Catalan Socialists propose a temporary patch to better fit Catalonia into Spain
The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) proposes a “singular redefinition” of Catalonia’s “fitting” within Spain that should be accomplished urgently while waiting for a global reform of the Spanish Constitution. Maurici Lucena, the PSC Spokesperson at the Catalan Parliament, told the CNA that this temporary measure should avoid “the collision” between the two sides. The measure should “shield” Catalonia’s powers, language and culture from recentralisation and homogenisation attempts, and it would also include a fairer fiscal scheme. In the coming weeks, the PSC will try to convince the PSOE – to which is federated – about it. This proposal is quite similar to the Catalan Statute of Autonomy that was approved in 2006, but trimmed in 2010 by the Constitutional Court following an appeal from the People’s Party (PP) – which now runs the Spanish Government.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) proposes a “singular redefinition” of Catalonia’s “fitting” within Spain that should be accomplished urgently while waiting for a global reform of the Spanish Constitution. Maurici Lucena, the PSC Spokesperson at the Catalan Parliament, told the CNA that this temporary measure should avoid “the collision” between those in favour of independence and those in favour of the status quo. The measure should “shield” Catalonia’s self-government powers, language and culture from recentralisation and homogenisation attempts. It would also include a fairer fiscal scheme for Catalonia, keeping the ranking position according to the inter-territorial fiscal redistribution. In the coming weeks, the PSC will try to convince the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) – to which is federated – about this initiative. This proposal is quite similar to the Catalan Statute of Autonomy that was approved in 2006, but trimmed in 2010 by the Constitutional Court following an appeal from the People’s Party (PP) – which now runs the Spanish Government.
Maurici Lucena held an interview with the CNA in which he explained their initiative to solve the current tension between those in favour of the unity of Spain and those claiming Catalonia’s right to independence. The PSC supports the unity of Spain, but at the same time it advocates respecting Catalonia’s specificities and self-government. It advocates a federal Spain with Catalonia in it, having greater self-government powers and ful respect for its own language. In this vein, they are proposing a global reform of the Constitution to shape a true federal Spain.
The constitutional reform is extremely difficult and can take years
However, the PSC is aware that this reform is extremely difficult to be developed in the short-term, with the PP holding an absolute majority at the Spanish Parliament and not willing to talk about global constitutional reforms. Furthermore, the Spanish Socialists (PSOE) are opposed to Catalonia’s right to self-determination and the PSC has still to convince them to support a better fiscal scheme for Catalonia. For these reasons, since this constitutional reform can take many years of debate – and might not be approved in the way the PSC expects – the Catalan Socialists are advocating a temporary measure to reduce the tensions between Catalonia and Spain. This temporary formula should be approved by the Spanish Parliament, which is totally controlled by the PP.
“Without forgetting about the great federal reform for the whole of Spain, in the coming months we will have to find a solution for Catalonia in the short-term”, stated Lucena. “We will have to consider that the redefinition of Catalonia’s fitting within Spain is a prior step to the constitutional reform we are proposing”, he said. According to him, the “redefinition of Catalonia’s fitting” only needs “a quite limited legal revision of the Constitution”. This measure should “recognise Catalonia’s national singularity, shield competences in the linguistic and cultural areas, and make a move to increase financial autonomy while implementing the ordinal principle” [which is to keep Catalonia’s position in the ranking of the Autonomous Communities’ investment per inhabitant after a fiscal redistribution].
According to Lucena, “it is very likely that Rajoy, invited by the Socialists, will present an alternative to redefine Catalonia’s fitting within Spain”. For the PSC, this is the only “alternative” to avoid a “collision that will come” if both sides radicalise their stances.
The PSC would abstain in the proposed self-determination vote
The PSC ran in the last elections supporting Catalonia’s right to self-determination, but now it has stepped down from the pact to propose a self-determination vote. The PSC’s leadership announced this decision in early November, after months of pressure from the PSOE, which is totally against Catalonia’s self-determination right. The PSOE was threatening the PSC with breaking up and running separately in Catalonia if the Catalan Socialists continued to actively participate in the pact for organising a self-determination vote. In the end, the PSC decided it would not support any initiative in this regard that had not been previously approved by the Spanish Government – currently run by the PP and totally opposed to even talking about Catalonia’s self-determination. The PSC considered the Catalan Parliament should not issue its own proposal and they argued that such initiatives were condemned to failure since the PP holds an absolute majority at the Spanish Parliament and would block everything not previously agreed on.
For these reasons, Lucena announced that the PSC would not vote in the self-determination consultation announced two weeks ago by four Catalan parties. According to Lucena, since this vote will be “illegal”, as the Spanish Government will not authorise it, they refuse to cast their vote in the ballot.