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Looking to the future, by Oriol Junqueras

Lledoners Prison Center, Barcelona

Posted: Monday June 07, 2021 11:58 AM

A new republican Generalitat begins to march. With the government led by Pere Aragon├Ęs, we will have, after more than 80 years, a president of the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya chosen with parliamentary normality. With the same objectives that have always moved us: to build a prosperous, just and fully free country for each of the citizens who live in Catalonia, whatever they think and wherever they come from. The new republican Generalitat has immense challenges, but it faces the serious crises that we are living with a desire for transformation and I am convinced that it will be able to lead the social and economic reconstruction of the country and win the confidence of the citizens by staying on the side. people.

And with the new government, a new stage opens. More than three years after the referendum of October 1, since ERC we have carried out an in-depth reflection on our strengths and weaknesses, mistakes and successes, to learn from them.

It was evident that the state’s reaction was perceived by a large part of Catalan society as less and less legitimate and far removed from democratic principles. But at the same time, we must be aware that our response was not understood as fully legitimate by a part of society, also Catalan. In this sense, I want to once again reach out to all those who may have felt excluded, because our goal must be precisely to build a future that includes everyone.

Our will is always the same. Independence is the best tool to help the people of this country, but strategies must be tailored to the circumstances to be successful. The bottom line is that we have to be more; an undeniable, plural and transversal majority which shows that it governs well and for all, and which puts the resolution of the existing political conflict by democratic means at the center of the agenda.

We defend self-determination because we want all the citizens of our country, all of them, to be able to decide if they want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a republic or if they commit to staying within of the Spanish state. And, legitimately, we will work and defend the yes option. We have the right to govern ourselves with the same tools as any state. Three quarters of the citizens of Catalonia maintain that the solution to the existing political conflict will be resolved by a vote by referendum. You can’t deny the reality, nobody. We cannot pretend that these consensuses do not exist. Nobody.

We do not want to be part of a state where structures persist to persecute political opponents, where we must abide by laws that we believe are deeply unjust and arbitrary, that criminalize fully democratic behavior and should not be criminal. Indeed, we have a duty to work tirelessly, by all possible democratic means, to change this situation. And that is what we have done and will do.

And today we continue to believe that the best way to do it, as we have always advocated, is the Scottish road. The way of the pact and the agreement, the way of the agreed referendum. This is the option that generates more guarantees and immediate international recognition. Because we know that other avenues are neither viable nor desirable insofar as, in fact, they take us away from the objective to be reached.

To become a state, it is essential to constitute a large majority in Catalonia, but we must also gain legitimacy everywhere. The game is played indoors and outdoors. For this reason, we will never give up on dialogue or negotiation. It would be naive to believe that political dialogue with the state will immediately yield tangible results, but to believe that we can do without it would be a very costly irresponsibility. As much as it is criticized and ridiculed, the table of dialogue and negotiation between governments is a success in itself because it opens a space for the potential resolution of the conflict.

Dialogue and negotiation are essential. Political conflicts that end up being resolved do so, sooner or later, around a table where all parties freely express their positions. Ours, which represents the great consensus of the country, is the end of repression and self-determination.

We are facing a political conflict and it can only be resolved through political and democratic means. We have always said that we must return to the field of politics, from which we should never have been made to leave. Now is the time for political daring, democratic courage and social reconciliation. Because the reconciliation of all our fellow citizens is an essential foundation for the future.

For us, we have explained it many times and we continue to defend it without nuances, amnesty is our priority to put an end to judicial persecutions. The problem does not stop with exiles and political prisoners, but must be extended to the rest of the 3,000 people who face legal proceedings.

Despite this, there are gestures that can ease the conflict, ease the pain of repression and the suffering of Catalan society, and any gesture in the direction of diversion of the conflict helps to be able to walk this path.

But for this new paradigm to be possible, it is important that both parties show their will and predisposition. For a long time, despite being in prison deprived of our liberty, we sit at the table and always keep our hands out. It is time for the Spanish government to demonstrate its commitment to forward-looking reconciliation, dialogue and negotiation.

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