Party Review: Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) is against Catalonia’s independence and declares that “a nation is not a state”
The Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), the Catalan branch of Spanish Socialist Party PSOE is against Catalonia’s independence. “I hope and I wish that pro-independence forces won’t get an absolute majority in the upcoming elections” stated Miquel Iceta, a consolidated member of PSC whom has been chosen to run for President in the upcoming 27-S elections. Iceta has come in for the previous candidate, Pere Navarro, whom got the worst result for PSC in any Catalan elections; only 20 seats from the 135 which compose the Catalan Parliament. PSC’s support in Catalonia has decreased dramatically since 2006 and the party has faced many crises and changes in its leadership, both in Catalonia and in Spain. Many parties have attributed this decline to the lack of independence of the PSC and have claimed that their policies are directed by their mother party PSOE.
Barcelona (CNA).- Catalan Socialist party PSC’s candidate to run for Catalan President, Miquel Iceta, denied the plebiscitary nature of the upcoming 27-S elections and admitted that he “hopes and wishes” that “pro-independence forces won’t get an absolute majority in the upcoming elections”. Iceta emphasised that “Catalonia is a nation” but said that “a nation is not a state”. “We bid for a constitutional reform that turns Spain into a federal State that recognises the unique characteristics of Catalonia” he stated. Iceta has come in for the previous candidate, Pere Navarro, whom got the worst result for PSC in any Catalan election; only 20 seats from the 135 which compose the Catalan Parliament. “It will be a major success” to maintain the 20 seats, he admitted. Many polls forecast that PSC will get between 13 and 15 seats.
“I hope and I wish that pro-independence forces won’t get an absolute majority in the upcoming elections” stated Catalan Socialist Party PSC’s candidate Miquel Iceta. In a press conference at CNA headquarters, the candidate running for President in the 27-S elections declared that it was “very difficult to forecast” the upcoming elections’ results “but even if we knew exactly who will be the winners, it would still be impossible to know what would happen on the following day” he highlighted. Now “it is worth to vote predictable parties and leaders who are open to dialogue” emphasised Iceta. He also criticised the date of the elections because the electoral campaign kick-off coincided with Catalonia’s National Day and the massive pro-independence rally. “If Artur Mas decided so, it is because he wanted to take electoral advantage of the 11th of September rally” he said “anyway, I can’t ask him because he doesn’t take part in the debates”. Following on from this, he stated that these elections were a fake because President Mas isn’t running as a candidate and “he is depriving the citizens from a debate on the outgoing government”.
A nation is not a state
“PSC is against independence but is also against the status quo” stated Iceta, regarding Catalonia’s push for independence. “We bid for a constitutional reform that turns Spain into a federal State that recognises the unique characteristics of Catalonia” he said. “We feel that Catalonia is a nation” he admitted, but added that “a nation is not a state” and described Catalonia as “an identity, a community, a culture within a State”. Iceta emphasised that the solution wasn’t “saying no”, referring to conservative People’s Party (PP) and anti-Catalan nationalism Ciutadans (C’s), but to offer “a new deal to Catalonia”. When asked about his position if the pro-independence parties would win the 27-S elections, Iceta highlighted that “to win the elections allows you to rule, but not to break the rules”. “I hope and I wish that pro-independence forces won’t get an absolute majority in the upcoming elections” he admitted.
When asked about the possibility of holding a binding referendum as an alternative to a hypothetical Unilateral Declaration of Independence, Iceta emphasised that the referendum should involve “the whole of Spain” because their goal is “to change the rules of the whole of Spain”. However, he admitted that this was “impossible” with a conservative People’s Party majority in Spain. “Our proposal is to wait until the Spanish Elections and try to win them” referring to Spanish Socialist Party PSOE.
It’s not about fear, is about risks
Regarding the possible “corralito” that Catalonia could face in the event of a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, Iceta recalled that it was stated in an official document from the Catalan Government and that if it was there, it’s because there is an actual risk. “A corralito is a possibility in the event of a Unilateral Declaration of Independence and expulsion from the EU” he pointed out. However, he outlined that “any bank or financial institution can be outside of the European Central Bank’s supervision” and added that “a bank’s solvency is measured according to who is their guarantor as a last resort”. “We won’t run out of banks but they may move their headquarters to other countries” he admitted. Concerning the debate surrounding last week’s declarations from the banking sector, Iceta denied the “campaign of fear” that other parties have accused the banks and other parties of undertaking. “It is not a conspiracy; actually the RBS did the same shortly before the Scottish referendum” he recalled, “it is not about lying, it is about warning about the risks of certain procedures”. He stated that “pro-independence forces present the independence process as a flat and easy transition” but some may think that “if the costs are that high, it is better to think twice”
To maintain the 20 seats would be a major success
PSC’s presence in the Catalan Parliament has decreased dramatically. Since their victory in 2006 with José Montilla installed as President of the Catalan Government, they have continuously lost support. In 2010 they got only 28 seats from the 135 composing the Parliament. In the last Catalan elections in 2012, this number dropped to 20 and now the polls forecast between 13-15 seats for the PSC. The main causes of this decline are their ambiguous position regarding Catalonia’s sovereignty, their loss of politic independence (as many parties claim they are directed by the Spanish Socialist Party PSOE), and the regeneration of the so called “traditional parties” in Catalonia and the whole of Spain. Iceta admitted that he is aware of all the polls but doesn’t believe any of them “as it is very difficult to forecast the results accurately”. However, he assured that “maintaining the 20 seats” that PSC currently has in the Parliament “would be a major success”. He emphasised that Catalonia’s push for independence has “polarised” Catalan society and has “devastated” PSC. “To vote PSC contributes to overthrowing Artur Mas, it is a bid for a negotiated solution and a way to undo the cuts” he declared.