470. The dignity of Catalonia

Editorial published in 12 newspaper catalan (English version)

After nearly three years of slow deliberation and continuous maneuvering tactics that have damaged the cohesion and have eroded its prestige, the Constitutional Court may be about to deliver verdict on the Statute of Catalonia, promulgated on 20 July 2006 by the head of state, King Juan Carlos, with the following headline: “Know: that the Parliament has approved, the citizens of Catalonia have ratified in a referendum and I come to sanction the following organic law.” Will be the first time since the democratic restoration in 1977 that the Supreme Court decides on a fundamental law ratified by the voters. The expectation is high.

The expectation is high and the concern is not limited to the evidence that the Court has been pushed by events to act as a fourth house, confronted with the Catalan Parliament, the Cortes Generales and the freely expressed will of citizens to the polls.

Again, this is an unprecedented situation in a democracy. There are, however, more concern. Of the twelve judges composing the court, only ten can give sentence because one (Pablo Perez Tremps) after a challenge is murky maneuver clearly aimed at changing the balance of the debate, and another (Roberto García-Calvo) has died. Of the ten judges voting, four remain in office after the expiry of its mandate, as a result of disagreement between the opposition and the central government on the renewal of a newly defined by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as “heart of democracy”. A heart valves with sealed, since only half of its members are now free from mishaps or extension. This is the court of appeal that is about to decide on the Statute of Catalonia. We respect the court -respect undoubtedly superior to that on several occasions this has shown himself- not draw more than allude to the causes of the delay in sentencing.

The definition of Catalonia as a nation to the preamble of the Statute, with the resulting emanation of “national symbols” (¿perhaps not recognized by the Constitution, in Article 2, consisting of a Spanish regions and nationalities?). And the right and the duty to know the Catalan language, the articulation of the Judiciary in Catalonia, relations between the State and the Government are, among others, the most obvious points of friction in the debate, according to their versions, as that a significant part of the court seems to be opting for uncompromising positions. Some people dream of back surgeries iron cut at its root the spanish complexity. This could be, unfortunately, the touchstone of his sentence.

Let us not confuse the real dilemma is forward or backward; acceptance of the democratic maturity of a plural Spain, or its blockade. Not only are in play this or that article, the same dynamic is at stake constitutional spirit 1977, which made possible the peaceful transition. There is cause for serious concern as it could be a ploy to transform mature ruling on the statute in real time with a dead bolt lock and institutional. Castling a contrary to the maximum under the Constitution, which is none other than its openness and integration. The Constitutional Court therefore decided not only on the lawsuit brought by the Partido Popular against an organic law of the State (which is now a Partido Popular that draw near to the Catalan society with constructive attitudes and flattering speeches). The high court will decide on the real dimension of the Spanish framework of coexistence, that means on the most important legacy that the people who live and staged a change of regime in the late seventies transmitted to the younger generation, educated in freedom, fully inserted into the European supranationalism complex and confronted the challenges of a globalization that relativises stiffer seams of the old nation state. At stake are the agreements that have led to profound thirty virtuous years of Spanish history. And at this point is essential to recall one of the guiding principles of our legal system, rooted in Roman law: pacta sunt servanda, pacts have to be met.

There is concern in Catalonia and throughout Spain needs to know. There is something more than concern. There is a growing tirement to endure the gaze of those who continue receiving with anger Catalan identity (institutions, economic structure, language and cultural tradition) as the manufacturing defect that prevents Spain achieve uniformity and impossible dreams. The Catalans pay their taxes (no privileges); contribute their efforts to transfer income to Spain poorest, facing economic globalization without substantial benefits from the state capital; speak a language with more weight demographic than several official languages in the European Union, a language that instead of being loved, is often subjected to the obsesive observe from Spanishness official. And observe the laws, of course, without sacrificing its proven ability to hold peaceful and civic. These days, the Catalans think, above all, in about their dignity; that should be known.

We are waiting an important resolution. We hope that the Constitutional basis to decide the specific circumstances of the case which is hands-which is nothing but the demand for improvement of an old self-European people, remembering that there is absolute justice, only justice in the case, why the legal basis for excellence is prudence. Please remember this: the Statute is the result of a double political pact subject to referendum. Let no one be confused, or misunderstood the inevitable contradictions of Catalonia today. We are not facing a weak society, on their knees and willing to assist impassive impairment of its dignity. Do not want to imply a negative outcome and trust in the probity of the judges, but anyone who knows Catalonia doubt that the recognition of identity the improvement of self-government, obtaining financing and just a qualitative leap in the management of infrastructure are and remain obstinatement claims raised a huge political and social support. When necessary, Catalan solidarity will again articulating the legitimate answer from a responsible society.