Juan-José López Burniol, 6 November 2021
Meeting of businessmen through the Mediterranean corridor in Tarragona 2018 – Salvador Enguix
On 12 August 1933, David Cardona, head of Nosaltres Sols, published – signed as Vibrant – the editorial of issue 123 of the weekly, under the title “Our separatist conception”, from which I copy a few paragraphs: “No historical element, nor the recent events that have reversed the policy of the Spanish State, allow us to continue trusting in the justice of Spain. (…) It is the enemy who shows us the way. (…) We Catalans have asked for justice and Spain has not done this justice, as it has never done to any people it has subjugated. The experience of political Catalanism advises us separatism. In this respect, it is not we who have chosen. It is Spain that has chosen. We are doing nothing more than putting ourselves in a tactical position of defence. (…) On the other hand, this separatism of ours is more than a radical aspiration. We are separatists for economic, political, legal and psychological reasons. (…) The absolute freedom of the fatherland, we understand, must be achieved with an almost religious faith”.
This long quotation makes it easier to understand a recent development. Recently, the employers’ associations of the Valencian Community, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Aragon convened a summit in Zaragoza, with the aim of boosting the already intense economic relations between their territories, as well as foreign trade and logistics intermodality. It should be noted that these four communities, apart from their strong historical links (they were part of the Crown of Aragon), now account for more than 34% of Spain’s GDP, 35,800 million euros in trade, and an intense relationship between companies and with consumers, especially in neighbouring areas. Despite this, the summit was only attended by the presidents of the Valencian Community, Ximo Puig; of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol; and of Aragon, Javier Lambán. The Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, did not attend, and the Catalan minister of the presidency, Laura Vilagrà, went on his behalf. Nothing new. The position of President Aragonès, refusing to travel to Aragon, is in keeping with his attitude to any multilateral forum in Spain.
Aragonès shows once again his rejection to any multilateral forum in Spain.
Around the same time, an interview with the president of the Balearic Islands was published, in which she advocates a new financing model beneficial to her community and the Catalan one. President Armengol says: “We have a historic relationship with Catalonia. We are brotherly peoples who share language, culture, economic interests…, as well as decision-making bodies and our own institutions in which we participate, such as the Institut Ramon Llull or the Euroregion. (…) Catalonia has to be part of the multilateral debate (…) It is the responsibility of any government to defend the interests of its territory”.
This is the real situation, and it must be interpreted as such. It seems reasonable to understand that all Catalan pro-independence supporters (not including the CUP, which is also something else) have an ideology that is not substantially different from that expressed by Daniel Cardona in the partially transcribed editorial, and which can be summarised as follows: 1) Nothing can be expected from Spain, not even justice; it is only possible to extract concessions from it in a continuous parliamentary horse-trading, while waiting for the time to break with it. 2) There is no way out other than independence, which is why all participation in multilateral forums of any kind must be rejected outright. 3) While the situation that will make independence inevitable matures, there is only room for bilateral relations with Spain that, while strengthening Catalonia’s state vocation, weaken and call into question the Spanish state, forcing it to treat as an equal a community that is constitutionally an integral part of its territory.
All Catalan pro-independence supporters share these or similar ideas, and their differences are nothing more than tactical window-dressing to confuse an enemy (as they see it), to whom they attribute full responsibility for a systemic crisis whose outcome, despite everything, remains to be seen.