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20 de març 2018

Article by Jordi Domingo

Article by Jordi Domingo: "Is it that hard"? (¿Tanto cuesta?)
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Translation by M. Strubell with author's permission
Is it that hard?
By Jordi Domingo i Garcia-Milà
March 20 2018
February 7 2018. Madrid, Congress. Government control session. The deputy prime minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, takes the floor to respond to a question asked by the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) MP, Joan Tardá. In this context, she launches a diatribe addressed to the MP but which, in reality, is aimed against a large part of the citizens of Catalonia. Her zero empathy becomes evident once again. Her facial, gestural and verbal expression is sour and arrogant. The intimidating tone she uses tries to intimidate all Catalans. At the very least, those who - in her opinion - had the nerve or audacity to insist on a clearly majority vote in favour of the parties that advocate the Catalan Republic, on December 21.
The climax, in the form of a question, is already well known to all: "Is it that hard to sacrifice a Catalan?".
In order to justify this "ingenious" phrase, the deputy prime minister suggests - in her speech - that if the Catalans "have sacrificed" our companies; our public services and our freedom, we should also be willing to "sacrifice a Catalan". And she ends with a sentence that no matter how many times I say it, and however loudly I do it, I doubt there is anyone in Spain with the slightest varnish of intelligence that today can claim is true. Namely: "Nobody is above democracy and the judges."
I will not go into how much we Catalans "have sacrificed" or about what "we are willing to sacrifice." Nothing I could say would support what the deputy prime minister is trying to sell us as true. Nor am I going to go into the enormous efforts by the Spanish government, the parties supporting the article 155 measures and even the royal family, to undermine the economy, infrastructures and freedoms in Catalonia for years to come. The media archives speak for themselves.
"Nobody is above democracy and the judges." The sentence is amusing. phrase is funny. But, as far as Spain is concerned, it has long since ceased to make sense (if it ever did) given the accumulated actions of the royal family; the government; the parties that support it (including the 155 bloc); the Constitutional Court; the National Court; the Supreme Court; the Public Prosecutor's Office and the security forces in general, in recent times.
The Spanish regime is rotting by leaps and bounds. Corruption has been our daily bread for years. Governments have cheated us all mercilessly. The pension fund has been used up and has reached the brink of absolute bankruptcy. They have had no scruples to cope with the crisis of the financial system, without the banks and credit institutions (unlike what has happened in other countries) having had to pay back what society had given them.
With the money of us all they have built useless pharaonic infrastructures; they have rescued loss-making toll highways and have paid unprecedented compensations for fiascos such as the Castor project, but - take note - there is no more money for pensions or for social policies. We have seen how the revolving doors have engulfed a host of political figures, whom one no longer has enough adjectives to describe. Poverty and misery have spread and grown in Spain. Legislation has been enacted with the sole purpose of cutting back rights and freedoms (just think of the gag law, for the sake of example).
They have publicly boasted of having prosecutors "to refine" whatever is needed, and of having "liquidated" the health system in Catalonia. They have also boasted of "decapitating" leaders and democratically elected leaders.
The Constitutional Court has become a mere puppet of the executive. Similarly, the National Court and the Supreme Court have been dragged for alleged "reasons of state" to proceedings, interpretations and agendas that have nothing to do with the normal functioning of the courts in a democracy.
The fact that more and more associations of judges and magistrates are calling for the independence of the courts, is just a full confirmation of what I am saying.
The list of grievances and intrinsic injustice of those who have governed in Spain is endless. The use that has been made in Catalonia of art. 155, for its content and scope, would make any good faith constitutionalist or democrat blush.
Ms. deputy prime minister, let me borrow your already famous sentence with some small changes. Is it that hard to sacrifice private interests to the common interest? Is it that hard to guarantee the independence of the courts? Is it that hard to respect the rule of law? Is it that hard to try to solve political problems through dialogue and negotiation, instead of judicializing them? Is it that hard to accept differences? Is it that hard to respect those who do not think like you? Is it that hard to be a Democrat?
All of this is clearly too hard for you. Someone is going to sacrifice you.
See two other articles by Jordi Domingo here:

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