Catalonia needs the “structures of a state,” says regional premier
“Spain went through its Transition and now it is our time,” proclaims Artur Mas
Comments on Wednesday go beyond calls for a mere fiscal pact
A day after a huge turnout was seen at a march in Barcelona in support of independence for Catalonia, which coincided with the region’s national day, premier Artur Mas on Wednesday launched a solemn rallying call for more self-determination for Spain’s richest region.
Mas said that after investing its energy over the past 30 years in ensuring the Spanish state was more amenable to Catalonia’s aspirations, it was now time for the region to take on the “structures of a state.” “Spain went through its Transition and now it is our time,” he said. “Nothing will be easy, but everything is possible if there is willingness, large majorities and the ability to resist.”
Catalonia has been obliged to seek a loan from the central government of five billion euros to pay off debt this year. A lack of liquidity has also left the region struggling to pay its suppliers. Catalonia has long insisted that it contributes more in taxes to the state than it receives back and is demanding a fiscal pact under which it would be allowed to raise its own revenues.
Mas’s comments on Wednesday went beyond calls for a mere fiscal pact. “The clamor [at Tuesday’s march] was clear, and something normal in a nation that has existed for centuries,” he said. “The people said that they want to be a nation [...] and are asking to have their own state in order to progress.”