Iñaki Ellakuría 27/07/2020
The PNC general secretary, Marta Pascal, in Barcelona. ANTONIO MORENO
Despite her youth, Marta Pascal (Vic, Barcelona, 1983) has a long political experience and a curriculum in which she can exhibit that she was purged from the PDeCAT, where she held the position of general coordinator, by decision of Carles Puigdemont. Now Pascal is the general secretary of the Nationalist Party of Catalonia (PNC), a new political party that advocates escaping the confrontational dynamics of the pro-independence process.
The PNC leader advocates for a referendum in Catalonia agreed with the Government, in addition to Catalanism as a driving force for transformation
Why another nationalist party in Catalonia? JxCat, ERC, PDeCAT …
It is a decision resulting from a long process of reflection through the “El País de Demà” platform, which brings together more than 300 people of different sensibilities, from the conviction that it is urgent to transform the model of society in Catalonia, with new social and economic policies, and also change our relationship with Spain, recovering dialogue. It is a collective project, not a personal one, that vindicates nationalism, Catalanism, as a necessary engine of transformation. Recover something that the last governments of the Generalitat have forgotten: the importance of good management.
Are you independentists? Many of those who make up the PNC leadership, including you, participated in one way or another in the po-independence process.
In Catalonia’s relationship with Spain, we are very clear: we must renounce the unilateral route. The unilateralism with which the independence process was raised was an error. That said, we advocate the holding of a referendum agreed with the State, as has happened in Scotland and Canada, and we defend that the laws are not immutable, they can be changed through parliamentary majorities.
Some people see them as a simple facelift of the old Convergence … Or the current PDeCAT.
Defining ourselves as the new Convergence falls short and is inaccurate. Some of the leaders who are in the PNC come from that tradition and we vindicate it, but assuming that not everything was done well and mistakes were made, such as entering a process of self-destruction by agreeing with the CUP on the investiture of Puigdemont. We will never agree with an anti-system party. The pragmatism of the PNV and the Scottish Nationalist Party is also a reference for us. In addition, in the PNC there are people who come from left-wing Catalanism, from that PSC that defended linguistic immersion, and a very young majority who have never been in another political organization.
And Artur Mas? Playing role?
He was informed of the collective reflection process that we started in Poblet, but he is not related. Some of us respect and value him, but this is a new project.
You talk about unilateralism being a mistake, isn’t the independence process also wrong?
In 2010 the then President José Montilla already warned of the disaffection of the Catalan people after the sentence of the Statute. The constitutional decision was a turning point as it was a text voted by the Parliament and approved in a referendum. This discomfort due to the attack on our competences, the language, added to the underlying social currents that were lived in Europe regarding the model of political institutions, plus the economic crisis, led to consultations on 9-N and 1-O. The error? Do not speak to the state. No one can be satisfied with the end result. For the independentists, because it is evident that Catalonia is not a state, for those who are not, because the Catalan problem remains unresolved. We cannot look the other way.
Dialogue and institutional respect, just what independentism have not offered to constitutionalism.
The PNC was born to break the policy of blocks, we cannot continue in the trenches any more. Our political proposal is not only directed at 1-O voters. We have the vocation to be a party that brings together a diverse majority, because in the nuance lies the wealth.
What do you offer besides changing the unilaterality for the legal referendum?
Refocusing on good management. In Catalonia, 30% of children are at risk of poverty, half of young people earn less than 1,000 euros … We cannot remain oblivious to these realities, as we are concerned about the demonization of private property, of companies and entrepreneurs. Or that Catalonia is one of the regions in Europe with the highest tax burden.
One of the dates that Quim Torra is considering for the elections is that of October 4. Are you in a position to present a candidacy?
Elections are urgent, we have a divided government and paralyzed by the fight between JxCat and ERC. There are two determining factors, the evolution of the coronavirus and the possible disabling of Torra in September. In any case, we work to stand for election.
Alone or do you seek an alliance with other Catalan parties that also come from the Convergent space, such as Units and Lliures?
We are not going to make coalition pacts. Our electoral list will be wide and with many sensibilities, but there will be no place for positions that go against anyone. Neither against independence nor against those who were not comfortable with 1-O.
You were behind the censure motion that led to the arrival of Pedro Sánchez to Moncloa. He regrets?
It was necessary. We could not continue with the “it is not” of the PP, nor the process of judicialization of politics. That motion to me was the main discrepancy with Puigdemont, but the truth is that with Sánchez a new stage was opened that we should all take advantage of. The dialogue table must achieve results The ball is on the roof of the Sánchez government, but Torra’s position to demand a referendum or deny dialogue is not acceptable.