Crisis? What crisis?

Like “Supertarm” sang in 1975, depends on who has it.


The macroeconomic figures are improving and we are seeing several months in which unemployment decreases, especially if we look from the perspective of Catalonia. But we still are far from some of our Europe brother countries that are between 4% and 5% and they cringe! So what’s going on?

We have “structural unemployment”. The employment structure has problems to offer jobs to certain segments of the population, in particular young people fewer than 30 and unemployed older than 45 years.

In terms of Spanish young people who have no secondary education, unemployment soars to over 60% and people that have it, 40%. According to official data of 2008, people who had no degree had an unemployment rate of 80%, nowadays we are on 60%. Yet unemployment also covers people with university degrees who have to leave the country to find a job.

And what future awaits us?  We need to promote entrepreneurship, facilitate the proceedings to start businesses, make life easier for autonomous… At this point I will reflect. In Catalonia are roughly 600,000 self-employed and there is around 600,000 unemployed people. Could you imagine if every independent hires an unemployed? Unemployment would finish! Obviously this is not easy and direct as it seems. A designer never hires an electrician, it doesn’t fit.

On my opinion we have two ways to help. Encourage the hiring of people over 45 years and recycling their knowledge in all sectors. And impact strongly on training young people. Training is the key to have a society with the highest possible employment including continuous recycling within the company, such as the German example.

The economy is improving again. But it could decrease again if we have not the ability to find new workers trained on each sector, like tourism, textiles and automotive and needless to say the technology in the broadest sense ( ICT, Bio, education, food, etc ..)

Catalonia, as a country, in research, competitiveness, economic activity and exports should be among the first world nations. Also the welfare of its citizens. All this can’t be achieved only with the job of the public institutions. It needs the effort of companies and unions, and also of course interested parties. Everyone contributes on this challenge, not just “Father” state.

The responsibility to have best training and qualifications it’s for everyone. We must be aware that those who are not well prepared for the society evolution, that  every day is faster, are losing points to work and be connected with the changes.


Soon we will have the opportunity to build a new country. Let’s start it right from the beginning.


Jaume Flamerich, prisioner of war

English / Español

This is the prisoner passport of my father, Jaume Flamerich i Vidal. Just a boy of 21 years old who suffered the darkness to defend freedom from fascism in his own skin.


The Spanish government denied the right to remember and not even help give dignity to the victims of fascism, so I decided to retrieve the historical memory of my dad, who today would have been 96 years old. He lived, like many other boys of his generation, amazing stories worthy of films. But I only want to talk about one chapter of his life: The concentration camp of Camposancos( Located in A Guardia, Pontevedra, Galiza ). Although it’s an unknown fact, Franco’s dictatorial government maintained during its early years, several concentration camps for prisoners from the territories was conquered in Spain. Here you will find 21 of them ,“Concentration camps in Spain”

During the last days of the Spanish Civil War, in the summer of 1939, the Republican army was fleeing to France. My father, Jaume Flamerich, was one of them and he finished in the beaches of Argelers, in winter of 1939.They believed the promises of forgiveness of the new Spanish fascist government. Travelling by train trough Hendaia, the prisoners arrived at the bullring of Donostia( Sant Sebastian ), Euskadi. Obviously my father was one of those arrested as a separatist communist. After a week sleeping outdoors, he was sent by a hospital ship from Pasaia (Pasajes), to A Guarda( Pontevedra) and he entered into the prisoners camp, The Concentration Camp of Camposancos, where the beatings, torture and atrocities of a fascist army were usual. How he survived the three months he stayed there? Only he knew, even going out with three fractured vertebrae. At the end, his family could take him out of the camp, in exchange to do a new military service of three years with the new fascist army. It sounds like a film, really? But this is true. The true hell that my father among other young men lived.

It was this last summer, 75 years later, and after some visits to Galiza, when I obtained all the information to follow the nightmare of my father in conditions more favourable to him. I traveled to Camposancos, talked with natives, took pictures and discovered the past of a concentration camp hidden by the history. The Spanish government NEVER acknowledged the existence of the concentration and prison camps and it has hidden the suffering of a generation. But this doesn’t dispel many questions: How many people stayed there? How many never got out of its walls? Where are the bodies buried?

Probably in any case, the official concealment is not enough and we can find information about the concentration camp on the net, just searching “Camposancos concentration camp”. There it’s explained the miserable life of thousands of prisoners that stayed in the ancient Jesuit school. A school that was opened again after this period and remained opened until 10 years ago. Mr. Mariano Rajoy, president of the Spanish government and born in Galiza, always respecting the law, will he recover the historical memory of his land? Or Felip VI the brand new king, will clean the past of his kingdom?  And also the Jesuits, example of progressism in many places around the world, could they remember and recognise their past?


Extremely terrifying it’s to know that only some elderly people want to remember this part of the history. You cannot imagine my feelings at that moment, knowing that my father had been suffering inside those walls … The Spanish people do not know the atrocities that were made under dark regime.

CamposancosCConcrentra2lateralmarIt is not true that Spain knows a lot to forget and hide the truth? Catalan people know how to remember… But I like that the people from Galiza will remember and confront its past. It’s in front of them. It’s in a building. On that place would be a monument of something that humanity must not repeat never again. Films and documentaries should be done about this. It’s a sanctuary that must be part of films and documentaries. A place for who will have enough political courage should go inside and dig under the trees, under the vegetation and discover the bodies that are still buried there. It’s not only the job to discover who were responsible, it’s something to remind all the Spanish governments that tried to hide the historical memories of that place. And we must not forget that on that place a lot of Galicia and Catalan people stayed. Where are the lists of prisoners? In the Salamanca files?  They must see the light! Where are the lists of death people? You could find some of them on the net.


The balance of the management of historical memory is disappointing but if you look at the balance of the relationship between Catalonia and Spain, you can not use another adjective that is not catastrophic . And what we have today? We have 37 constitutional years of camouflage reality, 75 years of misunderstanding and neglect, 300 years of breathlessness and occupation, and 374 years trying to absorb and assimilate ourselves as a nation. And at the same time there are crimes forgotten in the past that no one wants to open again. Will the Spanish and Galician governments be able to open past to build the future? Will the European Parliament be who takes the responsibility to investigate the franquisme crimes and open the graves of this camp? LluísLlach( Campanades a Morts ) YouTube It’s the United Nations who asks the Spanish government to act diligently on behalf of the victims of Francoism. 

We must never forget the past. We must have in mind the life of thousands of people who died for the liberty, freedom and democracy 75 years ago. How can we live without cleaning our past? Can we talk about revenge? Never. We are talking about democracy, human rights, and for those who died for others could achieve freedom. And so, returning dignity to those who lost it in an infamous place like this.

Ending my reflections now comes the moment where every citizen should know how to give the best of himself, with his head held high. Democracy is the answer of questions and liberty is the answer for a society that are doubting about its future! Will we know all the truth of what happened 75 years ago at the end?



Jaume Flamerich, prisionero de guerra

Esta es la targeta de prisionero de Jaume Flamerich i Vidal, mi Padre, un muchacho de 21 años, que sufrió en su propia piel, la garra del fascismo por defender la libertat.


Ya que el gobierno Español niega el derecho a la memoria y ni tan solo permite otorgar dignidad a las víctimas del fascismo, he decidido recuperar la memoria de un represaliado, mi padre Jaume, que ahora tendría 96 años. El vivió, como mucha gente de su generación, historias increibles dignas de una película, pero solo me referiré a un capítulo concreto de su vida: El Campo de Concentració de Camposancos ( Municipi A Guarda, Pontevedra, Galiza ). A pesar de ser un hecho poco conocido, el franquismo mantuvo durante sus primeros años, diversos campos de concentración para los prisioneros de los terriorios vencidos en territorio español. Aquí podeis encontrar 21 de ellos: “Campos de concentración en España”

Los hechos se remontan al año 1939, final de la Guerra Civil Española. Durante la huida del ejercito Republicano hacia Francia, muchos soldados, entre ellos mi padre, Jaume Flamerich, llegaron a la playas de Argelers en pleno invierno. Creyendo en las promesas de perdón de los “Nacionales”, mi padre regresó a España en tren, vía Hendaia. La realidad fue que, detenido como “rojo-separatista”, fue enviado a la plaza de toros de Donostia (San Sebastián), Euskadi. Después de pasar una semana a cielo raso, fué trasladado en un barco hospital desde Pasaia (Pasajes), hacia A Guarda (Pontevedra) siendo internado en el campo de prisioneros, Campo de Concentración de Camposancos, donde abundaban las palizas, las torturas y las salvajadas habituales de un ejército fascista. ¿Cómo pudo sobrevivir durante los tres meses en que estuvo internado? Solo él lo sabe, eso sí saliendo con tres vértebras fracturadas. Su familia consiguió sacarlo de allí a cambio de hacer una nueva “mili” de tres años mas. ¿Parece una película, no?. Pero fué un infierno real, no sólo para mi padre sinó tambien para muchas otras personas.

Este verano, 75 años después, y tras diversos viajes a Galicia, he podido reunir toda la información que me ha permitido reconstruir la pesadilla de mi padre: ir a visitar Camposancos, hablar con sus gentes, hacer fotos y descubrir que quedaba del pasado de un campo de concentración escondido por la historia. El Estado Español NUNCA ha reconocido la existencia de estos campos de prisioneros y ha ocultado el sufrimiento de toda una generación. Un oscurantismo que no responde a muchas preguntas: ¿Quantos prisioneros estuvieron allí? ¿Quantos ya no salieron nunca de allí? ¿Dónde están sus cuerpos?

La ocultación oficial y sistemática de este pasado contrasta con la información que se puede encontrar fácilmente en la red. Sólo es preciso buscar “Campo de concentración de Camposancos” y aparecen numerosas entradas que detallan la miserable vida de los miles de prisioneros que pasaron por el antiguo Colegio de los Jesuitas. Es sorprendente que, después de este episodio, el colegio continuó su actividad como centro escolar hasta hace, aproximadamente, unos diez años. Una información inquietante, que nos hace pensar si el Presidente del gobierno español, Mariano Rajoy (gallego), siempre respetuoso con las leyes, ¿recuperará la memoria histórica de su tierra? O ¿será el flamante Rei Felipe VI quien limpiará el pasado de su reino? Y  la compañía de Jesús, ejemplo de progresismo en muchas partes del mundo y a lo largo de la historia, ¿no puede recordar y reconocer aquellos hechos?.


Es deprimente darse cuenta que sólo algunas personas mayores quieren recordar esta historia. No podeís imaginaros cuales fueron mis sentimientos al ver por primera vez aquel tétrico edificio, sabiendo lo que mi padre había sufrido entre aquellas paredes….. Entretanto, el pueblo español desconoce las barbaridades que tuvieron lugar bajo la oscuridad del franquismo.


¿No es cierto que España sabe mucho de olvidar y esconder la verdad?. Los catalanes sabemos recordar….. Pero también me gustaría que el pueblo de Galicia recordara y se enfrentara a su pasado. Lo tienen delante de ellos, un edificio en pie, un lugar que tendría que convertirse en ejemplo de lo que no debe ocurrir jamás, en ninguna parte del mundo. Un santuario que fuera motivo de películas y reportages. Si hubiera alguien con suficiente valentía política, entraría para excavar bajo los árboles, bajo la vegetación, para descubrir los cadáveres que siguen ahí enterrados. Para descubrir, no sólo quienes fueron responsables, sinó recordar todos los gobiernos de España que se han preocupado de esconder la memória histórica, para esconder la realidad de unas víctimas que no fueron únicamente catalanes. No olvidemos que en este lugar también estuvieron gallegos y muchos españoles. ¿Dónde están las listas de prisioneros? ¿En los archivos de Salamanca?  ¡Que se publiquen! ¿Dónde están las listas de los muertos?  Algunas las podeís ver solo buscándolas por Internet.


Es decepcionante el balance de la gestión de la memória histórica, pero si nos fijamos en el balance de la relación entre Cataluña i España, no se puede utilizar otro adjetivo que no sea el de catastrófico.  Porque, ¿a día de hoy que tenemos? Pues 37 años de camuflar la realidad bajo el amparo de la Constitución, 75 años de incomprensión y olvido, 300 años de ahogo y ocupación y 374 años mas de intentar absorvernos y asimilarnos como pueblo. Pero también unos crímenes que han quedado escondidos en un pasado que nadie quiere reabrir. ¿Serán capaces los gobiernos español o gallego de recuperar el pasado, para construir futuro? O ¿será el Parlamento Europeo que tendrá que tomar la responsabilidad de investigar los crímenes del franquismo y abrir las fosas comunes de este campo? Lluís Llach ( Campanades a Morts ) YouTube

Quizás, simplemente, harán oídos sordos a la reclamación de una organización internacional como es las Naciones Unidas que reclaman al Estado Español que actúe con diligencia a favor de las víctimas del franquismo.

No hemos de olvidar el pasado, para poder tener presentes a tantas y tantas personas que dieron su vida por la libertat y la democracia hace 75 años….. ¿Cómo es posible vivir sin incorporar el pasado? No hablamos de venganza, hablamos de democracia, de derechos y deberes, de libertat…. Y por lo tanto, es preciso devolver la dignidad a aquellos que la perdieron en un lugar infame como este.

Ahora llega el momento en que cada ciudadano habrá de saber dar lo mejor de sí mismo, con la mejor voluntad y con la cara bien alta. La democracia es la respuesta a las preguntas, la libertat es la respuesta para una sociedad con dudas sobre su futuro!  ¿Sabremos por fin la verdad de lo que ocurrió hace 75 años?

Internet will not fulfill the law of business hours.

In recent weeks we have seen how the commerce sector tries to deal with a new attack to Catalonia by the Spanish government. This time by the Royal Decree Law 20/2012, that invades competences on commerce that the Government of Catalonia has and, therefore, has been appealed by the government.

Leaving aside the fact that this is yet another example of political recentralization of Spain and that this would take us a while, this episode sparked some thoughts that I wanted to share.

The meeting point for commerce and information society (the field i can talk widely) is the e-commerce. And that’s the reason of the headline: Internet will not fulfill the law of business hours. While some are considering how to deal with the negative impact that the decree will have on the current commerce model, the youngsters and used to online life, that are both current and future consumers, are demanding and pushing to develop our business online.

For some time now we are living the migration to the network, either a business or a politician, either a website or a twitter profile. The fact is that internet breaks the barriers of space and time. I give you an example: the domain .cat, which was the second domain that grew the most in 2012. The domain .cat goes beyond the space of Catalonia and it behaves I the global internet, not like others want but according to the will of the Catalans who were committed to the network through this domain.

Technologists have slang that we can consider a little “special” and when we talk, we look weird to them, especially in some circles. But it is not because of the “language” we use that we are not understood sometimes. The message means a change in habits. The progress towards the information society is more than having a website or a smart phone. It represents rethinking, as we talked about commerce, our business. We must defend our business model “offline” but we can’t stop here. We need to move our businesses “online”. What are the fears? On the Internet there’s no business hours or holidays. On the Internet, everything is sold on an equal playing field. Internet is true democracy, and therefore anyone with a good product and service, will succeed.

Formal error or insurmountable impasse?

Every day sees new attacks in the central government’s offensive against Catalonia and the process of national transition, through its most tendentious and active branches in the fight against our national freedom. Clearly, we are referring to the Spanish judiciary. And I refer to the ‘judiciary’ not as a public power responsible for administering justice in society, but as an abstract concept at the service of Spanish centralism, given that, as is shown blatantly day after day, Spain has openly given up any pretence of hiding the hierarchical subservience of the judiciary, and obviously the legislative branch, to the executive of the PP.

The substitution of the chief prosecutor for Catalonia, Martín Rodríguez Solís, for having stated that he considered it legitimate for Catalonia to hold a referendum on self-determination is so vicious an attack on the very foundations of modern democracy that it is difficult to believe it is happening in the 21st century. Yet it is. It happened just one week ago. An event that will appear in the history books as the final straw for the history of Catalonia and Spain. And just to underline the magnitude of the attack on our democracy for people reading those future history books, another highly significant event took place in the last few days, despite its lack of media coverage: the reversal, by the Supreme Court of Catalonia, of the constitutional decree of the Association of Telecommunications Engineers of Catalonia (CETC) due to ‘formal errors’ in the announcement and procedures of the assembly at which the request for the constitution of the CETC was approved. A further effort by our telecommunications engineers to provide a better, more immediate service to our public has been cut down from the very start by the Spanish judiciary, with the added cynicism of citing ‘formal reasons’.

How curious that it is the Spanish powers, so adept at manipulating and destroying the expressions of freedom by the people they have been repressing for centuries, who should talk about formal errors; there is currently no bigger formal error in Europe than the Spanish State. Obviously, Madrid knows this, realises that the whole of Europe knows this and no longer hides its efforts to cripple any step forward made by our country, whatever its nature. It is somehow comforting to see this state of anxiety revealed through such judicial sentences day after day. But the Catalans will know when to choose between the law and legitimacy, if the Spanish State insists on preventing them from going hand in hand. They will know what decision to make. And, as the poet said, we shall be ever faithful. Let there be no doubt. We shall be ever faithful.

Catalonia and the 8th Mobile World Congress: the 21st Century

Catalonia has to build its 21st century existence. What do I mean by that? Since the recovery of democracy in the mid-70’s, Catalan society and politicians have tried to build a space of freedom within the new democratic Spanish state.

We, the Catalans, wanted to be ourselves within the already existing structures. But after 30 years trying, we realize that this is impossible. So here we are in the second decade of the 21st century trying to explain to the world that Catalonia now needs to build its own structures. Internet, the global network, has to help us with our aim. Fortunately technology provides great tools that make everything more transparent and democratic.

You may remember how the Chiapas conflict was shown to the world thanks to a student from Texas who made the first Zapatista Army of National Liberation website, publishing all their communiques. From there on, different groups and Internet websites spread their struggle to the world.

Nowadays, mobile technologies let us inform the world in seconds of what is happening, for example when on September 11th in Barcelona more than one and a half million people called to the world to be heard and to be helped.

And we must go on with this spirit through the free communication platforms: blogs, social networks and websites. They allow us to join large civic majorities, working peacefully for the international community to take a serious, democratic and unflinching part on this issue.

Barcelona has just hosted its 8th Mobile World Congress and this has been a great international showroom for Catalan technological companies. This has been not only now but always, because we feel we form part of this world. We want to be Catalans in the world as we were in the past. At this Congress, the 72.000 people attending could see we have a competitive and talented character to offer the world. I’m sure some of those attending this congress have discovered that we are not the way some “traditional” Spanish media explain to the world… although they also use free communication platforms.

Post published in Help Catalonia on March 5th of 2013

It is not possible to do politics in 140 characters

Isn’t that right? It is not possible. This is the comment we often hear from those, like me, who have the profound certainty that digital technologies are a revolutionary tool to convey our message to the people. But no. It is not possible. 140 characters does not allow enough room for profundity, for nuance, and therefore, it is difficult to convey the complexity and emotion of the political message.

And still, there are many like me who continue to believe. We believe that the digital world is a platform that can be used with skill to portray reality and to modify it; to get our message out there and strengthen it with other people´s contributions in order to give more visibility to our politics and draw them closer to the social realities of our citizens.

We live in a world where traditional written press is inevitably migrating towards digital content, and in turn, this is moving towards mobile devices that we all have in our pockets and though which we keep ourselves informed, and which also gives us the option to immediately choose any content, as well as to give an opinion there and then, without needing to wait and go to the newsstand the next day in order to find out what happened yesterday.

We have all of this technology on hand in order to be at the forefront, to lead, to focus the main ideas of our message and get straight to the point, in order to convey and counterbalance, to carry out pedagogical techniques and immediately fight the enemies of our country with conviction, creativity and intelligence. All of this is what 2.0 offers us.

Yet there are still those who are of the opinion that it is not possible to give a proper argument in 140 characters. I ask myself far too often, despite tangible and spectacular evidence in cases like Barack Obama’s victorious presidential election in the USA, why he still mistrusts the power of 2.0 – most probably due to the fear of the unknown or perhaps because his technocrats haven´t explained it well enough. That is the reason why me and my colleagues from the ICTs at Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (The Democratic Convergence of Catalonia) are committed to continue working to show that the Internet is accessible to everyone, and that we must not be scared of technology, and neither should it separate us from humanity nor the political message it contains, because it is technology that defines us as human beings.

Take a look at this image:

This is a map of Europe according to the languages used through short messages on Twitter. Take a look at the prevalence of Catalan in our region. Is it possible to write a text – however long is it – which could illustrate in a more tangible manner the existence of our language and our identity in the eyes of the whole planet?

And this is just an image made out of texts which are much smaller than a thousand words…

Very soon we won´t need these kind of maps in order for the world to know who we are; our government is working towards the national transition of Catalonia; it is walking towards independence, and one day our flag will fly alongside other national flags in front of the United Nations building in New York. And when that happens, that very day, we will all remember the words that an old Catalan genius, Pau Casals, once said back in the 1970s, in order for the entire planet to know of our fight: Catalonia is an oppressed nation. And when we count the number of characters, we will see that there are – only 32. And we will smile, because that day Catalonia will stop being an oppressed nation.

The ghostly spectre of the Spanish government

Today, we will get straight to the point because the issue is rather self-explanatory and it illustrates the interests of the Spanish Government with regards to the democratic aspirations of the Catalan nation from an event that apparently might have seemed quite incidental.

Let´s get started: I find out that the Spanish government is bringing the Catalan audiovisual legislation to the Constitutional Court. Right there and then, I lock myself in my office and I start investigating the case, because it´s not the first time that this has happened – first, it was the PSOE political party, and now, the PP – I quickly find out that it is happening for the same reason as before: due to the articles that refer to the radio-electric spectrum of the Catalan audio-visual legislation. And that is not all. What makes the whole thing quite astonishing – and I am obviously speaking metaphorically, because the official bulletins and the session newspapers don’t lie – given that 2 out of the 3 articles that the PP political party is taking to the Constitutional Court in Madrid are exactly the same 2 amendment articles from the Catalan PP party regarding the Catalan audio-visual legislation. Can you see where I am going with this? The PP is taking exactly the same articles to the Constitutional Court in Madrid that were written by the Catalan PP political party.

Leaving aside the absurd, and in reality, quite vignette-like appearance of this demonstrated lack of coordination and incompetence of the Catalan PP Trojan horse in relation to their own headquarters, what is essential and relevant to look at is that for quite a long time now, the central government, regardless of the party in power, PSOE or PP, by the use of various chicaneries and legal strategies, is always trying to steal our jurisdictions and legal bodies regarding the radio-electric spectrum, which basically is our national audio-visual environment. Their next step in that regard, is to try to eliminate the 2nd MUX of the CCMA (Catalan Corporation of Media), with the eventual objective of controlling, restricting and conditioning the independence of our communications space. Quite right: condition our independence. Until it is eliminated.

What are we left with then, but our obligation to all work together in order to free Catalonia of the burden of the Government in Madrid? What are we meant to do when our legitimacy is continously being stepped on by the ongoing and undisrupted chain of Spanish laws and their higher courts?

The answer is very clear. We all have to walk together towards our own State, without letting the spectre of the central government stop us on the road ahead.

Politics, democracy and their enemies

In the last few days many of you may have received, via Twitter, Facebook or any other 2.0 platform—even television, radio and the press publicised it on some programmes—one of those hoaxes (a false text spread in order to confuse or, as in this case, directly lie), according to which there are almost half a million politicians in the Spanish State. This is utterly false and contributes to feeding the idea, deep-rooted in many people, that there are too many politicians in Spain, forming an elite with no professional qualifications who, to put it bluntly, do absolutely nothing and directly benefit from the crisis rather than suffering its effects.

As you may understand, here I have to say my piece. Those who know me and follow this blog will have already known for some time about the post I currently have the honour and responsibility of occupying and the skills I possess to do the job. For those who have come here without knowing who I am, I will introduce myself. I am Carles Flamerich i Castells, Director-General for Telecommunications and the Information Society of the Government of Catalonia.

I’m fed up with the generalisation that says ALL politicians are corrupt and good for nothing. It is a deeply unfair, destructive and anti-democratic idea. What would you think if we applied the same idea to business people, civil servants, bankers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, priests or any other group? What should we do? Get rid of all the politicians? So, I am a politician and I know many like me -and all ideologies- who do our job with dedication, responsibility and honesty.

Politics—democracy—is what sees countries progress and makes them freer, even to defend the right to insult us in a way so utterly simplistic and demagogical in any form of media. That is the greatness of democracy, and long may it continue! And democracy is not constructed all on its own. It is constructed with effort from everyone, day by day. It is constructed by educating us as individuals and citizens, bearing in mind that one day everything we have learned, all our effort, can be placed at the service of our country. And I place all my education, my two qualifications in Telecommunications Engineering, my two master’s degrees, my 25 years in the profession and my 32 years as a political activist at the service of an idea and its context: Catalonia and its freedom.

Now, more than ever, everyone needs to be sensible. Over the next few months, the country will need the kind of cohesion it has not had in the past 500 years. The time has come to take a step forward, and recovering nation-building values is the task of everyone at all levels. It even includes ceasing to spread lies like the ones that motivate this post, which have a deeply Fascist background. Because, after that, what stops us believing every word of the current discourse that says, “it’s the autonomous communities’ fault…”

I am a politician; I believe deeply in democracy and in Catalonia. I am convinced that, if what we want is to be a state, we need to recover the lost values which countries that do work, like Germany and the Nordic countries, possess. Paying taxes (paying and being paid bills with VAT), following traffic regulations (not crossing the road when the light is red when we’re pedestrians) and using public resources (health, unemployment benefit, for example) when necessary—these customs, which should be the only accepted and acceptable ones in a healthy society like the one we aspire to construct for Catalonia, clash with the fact that the attitudes of many people have become more Spanish, based on the picaresque archetype sketched out by Lazarillo de Tormes centuries ago. What we need to do is make them more European, as would be the case in the countries on our continent with a longer democratic tradition. Let’s educate ourselves, let’s learn from masters like Father Cinto Verdaguer, Prat de la Riba or David Ben-Gurion in his book Years of Challenge, in which he explains the creation of modern Israel. Let’s learn from all of them, and we’ll be much stronger. Everyone’s concern and indignation is legitimate, but we mustn’t fall into simplistic, destructive traps. If we If they did, we would have won. That will not happen again.


Cap cim és prou alt

The Telecommunications Market Commission and the State policies

In the last days we have been receiving, with increasing surprise and indignation, news on the creation of the new Spanish National Commission of Competition and Markets, which will concentrate in a single entity most of the regulatory powers of the Spanish State and which, among other collateral measures, will empty the powers of the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT), as well as moving its headquarters from Barcelona to Madrid.

At a time when Europe is clearly committed to the doctrine of separation of regulating bodies from governments, namely the principle of independence, which results in a clear boost of competitiveness in key sectors of the economy, as well as encourage innovation and result in better services for our citizenship, Madrid is doing exactly the opposite, concentrating regulatory authority in a strongly government-controlled single body, which will bring about arbitrariness and lack of transparency in decision making. In the case of the CMT, in addition, the bulk of its powers will not even be transferred to the new regulatory body, but straight to the Spanish government through the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade.

At a time when Barcelona has become, after so many efforts and a job well done, the Mobile World Capital, ie, the center of the Mobile world, and is working to become the capital of an international technological arbitration body, which will make Barcelona become synonymous of innovation and think-tank of the most strategic technology of the XXI century, the Spanish government seizes the competences of the CMT and takes it to Madrid.

If not enough with these examples, let me add three more: The re-centralization of the state airports management, the resurrection of projects that refer to times not so distant but deeply reactionary such as the national hydrological plan or the central railway corridor -which caused a few days ago one of the most spectacular Spanish government ridicules in Brussels-, or the intention to ban the use of Catalan Language in the Spanish senate.

Under the pretext of an alleged austerity and a better management of resources in an unfavorable context, we are witnessing a series of decisions from the Madrid government which can’t be tagged but as economically autistic, profoundly wrong and politically and territorially unacceptable in any society that should seek to overcome the present crisis and not the exact opposite.

To block the strength of Catalonia turns out so expensive for Spain. Instead of allowing, if not boosting, our energy as a nation, Madrid tries again to strangle us regardless if their decisions go against their own interests or those of the European Union itself, which assists at each meeting of ministers to some new outrageous and incomprehensible Spanish minister position in any current issue such as the ones I just mentioned.

We can not wait any longer. We must begin to strengthen our power structures in order to defend ourselves from the Madrid recentralization obsession and to start walking firmly towards full sovereignty. So have we made clear this weekend the attendees of the National Conference of Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) last weekend in Reus (South Catalonia). In the words of Oriol Pujol, or new secretary-general, to whom I heartily congratulate for his new appointment, “We want a free Catalonia; a fair and sovereign Catalonia which occupies its own space in the world of the XXI century”.  A Catalonia not having to ask permission to anyone to grow in freedom and not finding obstacles to share its vocation of work, innovation and openness to the world.