Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Otra solución para Catalunya: reformar la Constitución

En vez de un otro referéndum según las reglas debidas, propone otra solución para el conflicto catalán: reformar la Constitución para que España cambie en un estado federal. Lo hace en un artículo publicado por Social Europe. Copio la segunda parte de su artículo (si alguien sabe donde está una versión en castellano, por favor dímelo):

A Way Forward For Catalonia

(...) In the current context of social disaffection, political populism and intense propaganda, a referendum on Catalonia’s independence could end up ripping the Catalan society into two, undermine its social cohesion, isolate it internationally, throw it out of the EU and the euro, and destroy the countless links, family, economic, historic, etc. that have bound Cataluña with the rest of the country for over five centuries. This is not democracy.

A truly federal Spain

So, although the use of force was unfortunate, preventing an illegal referendum was not only democratic, but the only thing a democratic government could have done under the rule of law. Yet, law and order measures alone will, by no means, solve a profound and protracted problem that is dividing Catalan society. Only a political agreement can put an end to this political: the manifest dissatisfaction with the status quo felt by about half of the Catalan population. The best option would be a reform of the Constitution to turn the country into a proper federal state, which would enhance Catalonia’s self-government, improve its financial autonomy and better recognize its identity, culture and language. The country is more decentralized than most federal states but lacks the federal institutional architecture to make it work efficiently (such as a decent Senate, clear delimitations of competences, or organs of cooperation between regions, among others). Therefore, a federal state would be good not only to accommodate Catalan demands, but to improve the functioning of the country as a whole. A reformed Constitution would have to be voted on and approved by all Spaniards, including Catalans.
Ultimately, all federal states are founded on an implicit contract of loyalty from the parts (the regions) to the center (the State), which is the grand Political Agreement with the Catalan nationalists that Spain needs: greater autonomy for and recognition of Catalonia in exchange for dropping independence demands and pledging loyalty to the Constitution. The latter is not an easy task, but in my view it is the only way forward which avoids total confrontation and rupture.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that pro-independence leaders will be willing to negotiate anything, except the terms of the secession. If they were to declare independence unilaterally in the next few weeks, it would force the national government to react and suspend Catalonia’s self-government, which would be disastrous.
On the other hand, the current Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is totally unfit for embarking on negotiations. He and most of the current center-right Popular Party (PP) senior leaders are also responsible for the rise of Catalan pro-independence forces in the last decade through their centralizing tendencies and total lack of sensitivity about Catalan singularities and demands. The PP claim of unconstitutionality regarding the reformed Catalan Estatut (the Charter that sets out Catalonia’s self-government), previously approved by the national and regional parliaments and by the Catalan people, was a decisive moment in the struggle for independence. The ensuing ruling from the Constitutional Court in 2010 turned down parts of the Estatut and was considered a major blow to millions of citizens, who turned to independence as the only way to enhance self-government. Since then, the mistrust felt by a large majority of Catalan citizens and political forces towards Rajoy and his collaborators make it impossible for him to strike a compromise.
Here, the best hope is for fresh elections and the emergence of governments in both Spain and Catalonia, headed by new leaders with enough vision, intelligence and generosity to reach a political agreement that leads the country out of this mess.
In conclusion, many Spanish democrats believe that ultimately a proper vote should take place in Catalonia, but not one that deepens social divisions and leads to confrontation and political instability. On the contrary, Catalans should vote, along with other Spaniards, for a federal Constitution that will keep a reformed Spain united, democratic and prosperous for at least a generation to come.


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