Monday, April 30, 2012


by Dr. Joan Carretero,
President of Reagrupament Independentista (RCAT)

This magma we call Catalanism, which may include from Catalan cultural activism to a great deal of political independentism, has been working right from the beginning with two aims in mind, among others, which are clearly wrong from my point of view and have been, furthermore, a great loss of energy and an endless source of frustration.

The first one of them is the foolish aspiration to reform Spain. Catalanism has always been at the forefront of Spanish reformism, thinking that a democratic Spain, prosperous and homologous to the rest of Europe, member of democratic international institutions, would be the ideal and suitable frame for Catalonia’s recognition, with an autonomous, federal or confederal matching, whatever you may call it, comfortable enough in order to reach its national completeness.

Harsh reality, though, is telling us that Spain, whatever its situation will be, does not tolerate any part of its territory not being quite fully Spanish speaking or avoiding being strictly brought under its absolute rule. This type of Catalanism has always been dreaming in finding and having its own place within Spain, a place absolutely peculiar in terms of international standards: having its own national sport teams taking part in official worldwide competitions, claiming for Catalan language to be accepted as equal among the rest of the EU official languages, having official representatives in the European decision bodies, diplomatic delegations, taking hold of ” the key to its own safe”… a long list of dreams that could only lead to unpleasant and sour awakenings.

The second aim, equally wrong to my thinking, was pretending to invent and set up new modern political relations with Spain and forgetting simultaneously, too often, the scorn on our historical rights. The Spanish constitution takes into account the historical rights of some territories but certainly not those concerning to Catalonia.

Catalan representatives just ignored them completely and preferred not to include the claim for an autonomous treasury which was considered, incredibly, an old-fashioned thing. It is necessary to firmly and unceasingly claim for the devolution of our historical rights and sovereignty which are essential targets for those who struggle to get back their own state. All nations in Europe who have recently recovered their sovereignty did claim first for their historical rights. Scotland stands as the ultimate candidate and takes all its strength from what it was, and wants now to be again, in a democratic way. To us the abolishment of “Decret de Nova Planta” is a matter of vital importance in order to regain our national rights. We must not forget that the present Spanish constitution is just its more recent heir; that’s not an old tale for historians but another step towards national freedom.

Translation: JJTN

Note: First published in LA VEU DE REAGRUPAMENT, Num. 13 (March 2012)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Electoral promises broken, PP


The incumbent Spanish Popular Party (PP), has broken its electoral priority to face economic crisis. Instead, (Pro-Spanish) identity policies are now its top priority.

Chasing local councils who do not exhibit the Spanish flag, or who join the Pro-independence Municipalities Association (Llanos de Luna), education homogenization (Wert), Catalan banned at the Spanish Senate (Pio Escudero), Imposition of Spanish and denial of Catalan at Courts (Gallardón), are examples of current PP government's top priorities initiatives, instead of fighting economic crisis, the number one priority promised in the last electoral campaign.

As a consequence, everything that goes beyond the strict folklorization of Catalan identity becomes the target of increasingly fiery attacks from PP-driven government and other bodies.

And what about the crisis? Well, the crisis is a good excuse to get rid of all that is seen as not Spanish enough.

Author: RCat Web Team
Translation: JS

Monday, February 27, 2012



On Tuesday, February 21st, Mr. Joan Carretero, President of Reagrupament, was interviewed in Jordi Graupera´s Gent que m'estimo (People I love) section of Jordi Basté´s program El món a RAC1 (radio).

You can listen the interview (in Catalan) here.

Here you can read a summary of the most relevant answers of the interview.

"This (Catalonia) is a country of Catholic tradition in which there are many non-practicingCatholics, and also many non-practicing independentists"

"This country is always looking for euphemisms. The fact is, in practice, people want to be Spanish... a different kind of Spanish, because Catalans always look for strange things, but ultimately, we want to play against Real Madrid"

"It is possible that those who have tried to lead, have not known enough. We did not give people a chance to trust us."

"Most citizens want to define themselves in one way, but to act differently".

"I've always said, and I keep it, that every country has what it deserves"

"The main obstacle to Independence is that Catalans do not really demand it"

"Independence is not something that is given by someone. You take it. If Catalans want it, we will get it"

"The Spanish state has no say if Catalans decide to be independents"

"We always want others to do our job. I've heard silly things such as hope Madrid will get tired of us, and expel us..."

"The problem is not the lack of unity to share a few pro-independence votes... the problem is that they are few!"

"Reagrupament continues because we are convinced we are right... The problem is that, until now, our countrymen don't accept that ... since we are die-hard people, we will keep trying it"

"Convergència (Democràtica de Catalunya) is the greatest invention in politics in recent years because they always succeed. First they talk about economic pact, after about a fiscal pact only, and now they agree on a rebate of only 6 bilions of euros".

"Mr. Jordi Pujol, fooled us for years. Moreover, he ridiculed and despised pro-independence militants. He treated us as we were all crazy, people without a clear roadmap. But now he agrees that may be we are right"

Author: Rcat Web Team
Translation: JS

Sunday, February 19, 2012



are times of difficulty and confusion in ideas and in public life.There are also times when leadership, the ability of governments and political projects are tested.

As an example, in the United States, President Obama and his administration are projecting some doubts, since its first term in office have not been as bright as expected. Even though they have do better than their predecessors, but not as good as the expectations they have raised when they accessed at the forefront of the world´s most powerful country.

Although in a very different scenario, MM. José Montilla and J.L. Rodriguez Zapaterohave already passed into history as dismal gray political leaders and rulers, not only for the mismanagement of the situation they have found, but also for being unable to provide hope. In Mr. Montilla case, his government´s incompetence and lack of national (catalan) project, led to a disastrous election results both to its own formation and to its partners. However, he has recently been nominated Spanish Senator. In the case of Mr. Zapatero and their followers, they are a crystal-clear example that systematic frivolity, demagoguery and deceit deserve a strong electoral punishment.

Obviously, recent political changes should imply changes in main political forces behavior. However, in Catalonia, with the exception of more severe spending cuts, the current government has not substantially changed the worst of Mr. Montilla´s policies, specially regarding the relationship between Catalonia and Spain. The Catalan government sails in mediocrity and takes refuge in an ambiguous and incomprehensible discourse. The same goes for CiU federation, under Mr. Duran i Lleida leadership and dictate from Madrid.

President Artur Mas declared that "perhaps the seams of the Constitution and the Statute have to be broken a bit". Also, Mr. Oriol Pujol, recommended lime tea to die-hard independentists. As we can see, our rulers poverty of language and metaphors is alarming. In Catalonia, we simply replace one metaphor (fish basket) for another (broken seams) without achieving real progress. Instead we need to have our own fishing nets in order to capture according to our needs, and wear our own made clothes and not those made by someone´s else.

However, at the EU there are leaders who are not afraid to speak out, even if they don´t get the desired outcomes. As an example, Scotland government is fullfilling its promise to consult its people on the country's independence. In Scotland, where those in favour of Independence are less than in Catalonia, citizens won´t be asked about a new fiscal pact or about UK law broken seams.

They will be simply asked if they want their own state, if they want Independence.

Do not think the time has come in Catalonia to speak out?

Author: RCAT web team
Translation: JS

Trying to counteract Duran's unionist stand and Pujol's lime tea, Artur Mas


A few days ago, Mr. Oriol Pujol, number 3 of CiU federation, recommended to pro-Catalonia independence supporters some lime tea, and Mr. Duran i Lleida, number 2 of the same federation, denied that SNP is for Independence. On Tuesday, Mr. Artur Mas, President of the Generalitat de Catalonia, and CiU's boss, had to announce that “perhaps the seams of the Constitution and the Estatut have to be teared a bit”. Thus Mr. Mas is trying to rise as a country’s defender in front of the previous discouraging statements referred.

Mr. Mas, expects to counteract the nationally frustrating effect of both statements, that caused a deep disappointment between those most sovereignists. These statements disappointed again the most sovereigntist troops. Besides, former Minister Carme Laura Gil censured them in public in her blog, considering them as “regrettable”. In this way, CiU’s leader is trying to slow Mr. Duran i Lleida’s usual expressions down, which have a clearly pro-Spanish unity tone. We can understand this as an attempt from Mr. Mas to maintain his formation’s typical ambiguity, from which they expect collecting votes from everywhere.

Mr. Oriol Pujol considers that sovereignism, is an affliction that has to be treated with some lime tea

In an interview for the newspaper El País, Mr. Oriol Pujol was asked if sovereignism has to be operated on, or if a pill treatment should be enough. Mr. Pujol declared: “For more or for less? The most effective thing is treating it with lime tea: some lime tea, a bit of patience. Our approaches want neither too much urgency nor fireworks. Otherwise, they create frustrations.”

Author: RCAT Web team
Translation: MA

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Yes vote to GOS fiscal measures upsets CDC troops

Former president Mr. Jordi Pujol, tries to calm down militants saying that economic discrimination justifies independence

Duran´s opinion prevails over Mas-Colell´s criticism regarding income tax rise

CiU vote for GOS (Government of Spain) anti-crisis measures has not been fully understood in Catalonia. Not even for a large number of CDC rank-and-file members, according to several CDC militants close to RCAT associates.

These members have started to press the party's leaders. They don't quite understand the yes vote, specially after voting against Mr. Mariano Rajoy´s election as President. And also after Mr. Andreu Mas-Colell, the Minister for Economy and Knowledge, categorical words opposing to those measures -that include a rise of the income tax. According to the Minister´s words, tax income rise risks to place Catalonia's fiscal burden at a suffocation level. In critics opinion "if they didn´t want to to vote against, they could have just abstained".

Having that in mind, it is quite obvious the motivation of former president Jordi Pujol's article posted in his website. Mr. Pujol would have written it to try to appease the unease of militants. In the piece, Mr. Pujol acknowledges that

" Catalonia as a country could be driven to unviability, (...) not because of the economic consequences of independence, but the impossibility – as a result of economic discrimination –of Catalonia to respond not only to the needs of wealth creation or the support for our language and culture, but also to build a truly bona fide society for all her citizens. This, as much or more than any other argument, would be a valid reason to opt for independence. "

However, some analysts consider that the yes vote can also be read having in mind the traditional tensions between CDC and UDC. And more specifically as a Mr. Duran's victory not only over Mr. Mas-Colell, but over the whole Catalan Government. Mr. Duran, as CiU´s top figure in Madrid, in this sense, would be setting the political line of the Government of the Generalitat, without paying the costs that entails to head a department.

Authored: RCAT Web Team

Translation: MA

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A leading president or a crumbs manager?

Catalonia´s puppet government outflanked by GOS new policies

Although it was known and expected that once in charge of the Government of Spain (GOS), Mr. Rajoy's Partido Popular (PP), would set up new centralist policies, Mr. Mas' puppet government reaction has been timid and confusing. Even worst, it seems to consider them as minor reforms only. However, with the excuse to deal with the deficit, new GOS is committed to scrap the few autonomous powers still standing after the 2006 Statute of Autonomy disaster. No one understands Mr. Mas invisibility in front such an scenario. In fact, due to PP announced reforms, the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia will become just a mere manager of a Catalan budget, that will required a GOS approval before its final pass.

As usual, PP has spoken loud and clear. They defend Spain as One Nation only, and that no (Catalonia's) right to decide exists and will ever exist. No "fiscal pact" exists either. The same for (Mr. Mas) so much referred, "national transition". Or may be CiU's national transition project heads towards Spain instead of Catalonia?

In any case, those that favour autonomy and sit at Government table, are the first who have to explain the collapse of autonomy. A scenario, by the way, thatReagrupament announced some months ago.

To a serious -as Mr. Mas likes to present himself- President, we only ask him to recognize the gravity of the situation, and change strategy accordingly. Forget gestures, rethoric and appeals to people's will, and practice true President's responsibility. President Mas should be loyal to the people that elected him, and not to a political party (PP) that openly wants to destroy Catalan Identity, Language and Culture. President Mas should be loyal to the people, not financial lobbies, not to a partner with interests in the Spanish ministries.

There is an adult and complete nation, full of problems, debts and challenges, but willing to stand up and exercise their rights within an European democratic framework. Other nations who share similar scenarios to Catalonia's, for example, Scotland, count with leaders decided to end dependency. And we, the Catalans? Do we have a president ready to lead the nation towards freedom and the right to decide? Or a sad manager just satisfied with the crumbs of the crumbs.

Authored: RCat web team
Translation: JS

Saturday, January 7, 2012


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Thursday, January 5, 2012


Reagrupament Independentista
(RCAT), is an association fully committed to Catalonia'sIndependence and Political Regeneration. Though we are not properly a political party, our project is to promote electoral options (local or national lists, coalitions, platforms, etc) to contest elections in order to form a majority at the Parliament of Catalonia willing to pass aUnilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).

RCAT considers that the only way to preserve and promote Catalonia as a nation, is to access to Independence, Statehood, EU and UN memberships. Under the Spanish rule, there is no future, but a more or less slowly process of minorisation, first, and elimination as a people, in the end.

During the last decades, the formation of new states has been a feature of World politics. It is the outcome of globalization and democratization. The new Catalan state, in this sense, will promote democracy and cultural diversity.

RCAT as an association was formed in 2009. Since then, four national assemblies have been celebrated. The I Assembly (october 2009) elected the National Executive. In the II Assembly (march 2010) a political roadmap was approved. In the III Assembly (july 2010), was decided to support an electoral list to contest to the parliamentarian elections. Finally, in the IV Assembly (June 2011), a new National Executive was elected and a reviewed Political Platform was approved.

Joan Carretero i Grau (1955) is the current President of the association. It was so elected in the I Assembly, and again in the IV Assembly. Professionally he is a Doctor working in the Catalan Health Service. He lives and works in Puigcerdà (Cerdanya). Politically, he is a former Puigcerdà Mayor (1995-2003) and a former Catalan Minister of Governance and Public Administration (2003-2006). He doesn't consider himself as a professional politician, but a professional in politics.

RCAT considers that support to Independence is ideologically transversal among the Catalan society. That implies that we can find pro-independence supporters of different ideological perspectives. In this sense, RCAT considers that these ideologically differences must be put aside until the Declaration of Independence. As a consequence, RCAT members come from a diversity of political spaces. We have decided to emphasize those values we share: the fight for Independence, the Political Regeneration and the ethics of Work.

In coherence with the principle of political transversality in the fight for Independence, RCAT has developed a political strategy consistent in building coalitions with other groups and political parties that also promote independence.

Unfortunately, a first offer to build such a coalition made by Mr. Joan Carretero to contest to2010 Parliament of Catalonia election, was rejected by others groups. The lack of a Pro-Independence transversal list was severely punished by voters. The number of pro-Independence MPs fell from 21 to 14. This electoral outcome contrasted with the growing number of pro-Independence supporters showed in media and academic polls and surveys.

Things changed a little bit for 2011 Local election. RCAT members successfully built local coalitions with a number of other pro-Independence groups. In the National Capital,Barcelona, UnitsXBarcelona (UxB) list, a coalition including RCAT, ERC and DC, managed to gain 2 seats. In Girona, RCAT won 1 seat, in a list shared with CUP.

Totally, RCAT saw about 60 local candidates wining a seat. Numbers aside, what really mattered was that a first step to independentists unity had been done. Political analysts and journalists, in this sense, emphasized RCAT capacity to reach agreements with virtually all groups and parties that favour independence.

This experience was so positively valued that facilitated the formation of a new coalition to contest to 2011 Spanish Parliament elections. Now, the coalition was formed between RCAT, ERC (who had changed its leadership just days before), and Catalunya Sí (a citizens platform). Early polls gave to the coalition no representation at all. However, perspectives grew after the first electoral campaign week. Finally, the coalition managed to gain three seats at the Congreso de los Diputados chamber (2 in Barcelona, and 1 in Girona).

To sum up, however modest the outcomes have been, it is well evident that RCAT has been instrumental to reverse a negative trend. Now, the challenge to form a Pro-Independence unity coalition to contest next Parliament of Catalonia elections (scheduled, in principle, in 2014) is unavoidable. RCAT will do its best to make it happen.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Don't vote the referendum! (or else)

The Barcelona Decides initiative is a non-binding referendum (not authorized or approved by Spanish law) which will take place on the 10th of April 2011

Should Catalonia be independent from Spain?
Should there be a referendum which the law does not permit?

Watch the video and decide for yourself