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In my opinion, the problem is not whether Spain is a democracy or not, my feeling is that it is a democracy with rotten roots
By rotten I mean that Francoism did not die with [Francisco] Franco
But a big part of Francoist ideology has been kept until our days
It has only taken a political earthquake so that the gypsum that covered the facade that had Francoist origins fell off
The problem is that big part of politicians are sons or grandsons of Francoist secretaries or not
The problem that we have is that Francoist ideology is still rooted in the Spanish political system
Then… I think it must have taken even more generations in order to change that
When it comes to the Popular Party, it is clearly Francoist
But even in political parties such as the Socialist Party or Podemos, which are leftists, they also have a little bit of imperialistic burden from the eternal and imperialistic Spain
It’ll take a while for them… even the left-wing
And this is an impediment for Spain to have a healthy democracy
Compared to other countries, I don’t know all the democratic present of all the European countries
I’m sure there are some that are one hundred percent democratic, almost all of them have an imperial past
And I know there are other [countries] that have been through fascism and that they still have wounds and habits they need to heal, probably
It’s no secret that the Spanish Constitution was drafted under duress. The fathers of the Constitution were fearful of a military coup. Will you provide substantive examples of the Constitution’s shortcoming, as a result of its being drafted ‘at gunpoint?’
The problem with the well-known Constitution is that is was written by a few politicians
These politicians were very frightened
It is said that there were soldiers in the room next to where they were writing this Constitution, maybe that’s a metaphor
But it is true there were soldiers controlling this from behind
Then, this Constitution was surely done with good intentions
The thing is that is it obsolete, worn-out
Amendments should have been done a few years ago now, or if not, it should have been rewritten from beginning to end
The Spanish political situation in the mid ’70s it not the same as in 2017, in the XXIth Century, it is completely different
Then, Constitutions need to be changed because society changes, and naturally, laws and Constitutions should have been changed, in this case
Who is Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and what role did he play in the modern independence movement?
[José Luis] Rodríguez Zapatero was a man that didn’t have enough personality
In fact, I think that there’s a lack of magnanimity in all the Spanish expresidents
I don’t believe any of them to have been statesmen
Then, [José Luis] Rodríguez Zapatero said he would accept a statute approved by the Catalan Parliament because of electoral reasons
It was one of his lies
Then, he did not accept it, maybe he was not allowed to, and what happened happened
It is known that the statute came out of the Parliament first, it was censored, they needed to cut it back and after that, a referendum was held so people could vote if they wanted of not what was left of it
Personally, I voted against it because it had been cut back by politicians that weren’t even in the Catalan Parliament, I thought ‘who are they to change this, that has been written by my representatives?’
Then, of course, the ‘yes’ won and they, Mr. [Mariano] Rajoy came and he started to collect signatures and went to the Constitutional Court and they killed out statute, although it was quite castrated already
But of course, it is true that the origin was by [José Luis] Rodríguez Zapatero who was the first in assuring one thing he knew he could not fulfill
Who is Artur Mas and what role did he play in the modern independence movement?
Who is Artur Mas…
Well, Mr. Artur Mas…
It has been said that Artur Mas was an opportunist because he took advantage of a transversal movement
But let’s bear in mind that all the protests were spontaneous and popular, there were all kind of social classes there
There were leftists, conservatives, people of all ideologies
Then, let’s say that the leftists took the reins of this situation
And Artur Mas noticed that if he didn’t take part in this movement, then his party, which was already falling down because of a series of scandals as the three percent, it would end up facing total ostracism
As a person, it is said he has a lot of things to hide related to corruption, I don’t know exactly, I have no idea
But well, personally, I’ve always been a leftist, I’ve never voted for Convergència i Unió nor Artur Mas, then, well
Has he been an opportunist? Probably
But he was also intelligent when he listened to the people’s cry, and he joined that process
Now, I don’t really know his intentions by doing that, I’m not inside his head
Who is Carles Puigdemont? How did he come to be president of Catalunya?
Carles Puigdemont was a big stranger for most part of the people
He was Girona’s Mayor
It is said he had always been pro-independence, a journalist
And that at a certain point, all the responsability of managing this mess relied on him
Then, this man took his duty very seriously and he accomplished it until the last consequences
Well, this man promised he would put ballot boxes and they were put, people voted
In the end, he tried everything, in every way, he tried to talk to a Popular Party that was one hundred percent unwilling to talk
Simply because they weren’t interested in that
I think that this situation has been induced by the Popular Party, and why?
Because this autonomy that we had that was increasing little by little disturbed the centralist Spain
And they actually wanted a setback, they wanted to go back to that centralist little empire
Then, I think that they allowed that this get to this point
The thing is that, of course, it has been the boomerang effect because they could backfire
In this sense, I think Carles Puigdemont has accomplished the duty for which he was placed in the Palau de la Generalitat
He has done what he had to do, and it seems he’s going to have a lot of work to do still because tonight we realised that Belgian authorities had allowed him to go to the street, he is not imprisoned and he’s in the street right now
Then, he still has job to do
What is his role in the modern independence movement?
His role? To be in the visible surface, above all
The independent movement is not about one person, it is not about Carles Puigdemont nor [Oriol] Junqueras, it does not rely on the government
The government has been a part of it but this movement has been created by the own people
It has been the answer to a series of abuses of the Spanish centralism, and that provoked that people went out the street in such a transversal way
As I said before, people of all social classes and political tendencies
I mean, right-wing people, conservative people, people in the middle politically, left-wing people, and extreme leftist people, they went out together
Then, [Carles] Puigdemont and the other part of the goverment are the ones who have faced the consequences politically
But have in mind that who confronted the police on the 1st of October and who put ballots in boxes were the people
We did not follow any politician like sheep obeying commands, not at all
What is the Partido Popular, and what role did it play in 2006, relative to the revised statute of autonomy, and today, relative to the referendum that took place October 1st?
The Popular Party, well… we already know it is the continuation of a political party called Alianza Popular who was created by a Franco’s ex-secretary, who was [Manuel] Fraga Iribarne
Then, all the Spanish Right has been gathered there, from the moderate Right, The Right and even the extreme Right…
It is a Francoist rooted party, completely
Then, of course, how can we talk about democracy with people that don’t believe in it, but that, on the other hand, have used democracy tools to achieve their goals
Basically, to steal
Because well, we’re talking about 700 people from the Popular Party that are under investigation, and the own Popular Party is accused, as a kind of mafia
Then, talking to these people is extremely difficult, not to say it is impossible
Then, the political present in Catalunya is mostly because of the backward Francoist mentality of a country with Francoist roots which doesn’t have democratic origins at all
Some say that the independence movement leveraged the economic crisis to gain support
What are your thoughts on this notion?
I think there’s not just one reason why this pro-independence movement has bursted
There are many reasons and each person has their owns
From people that is concerned about the economic issue, the famous ‘Spain steals from us’, eh… well, [Jordi] Pujol also stole from us, I must say
Then, there are fifty thousand different reasons why people are pro-independence
There are some who support independence because of dignity, because they are fed up with having the feeling of belonging to a little empire, to the empire’s remains and that we are part of a colony
Fed up with having to ask for permission to a paternalistic government which is in Madrid and that controlls everything we do
There is people that is tired of this
They are simply tired of a Popular Party that is still in the Francoism
They are also tired of the mentality of a PSOE that is neither fish nor fowl, as it is said
Because of course, when you listen to Felipe González or Alfonso Guerra, it would take a while to explain to a foreign person that these people belong to the Socialist Party
They think and behave exactly like the PP
Then, there are multiple reasons… That there is a economic crisis that has made it all worse? Yes, possibly, very likely
But I don’t believe that people had took advantage of the crisis in an evil way to speed up towards independence
I think that the crisis has been an other ingredient, simply
What was Via Catalana?
Via Catalana… well
Actually, the protests that started here in Catalonia on the 11st of September have always been very esthetic
Yes, first they were mass protests
And then, people started mixing T-shirts to create flags and colors
Via Catalana… when people held hands and from the South of Catalonia to what it is North Catalonia, to the French State
Well, it was very esthetic, it is said they copied it from one of the Baltic States and I think, why not?
Why can’t we imitate things like this that are done well?
Well, it is a way to stand out peacefully
And to demonstrate that this is done by the people in a peaceful way one hundred percent
And when I say ‘the people’ I mean one part of the people, let’s not forget that there are not only leftist or Right tendencies, there are also people that feel comfortable belonging to Spain still
Which is very laudable and respectable, there is no doubt
But well, in my case, I did take part of that one
On November 9, 2014, a vote was held throughout Catalunya. What was 9-N, and why was that vote so different from the one held in October of this year?
In that case… it was kind of an example of a fictitious [referendum] to analyze the situation
But the thing was that as it was not binding, a lot of people didn’t vote
Then, it was a way to orient oneself and also to stand out and to insist on it to the central government and to clarify that we were serious, that it was not a game
But at least they showed that they weren’t taking it seriously, and that is was a nonsense, as they said
Then, people really wanted to vote on the 1st of October
But, in that case, what happened?
Well, first, a lot of people did not vote because of fear
A lot of people didn’t vote because there was a boycott and any computer system did work, voting was almost impossible
Also, a lot of people that wanted to vote and that maybe wanted to put their ‘no’ or their blank vote, well, they couldn’t vote because they were restricted by their political representatives that were telling them ‘don’t vote, don’t vote’
Then, of course, a big pro-independence majority won
It was logical, because the ones that were more excited to vote were pro-independence
But of course, in this case, all the votes from people that didn’t want independence were lacking
I also think that the more problems and barbaric acts the Spanish government creates, the more supporters of independence there’ll be
What is the significance of the election on September 27, 2015?
Let’s see… now we are facing the actual referendum, I think
Why? Because I believe there’ll be three options
The questions that were in the first referendum, maybe
Then, it seems that unionist parties, PP, PSOE and Ciutadans, basically, they want to join to create a single ‘yes’
Then, pro-independence parties may or may not go together, we’ll see, it is up to them what they want to represent
And then, Podemos is left, they may be the ones who say that the situation needs to be changed, that may be the third road, we’ll see
Now, what’d happen if the unionist vote definitely wins?
And they say, no, we don’t want independence?
Well, that pro-independence people would respect people’s decision, simply
Now, what’d happen if the pro-independence vote clearly wins?
People are talking that Spain wants to keep applying Article 155 until they win
Well, I think we’d fall into a quite absurd loop
Well, I hope the European Union or, if not, the United Nations express their opinion
There is a problem here and it seems that it’s very hard for us alone to solve it
Maybe we need a neutral arbitrator
What was the significance of Declaració d’inici del procés d’independència de Catalunya issued on November 9, 2015?
I wouldn’t know what to say because I don’t really know…
The fact that the Declaració was done… I don’t really know, I wouldn’t know what to say, honestly
In October 2016, Catalan parliament approved Resolució 306/XI. What was it, and what was the Government of Spain’s reaction?
What happened to Artur Mas in February of this year that further fanned the flames of the independence movement?
When he was pushed aside, you mean?
Okey, when Artur Mas was forced to step away, I believe he did it because he’s a great statesman, because he really wanted to run the situation
He was seen as the Messiah who brought the Promised Land to Catalonia
In this case, it was the political party CUP which set that this man moved away as a condition, and that the president of the Generalitat was not involved in corruption cases
Because Artur Mas was very close to the Pujol family
I think it was good and positive that he finally accepted stepping aside
That this fanned the flames of the independence movement?
Mmm… I believe they were already fanned
There was an article leaked to local newspapers this past spring. A secret document had been drawn up, declaring that, if Catalunya was prohibited from voting on the referendum in October, secession procedures would begin. Is this a story you can discuss?
Well, about the things that happened, that are still happening and that will happen, working-class people like me, I guess we just have no idea
Because this has been brought by a series of people that have secrets and power at their disposal, and they’ll probably never tell us about it, or maybe when it has already happened
They’ll talk about it when the moment comes
Honestly, I believe we know very little of what’s going on
Are you able to talk about the laws approved by the Generalitat this past September regarding the referendum and independence?
No… I don’t know about this subject
What actions were taken by the central government on September 20th, 2017? What steps did they initiate on this day to prevent the referendum from taking place?
Well, on the 20th of September the police carnival started a little bit commanded by the Spanish government
They started warning that they were very serious with using the force against the whole process
It was their way of warning people that they were very serious about it
They simply used fear, as they’ve done in many occasions, but not with threats this time, but they started with facts and it was the beginning of this
Who is the Catalan National Assembly, and why was there website taken down?
Let’s see, all the stratum and Catalanist and cultural organizations, OMNIUM and the Assamblea [Nacional Catalana, ANC] mainly, they are the ones that brought more strength to this process, actually
Politicians have just used their own tools to go for it
But let’s say that it was the Assamblea and OMNIUM the ones who did a big effort to go for it and the ones who pushed politicians to fulfill their promises, we wouldn’t have got this far without them
How should Rajoy have handled this situation differently?
Let’s see, [Mariano] Rajoy has proved not only that he is a short-sighted politically, but that he is blind
He is a coward, you just need to see that whenever he has a problem, he does not face the consequences, he just avoids questions, he never gives an explanation, and if he does, it is through a plasma screen, as it is said, right?
Then, if he’d been intelligent or if he’d been well advised, he should have allowed the referendum, and look how paternalistic is this: to allow it, to tolerate it…
He should have eased that the Catalan nation was able to express their yearning in the ballot box
He should have put them [ballot boxes] many years ago, at the beginning of all this
Then, the Popular Party did his fear campaign with the support of other political parties like Podemos, that they may have tried to do a seduction campaign for the Catalan people to stay
I don’t mention the Socialist Party because they don’t exist, almost, the truth is that it is a diffuse party right now, they don’t have much to say
Then, if they’d done that, I believe they would’ve won and the problem would’ve been solved for a whole generation, at least
They would’ve saved this whole mess
That is why I keep thinking that they wanted all that’s going on, they provoked it, and they’re good with that
On the other hand, Rajoy is a politician. Politicians are shrewd and calculating. They hold meetings and discuss risks and outcomes, so it’s logical to assume that Rajoy knew that his heavy-handed approach on September 20th would result in more support for the independence movement
Is this nuance something you can discuss?
Yes, this is what I was talking about too
First, they didn’t take us seriously, they thought that it was the same thing that has been said, the fever, or maybe that it was like ‘look, it’ll be one moment and once you’ve done it, it’s over’
Actually no, this is much more serious
The thing is that they didn’t expect it to be that serious or it was simply what they expected
In the sense that they weren’t confortable with Catalonia having more liberties and they wanted more
With a possible federal state that he didn’t like either
And I think that in the end, they were looking for confrontation, a conflict, and I don’t know what they agreed with the European states that wanted to go a few decades back and arrive to a centralism in which they had all the power
But this has brought them here, I don’t know if they’re happy with that
Because I think that with the difference of power’s disappearance, that is, they have bought judicial power as well as the press, I have the feeling all this got out of hand for them
And that, right now, they’re very scared of what the attorney [José Manuel] Maza has done, he has a part of the Catalan government imprisoned
They must be thinking ‘we crossed the line, how do we get ourselves out of this?’
I don’t know exactly… I’m just a poor working-class man who dedicates himself to write and who tries to live out of that… right?
Sometimes I don’t even live, somehow, I just survive
But who knows what these people think
I think this got out of hand, that they wanted to create confrontation in order to win even more power and to centralize the state again
But I think they are starting to be scared, and very nervous, well, I’d say they’ve been nervous for a long time now
There are people who claim that this anti-catalan position is because there are a lot of places in Spain where there is still this prejudice that ‘Catalan kids don’t learn Spanish’, do you think this can be a political maneuver in order to win votes outside Catalonia considering that it is no possible here in Catalonia to…?
Yes, but they’re been using this [political maneuver] for a while
And they used this Catalanophobia or whatever it is called, it’s been used by the Popular Party and by the PSOE, Alfonso Guerra and Susana [Díaz] have used it many times…
And in this sense, it was for seeking confrontation in order to show a firm hand and win votes
It is true that it worked because right now, the Popular Party should be at rock bottom because a big part of this is their fault, but they are in a moment of glory in a popular and populist sense
But the point is that this doesn’t do any good
It doesn’t because they may provoke that people open their eyes and start seeing that ‘ui, this thing that is happening in Catalonia may start happening here at any time’
And it is not just that they wants to silent Catalanist people’s voices, rather, they want to attack all kinds of indiviual freedom of Spanish people after that too
Then, I think they’re starting to play a very dangerous game, it got out of hand
And now that you’re talking about this fixation, about this rancor against Catalan people, it is interesting that the Popular Party sat to talk to old ETA members
I mean, ETA used to kill them, it’d kill police, working-class people, it’d shoot them dead
They [PP members] wanted to sit and talk to them [ETA’s old members], they wouldn’t even call them terrorists, they called them ‘Basque Liberation Movement’, and you say ‘wow’…
And on the other hand, they never wanted to talk to us, I’d like to know why
What happened at the polling stations on October 1st, and do you have a personal story from that day that you can share?
Personally, I stayed at the Cotxeres de Sants [Sants’ garage] during Saturday and Sunday’s nights
We were almost 100 people and they were scared
This thing that people say ‘we’re not scared, we’re not scared’, that yelling… They’re not in my behalf because I was scared
I was terribly scared, I don’t like being beaten and I was thinking about the glasses being broken and lens in my eye…
I mean, I was scared, I don’t like violence, I’m that kind of person that sees blood and faints
I mean, I’d never go and hit anyone
So I arrived there at dawn, at around 4 am, some of us went out and some people from the neighborhood started to arrive to protect the school
I remember a boy, he said to me ‘ai, Jordi, look what we have to do for wanting to vote’
I mean, look what we have to do, to protect the school… where we want to vote at
There I saw how they brought the ballot boxes in, in such a secret… almost funny way
Because they distracted everyone and suddenly brought the ballot boxes in in such a way… it was quite beautiful
Then, theoretically, they had to open the doors at 9 am so that everyone started voting
But there were computer errors and computers didn’t work, so people couldn’t vote
It started raining, pouring rain, and we were there… some of us with umbrellas, some without… just waiting to see what happened
I remember that my mother came, she’s 80, she keeps herself fit, she’s very beautiful, she seems to be 68, but she’s actually 80, this is in case she watches this
Then, she arrived with two friends of her, and well, in that case I said ‘listen, it’s almost 11, I think it’s going to be difficult to vote here, computers don’t work…’
I said ‘go home, and I’ll call you in case it’s minimally safe to vote here’
They told me no way, that they weren’t moving from there
That is why I have to say that these old ladies have one thousand times more dignity that the bastards that came here with nightsticks hitting people
In this case, they didn’t come
But well, I remember that my mother stayed at the polling place locked up because people started saying the police was coming
Then, they starting to give instructions on how they had to defend the polling place peacefully
That we had to sit on the floor, but that we weren’t martyrs nor aggressive people anyway, that we had to sit and not to defend ourselves
There were some really anxious hours
And in the meantime, I kept seeing my mother inside, how they sang ‘El Virulai’ with her friends because well, they pretended to sing
And well, little by little, the first lady that voted came out in a wheelchair, she must have been in her late 90s, she was well-dressed and had the mascara all over her face because she was crying out of happiness while people clapped her
That was very beautiful
Then, little by little, the situation started to get better, there were two computers that were working by then
My mother said ‘I’ve voted, Jordi’ and I told her ‘go home, please’
Then, I was very releived because one thing is that they hit me, but a different one is that I see how they hit my mother’
Because they did hit people, the fact that Spanish politicians say that is a lie that there was violence, is repugnant
I mean, how can we trust politicians that deny such evidences anymore?
I mean, I find it so outrageous… but well, we should be used to that, right? Because these people, one scandal after another…
The point is that everyone could vote at the end, I also did
And my wife… she’s French, and she tried to vote but they didn’t let her
This thing that a lot of people keep saying that there were some who voted four or five times and that it was a joke, that is not true
Because at least at Cotxeres de Sants, my wife tried to vote because she considered she had the right to because she agrees with this situation, well, not completely
But she pays her taxes here and she suffers here when they want to attack the schools and when voting is not allowed in her town, because she thinks that the Catalan people is also her town
Well, she tried to vote and they didn’t let her
And she agreed completely, at the end, she said to me ‘I’m glad they didn’t let me’
Because I see you’re doing things in the right way
And finally, we voted and we stayed there until the recount was done and then, after it all finished, we went home and turned the tv on
And then, it was when Soraya [Saenz] was on and well… I lost my appetite and 4 kg that week thanks to the Popular Party, the best diet in the world
Since the vote, 1,800 businesses have moved their official corporate headquarters outside of Catalunya. The Generalitat first denied that companies would leave, and then minimized their departure, saying they would return. Why did they get it wrong, or did they know that would happen in the first place?
They wanted to inhibit that issue, it was possible it could happen
A very similar case was in Quebec, a lot of businesses moved and never came back
But it is also true that, well, maybe we all are a little bit naive, but not that much
I think it was clear that a lot of businesses would move from Catalonia
It was clear there’d be a hugh boycott
It was clear that there would be an economic turmoil during this process, of course, there’s no doubt
But how many economic turmoils have we been through in this country?
And have we get over? Yes, and will we get over this one? Probably yes
On October 10, a huge crowd gathered at parc de la ciutadella. Everyone was watching giant TV screens, waiting for Puigdemont to speak in front of parliament. What was the significance of this event?
So, I think it was important and that many people wouldn’t agree but if independence were declared directly in that moment, it would have happened the same is happening now, but maybe with more violence, I don’t know
But well, [Carles] Puigdemont suspended it in order to try to show the world and, above all, Europe that we haven’t lost faith in this, that we think it can be done in a positive way, that there’s still time for talking, so he took a last shot
But I think that he perfectly knew that the Popular Party would deny it completely because, again, that’s what they want
Will you talk about the two activists who were arrested in October, the Jordis?
That is a very serious issue… because that people
Well, there has been no violence in all the protests that have been here
Yes, they souped-up some Civil Guard’s cars, they even opened one, they broke some windows… yes, that is wrong
There were weapons inside, and they didn’t disappear, I think they took one bag full of ammunition and they left it later on because they realised what they’d done, and they said ‘wow…’
Yes, and the responsible was the Civil Guard for placing weapons that near the people, they could’ve perfectly imagined what was about to happen
Right, so there was a big protest and these people stayed imprisoned but there was not a single act of violence, there wasn’t
And if they were on top of a van and made a speech, it was to calm people down, to insist on the fact that there couldn’t be any violence and that people should go home
Then, that these people are accused with violence and they are imprisoned, it is a very serious matter
Well, how many corrupt [politicians] that belong to the Popular Party or the royalty, because we should also talk about the Bourbon plague, have commited serious hugh felonies regarding economy and which harmed us and they are free?
And how many years their trials lasted? Many years
And how long Puigdemont and the rest of political prisioner’s trials lasted? Because they do are political prisioners, they are not politicians in prison, no, they’re political prisioners
Politicians in prison are the ones who stayed there for four days for corruption cases, who belonged to the Popular Party, and that have been released? Wow…
On October 21, the Spanish government initiated implementation of article 155 of the Spanish constitution. Is this something you can discuss?
What can I tell you… that I have no idea
My personal feeling is that before the 1st [of October] the Popular Party had all in its favour
As of the 1st, when police overreacted, when they demonstrated that violence was out of control, I think that European people were a little scared
I don’t believe the European Union is in favour of countries starting to declare independence… they’re also scared
Why? Because they’re centralists and they care about economy
But well, they are hypocrites because they have to give an explanation to their own population
And people don’t like to see nightsticks, they don’t like to see how [police] hits people that just want to vote
Then, of course, they needed to warn Mariano Rajoy
Well, this 155 was a really serious threat, the fact that we see here a police and violent state which is just frightening
It has been light, for example, it seems that they haven’t touched TV3, nor Catalunya Radio, and well, why is that?
Because I think that Europa has given them instructions or maybe that they have said ‘we don’t want to scare European governments’
But then what happened? That as the judicial system has gone on its own and has imprisoned all these people, Europe will ask for more important explanations and that the own Europe will consent less things every time
It is an interesting situation, although it is anxious
Because one thing that I don’t know if people have noticed is this Catalan people’s anxiety, whether they are pro-independence or unionists, people is going through a bad time with this
Not because they’re arguing with each other, actually, Facebook is disgusting lately because people are calling everything to each other
The thing is that there’s all this anxiety because we know our country’s history… well, it is tough
On October 26th, there was talk of Puigdemont drawing back and calling for fresh regional elections. Why did he instead resolve, on October 27, to pass a resolution “constituting the Catalan republic as an independent and sovereign state?”
Good question, good question…
We’ve got to a point that if I’d talk and answer that question, I’d be making it up because I don’t know, I’m lost in this already
I mean… there’re all stratagems, of course
Are they improvising or not? There are moments in which I believe they are, others in which I think they’re not, I don’t know…
All this matter that [Carles] Puigdemont together with some government partners have gone to Belgium… I thought it was clearly not an escape from the beginning, that he wasn’t escaping
If this man has arrived this far, going to Belgium is not because of cowardice, this man…
And see that he has just turned himself to the Belgian authorities
I don’t know… Actually, I don’t know what is the end of this movie, the scriptwriter is very good, I’d like to write with him one day
Will you talk about the arrests of government officials?
Well… I can tell you what we’ve discussed before
I mean, the fact that the vice-president and some government members have been arrested, those who were chosen democratically by people, that they are in prison because the Spanish state considers that this is over us and that they believe to have the right to catch them and imprison them it is very serious, I believe it is very, very serious
Then, sure, now let’s compare this to a dictatorship
Because it is the same modus operandi than a dictatorship
You don’t agree with me or what I say, or my politics, then you’re going to jail, well, we’re…
I was born in the Francoism, of course I was only 18 when the shorty died
But well, I remember what my parents told me, what my grandparents said, and we are living all that again
Where is their limit? What else will they do?
Obviously, taking the press, but the thing is that you can go to prison for expressing your opinion in social media
Well, there are people that go to prison because of their comments, because of what they say…
And on the other hand, one sees the extreme-Right in the streets and nothing happens
Do you know what happened to those from the Blanquerna? Do you remember those Spanish extremists that broke into Blanquerna very violently
They were convicted, they had to go to prison… they didn’t, they’re free
And they’ve marked people from protests here, there are images, their faces are seen
And nothing happens to these people
Then, we’re seeing that it is very easy to imprison people that don’t agree with the Popular Party
And on the other hand, people with a quite open fascist ideology, even nazis, because I saw swastikas…
Nothing happens to them
Then, we have a very serious problem
Then, if they’re already sending our political representatives to jail, what will they do to us?
Also, I don’t know if it’s true, but it is said that one lawyer of theirs is that they’ve been humiliated
There’s no respect
Why did the Generalitat think they’d get European support?
I think they already know they would run into a Europe that didn’t want to take part of it at all
And I think they’ve been working little by little to influence the European public opinion, they’ve been working on the authorities
But I think that people didn’t realise what was happening here until the 1st of October
From the 1st of October, when there was disproportionate unjustified violence against defenseless people, that made Europe wake up a little bit
But well, some time needs to pass until they support us
I think they’re starting to be voices inside Europe that are saying ‘this cannot keep being like this’
And now they’re starting to see the Popular Party as it is
A Francoist rooted party
Then, let’s see if they really consider that they can allow them to collaborate or to have some people in the European Union that talk about democracy but that they are not democratic at all
It is important, I wouldn’t like Spain to be expelled from the European Union because… first, it would be an economic disaster to Spain and the Spanish population
I don’t have anything against the Spanish people because I’ve very good Spanish friends
But well, I don’t like the Spanish state
But of course, I wouldn’t like that this happened because of many reasons, because for themselves, and secondly because if that was our fault, we’d better start praying
Do you see any connections between this declaration of the republic and that declared by Francesc Macià?
Well, I guess it was a different moment, but well, I honestly wouldn’t know what to tell you about this
That declaration has always been an example for us, like ‘look, we were a Republic for a few days, maybe…’
But they are different situations, it was much easier to use violence at that time than it is now, and when I say ‘violence’ I mean artillery
Now Spain cannot do that, it is not allowed, it cannot use the army against the population
I believe that they are alike because it is a similar case but I believe the situation is very different… I hope
What do you think will happen at the election on December 21?
Wild guess… I’d have to make it up
But I believe that people that wasn’t pro-independence at all, little by little, every time something serious happens, there’s a lot of people that’s starting to make a choice
And they are making a choice in the sense that they see independence as uncertainty, but there’s also excitement in uncertainty
They can look at the future with anxiety, with excitement or not, because if they’re not pro-independence, they don’t see it quite clear
But of course, if they look back, what do they see? What do they see?
They see Alfonso Guerra, Mariano Rajoy, José María Aznar, Rafael Hernando… all these people, and they’re there and this is all there is
Then, which future do you want? This one or an unknown one?
I believe there are going to be more pro-independence people every time
Don’t make me say a number, but there’s one thing I do expect, and it is that all these rumors and all the things that people say about this INDRA company… you don’t know what that is?
It is the company in charge of the votes recount, it appears to have been involved in many scandals and there’s also…
Well, one need to keep an eye on this election, I hope there’ll be international observers that look after it so everything works fine
And what’ll happen? I don’t really know because I always bet on something and say ‘this will happen’ and it just happens the opposite thing, that’s why I prefer to remain silent
We’ll see… Let’s allow that people talk and let’s listen to them
Where do you stand on independence?
Well, you ask me this question and I know that I’ll lose many readers with my answer
But well, I’ll be honest
I’ve always loved and appreciated Spain’s republic, Spanish people, of course
But this current Spain… I’m not represented by it at all
I have the feeling that the Popular Party will last for many years and they’ll keep using Catalanophobia and this way of behaving, and this people can be like that forever
Then, there’s an interesting political party called Podemos but I don’t believe they’re going to win
I don’t think so, unless something really grave happens… and that is that Catalonia becomes independent
Breaking up with Spain completely, I don’t know… I don’t know, we’ll see
Personally, I’ll vote in favor of independence with sadness because it is like getting divorced
This is the current chance of having people drawing the European map democratically through ballot boxes
And that it doesn’t happen because of an invasion nor marriage between royalty, or drawn by US, England or France’s governments
No, we just have the chance to decide our future
I think it is time for an important change and at the same time, I believe it’ll also be positive for Spain
Because it’ll be an important shake but Spain needs to open their eyes, see that the imperial past is not here anymore, that they have people to govern and that they need to allow this nation talk
And they need to listen to what they say
Then, I hope there is a Spanish riot too and that the Spanish nation take charge of their future
And that please, they remove all this Francoist burden that we still have here because it doesn’t do any good for society
If we leave, it is mostly because of that
If ‘no’ to independence wins, we’ll have to respect what people says, of course
First of all, we are democrats
Is there any story behind the clanging of pots?
Well, here in Catalonia and I guess that in the rest of Spain too, the clanging of pots started with the ‘no to war’
The ‘no’ to the well-known massive destruction weapons’ war of Mr. [José María] Aznar, who was an other neo-privileged
Actually, it all started with him
Yes, the fact that many people started supporting independence was thanks to Mr. Aznar
When he was elected for the second time with an absolute majority, things started changed, little by little, and then it all started to speed up
The clanging of pots started at that time, I mean, people started to protest, they realize that by making noise, at least they were making themselves heard
That this is a little naive? Maybe it is
But I prefer to be naive than violent
And well, we’ll keep clanging pots as long as we’re not happy
Now, if there’s someone that needs to wake up at 6 in the morning, that’s a bummer
Switching gears to the events of August 17th, the attack…
From our perspective, anyone from Barcelona has an August 17th story, even if they were out of town at the time. What’s your August 17 story?
Well, it is not a really interesting story
I was at home and I hadn’t turned tv on because actually, I don’t watch much tv lately because I just cannot, it’s impossible to watch it
And she told me there had been an attack in Barcelona
And I thought ‘oh my God…’
I saw what had happened, it was really sad because I saw my city, a street that I love very much, the Rambla, and it had been, let’s say, filled with violence and I felt very sad
I felt very sorry for all the people that had lost relatives
I remember that many people were critizising the excess of tourism and tourists at that moment
And well, the majority of the people that passed away were tourists, and now… they’ll be from Barcelona forever
Well, the only thing I can say is that I was overwhelmed with sadness, what can I say?
Again, totally off topic: What was 15-M?
15-M… can you refresh my mind?
The 15-M was when people went out the squares…
Oh, yes, that was probably a buff
Well, it was a change
It may have been the first time that the Popular Party became scared
Of course, liking for 15-M
It was an alternative, for the first time
Spanish left, the PSOE, basically, had been annulled for a long time
What people say about the well-known revolving doors…
I mean, when you see that Felipe González, a man with no place to drop dead, he left power and ended up working I don’t know if it is in Telefónica, or Gas… Well, one of these companies, whatever, I don’t care
And millions were paid to him, for doing what? For doing what?
Of course, if you see that these corrupt people have allowed these companies to do whatever they want, in exchange of looking away
And then, when they retire, then they have a guaranteed job, right?
Well, great, and these people are leftist, because it is not just the PP that has stolen in this country
Then, that an other popular left had been created and that it wanted to break away from all this is very interesting
I have the feeling that this is starting to vanish slowly
And right now, the left-wing is more necessary than ever
Personally, I’m a leftist, an extreme leftist but I have the feeling that they have to keep fighting
And 15-M should not vanish here nor all around Europe