David Gardner: “The example of Scotland is clear: More debate and less drama”

DavidGardnerInterview with David Gardner, FT International Affairs Editor.

The journalist David Gardner was the man who put the independence of Catalonia on the front page of his newspaper, the Financial Times. It was this past September, with the Catalan sovereignty debate in full swing, when his moderate articles circled the globe. A correspondent in Spain during the Transition and now based in Lebanon where he writes about the Middle East, he returned to Catalonia last fall to explain what was happening here.

The Catalan pro-independence movement sees you as a defender of its cause. How do you feel?

It’s surprising: I am not aware of having defended the pro-independence cause, in fact I am a federalist by instinct. I simply wrote that there was a purely political problem here and that Madrid had no desire to solve it. I didn’t know that the Catalan side of the debate was underrepresented.

Last September you positioned yourself in favor of the fiscal pact. How do you see things now?

The truth is I feel that no progress has been made on the issue of reexamining the fiscal relationship between Spain and Catalonia. But I believe that in the future there will be greater awareness that it is really just a political problem, as well as acknowledgement that the Spanish autonomies model had design flaws from the start and that a part of café para todos (“coffee for all”) was a smoke screen.

Do you think that last fall’s pro-independence euphoria has subsided?

This is going to be a long-term process. Everyone is speaking in terms of next year, but I believe that it will be much longer than that.

Read @ InTransit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>