NOTE! This site uses cookies

By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more detalis, see Read more

Accept

What are you looking for?

The PSOE's new leader offers Catalan President a Constitutional Reform but rejects self-determination

The new Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez, met on Wednesday in Barcelona with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, to talk about the self-determination consultation vote scheduled on the 9th of November. Sánchez told Mas that he considers such a vote to be "illegal" and therefore it cannot take place. In addition, he stressed that the PSOE is totally opposed to Catalonia's right to self-determination and underlined that "national sovereignty" belonged to the Spanish people as a whole. However, he said he was proposing "a solution" to the current conflict between Catalonia and the rest of Spain: a reform of the Constitution to transform Spain into a true federal state. Despite this reform, Catalonia would not be considered "a nation". Sánchez underlined that once the agreement on this reform would be reached, Catalans would have the opportunity "to vote" on it. Therefore, for Sánchez, Catalans would only have the choice to vote for the current status quo, or for staying in Spain with greater self-rule but without being considered as a nation.

SHARE

03 September 2014 10:15 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The new Secretary General of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), Pedro Sánchez, met on Wednesday in Barcelona with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, to talk about the self-determination consultation vote scheduled on the 9th of November. Sánchez told Mas that he considers such a vote to be "illegal" and therefore it cannot take place. In addition, he stressed that the PSOE is totally opposed to Catalonia's right to self-determination and underlined that "national sovereignty" belonged to the Spanish people as a whole. However, he said he was proposing "a solution" to the current conflict between Catalonia and the rest of Spain: a reform of the Constitution to transform Spain into a true federal state. Despite this reform, Catalonia would not be considered "a nation". Sánchez underlined that once the agreement on this reform would be reached, Catalans would have the opportunity "to vote" on it. The proposal presented by the PSOE in September 2014 is closer to the Spanish nationalism stances than that which the party defended in the autumn of 1978, when the current Spanish Constitution was being drafted. Despite this fact, the Catalan Government wanted to make a difference among "the no-to-everything" attitude of the People's Party (PP) and the reformist attitude of the PSOE, as said by the Presidency Minister, Francesc Homs. However, it underlined that Catalonia will continue with the self-determination process and will not wait for Spain's two main parties "to reach an agreement and make us win the lottery", referring to the extremely small chance that a reform agreed by the PP and the PSOE could ever satisfy the aspirations of a majority of Catalans. However, the People's Party and the Spanish Government have rejected to negotiate the PSOE's Constitutional Reform on several occasions during the last few months.


Pedro Sánchez met with Artur Mas for the first time on Wednesday. He proposed a reform of the Constitution "in order to guarantee the living-togetherness and the union of the Catalan and Spanish societies". Only after the Constitutional reform is agreed among the political parties would Catalans have the opportunity to vote on it through a referendum, together with the rest of Spain. Therefore, Catalans would only have the choice to vote for the current status quo or for staying in Spain with greater self-rule, but without being considered a nation. Thus, Catalans would not be allowed to vote on independence from Spain. 36 years ago the PSOE accepted Catalonia as a nation and its right to self-determination and now it does not. In addition, it aims to consolidate its current stance on the issue through a light reform of the Constitution that does not fully recognise the pluri-national nature of Spain, and with this it aims to solve Catalonia's accommodation within the country and to bury its claims for independence.

Back in 1978, when the Constitution was being negotiated, the PSOE defended Catalonia's right to self-determination and defined Spain as "a nation of nations". Now, the PSOE rejects this right and defines Spain as a single nation, forgetting that Article 2 of the 1978 Constitution – which was agreed upon with the forces of the Franco Fascist dictatorship – stated that Spain is "formed of nationalities and regions". The word "nationalities" was the compromise reached at the time with the Spanish nationalist and dictatorial regime to define nations such as Catalonia and the Basque Country in order to not derail the entire democratisation process.

In 1978, Catalans massively backed that Constitution, believing that once democracy was consolidated in Spain, Catalonia's nationhood status would be fully recognised, but it happened the other way round. This is one of the reasons for the rise of independence support in Catalonia: a majority of Catalans have reached the conclusion that Spain will never fully accept its own diversity and Catalonia's nationhood.

SHARE

  • Pedro Sánchez (left) and Artur Mas (right) before their meeting in Barcelona (by P. Mateos)

  • Pedro Sánchez (left) and Artur Mas (right) before their meeting in Barcelona (by P. Mateos)