Enrique Miguel Sánchez Motos
Senior Civil Servant
The next elections on 10 November will require the parties to position themselves on the key issues for Spain. Catalonia is one of them. For a long time it has been considered a minor issue. The two major parties had been transferring the management of competences from the State to the Generalitat in order to maintain a theoretical climate of autonomic peace. But this is over. After the illegal consultation in 2012, the illegal referendum in 2017 and the subsequent Unilateral Declaration of Independence, this issue has become increasingly serious.
The application of 155, followed by its derisory management, has been worthless and after the Supreme Court’s disputed and debatable sentence, instead of appeasement a more tumultuous and violent uprising has been promoted than the previous ones.
The independence crisis has undermined the essence of our Constitution. The sovereignty of the Spanish people as a whole seeks to be replaced by an unconstitutional “right to decide” autonomic. The aim is to break the “indissoluble unity of the Spanish Nation” which is the foundation of the 1978 Constitution. The concept of homeland and interregional solidarity seems to have declined.
This sad reality and many others that could be cited are absolutely grotesque in Europe, where the Constitutions are very emphatic and exclude territorial division or linguistic discrimination. Can anyone imagine someone being fined in Corsica for labelling their establishment in French, or in Sicily in Italian, or in Scotland in English? Let us not be ridiculous.
In Catalonia in 1980, the Catalanist vote (never independentist at the time) represented 29.5% of the vote. Today almost 50%. What has been done wrong? It is true that many Spaniards were returning to their cities of origin and others do not want to settle in this beloved region. But that is not the main cause. The most influential factor has been indoctrination, especially through education and health, as well as the public media, well irrigated with public money.
The application of the National Security Act and the state of emergency under article 116 will not suffice now. It is necessary to retake the exclusive powers of the State and manage them in a coordinated, loyal and supportive manner. To this end, article 155 allows for the immediate management of the councils of the Generalitat, and of institutions such as Diplocat, TV3 and other means that are financed with public money.
On the other hand, the laws will have to be changed, through the use of the harmonising power of the State, art. 150.3 of the Constitution. Thus, key issues (education, language, health, market unity, etc.), which fall within the constitutional competence of the State, can and must be regulated in a harmonious, objective and supportive manner. There are years of work ahead, in order to dismantle the fallacies that have created independence and its cultural institutions.
In addition, it is necessary to highlight the subsidies that have been given and if they have been justified; see the list of principals who handed over the keys to their schools for the illegal 1-O referendum; and from the Ministry of Economy to control the expenditure and cut the tap of all the independent beach bars.
With these and other measures it is necessary to rebuild a climate of cooperation and work, which is what makes Catalonia a model sister region in many things.
Of course we will have to make gestures full of meaning. May the Spanish and Catalan flags fly together in all official buildings in accordance with the law of flags. To compensate those who paid fines for labeling in Spanish or who suffered marginalization for not being independentistas.
And many other gestures of twinning and real dialogue, within the Constitution we have. However, any way that seeks to put an end to it or eliminate its fundamental pillars will be closed.
The creativity of the political parties must present concrete and firm proposals in their programmes for the next general elections. The general elections of the 10-N may be decisive for the future of Spain.
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