Friday, 30 September 2016

Much said of Catalan President's "Referendum or Referendum", but there's more

Much has been said and discussed about Catalan President Carles Puigdemont's "Referendum or Referendum", i.e. a referendum will be held whether the Spanish governement approves it or not. But there is another point journalists seem to be evading and many commentators have missed: the laws of disconnection.

These laws include a bill on an Internal Revenue Service, which is already being expanded to meet the requirements of an independent state, and a Social Security Bill, which will go beyond the current management of the Health Service to include all aspects of social care and welfare such as pensions, family support and unemployment benefit.

But there is also a third critical law which is to be passed before the referendum is held in the second half of September 2017: the Legal Transition Bill. The opening article of that bill will read something like "Catalonia is an independent republic." In other words, it will be a de facto unilateral declaration of independence.

Pro-independence actors, both the political parties and the civic grass-roots organisations such as the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Omnium Cultural, have always argued against the idea set forth by Spain that "independence is illegal" and that an independent Catalonia would "wander in empty space". The third law of disconnection, the Legal Transition Bill will guarantee there will be no legal vacuum, no illegality, no void. All current Spanish law not superseded by Catalan legislation, as well as all international treaties signed by Spain, will remain in force guaranteeing rule of law.

This is, in effect, what was backed by the Vote of Confidence
in the Catalan Parliament yesterday, even though there has been much vociferation by the press and by unionist parties and commentators on the Referendum. The Junts pel Sí coalition, including Christian-Democrat Conservatives and Liberals though to Social-Democrats and Socialists, along with the far-left CUP, have thus set the ball rolling towards the completion of the Roadmap for Independence set forth at the beginning of the current Catalan Parliament within the 18 months it
established, even though it had at that time seemed wildly optimistic.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Letter to an unloved spouse

Original in Catalan by Mateu Ciurana

Listen Spain. I want us to separate. I would not have imagined just a few years ago that this would come to an end like this, but there's no future in what we have. I see you as an unpleasant husband who mistreats and exploits me. 

I don't regret having loved you and trying to save our relationship, but you always held me as your property. I have served you and you have shown me off. You have told me that you love me, out of the side of your mouth, and only when you wanted something from me. It is very sad, after what I have done to make things better.

There are still things I like about you, I don't mind admitting it. Your lovely Spanish language for example. What a shame you haven't shown much interest in me all these years. We have a common history and a child together, but now I want to break with you.

I know your strategies
well. You will say that, without me, you will be nothing, that we need each other. For you, the way to fix things is for me to give up being what I am. Do you realize that? I never thought I could feel the unlove I feel for you now. I'm sorry.

Now we
need to agree and see how we share things out and how we raise the children. I know I will have to pay a settlement. No problem. Let's talk about it and do some figures. You never could stand that I earned more than you. With the generosity I have always shown you. How absurd!

I could reproach your not seriously accepting the way I am and my wish to live my way. What we had could have been great, but now I want to say goodbye. Amiably, if possible. Until now you didn't believe I would take this decision, but that's not my problem. What will you do? Do your best to maintain some form of dignity, if you can.

I'm looking forward to living my own life, and I have many projects. Don't say that phrase you like, attributed the mother of the last Muslim king of Granada (Cry like a woman for what you could not defend like a man), because in addition to male chauvinist, I'm sure it's false. Take it as you wish, but I want to leave you.

I wish you luck. Goodbye, Spain!