Saturday, August 2, 2008

Spain and the laws

Current states are defined upon the basis of a collective contract. The state offers public services, the chance to vote for several representatives, the right to be respected thanks to laws... The citizen pays taxes for that and their rights have one only limit: each other's rights. So laws are a basic thing. If they are not respected, we are facing a totalitarian regime in a democratic disguise. When that happens, a state does not lose its power, but pretends to keep legitimacy. Laws should prevent from state abuse. And international laws should prevent from that too, as well as other states should act when a state does not follow what once was accorded.

Spain accepted to start a process to end up in a new text for Catalonia where its relation to Spain was redefined. 30 September 2005, 90 % of the Catalan Parliament finally reached an agreement for the text upon the basis that Spanish president Zapatero would respect a widely consensed decision. Surprisingly enough, he did'nt. The text suffered new changes on its negociation with Spanish Government.

Despite all these changes that moved ERC (the main promoter of the idea) to reject the final result, a referendum was done 18 june 2006 and the text (less than 50% voted!) was approved by Spain. After the usual legal steps, it became a Spanish law in august 9th 2006. Among other things, the text contains a very important point. Since Catalonia is suffering economical difficulties due to Spanish abuse through taxes, the law stablished the need to reach an agreement on how Spain would fond Catalonia so Catalan citizens could receive what they need. That agreement has to be reached before next 9th august, but it looks like the date does not mean very much to Spain.

Spain accepted the law after strong and desperate negotiations, but even in this case, they have no intention to face the problem, no intention to respect their own laws. Spain makes laws and spanish citizens are obviously charged if they do not respect them, but the Government itself will not respect an essencial law next weekend.

This means Spain unattends the contract they have with Catalonia. This leads us to a legitimacy crisis, an institutional crisis. Catalonia belongs to a state where laws are used and developed only when they benefit a part (the Spanish part of the conflict) but not when the other part is concerned. No chance for Catalan citizen rights. No law protection.

Is everyone in Europe going to neglect such behaviour? Is anybody going to ask Spain how come they have no respect for their own laws when Catalan citizens are concerned?

In one week, Spain will have lost all legitimacy. The way to an own state for Catalonia will reach new steps.