Wednesday, April 3, 2013

100 days of the government, a half of a year for the country, by Vicent Partal

by Vicent Partal. Originally published in VilaWeb on 3 April 2013

Artur Mas' second government is 100 days old. It's a government that has systematically fulfilled that which it promised for what it calls the “national transition”, even as it still seems shell-shocked from electoral results that it did not expect and as it finds itself trapped in a frightening daily routine of financial hardships and endless budget cuts. It is an unpleasant situation that encourages those who don't want Catalonia to move forward in the independence process, and who are convinced that by stopping the government they can stop everything. They get ahead of themselves.

Because it's essential to note that the approval of the budget or an imagined financial pact with Madrid is not a big enough obstacle compared with the ambition, volume, and consistency of the Catalan sovereignty process. They are real difficulties that those who were voted in at the polls must simply get through. But they're nothing more than that. Whoever believes that the process towards independence will be stopped if the budget is not approved or because of a squabble between two factions has not understood anything about what has been going on in this country in the last few years.

What we are experiencing, above all, is a democratic revolt clearly directed by the citizenry. From below. Fomented by a mature and rigorous citizenry that knows perfectly well that in the Europe of the 21st century it is the politicians’ job to find the paths that make collective projects possible. By a citizenry that, cognizant of this fact, does not get skittish at the first difficulty. By a citizenry that has learned a lot about its own strength, its own empowerment, and its own demonstrated capacity to move the debate toward terrains where no one had placed it before.

And I don't have a single reason to believe that this citizenry, that this country, will not hold course to where it was six months ago. What there was on September 11th has neither disinflated nor is there any prevision on the horizon that anyone could disinflate it. How the Parliament of Catalonia and the Government will find an adequate path is a worry, that's clear. And how long this terrible situation is dragged out, agonizingly dragged out, and which we all suffer and that no one deserves, is also a source of worry. And that's it: the worry is nothing more than worry. Momentary, circumstantial, concrete. It doesn't invalidate the project.

I'll say it another way: when they write the chapter on the whole process, the budget talks and the money from Moncloa won't make it out of the the footnotes. Let's not be confused about that now either...

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