The Spanish Constitution and a night at the opera

Spain’s political jam with Catalonia is beginning to make no sense at all

Spain’s political jam with Catalonia is beginning to make no sense at all. Picture a Spaniard who has been told umpteen times that Catalonia shows no solidarity towards the rest of Spain, that the Spanish language is being persecuted here, that Catalan president Artur Mas has lost his mind, that the non-binding referendum of November 9 was futile, and that article 155 --which would presumably be used to suspend Catalan self-rule-- is on the ready.

Just imagine how puzzling it must be for that same Spaniard to see how the PP and the PSOE have now become entangled in a race to amend the Spanish Constitution so that Catalonia “may feel comfortable”. Wait a minute. Weren’t Catalans supposed to be challenging us? So now we give them a prize, do we? So they did have some reason to complain, after all?

Let’s just say that it is suspicious when those who are to blame the most for our current discomfort suddenly become all worried about our well-being.

Furthermore, if you look at it from the Catalan side, it sounds like a Marx brothers’ gag. Pay close attention to the words that we have heard them utter so far: to enshrine Catalonia’s “distinguishing element”, “singularity”, “personality” or “the Catalan people’s wish to have an identity profile of their own”.

But when it comes to Catalonia’s funding, nothing has been said that might be construed as a “privilege”, which is a polite way of saying that there is no chance that you and I will ever see our yearly tax effort reflected in the Catalan government’s budget. And wait for this: all of that would also be made available to “the other devolved regions”!

Isn’t that precisely what we already have, a one-size-fits-all system?

If the Constitution’s “founding fathers” had the guts to write in the word “nationalities” in 1978, despite all the sabre-rattling back then, how come thirty-seven years later the PP and the PSOE cannot drop the tattered euphemisms that make us feel like a burdensome annoyance and have the backbone to write in that Catalonia is a nation, which is the only acceptable term, and turn Spain into a plurinational country for once and all? Impossible, I hear you say? Well, then stop wasting your time and everyone else’s.