By Costanza Cerasi
According to the Spanish government, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has been responsible for a “rebellious, systematic and conscious disobedience” of the statutory and constitutional obligations and has “seriously attacked” the general interest of the state. Based on these reasons the Spanish government requested the activation of Article 155 at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers in Madrid in order to properly define the measures for re-taking of Catalonia after the events that followed the independence referendum.
The Spanish writer, poet and professor, Francisco Layna Ranz, explains this situation from a Spanish intellectual’s point of view and explains what the potential consequences of this independence could have been.
- What effect will this situation have on Catalonia from an economic point of view?
Now more than 150 businesses a day are closing or leaving, people are afraid. They are not realizing the extent of the negative economic impact this situation will have. Banks, shops, companies, they are all leaving Catalonia because the atmosphere is tense and nothing is certain.”
Many of your colleagues, Spanish intellectuals, said it was a declaration of anti-democratic independence, do you think the world of culture should do more? Poetry, writing, communication can be a lifesaver at this time?
“Spain is still a very problematic country, both economically and regarding its independence. For this reason Spaniards are often ashamed to be Spaniards. And so are the intellectuals. At this time, however, we have started to react, trying to make the world understand that this situation in Catalonia is a mere manipulation, a lie. True, we intellectuals are doing too little, but we are starting to react. Catalan intellectuals who are opposed to independence are suffering a great deal. An example of this is the famous Catalan writer, Juan Marsé. As soon as he openly stated he was opposed to the independence, some extreme independents went to the libraries and began to tear up all the pages of his books. If you say that you are not independent, they insult you, they call you fascist. The role of people who think and write is to communicate, reflect, and lead to telling the truth. And the truth is that it was not a legal, democratic or real referendum.”
Is Spain’s unity as a country important? Even from an economic point of view.
If this separation were to actually take place in the future, Catalonia would probably be more negatively impacted, but eventually Spain would too. Both parts would be damaged. Initially Catalonia would find it very bad, it would be completely isolated and would be in an incredible economic crisis, but on the long run, Spain would also be severely affected by this separation. This is also why many Catalan citizens both recognize and reject independence, but unfortunately there is a minority of fanatics who are dragging the country into this chaos.
Layna Ranzhas recently published his fourth poetry book called, “Espìritu Hueso Animal” and is currently teaching in the American International Institute of Madrid.