Catalonia, a new democratic model?

Last Thursday, the Casa de la Generalitat in Perpinyà and the Catalan Solidarity Committee organised a conference on this topic: «Catalonia, a new democratic model?». Two authors of the yellow book exchanged their ideas on this matter: journalist and activist David Fernàndez and historian Joan Becat.

Joan Becat explained in which conditions he was invited to write a few pages of the yellow book. In this article, he does not pretend to provide an overview of Catalan history, since books on this matter already exist, but provide elements which help understand the current situation, from institutions we could qualify as «pre-democratic», until the Generalitat nowadays, which, an unparalleled fact in Europe, keeps occupying the same palace as its predecessors did, centuries ago. He emphasized how misleading is the denomination «democratic transition» which supposedly took place forty years ago, since, for the most part, francoist public servants were never dismissed, and many institutions still originate from the legitimacy of the francoist victory in 1939. Afterwards he explained which structures should be established by the government in exile, so that Catalonia may be recognized as an independent state when the moment comes.

David Fernàndez warned his speech would be less optimistic. He reminded the situation of oppression Catalonia is currently living, with political prisoners and exiles, but also more than one thousand people being sued, including more than 700 mayors of 948. At a time when politicians struggle to find a way towards independence, the role of people must be emphasized. October 1 was a key moment which has to be highlighted. Also, we should not forget the role of the rest of Catalan Countries, particularly Northern Catalonia, where some people are worried about what is happening in the Principat, up to the point one hundred mayors signed the manifest demanding to free political prisoners. Over the last few weeks, current events have been pretty intense. Northern Catalonia's role is unprecedented, in a way which recalls Irripalde (Northern Basque Country).