Party Review - ‘Unió’: "Pro-independence forces are tricking the citizens"
Christian-Democrat Unió is the smaller party within the former governing coalition CiU. After the political alliance's break up, Unió is running in the Spanish elections "to represent all those Catalans who defend a moderate position" and believe "in dialogue and agreement" as the only "possible solution" to improve Catalonia's relationship with Spain, stated its leader Josep Anton Duran i Lleida. According to Duran the "pro-independence forces are tricking the citizens" in Catalonia, as they have "already reached an agreement" but refuse "to explain its consequences to the citizens" which he assured "represents electoral fraud". Catalonia's independence, besides being "impossible" will lead to "political and economic instability", assured Duran i Lleida and added that none of the parties involved and "of course not the EU" will accept the rupture of a Member State nor another crisis within the EU "like the Greek one but with greater dimensions".
Barcelona (CNA).- After a 37-year alliance, Christian-Democrat Unió, the smaller party within former governing coalition CiU, will have their own voice in the Spanish Parliament. The party aims to occupy "a space of centrality" and represent all those Catalans who believe "in dialogue and agreement" as the only "possible solution" to improve Catalonia's relationship with Spain, stated its leader Josep Anton Duran i Lleida. At a press conference this Friday at CNA headquarters, Duran i Lleida assured that the "pro-independence forces are tricking the citizens" in Catalonia, as they have "already reached an agreement" but refuse "to explain its consequences to the citizens" which he assured "represents electoral fraud". According to him, Catalonia's independence, besides being "impossible" will lead to "political and economic instability" which none of the parties involved and "of course not the EU" can afford.
"Dialogue is the only solution"
"There has been great disagreement between Spain and Catalonia recently; we have to bring back the spirit of dialogue and restore harmony" he stated. Unió's leader has repeatedly insisted on the need to improve Catalonia's funding system and reform the "rifts" in the Spanish Constitution. "Spain has to face a great challenge this term and tackle the rifts of the Spanish Constitution and those of the political system itself" and "Catalonia is one of these rifts", he added. "The opinion of political Catalanism would have to be taken into account" he stated and recalled that it did happen in the past, during the transition from Franco's dictatorship to democracy "when the Catalanist forces were far less majoritarian than they are now". Duran i Lleida called for a reform of the funding system and then putting this reform to vote amongst the Catalan citizens.
"The only solution is through dialogue, agreement and transaction" assured Unió's leader "it is indispensable, it is necessary and it will be obligatory for one side and for the others" to find "a political solution" and avoid the Catalan problem "festering within".
"Our proposal is difficult but it is possible whereas all the other options are just impossible" he concluded, referring to the pro-independence forces' proposal but also to alternative left Podemos' call for the celebration of a referendum. "Podemos will have to clarify which kind of referendum they want to hold" he stated "as to celebrate a binding referendum and openly ask a question on Catalonia's independence will first require reform of articles 1 and 2 of the Spanish Constitution", he concluded.
CUP is in control of the pro-independence negotiations
"'Junts Pel Sí' and CUP have already reached an agreement but they are not explaining its consequences to the citizens" assured Unió's leader and pointed out that "it would be democratic and transparent to explain such an agreement before the Spanish Elections. Not doing so would be electoral fraud". "I have the right to know the content of this agreement, not only as a candidate but as a citizen too" he declared.
According to Duran i Lleida, his party's former partner, liberal party CDC "has sold" Catalonia's political process to radical left CUP. "The process is already in the hands of CUP. It has been this way since the 9th of November, when the Parliament approved the pro-independence proposal" which he defined as "a lack of respect for legality, a disconnection not only from Spain but from Europe and the implementation of the insecurity and the ungovernability in Catalonia". He also emphasised that CUP impeded current Catalan President Artur Mas' investiture twice. "It is difficult to find more evidence that CUP has taken control of the negotiations, and this only in the parliamentary scenario" he stated and addressed those voters who supported the 'Junts Pel Sí' proposal because they wanted to give more power to President Mas in the negotiations. "We have the best solutions" he concluded.
The EU won't support Catalonia's independence
"The EU will never ever express its opinion, neither publicly nor privately, to anyone who aims to negotiate independence, to break the territories of the Members States" assured Duran i Lleida. "Spain and Catalonia have both huge public and private debt and, therefore, they are dependent on the international markets" he explained "neither Spain, Catalonia and of course not the EU can afford to face another situation here like the Greek one" which according to him "would be even worse" as Spain's GDP is bigger than Greece's. "If anybody presents a proposal such as that presented by Unió, which wouldn't imply breaking the territory of a Member State, the EU will be aware of the necessity to reach an agreement" he concluded.