On the occasion of the political debate around a possible amnesty law, things have been said that reveal polarized positions that even attempt to ignore history itself. It is legitimate to disagree; There is every reason to want to be for or against the issue being debated, but this position does not justify stating that “this thing about Catalonia as a nation” is an invention. Catalonia, amnesties aside, deserves more respect.
First of all, we must not forget that what is said about the “fit” of Catalonia in the reality of Spain is an issue that has been talked about for two long centuries. Spanish politics has debated this problem for many, many years with diverse presentations. The problem is not new and, therefore, a problem that has lasted for more than 200 years, it should be recognized that it is not invented. Whether well or poorly stated, with different demands, it should be accepted, at a minimum, that it is indeed a problem. It is not an invention or a passing fad. It is a problem that should be solved and helped to be solved.
Is Catalonia a nation or not? For some it will be, for others it won't. But, since the Constitution of '78 this is an issue that should not center the debate. The Constitution explicitly recognized the national reality of various territories that are part of the Spanish reality. From the tribune of the Congress of Deputies, representatives of very different ideologies have spoken about the plurinational reality of Spain, even invoking the doctrine of Anselmo Carretero, who defined Spain as a “nation of nations.”
It will be opinionable or not; It will be answered or accepted, but Catalonia as a nation is not an invention as some claim nor an attack on the Constitution. As are not the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, nor the Museu Nacional de Catalunya, nor the National Library of Catalonia, institutions all with an organic presence of the State in their government. To discuss the amnesty there is no need to belittle Catalonia or minimize what the Constitution of '78 wanted to put on track.
It would be good to remember that, from positions anchored in the most absolute fidelity to the history of political Catalanism, constitutional consensus has become possible; Governments of different types have been facilitated (UCD, PP, PSOE) with more loyalty than that of their own parties. And this behavior was at the service of the values of democracy and progress. All of this is also Catalonia that wants to live the shared project from its feeling as a nation.
Constitutional values do not protect polarization as a denial of essential dialogue. Living together may not be easy; but making it impossible is not respecting democracy. Now, the moment is difficult. But this further forces us to make respect for discrepancy a requirement of democratic behavior and attitude. We must discuss, we must debate; Consensus will not always be possible, but the will to achieve it is essential. And on this path there is no need to ignore history or belittle the feelings of those who experience first-hand the scope of the problem.
Catalonia and its identity cannot be mistreated as a consequence of unshared conjunctural expressions. The discrepancy must focus on the approach taken, not on the substance of the problem. Catalonia does not deserve it. You have to try to solve the problem; not aggravate it. We are not talking about an invention.