Carretero: “Who would understand not having a self determination referendum during the current term?”

21.04.2013

Source: El Vallenc (06.04.2013)

Reagrupament’s National Executive held its last ordinary meeting on Saturday 6th April in Santes Creus. They usually have meetings all across the Catalan territory besides the ones they hold at their National HQ in Barcelona. The session began at 10 a.m. and lasted till lunchtime at 2 p.m.  After having discussed the country’s present political situation and other internal affairs they had a traditional “calçotada”.

Elvallenc.com, realizing that Joan Carretero, president of Reagrupament, was in our area, asked for an interview to know his views on Catalonia’s current politics and on the process towards independence.

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How would you describe the general current situation in Catalonia as seen from the economic and national perspectives?

Our country is going through an enormous deep change that will affect all its structures as a result, to a great extent, of the new global paradigm, though we are affected also by our specific lack of political recognition.

The lack of operative structures with real capacity of acting and decision making is perfectly clear now in this moment of deep crisis in the relations between citizens and government and this could lead our nation onto a road to nowhere.

The Spanish state has proved to be absolutely inefficient in managing political and economic affairs with direct consequences on our daily lives and all the more for the people living in Catalonia. So the need for a political breakup is now more needed than it ever was.

Catalonia has been suffering an intense drawing back for the very last years in all aspects (innovation, productivity, public services…) and we don’t foresee any real change in the short run.

It is therefore our responsibility, of all those who want to make our country a successful one, to help and support the only suitable way to reverse the present situation which is a most needed Unilateral Declaration of Independence made by the Parliament of Catalonia as our best and major representative body.

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Do you really think we are at a historical moment on our way towards independence or could it turn out to be just another failed opportunity?

This is, no doubt, a moment of profound change worldwide and all things will be very different from they were in the 20th century. It is now for us, Catalans, to decide if we want to take part in the new world and even win, maybe, the prize for the best original script.

In this new scenario which is getting more and more open, participative and cooperative, we ought to be able to lead a model process towards the configuration of a brand new state of outstanding transparency and radical democracy.

But in a daily context infected now by corruption, it looks as if that goal was to be diluted  among other concerns on how the management of the public treasury has been done till now.

Anyway, the actually blocked system of political parties that, without any exception, represent us in Parliament today has proved to be quite insufficient to keep stepping forward.  That’s why we, Reagrupament, have been insisting on the issue that all possible allies, without any exclusion, are much needed in order to keep moving forward and reach independence. It is quite clear for us that independence will not be conquered unless it is accompanied by a profound regeneration of the political system and their representatives.

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What’s your opinion on the current CiU-ERC agreement?

Politics themselves are just a public service and absolute generosity is required from those who want to contribute for a limited period of time to the welfare of the community to which they belong. But this general principle, well assumed by Reagrupament, does not exclude, in no way, the assumption of all the concerning responsibilities.

To my thinking, the greatest difficulty in this CiU-ERC agreement is an obvious functional duality that carries with it a serious inequality between the two parties. There is, on one side, the imperative need to manage the daily functioning of the country and all its public services which, despite having been shortened, depend on budgets which are essential themselves in order to control the public administration. This is an arduous ungrateful task which carries with it an obvious electoral punishment in these times of great economic difficulty.

We have, on the other hand, a public commitment to call for and hold an entailing referendum on Catalonia’s independence which requires the preparation of a new scenario. That is a much more grateful task as it is linked to a different, more indulging and in many ways more prosperous scenario.

So, the required loyalty to the agreement should necessarily include, on both sides, the responsibility and the assumption of the present difficulties. But we don’t have such a good perception of a well balanced responsibility between partners since not all the burdens are being shared in terms of equality.

ERC, by avoiding being part of the Generalitat’s government, is giving priority to their own political interests while CiU’s stability and strength, diminished by the results of the last elections, are absolutely essential to guarantee and carry on with the independence process.  This point has not passed unseen and certainly is not making the referendum any easier.

acord_reagrupament_erc_475x352Will 2014 definitely be the year for us to vote on self determination?
Obviously, I do not know the exact time for the announced self determination referendum, but… the only possible and understandable scenario is to have it right during the present term.

How can you explain to the world that ERC in not the only political choice for independence?

Traditionally, the pro-independence movement has had many fractions as each one was associated to a different political ideology. But, as we pointed out, we are not choosing now between left or right political sides.

So, in the short-time scenario of a self determination referendum, it doesn’t make any sense to be focused on the political tendency of parties promoting activism in seeking independence, mainly because most of the people who  want it do feel, right now, truly disappointed  by all conventional parties.

Finally, do you think it advisable not to have a well consolidated government right now in Catalonia? Is CiU weaker now than they were before 25-N elections?

As I said before, that is a concerning point we all should be aware of so we can effectively carry out and celebrate the referendum.  But if CiU’s government is unable to get the annual budget approved with all due normality, and the rest of the parties, including ERC, keep making attacking criticisms to them  then it would be more difficult to awake the citizens’ confidence in the whole process and get them truly involved.  And to gain, all the more important, all the necessary support from the international community.

(Translation: JTN) 

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