The state as a citizens tool


Marta Rovira

As a democrat and a republican, I see political institutions as a tool to guarantee the rights and interests of the citizens. In short, a state — or any other level of public administration — has meaning insofar as the people perceive it is useful. In other words, a political institution must change profoundly if citizens are convinced that in its current form is of little use to them.

Catalonia has the right to call a referendum on independence, not because anyone has invented that right, nor because anyone has plucked the nation out of a hat, but because the citizens have the right, in Catalonia and anywhere else, to decide what form their institutions should take. Among other reasons, it is the people who have endowed themselves of the institutions to govern themselves. Like it or not, the institutions do not emanate from any god-given right…

In the case of the Catalans, the disparity in the political criteria between Catalonia and the Spanish state in the ground rules of society has come to light in recent years, and has become increasingly acute. The list of political conflicts between Spain and Catalonia is long, but it is worth highlighting a few so as to get an idea of their scope.

Firstly, although a broad spectrum of society, including the employers’ associations and trade unions, along with most political parties, have for decades demanded a rail freight corridor be built to connect the length of the Mediterranean coast with Northern Europe, along with a high-speed rail connection, successive Spanish governments have refused to invest. Thus, eluding all economic grounds, Spain has consistently shown disdain for this infrastructure that Catalan society considers essential for economic and social development of the Mediterranean coastline.

Read @ Help Catalonia

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