Singer-songwriter and anti-Franco activist Lluís Llach to head pro-independence unitary list in Girona
Lluís Llach, one of the most famous Catalan musicians and one of the main voices against Franco's dictatorship, will top the pro-independence unitary list running in the Girona Province in the forthcoming Catalan elections, which should become a 'de facto' referendum on independence. In the Tarragona Province, the 'Junts pel Sí' pro-independence list ('Together for the Yes') will be topped by economics professor Germà Bel, an expert on infrastructure. The list groups together Liberal, Social-Democrat, Green, and Christian-Democrat politicians, as well as many independents and representatives from civil society. It will officially start the independence process if they win the elections and pro-independence parties obtain an absolute majority in the Catalan Parliament. The list is topped by former Eco-Socialist Member of the European Parliament, Raül Romeva, who is running in Barcelona Province.
Barcelona (ACN).- Lluís Llach, one of the most famous Catalan musicians and one of the main voices against Francisco Franco's dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s, will top the pro-independence unitary list running in the Province of Girona (north-eastern Catalonia) in the forthcoming Catalan elections, which should become a 'de facto' referendum on independence. In the Province of Tarragona (southern Catalonia), the pro-independence list, called 'Junts pel Sí' ('Together for the Yes'), will be topped by university professor of economics Germà Bel, an expert on transport infrastructure and fiscal deficit.
The list groups together Liberal, Social-Democrat, Green, and Christian-Democrat politicians, as well as many independents and representatives from civil society. It will officially start the independence process if they win the elections and pro-independence parties obtain an absolute majority in the Catalan Parliament. The list is topped by former Eco-Socialist Member of the European Parliament, Raül Romeva, who is running in the Province of Barcelona, where more than two-thirds of Catalans live. However, the candidature is also running in the other three provinces: Girona, Tarragona and Lleida, where the frontrunner's identity is still unknown. This Friday it has also been released that Eduardo Reyes, President of the Spanish-speakers pro-independence association Súmate, will run in 6th position for the Province of Barcelona and that economics professor Oriol Amat will occupy the 7th position.
Civil activists Carme Forcadell and Muriel Casals, who were the main organisers of the massive pro-independence demonstrations of 2012, 2013, 2014 and the ones who have organised another demonstration for 2015, run in 2nd and 3rd position in Barcelona respectively. 4th and 5th positions on the Barcelona list are for the first active politicians: the President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Liberal party CDC, Artur Mas, and the President of the Social-Democrat party ERC, Oriol Junqueras.
One of the leading voices against Franco's dictatorship
The writer and musician Lluís Llach will be the main candidate of the pro-independence unitary list in one of the 4 Catalan Provinces, in Girona, where the Costa Brava is located. Llach composed one of the most famous protest songs against Franco's military and Fascist dictatorship, singing in Catalan at a time Catalan language and culture were persecuted by the dictatorship. His song 'LEstaca' ('The Stake'), from 1968, became an informal anthem of the resistance against the dictatorship, not only in Catalonia but also in many other parts of Spain. In fact, the song became so popular than it was even adapted in Poland by the Solidarnosc union and in Chile by the resistance against Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Llach focused his career on adapting Catalan poets such as Miquel Martí I Pol, with whom he shared a great friendship, and abandoned the political front-row, although he never completely abandoned political activism. Furthermore, in the late 1990s and early 2000s he focused once again part of his activity on political activism to protest against the wars in the Balkans and also against savage capitalism and global inequalities. He officially retired from performing and releasing new albums in 2007, and redirected his career towards writing, so far publishing two novels. However, he has occasionally played in some collective concerts against AIDS and for Catalonia's independence from Spain. In fact, in the last few years he has been actively campaigning for independence.
Germà Bel, an expert on transport infrastructure and power recentralisation
In Tarragona, where the Costa Daurada is located, the list will be topped by Germà Bel, Professor of Economics at the University of Barcelona but born near the Ebro Delta, in southern Catalonia. Bel is a widely-respect economist, one of the main experts on transport infrastructure and fiscal deficit in Spain. He has been very critical of the Spanish Government's transport priorities, building thousands of kilometres of high-speed train of little use and small airports with almost no passengers, while essential infrastructure (such as the Mediterranean Railway Corridor) was not built or was inexplicably delayed. In addition, he has studied the centralism behind the design of such transport grids and the intentional recentralisation of powers that such policies bring, developing a Great Madrid while the Mediterranean area, with Barcelona at the fore, loses economic weight.
Bel, who has expressed his support for the Catalan and Spanish Socialist parties (PSC and PSOE) in the past, started to advocate for independence in the last few years, arguing that the Spanish State was not working in Catalonia's interest; on the contrary, the Spanish Government was working against Catalonia's economic interests and therefore Catalonia needs its own State, since Spain cannot be changed after decades of a wide range of Catalan parties having tried to do so.