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.