Vicent Partal


We are not them (Letter to our European friends)

I don’t doubt you must be amazed by the way the Spanish politicians, especially the Spanish Government, behave. In spite of the serious crisis that overburdens us all, they all act with the utmost lack of responsibility. A lack which is causing important problems all of us must try to fix. Yet, I can’t say I’m amazed in the least, as I’ve been enduring this for decades.

Such behaviour, so strange to you, isn’t at all strange to me. The citizens of Catalonia, the Valencian Country, and the Balearic Islands have been enduring their strange behaviour for ages. As an example, I’ll simply tell you that while they keep building High Speed Trains leading to small and remote towns, Barcelona and Valencia are still linked by a one-track railway. And yet, the area encompassing both cities contributes 55% of the spanish GDP and carries as much as the 60% of merchandise traffic.

This economic absurdity is only one in quite a lot. There is a reason for this: Spain may look like a modern country, but it isn’t. It’s a country still haunted by its identity. Obsessed by the idea of building its national identity at all costs. It is a country where nationalism, their nationalism, may justify the most absurd decisions. Against economic consistency, and against Europe, even. Resuming the example I used before: No matter how much the European Commission considers the so-called Mediterranean Corridor to be a priority, the Spanish Government refuses to invest one single euro on it, and clings stubbornly to the building of a ‘central corridor’ that crosses Madrid, and which Europe is not keen on.

We’ve been telling you about all this more than once. About all this and about their enormous plundering of our taxes. About their unceasing attacks on our identity, particularly on the Catalan language, against which they agitate with an unhealthy obsessionAnd what a low level of democracy! I deem it normal that you thought I was exaggerating, but now you’ve seen for yourselves. You’ve seen their flaws, and must endure them as we have been enduring them for a long, long time.

Our society is living a very important moment, especially in Catalonia, where a majority of the population is willing to establish a republic of our own. We are aware that our future depends only on ourselves, and we are willing to decide which. But today I’d like to ask you to observe their behaviour, as I’m quite sure this will help you to understand our determination not to remain subject to them any longer. Furthermore, please don’t mistake us for them, for we are not them.

Mail Obert