Journalist by vocation and, for that reason, founder and editor of EL TRIANGLE since 1990. Member of the cause for a better world
February 1, 2021 • 1:30 pm
People, here and everywhere, want to live in peace and quietly, getting everything they need to lead a decent existence – home, public education, well-paid job, healthy food, healthy environment, free health care, unemployment insurance, sufficient retirement pension … – and to guarantee a prosperous future for their children . This is the essential impulse of life that all humans who inhabit planet Earth have.
Spaniards are no different. Neither the Catalans. We all want the same. The problem is only one: how we organize society, manage resources and structure the administration to achieve these objectives.
Spain is a very old country and therefore a wise one. The long history that precedes us has shaped our way of being today. But we cannot function today with clichés from the 18th, 19th or 20th century. The world is constantly changing and the key to human resilience is our intelligent ability to adapt.
Now and here, there is a capital fact that determines us: our membership in the European Union (EU). And one observation: the States with the most demographic weight (Germany, France and Italy) are the ones with the most power in the design and decision of community policies. Spain, with 47 million inhabitants, is in a lower rung, in relation to these three great countries. Hence the strategic importance of joining Portugal – we would be 60 million inhabitants -, a fact that would raise us directly to the first division of the European institutions.
We need to give identity issues the importance they really have in this 21st century: language, traditions, folklore, gastronomy… they are cultural, not political, facts. The European Union, intermediate step of the future United States of Europe, is a great “container” that encompasses a multitude of historical communities, many of them trans-state, as is the case in Catalonia or the Basque Country. And from this we do not have to make a tragedy making us nervous and frantic.
As in the game of Russian dolls, the European States are, in turn, administrative structures where a mosaic of diverse cultures coexist, such as the Prussians and the Bavarians in Germany, the Bretons and Occitans in France or the Piedmontese and Sicilians in Italy. The key to solving this puzzle is to establish a perfectly defined and regulated model of co-governance between municipalities, regions, States and European institutions (Commission and Parliament).
This is the federal model, implanted by the founding fathers of the United States of America, under Masonic influence, and which is the basis of their great strength. The appointment of Miquel Iceta as the new Minister of Territorial Policy is excellent news to advance along this path. A convinced Federalist, the PSC’s first secretary arrives at the right place at the right time.
After the 14-F elections, the dialogue table between the Generalitat and the central government must be activated, as well as the negotiations with all the communities for the new autonomous financing model, pending review since 2014. These are two “dossiers” of the utmost importance for the future of Spain in which Minister Miquel Iceta plays a fundamental role.
In the Spanish State, the two great traditions of administrative organization that exist in Europe coexist in permanent dialectical and political confrontation. On the one hand, that of the old Habsburg monarchy, based on the confederation of territorial entities and which has evolved in the federal model adopted by Germany after World War II. On the other, the French centralist model –capital, Paris-, implanted by the Bourbon monarchy and inherited by Jacobinism after the Revolution of 1789.
If the Franco dictatorship imposed a very harsh centralism, the Spanish Constitution of 1978, with the institutionalization of the autonomous communities, established a federalizing organization that today, after the experience accumulated over these more than 40 years, must be clarified and consolidated. In this sense, the accession of Spain to the EU gives us very safe guidelines to be able to successfully close this process of transition from a centralist dictatorship to a federal democracy.
The fact that the tradition of political Catalanism has been, since the time of Francesc Pi i Margall, federalist will help us. The independence movement arises later and is the result, on the one hand, of the rebellion of the Catholic Ireland (1916) and, on the other, of the resistance of the monarchy of Alfonso XIII to evolve in the political decentralization of Spain – including the suppression of the Mancomunidad-, a failure he paid with the advent of the Second Republic and his exile.
As Minister of Territorial Policy, Miquel Iceta also has the obligation to strengthen ties with Portugal, especially in promoting cooperation with neighboring Spanish communities (Galicia, Castilla-León, Extremadura and Andalusia). La Raya (the border) still suffers seriously, on both sides, from the “border” effect, with chronic depopulation and backwardness that must be urgently corrected.
In the context of the European Union, the existence of this heavily stricken area is an incomprehensible offense. The border disappeared, de facto, in 1986, but it is still very much alive in everyday reality and in the “political thought” of Madrid and Lisbon. The solution lies in the decisive drive of cross-border Eurocities and Euroregions that have already been established in recent years, but have not yet started off with force.
Something similar happens with the Pyrenees, which also suffer the scourge of depopulation and economic stagnation. Euroregions are also the key to overcoming the pernicious consequences of the “border effect” here. The one that brings together Aquitaine, Euskadi and Navarra and the one that make up Occitania, Catalonia, Aragon and the Balearic Islands is already in operation. But, in this second case, the Catalan independence movement has “killed” its institutional viability.
It is one of the inheritances, pregnant with future, the President Pasqual Maragall left us, but that the secessionist project has left in a dead end. If after 14-F there is a new government in the Generalitat, different from the current one, the recovery of the Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euroregion has to be one of the strategic priorities for the recovery of economic momentum and the international leadership of Catalonia.