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Home » Content » Fernando Savater: “The biggest problem Spain has now is separatism”
Abolition of sedition I think it is one of the most regrettably serious events that have occurred in recent years; I would say almost since the democratic transition.

José Barros, Madrid, 4 December 2022

The philosopher and writer talks to El Debate to delve into the opinion he expressed this week in a video for the platform Unión 78

The platform Unión 78 has published this week a new video that includes testimonies from several personalities, including relevant names in culture such as the philosopher Fernando Savater. The aim of this group of intellectuals, artists and journalists is to warn about the repeal in the Penal Code of the crime of sedition; a fact that will mean, they claim, “the demolition of the democratic system”.

The video is ideologically cross-cutting. Its participants are positioned on the right and left of the political spectrum and, apart from Savater, the socialist Joaquín Leguina, the lawyer José María Múgica, the Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa, Júlia Calvet, the filmmaker Iñaki Arteta, the journalists Carlos Herrera and Federico Jiménez Losantos, the playwright Albert Boadella and the magistrate Jesús Villegas, among others, can be seen and heard. They all denounce the consequences of Pedro Sánchez’s decision to remove the crime of sedition from the Penal Code.

Fernando Savater, in addition to his academic activity, his books and his civic commitment, is known for always expressing himself politely, but without excessive circumlocutions. The Basque intellectual, who has been based in Madrid for decades, declares in the Unión 78 video that what Pedro Sánchez’s government is doing at the moment “to stay in power” is “a real disaster”. “Modifying the law on secession, embezzlement, or any other legal instrument that serves to stop and punish those who want to break up the country, is a real betrayal”, the philosopher remarks.

El Debate spoke to Fernando Savater to find out more about his views on this controversial issue.

-What has led you to return to the public arena through the Unión 78 platform?

-I am one of the founders of Unión 78. This idea came from a group of four or five people. Rosa Díez and I are in the group of founders, so obviously I feel solidarity with all their initiatives.

Not all the signatories of this audiovisual manifesto against the abolition of sedition are members of Unión 78, but those of us who are part of the initiative wanted to appear in the new video.

I think it is one of the most regrettably serious events that have occurred in recent years; I would say almost since the democratic transition.

With regard to the reform of the crime of sedition, I think it is a very serious and therefore very important event. I think it is one of the most regrettably serious events that has occurred in recent years; I would say almost since the democratic transition.

-Why do you consider that the reform of this particular crime is so serious?

-Because it weakens the State in the face of nationalism. Spain’s biggest problem at the moment is separatism. We have unemployment and other setbacks, but the country’s greatest difficulty is, I insist, separatism. And separatism is being stopped with a series of laws that in some way put a stop to seditious attempts as has happened in Catalonia or as was the case with the violence in the Basque Country and Navarre. To weaken the state in the face of its main problem by making sedition cheaper seems to me to be, as I say, a very serious matter.

Socialism is an ideology whose principles are internationalism and the search for equality between social classes and territories. Isn’t it paradoxical that a socialist government is paving the way for nationalist-inspired parties?

-The current Spanish government is not socialist; it is a group of people who want to stay in power and, in order to do so, they adopt the ideology that seems most appropriate for each occasion. The members of the Executive who are in Podemos, and the others, those who are in the PSOE, are not socialists; they are people who want to stay in power. From this principle, they fluctuate depending on what is needed at any given moment. If necessary, they lean on the independentists; they even seek the support of the Bildu separatists. It is not an ideological question; it is a purely strategic question.

The members of the Executive who are in Podemos, and the others who are in the PSOE, are not socialists. They are people who want to stay in power. From this principle, they are fluctuating.

-Speaking of balances of power, why is it not possible for the two main parties in Spain to reach state agreements on major national issues?

-There is a lack of maturity in the political class and among citizens. It is the citizens who are making mistakes, voting for unworthy people.

-How can this negative dynamic be broken by a more virtuous one?

-The country is like this. It’s not good enough. We could have been born elsewhere, but we were born here; and this is our mistake.

https://www.eldebate.com/espana/20221204/savater-mayor-problema-tiene-ahora-espana-separatismo_77224.html

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