Independent Media Centre Ireland

How "Catalonia a nation" means "Spain becomes a Federation"

category international | eu | news report author Friday September 30, 2005 12:26author by iosaf mac diarmadaauthor address barcelona

120 public votes in favour 15 against.

Almost since i came to live in Catalonia, people have spoken about their "estatut" the reform of the relationship between their local and historical government and that of the Spanish state established under the constitution agreed at the transition to democracy.

& i've done my best to explain the background and contemporary issues to readers in Ireland, because for many reasons it ought interest them.
Many previously would have thought constitutional issues in Spain stopped at the Basque.

This morning the deputies in the Catalan Parliament, standing up one by one and gave their final "yes" or "no" to each article, to end this process in a public and historic manner & enter the video mp3 files of telly.

No deaths nor Wars nor soldiers in uniform or balaclava read a proclamation. Its an example to follow. I hope these fine words will build a fine society. Coz I'm happy to be a part of it.
espardenyes - shodding the poor.
espardenyes - shodding the poor.

& this process is going to create a pluri-national Spanish state. I've explained it all to you over the years, I must say its "quite a day".

As constitutions go, its a good one. Actually its just the sort of document and has been decided in such an inclusive and representative way that I think its a model for other European nations to follow, particularly "Ireland".

That much said, there are those who oppose it.
The young revolutionary cadre of independence catalans on one side and the old unitary and centralised Espaņa crew on the other. & if we have any truly purist anarchists left amongst us they will naturally in good faith to their principles dismiss the whole thing. Those whom I have spoken to from other "communities" (the 14 local self-governing regions of Spain) have varyingly seen this as the Catalans moving to split, or to be less in solidarity or provoking "nationalism") We'll see how it goes.

But, the document is about to become law.

Its about to become history.

The Civil war and the collapse of the 2nd republic which presaged both fascist and stalinist agression in Europe and the 2nd world war found their roots in the declaration by Catalonia of its independence in the 1930s.

This land has come a long way.

& today it declares in 227 articles across more than 150 pages many things.

The most important usually being the first articles.

"Catalonia is a nation"

short and simple, and that nation's government and historic rights are expressed through the Generalitat, it has a relationship through the Generalitat with "Spain" "a pluri-national state" which is defined by the "statute" and the "constitution [of the Spanish state]"

Its language is Catalan.
Its historic and rightful government is the Generalitat.
Its a European nation.

They have defined their territory, and made special allowances for the valley of Aran which speaks a dailect of occitan and saw the last armed resistance against Franco. They have expressed the legitimate and historic rights of the "catalan peoples" beyond the current "borders" of Catalonia.

The document gives guarantees on several of the usual things - Equality, Liberty, Justice, Education, Housing, Children, participation and some new items you don't see in Bunreacht or to my knowledge any other European constitional document.

* The right to privacy (retention of datas).
* The right to a dignified death.

[this is not an official translation of article 20]
"all persons have the right to live with dignity the
20.2 gives persons the right to freedom of expression on the way they wish to die and leave instruction on the medical treatments they wish receive with special regard for those who can't do so.

* The Right to a secular society.

* The rRight to buy and sell in the language (catalan)
* The Right to live in a ecologically sustainable environment.
* The Rights of the elderly to assistance dignity and support
* The Rights of women
* The onus on the citizen to respect both environment and heritage
* The Right to full medical disclosure
* the Right not to be descriminatet against for linguistic reasons. The language of Catalonia is Catalan, both Aranese and Castillian are recognised.

In addition the very complex questions of finance and the peculiarities of Catalan banking have been further defined to update them for EU membership. Catalonia was the first nation in Europe to develop non-profit "trustee" banking, all profits on many of the savings banks must be returned to society by the trustees to culture and social enterprise.

And many of tasks and areas of concern previously held by centralised ministries in the spanish state now return to the Generalitat.
The Generalitat has defined itself by historic right as the government of the nation of Catalonia.

Now boys and girls, old & young, We are going to do the same with the island of Ireland. Indeed in the most ridiculous ways we've already started, the process began with the careful planting of seeds in your minds. may they Bloom.

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