The Town of Vic approved a motion today in support of the city entities that are organizing a popular referendum on independence. The motion, with a generic and little defined text that pleased the organizers, was approved with the favorable votes of the groups that had jointly presented it (CiU, ERC and CUP) and ICV-EUiA. The Plataforma per Catalunya abstained while PSC, which governs jointly with CiU and ERC, voted against. Alfons López Tena and Uriel Beltran attended the vote.
In total, 10 members of the group Osona Decideix (Osona Decides) were present at the meeting. The group is in charge of coordinating the referendums that will be held in the Osona municipalities. Uriel Beltran said that Vic was joining the "wave" of Catalan towns that will hold referendums and pointed out the importance of the capital of Osona [Vic] which he said had a "long Catalanist tradition".
Josep Maria Vila d'Abadal (CiU), mayor of Vic, said that the approved motion is not a minimum but a "maximum", given that they were supporting an initiative of the private citizens of the town and that the motion had been able to be above partisanship. In this way, it becomes a recognition of the role of the public. The mayor of the Osona capital considers that the public has a right to be recognized and demands that when the referendum is held, that every citizen be able to vote freely.
The councilperson and spokesperson for CiU, Xavier Solà, was in charge of coordinating the approved text. He says that the motion supports ideas like the "democratic strengthening and involvment of society". Solà says that the motion was begun by three groups with "similar national objectives" although at "different speeds". The lieutenant mayor of Vic considers the motion to be just a "gesture" but that such gestures in politics and institutions are "very important".
From ERC, the selectperson Joan López defended the stance that it "was more important to have a minimal agreement than no agreement at all". For López, the process followed since the referendum in Arenys de Munt has put "everyone in their place". López says the State is "acting ridiculously," as it tries to "fit" a collection of autonomies that is "leaking out on all sides". López lamented that they always say it's "not time" for self-determination and he said that the process has begun and there's no going back.
The spokesperson for CUP, Laia Jurado, affirmed that with this motion, Vic could decide and that some citizens, who in other circumstances might not be motivated, could get more active. Jurado says that the referendums are a democratic act. From ICV-EUiA, Xavier Tornafoch says that they voted in favor of the motion in support of the "Vic entities" because he believes that the referendum must be a movement of private groups.
Arguments against, and abstentions
The second lieutenant mayor and spokesperson for PSC, Josep Burgaya, said that the strategy of holding popular referendums is "respectable but wrong" because they are trying to force independence on the rest of us. Burgaya criticized the process by saying that the referendums "cheapen" the issue and are a "pale resemblance" of a future decisive referendum at a higher level. For the PSC spokesperson, the motion and the referendums are creating false hopes and are forcing a "false dilemma" that the public doesn't really have.
The spokesperson for PxC, Josep Anglada said that the motion was "ambigous, decaffeinated and minimal" and that it wouldn't be useful for "absolutely anything". For Anglada, the motion is just another "pre-election party" to create a smokescreen that will hide other problems, like the economic crisis.
Originally published in VilaWeb 07/10/2009 - 19:46h