The Catalan Government will totally modify the "file of endorsements" after the controversy
The Catalan Executive announced the creation of a website showing the support of social organisations, NGOs and private companies for its policies, named the “file of endorsements”. The Catalan Government’s official aim was to foster participation as well as gather endorsement for its policies. The idea was heavily criticised by some opposition parties and some Madrid-based media. They considered the website to be an anti-democratic measure. According to them, it would split society into two sides: those backing the Government and “being good Catalans” and those going against it and being “bad Catalans”. The Catalan Executive admitted that it was quite shocked with the controversy, since other governments in Spain have published similar lists of supporters. However, it announced that it will totally modify the project.
Barcelona (ACN).- On Tuesday, the Catalan Presidency Minister, Francesc Homs, announced that they will modify the project creating the so-called “file of endorsements”. Homs stated that they will turn the project “upside down” after the “surprising” and “exaggerated” controversy created with the initiative, he said. He added that they will do so to “dissipate any doubts”. Some parties and Madrid-based media had heavily criticised the initiative, accusing it of being “anti-democratic” and they were linking it to Catalonia’s independence from Spain. Homs insisted that the project was not anti-democratic. He explained that it aimed to foster participation and it had nothing to do with Catalonia’s self-determination but with showing support for specific sector policies. The day before, the Catalan President Artur Mas – who is on an economic promotion trip to Brazil – admitted that they will change the name of the initiative since it might be seen as unfortunate. However, Mas defended the initiative itself. On Tuesday, the parties that have previously criticised the measure demanded that the change goes beyond a name modification.
Last week the Catalan Executive announced the creation of a website showing the support of social organisations, NGOs and private companies for its policies, named the “file of endorsements”. The initiative’s official aim was to foster participation as well as to gather endorsement for the Catalan Government’s sector policies.
The idea was heavily criticised by some opposition parties and some Madrid-based media, such as El País newspaper, which immediately linked it to Catalonia’s independence process. They considered the website to be an anti-democratic and dangerous measure. According to them it would split society into two sides: those backing the Government and “being good Catalans” and those going against it and being “bad Catalans”. The parties criticising the measure are all opposing Catalonia’s independence from Spain; they are the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC), the People’s Party (PP) and the anti-Catalan nationalism party Ciutadans (C’s).
On Tuesday, the Catalan Executive stated that it was quite shocked by the controversy, since other governments throughout Spain have published similar lists of supporting organisations without any controversy. In addition, Francesc Homs remarked that the previous Catalan Government, which was chaired by the PSC, published a similar website, with social organisations and NGOs backing up the reform of the Catalan Statute of Autonomy. However, Homs announced that they will totally modify the project, starting by changing the name. Furthermore, he insisted that it was not anti-democratic and it was not at all aiming to split Catalan society. On the contrary, it was aiming to “foster public participation”. He also insisted that support was courted regarding specific government policies, and not regarding Catalonia’s independence.
The parties that had criticised the initiative demanded on Tuesday a total change of the measure. The PSC stated that they will review the text of the new proposal and added they will not accept a classification between “good and bad Catalans”. Such a classification never existed but it was mentioned by El País newspaper as a consequence of creating the file. The PP stated that they will oppose the project because they consider it to be illegal and “close to the totalitarian regimes”. Finally, the populist C’s has qualified it as “Mas’ list”, in an indirect reference to Nazis.
In the last few months, Spanish-nationalist parties and media, including the People’s Party – which runs the Spanish Government – have been linking Catalan Nationalism with the Nazi regime. This association causes outrage in Catalonia for historical reasons (the Franco Fascist dictatorship, the persecution of Catalan culture and the imposition of Spanish identity) but also because Catalan nationalists are proud of respecting strictly democratic procedures to express their self-determination claims.