Vicent Partal


Roberto Maroni is not welcome in Catalonia

The president of Lombardy and leader of the racist Lega Nord, Roberto Maroni, begins a trip to Catalonia tomorrow whose principal objective is to take advantage of the international interest in Catalonia' process towards independence. Because of his institutional position, it's impossible to avoid receiving him but I think that precisely for this reaon, it is our responsibility, all of our responsibility, to make it clear that this character is not only not welcome but that the civic and political Catalan sovereignty movement doesn't have anything to do with what he represents.

The Lega Nord is a populist, xenophobic movement that uses an invented identity, that of Padania, to attract recruits from the populace to a movement that goes against the plural, inclusive, and democratic feeling that is the foundation of Catalan sovereignty. Here we don't ask anyone where they're from but rather what they want to be. Here we believe that the more diverse a society is, the richer it is. And here we fight for a state that is at the service of the whole populace, without distinctions or privileges. The Catalan nation has a grand history but today what interests us more is the future, and in that future, there is room for everyone, regardless of their origin, language, religion, or culture. That's the way it's always been and that's the way it'll always be.

When the civic referendums for independence began in 2009, the sovereignty movement made it very clear that everyone had a right to vote, including, of course, the most recent immigrants. You can't build a country by leaving the people who live in it on the edges. It was not a random or political decision but rather one based on a profound tradition of Catalanism that President Pujol defined with his famous phrase, "whoever lives and works in Catalonia is a Catalan". It is only out of malice that one would try to confuse our movement with one, like the Lega Nord, that proclaims the inequality of the citizens of their country as part of their political tradition. We have nothing to do with them, and we don't want to have anything to do with them. And not only that, in Catalonia I believe that we all agree that we are doing our best so that Europe doesn't fall into the dark pit into which the Lega would like to drag us all.

Mail Obert