Where is Catalonia headed? was the dialogue between Jordi Canal, professor of history at the Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and the writer Valentí Puig. The meeting was moderated by Gabriel Elorriaga, a member of the FAES Foundation Board of Trustees.
Background: the connection between Carlism and independence
J. Canal | "There is a geographical continuity between Catalan independence and Carlism, both of which are confined to areas with a great fear of change. In the 19th century, Carlism conveyed the fear of urbanization and openness. Today, these areas are still reluctant to change, to globalization, to leave their own language. They like themselves as they are and understand that change would take away their well-being"
The origin of independence: the 'tripartite' and the crisis of 2008
V. Puig | "The idea that all this comes from the Constitutional Court's ruling is unfounded. The independentists saw the 2008 crisis as an opportunity"
J. Canal | "The economic crisis of 2008 is also political, institutional and moral, and opens a window of opportunity for the new Catalan nationalism through independence. Without this crisis they would not have been able to do anything"
Esquerra Republicana as the moderate alternative
V. Puig | "A symptom of something anomalous in the conception of Catalonia as a plural society is that many people buy that Esquerra Republicana is the party of moderation. Already in the first elections, the business world contributed to finance Esquerra Republicana's campaign because they considered it was the way to stop the communists. And from those muds, these muds"
J. Canal | "He's gotten the idea that Oriol Junqueras is the solution to Quim Torra and Carles Puigdemont"
The question of language
V. Puig | "The independence fighters have inherited the Catalan language; they have turned it into something intrinsically patriotic and partisan"
"Catalonia is a bilingual society and the educational system must be adapted to this social reality"
J. Canal | "Independence has a very instrumental vision of language and this has led them to destroy Catalan culture by promoting quantity, but not quality"
"The Catalan language has served as an instrument for transmitting values and a world view of independence, which has been imposed on half of Catalonia"
The centre-right in Catalonia
V. Puig | "The solid reconstruction of the Catalan centre-right is necessary. The Partido Popular cannot do without its acronym in Catalonia because it is a national party".
"I wish there were more conservatives in Catalonia; it's a species that's almost extinct"
Independence will not go away
V. Puig | "Independence will not disappear, but there are flows and volubilities. People get tired and something else will appear"
J. Canal | "Catalanism must manifest its intention to collaborate with the governability of Spain and to follow the constitutional order"