Artur Mas: “Catalonia will not survive without its own state”

  • Regional leader accuses PP of fascist attitude in reply to minister’s ‘hispanicize’ comment
  • Catalan bishops give blessing to sovereignty drive

After a week of hearing various members of the Popular Party (PP) explain how secession from Spain would spell disaster for Catalonia, regional premier Artur Mas accused the central government of having a Falangist vision of the country.

“They think we should explain the history of Spain the way they would like to explain it themselves,” said the leader of the nationalist CiU bloc which governs Catalonia. “Catalan schools teach the history of Spain as a multinational state, not like ‘one, great and free’,” he said in a reference to the famous slogan used by the dictator Franco to support a centralized, homogenous country.

His words came shortly after Spain’s culture minister, José Ignacio Wert, stated the need to “hispanicize Catalan schoolchildren” to make up for a perceived pro-nationalist bias in the school curriculum. The CiU spokesman in Congress, Josep Antoni Duran Lleida, also jumped into the fray, saying that “maybe what Spain needs is to be Catalanized a bit.”

It was just the latest episode in an escalating war of words over a hypothetical secession of the northeastern region, whose assembly recently gave the green light to a referendum to ask Catalans whether they would like independence from Spain.

Read @ El Pais Internacional