Catalonia, Spain and national identity


Sir, – We must congratulate Javier Garrigues, the Spanish ambassador, for his letter (November 12th) summarising the Spanish government’s myopic view of the Catalan question. This view is certainly very useful when the objective is to garner votes for Spanish nationalist parties.

Unfortunately, as much of the recent international press coverage has shown, it is very hard to sell inside any modern democracy, especially so shortly after the exemplary Scottish referendum. What Mr Garrigues fails to see is that we are facing a political problem of massive proportions that needs to be solved with a large amount of political courage and not through the courts of law.

Negotiation by using a highly politicised constitutional court whose president was a member of the ruling PP party is not only fruitless but has been a great help to the pro-independence movement, which has grown spectacularly over the last few years. An outdated, unchanged constitution drafted under the watchful eye of the 1978 military cannot be used to stop the legitimate demands of a sizeable portion of the Catalan population.

So far the replies from Madrid to any negotiation attempts coming out of Catalonia are reminiscent of a different conflict on this island and could be simply summed up as “Madrid says no”. – Yours, etc,





Catalan Council

of Ireland,

Navan Road, Dublin 7.