dissabte, 6 d’octubre de 2007

Reason 5: No power of decision = economic decline

The development of the new Catalan constitution (Estatut) has clarified many things about the subordinate situation of the Catalan government.

In order to fully represent and defend the interests of Catalonia we need a government with full power of decision, not what we have now, which looks more like a secondary agent of the Spanish government, a regional government.

At this moment the Catalan government is not allowed to organize a referendum for anything. What kind of a democracy is this?
The Catalan government is not allowed to decide anything of importance without permission of the Spanish government, and this brings us to a core problem:
Many Catalans see Catalonia as our country. We want to decide by ourselves how we want to organize our country. We don’t think it is fare that other people 500 kilometres away decide for us. We don’t think this because the past 400 years we have suffered from this very badly. Since the sixteenth century, several unfair measures have been taken. I won’t enter in details. But still today we suffer of a lack of power of decision, and Spain is deciding for us. They see Catalonia as any other Spanish region, not as a country. And they don’t think we should have a government with more power of decision than any other region.
But the results of this are a real disaster:

1. The local railroad system (rodalies) is still in Spanish hands. And Spain has punished Catalonia for years by not investing in maintenance in Catalonia. As a result of this several delays and accidents have occurred. In the meanwhile, our railroad system has remained as it was in the 1980’s while in the rest of Spain there have been generous investments.

2. The airport of Barcelona is also in Spanish hands. This week they have decided who will get to work in the new terminal. Two groups that have Iberia and Spanair as partners will run it. With this decision the airport in Barcelona won’t be able to fully compete with Madrid in intercontinental business. Madrid keeps the monopoly of intercontinental flights in Spain. Barcelona is not able to compete on the same level. The Spanish minister Magdalena Álvarez promised that there will be intercontinental flights. But the reality is that we over and over again have to fight to get what belongs to us. And they don’t just give it away, they rather keep it for themselves.

3. At this moment Catalonia is the autonomy that pays more taxes in Spain. Nearly 20.000 million euros (that is €!!!) are taken away from Catalonia and never come back. The Catalan government is not able to change this situation.

4. As a result of the same punishment by not investing in Catalonia you can see that the underground in Madrid has grown from 100 to more than 300 kilometres the past years while Barcelona didn’t grow much. The investments in Madrid were 3 times higher than in Barcelona.

5. Also the roads didn’t change much. We have a majority of toll highways in Catalonia, while in Madrid they have all free ways. The last years the Spanish government has invested millions on free ways in Madrid. In Catalonia nothing. You can see the difference on the picture above.

As a result of all these developments the economy in Catalonia is not growing properly. Multinationals prefer to choose a location near an airport with intercontinental flights. The public investments on roads, public transport, schools and all necessary infrastructures are efficient ways of promoting a place over another. Catalonia has been left aside for many years now, and over and over again we have to see today that the Spanish government is suffocating Catalonia. The economic growth of Catalonia is decreasing. Obviously a deteriorated infrastructure, lack of public investments and protectionist measures in Madrid are today quelling and will keep quelling the development of Catalonia unless we choose for independence. Besides, the effort Catalonia has to do to get justice is so much, if Catalonia was independent we could use our time for more constructive things.

For this very important reason I am positive that Catalonia should become an independent country as soon as possible.