The pro-independence list for the next Catalan Parliament elections and the road map towards independence were officially presented on Monday evening. Christian-Democrats, Liberals, Social-Democrats, Greens, Socialists and civil society organisations are uniting to run together and transform the 27 September elections into a ‘de facto’ plebiscite on independence from Spain.
‘What we are doing here is very strange but we are going through a very strange moment, extraordinary’, stated former Member of the European Parliament, Raül Romeva, who is topping the unitary list. ‘We have tried everything’ to hold a self-determination vote, but using the parliamentary elections is the only option left ‘to exercise our right to vote’, stressed Romeva.
‘If in this process, the Spanish state, through its political or legal decisions, blocks the autonomous government of Catalonia or the Catalan parliament, we will move forward with a declaration of independence,’ He said. ‘We are going for broke. We are betting everything on this, no turning back,’ The remarks come as Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala has hinted at the suspension of Catalonia’s autonomy if a separation process were to get underway, adding that Spain’s constitution made provision for such a move.
Road map for independence
The former Eco-Socialist MEP disclosed the main steps of the road map towards independence and also highlighted the main government priorities, particularly focusing on the people most in need. Indeed, he listed a series of social priorities that the new government would urgently implement to put those in need ‘at the forefront, as otherwise all this would not make any sense’. ‘This is the reason’ why ‘we are doing this’, ‘to have a better country, fairer, with greater cohesion, more solidarity, more open, with more participation.
For all these reasons, they are uniting under the name ‘Junts pel Sí’ (‘Together for the Yes’). If the Spanish institutions continue trying to block the process, they will carry on anyway and declare independence, ensured Romeva. He recounted that facing a democratic demand shared by a majority of Catalans, the Spanish institutions have only said ‘no’ and have answered by launching ‘penal processes against three individuals’, including the current Catalan President, when more than 2.3 million people participated in the November vote on independence.
Romeva stressed that the next 27 September elections will become a ‘de facto’ referendum on independence from Spain. ‘This is for real’, ‘we are ready to do it’, ‘being aware of the risks but also very aware of the enormous opportunities’. Their plan is to declare independence less than 18 months after the 27 September elections, should the parliamentary majority be there. In addition, he also stressed that ‘the door is open’ to everybody who wants to join, as the resulting country will be for everybody.
‘If the majority is there, the Catalan Parliament will solemnly declare the start of the independence process’, emphasised Romeva. ‘Things have to be done correctly but also quickly’, as has been recommended by many experts in order to reduce uncertainty. In this scenario, the newly elected Catalan Government and Parliament will have a maximum of 18 months to develop the necessary state structures ‘to disconnect from Spain’, legally speaking, and approve the ‘Law of Legal Transition’.
However, ‘we will not forget about the most basic social needs’, which require ‘an urgent’ solution, emphasised Romeva. Indeed, the Government will also develop a series of urgent actions regarding housing, poverty reduction, kindergartens, pensions – which would be guaranteed, insisted the former MEP, jobs, innovation, youth unemployment, public healthcare, Catalan schooling, social integration, social rights, and culture, which should become ‘the 4th leg of the Welfare State’.
Furthermore, a constituent process will also start, ‘from bottom to top’ through ‘citizen participation’, and once all this is ready, ‘we will proclaim independence’ and ‘legally disconnect from Spain’ stated Romeva.
Romeva spoke last as the first 5 leaders of the unitary list addressed in reverse order those assembled. The President of the Social-Democrat party ERC, Oriol Junqueras, was the first to address. Then, the current President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Liberal party CDC Artur Mas. And after the two politicians, spoke the civil society activists Muriel Casals and Carme Forcadell, who are running in 3rd and 2nd spot respectively.
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