The CiU proposes an independent Catalan state within the EU by 2020
The Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) presented its electoral programme for the next Catalan elections, to be held on the 25th of November. CiU’s leader and incumbent President of the Catalan Government – who is running for re-election, Artur Mas, stated that “if we want a leading Catalonia in Europe, we need a state structure, which we do not have”. CiU’s electoral programme talks about creating “state structures” but it does not openly mention the word “independence”; however, it is the closest a CiU electoral programme has ever been to supporting an independent Catalonia. The document points towards Europe and is called ‘Catalonia 2020’. “We want to be stuck with Europe. If we were to choose a partner, Europe would be our current marriage choice”, stated Mas.
Barcelona (ACN).- Last weekend, the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) presented its electoral programme, which proposes creating \u201Cstate structures\u201D and clearly points towards Europe. \u201CIf we want a leading Catalonia in Europe, we need a state structure, which we do not have\u201D, stated CiU\u2019s leader and President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, who is running for re-election. CiU\u2019s electoral programme talks about creating \u201Cstate structures\u201D but it does not openly mention the word \u201Cindependence\u201D; however, it is the closest a CiU electoral programme has ever been to supporting an independent Catalonia. In fact, the programme is validated by the massive demonstration of September 11th claiming for Catalonia\u2019s independence from Spain, which gathered around 1.5 million people in Barcelona, according to local police. Following this demonstration, CiU and particularly the Catalan President, Artur Mas, openly defended Catalonia\u2019s need to have its own state within the European Union. Not surprisingly, this claim has been included in the programme for the next Catalan election, which were called for a month ago by Mas, after the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy turned down the proposal for a specific fiscal agreement to improve Catalonia\u2019s funding scheme (in line with the fiscal models from the Basque Country and Navarra). Mas presented the CiU programme, which places \u201Cthe best Europe\u201D as its reference.
CiU\u2019s electoral programme proposes the creation of \u201Cstate structures\u201D in order to have a Catalan state within the EU by 2020. In fact, the document uses the EU as a constant reference, even with its title \u2018Catalonia 2020\u2019, in line with the EU\u2019s strategy for competitiveness. The Catalan President and CiU\u2019s candidate for the next elections, Artur Mas, explained that one of the programme\u2019s main axes is \u201Chaving the best Europe as a reference\u201D. We want to be stuck with Europe. If we were to choose a partner, Europe would be our current marriage choice\u201D, stated Mas. In order to do this, the \u201Cred line\u201D is Catalonia\u2019s \u201Cright to decide\u201D on its own future and consequently the organisation of a self-determination vote to allow Catalan citizens to directly express their opinion on the issue.
The need for Catalonia\u2019s own state
\u201CIf we want a leading Catalonia in Europe, we need a state structure, which we do not have\u201D, stated Mas. \u201CWe do not have a welcoming state that defends us\u201D, emphasised Mas, talking about Spain. \u201CWe have tried to have it\u201D for the last three decades, but Spain has refused to change and defend Catalonia\u2019s interests, explained Mas. Therefore, now Catalans \u201Cwant what the rest of strong European nations have\u201D; a state. Mas insisted that this state would be built following absolute democratic principles, around a large majority. \u201CThe people need to win this through democracy in its purest state. And we will do it. They will try to impede it, but we will do it\u201D, he stated. This Catalan state would have \u201Cthe best Europe\u201D as its reference, following Europe\u2019s successes: fostering \u201Cthe best quality of living and an absolute respect for human rights\u201D.
The recovery from the economic crisis is \u201Cthe first priority\u201D
Beyond Catalonia\u2019s self-determination process and the independence vote, CiU\u2019s electoral programme and \u201Ccountry project\u201D have made \u201Crecovering from the economic crisis, reactivating the economy and creating jobs, the first priority\u201D, stated Jordi Baiget, who is coordinating the drafting of the electoral programme, together with Ramon Espadaler. This is, according to CiU leaders, the main axis of the electoral programme for the next four years. In addition, they propose improving education levels, fostering research, reducing the number of people at risk of social exclusion, strengthening the prevention of health risk, improving pensions \u201Cto the extent allowed by employment levels\u201D, increasing security, creating new companies, having \u201Cwell-balanced public finances and a deficit tending to zero\u201D, a fairer taxation \u201Cin order to reduce the individual pressure and increase revenue\u201D, reducing fiscal fraud by half and promoting the presence of Catalan institutions worldwide.
Espadaler underlined that CiU\u2019s proposals are \u201Cspecific and transparent\u201D. \u201CWe could have gone with more ambiguous proposals, but we decided to draft an engaged and concrete programme, acknowledging that this electoral campaign will focus on CiU and President Mas\u201D, added Espadaler. \u201CWe know that what we are managing, what will come, will be difficult\u201D, both from a national and socio-economic perspective, indicated Espadaler. However, CiU is \u201Cnot scared\u201D, as \u201Cwe believe in this country. This is CiU\u2019s benchmark\u201D, concluded Espadaler.