficient recognition of the language, to attempts to reduce self-government, to the cut of the Statute, and the economic crisis. “If you have to insist so much to speak your language and to defend it, this is so tiresome and irritating. As of 2008, the malaise in Catalonia accelerates and the independence becomes a possible utopia. So, many people think ‘This cannot be endured, let’s go and make a wonderful country'”.
Several voices agreed in acknowledging that the current dialogue is difficult because “the positions of both sides have been radicalized”, but also committed not to desist and put the focus on the aspects that unite both societies.
The conference was attended by politicians such as the MP of the PDeCAT in the Congress, Carles Campuzano, the ex-MP of Catalonia Xavier Domènech, Joan Coscubiela, Laia Bonet or Lluís Rabell, former trade union leaders Joan Carles Gallego and Cándido Méndez, and writers or intellectuals such as Joan Subirats, Josep Ramoneda, Borja de Riquer, Jordi Amat or Francesc-Marc Álvaro. The conference closes this Saturday with a reflection on the current fitting of Catalonia, Andalusia and Spain in the European framework at the time of the rise of populisms, whith the intervention of political experts Manuel Arias Maldonado and Astrid Barrio.
Barcelona 5 APR 2019 – 19:56 CEST