Thursday, 10 December 2009

"Yes to independence". Speech at Castellbisbal, November 27th, 2009.

Ladies, gentlemen;

Firstly, I would like to thank all the inhabitants of Castellbisbal who with their commitment have made possible this presentation tonight, an I feel especially proud to have the honour to address to you in this historical moment for our country. Next Sunday, December 13th 2009, polls will take place in more than 150 towns and cities asking their inhabitants about the independence of Catalonia. Democracy in its purest state. In three months, we have gone from the first poll at Arenys de Munt to organize more than 150, thus we must be fully conscious of this qualitative jump and the political implications that this wave implies, and will imply in the future. Thanks to this initiative, to the determination and courage of the men and women from all these towns and cities, we may assure that Sunday December 13th will be a big success. It will be the beginning of our victory, and we can be very proud of.

The patriotic gesture of all of you, voting "yes" to independence of Catalonia, represents the first time in the last thirty years of watched probation, not authentic democracy -do not fool ourselves, that Catalans will come out of the identity trench where we have tried to defend our national features, be them our language, our history or our traditions. So to take initiative and going on the attack to achieve our authentic freedom as a nation, which is no other than our political independence, because no other exists. Nobody wins any battle remaining indefinitely in their trenches. Hence the importance of the polls. We might say that it represents the Prats de Molló of the 21st Century to Catalans; the primaries of our independence, which will be won town by town; the reconquest of the authentic Catalan spirit that has been tried to snatch from us with wars and dictatorships. And we must say that out loud: with wars and dictatorships, in the last 300 years, but that neither Spain nor France have annihilated.
Catalonia has no other possibility to develop in its fullness their artistic, intellectual, scientific or entrepreneurial skills without taking Spain off. If we focus on the economics -only to point at one of the issues-, the Principality of Catalonia suffers a looting of €22B/year, as our politicians talk, without giving any importance, about fiscal deficit. The total Budget of the Principality of Catalonia for the year 2009 is almost of €39B. That is, Spain keeps a bag equivalent to 60% of the budget. This is every year! With this Budget is impossible to decently manage, adequately, any population such as the Catalan, as we are more than seven million inhabitants. And yet, those €22B would be used to improve our Health Service, the schools... You must think that a children's nursery costs only €1M and now they take more than €60M/day. A District Hospital, with first quality equipment and fully staffed, costs between €55 and €60M, what is plundered every day. As I said, with these monies we could improve our Health Service, schools, universities, build infrastructures for the future or improve our retired people's pensions. We would be amongst the richest in Europe, whereas now, after paying taxes to Spain, remain at the bottom of the Spanish autonomies. You make the numbers about the fiscal toll that we, Catalans, pay to maintain this staging called Spain compared to Europe. Europe, all the potent economy that represents the EU with more than 300M citizens, gives to Spain €8M/day, because they say that Spain is poor (€2.9B/year). Remember this number. And the Principality of Catalonia, a small corner in Europe, with a little more than 7M citizens, gives to Spain, with permission of our politicians, €60M/day (€22B/year), with the same argument, of course; we are rich, they are poor and we have to be supportive. This situation cannot be corrected by any Financial Treaty. Spain has become used to live with Catalans' money, and only independence, or in other words, only the existence of a Catalan State will end with this continued situation of fiscal looting that affects directly our material well being. Without independence is not possible to save our language. And without a Catalan State is not possible to recuperate our history nor it will be taught at our schools. There is no doubt that our best economical and social policies we can achieve start by becoming independent. And we must do it soon.
Next December 13th, not only you will go to vote, you'll be accompanied by the authentic Spirit of Catalonia. On December 13th, you will have the honour of carrying the flame of the memory of all those Catalan who have wished for freedom and the existence of Catalonia. And you will have at your hands the responsibility of taking the first step, a firm one, to offer a dignified and prosperous future to the next generations of Catalans. When you go to give your voting paper of freedom, I ask you to think for a second. Look at it. Have present and honour, honour all those Catalan patriots, men and women who have preceded us because is their example what will give us the necessary strength and courage to achieve the final victory. If every September 11th, Catalans celebrate the "Day of Resistance", name it as we should, Day of Resistance, make this December 13th of 2009 the beginning of our victory. For all these reasons, I ask you to vote "yes" for dignity of Catalonia and Catalans. Vote yes to our independence. And nobody forget a moment, that Catalans are a nation of winners. If they were not, nowadays, we would not be Catalan. Many thanks.
Josep Castany
Catalunya Acció General Manager
Castellbisbal (Vallès Occidental, Catalonia), November 27th, 2009

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