How do we want to become an independent country?
Over the past 100 years, 19 new countries have become independent in Europe. The right of self-determination is recognized by the UN and was ratified by Spain in 1977. Catalans want to achieve internationally recognized independence by holding a referendum. However, if Spanish authorities make this way impossible, we are determined to attain our goal by any other democratic and peaceful means.
Ten Good Reasons for Independence
1. Because we want to build a new and better country
At a time when the whole world, not only Catalonia, is undergoing a deep economic and social crisis, many Catalans aspire to leave the crisis behind by working harder and building a different kind of state, more democratic, peaceful and respectful of other ways of thinking. Catalonia aspires to be the Netherlands or Denmark of southern Europe, a small country but with strong commercial links to the rest of the world.
2. Because we want to promote our own language
Catalonia is and will remain a multicultural society and the Spanish language (Castillian) will remain a very important and praised language in an independent Catalonia, which is likely to be strongly bilingual for many years to come. Yet, most Catalans aspire to promote once again their own langauge (Catalan) in all spheres of society, allowing it to regain the place that it deserves amongst the diverse and rich languages of Europe.
3. Because we want to be recognised as Catalans
An increasingly high number of catalans have lost (or never had) any sentimental links to Spain. For us the Catalan flag (four red stripes on a golden field) represents our culture and our values. We want to hear our national anthem and feel proud of it, as the citizens of all other Euroean countries are allowed to do. When visiting or working in a foreign country, most of us don’t identify ourselves as Spanish. When asked, we respond that we are Catalans and we would like to see our national identity recognised all over the world.
4. Because we need to improve our economy
We have the right and the will to manage our own resources, according to the needs of our community, using them in a rational and sustainable way. Nowadays, Catalonia has to confront a deep economic crisis, as all other European countries do, but it also has to contribute around 8% of its annual GDP, much over any solidarity obligations, to sustain an inefficient Spanish state. Only by becoming an independent country can we hope to come to overcome this kind of fiscal discrimination.
5. Because we need to dignify our own culture
For much too long have we been under the control of the Spanish state and its centralising culture. With its colonialist mentality, the Spanish insitutions have often treated Catalan culture and Catalans themselves as small children that lacked any right to make their own decisions on important matters and had to be ruled from the Castillian center, as one rules untrustworthy or inferior subjects.
6. Because we already have all the attributes of a nation-state, including our own language, our own history and our own traditions
“Castellers”, “diables”, “gegants”, “sardanes”, “diada de Sant Jordi”, “calçotada”… If you don’t know what this is all about, ask us and we will be more than happy to explain you. Our culture, our existence as a people, is more than one thousand years old. Our cultural heritage and our identity allows us to exist as a free and self-standing nation that only needs its own state to achieve its plenitude and fully contribute to the world’s progres.
7. Because we deserve to decide for ourselves
It is a right of every people: to make its own decisions. And at this point, it is essential for us to put an end to our subordination to the Spanish Parliament in Madrid. What´s the point of voting laws and try to rule your own community if everything you decide will be immediately vetoed or modified to fit other people’s interests? The Spanish Constitution dates from 1978. It was written under pressure of the army and the fading structures of Franco´s dictatorship. It has ensured a certain degree of stability by suppressing the rights and aspirations of subjugaged nations like Catalonia. If democracy is to survive in Spain it is paramount that these aspirations are finally heard.
8. Because a small country can work
Smaller nation-states are closer to their people and their territory. As an indepndent state, we will be able to better plan how to protect our environment, to decide which energy sources we want to tap and to lessen the damage we inflict on our own natural community. We will also be able to improve our education and health systems. As many cases in Europe and elsewhere show, bigger is not necessarily better.
9. Because we need to improve our infrastructures
Our roads, airports, highways and ports are important and cannot be neglected. Too many people die on Catalan roads due to the lack of investment or because of poor management by the central government. Nowadays we have too many tolled highways with some of the highest traffic densities in Europe. Also our airport and our ports are heavily congested due to lack of investment for political reasons.
10. Because we want to support our sport teams
Presently, Catalonia cannot compete on any international sport events. Even if we would like to participate, as Scotland or Wales do, the Spanish government constantly forbids it. Spain won the 2010 football World Cup. Seven of the players in that team were Catalans and the Spanish media pounded some of them for showing the Catalan flag on the celebration. We dream of one day when we will be able to participate in the Olympic Games as any other free nation of the world.