62 opinion leaders call for dignified solution to Statute of Autonomy

The text urges to choose between renouncing Catalan claims or renouncing the Spanish Constitution

Albert Traver

May 22, 2010 11:16 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- Nine Catalan daily newspapers have published an article by sixty-two writers entitled “The Spanish Dilemma”. The article calls for a dignified solution to the Constitutional Court sentence about the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. The court must decide if the Catalan supreme law, already in force and approved by referendum as well as by the Catalan and Spanish Parliaments, fits into the Spanish Constitution. The writers warn that if the dispositions of the Catalan supreme law cannot be included in the Spanish Constitution, Catalans should choose between renouncing these demands or renouncing the Constitution.
The almost four-year wait for the Constitutional Court sentence on the Catalan Statute is having its consequences on the local population and on Catalan politics. After last week's sixth failure of the Constitutional Court to reach an agreement, nine Catalan daily newspapers have published “The Spanish Dilemma”, an opinion piece signed by sixty-two writers which defines the current situation as exceptional and asks for a dignified solution for the Statute. “The Spanish Dilemma” follows a front-page article called “Catalan Dignity” which defended the Statute and was published in November in twelve daily newspapers.

The writers look back at Catalan history, especially at conflicts with France and Spain throughout contemporary, modern and medieval times, to prove that Catalan claims to greater self-government go back a long way. They argue that the Constitutional Court sentence will leave Catalans in a weaker position than the previous Statute of Autonomy, approved in 1979 shortly after the end of the Franco dictatorship. They also point out that the evolution towards a Spanish federal state recognising diversity is in mortal danger and that the vision of a centralist and homogenous Spain is growing in the State’s top institutions.

If there is no dignified solution from the Constitutional Court about the Statute of Autonomy, the article presses that Catalans must choose between renouncing their aims to self-government or renouncing the Spanish Constitution. La Vanguardia, Catalonia’s biggest daily newspaper, published a poll last week which showed an increase of those in favour of independence, now reaching 37% as opposed to the 41% against such a measure.