Sunday, December 02, 2007
Catalonia to Mr. Jacques Barrot Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Transport
Attn: Mr. Jacques Barrot
Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Transport
Dear Mr. Barrot,
In my capacity as a Catalan and European citizen, I feel the need to contact you because at the moment, Catalonia is experiencing an emergency situation. The reason for this letter is to claim JUSTICE, because we are not living on equal terms with other European citizens.
We know that you are aware of the pitiful state of the current Catalan infrastructure. We are living through a genuine railroad nightmare, due to the works on the High Speed Train entry into Barcelona which, what is more, is several years overdue. Nevertheless, our tragedy is heightened by the daily collapse of the commuter railway service, the Prat airport, our roads and motorways and the main entrance and exit points in the city of Barcelona . Neither should we forget the precarious and alarming situation of the Catalan health and education systems, which is directly affecting our state of health and our future as a society.
This situation, just as your co-operator, Mr. Étienne Davignon (European co-ordinator for the high speed railway interconnection between Spain and France ) has acknowledged publicly, has arisen because over the last few decades the various Spanish governments (both PSOE and PP) have failed to invest sufficiently in Catalonia .Or to put it more clearly, we can emphatically confirm that the Spanish State treats Catalonia on purely colonial terms, which completely contradicts the democratic principles that should govern the European Union. One need only look at the tax deficit between Catalonia and the central Spanish government, which has been calculated by respected Catalan economists, and which in 2005 (last available figures) was 19,177 million Euros, and the tax deficit accumulated between 1986 and 2005 that totals 191,000 million euros (according to the value of the Euro in 2005).
This painful situation has reached a climax that is already directly affecting the economic development and physical and psychological wellbeing of certain European citizens, namely the Catalans. Naturally, we are explaining our sorrowful situation to you because we are affected by it every day. However, please take into consideration that we are also talking on behalf of future Catalan (and consequently, European) generations who, if this general collapse continues, will see their future jeopardised. Naturally, we are referring to our own children. And, it is only common sense to see that, faced with this situation, we can only guarantee a collective, prosperous future through an independent Catalonia that is linked directly to Europe. We are firmly convinced of this, and that is the orientation we will give to our politics from now onwards.
Naturally, we are addressing you, Mr. Barrot, because you are also in a position to serve and help us, and because we want to believe that the European institutions really do defend citizen interests. But, essentially, we are addressing you because our governors have failed us and are continuing to fail us spectacularly. The Catalan political leaders who should stand up to anyone or anything to guarantee our most basic rights, are only interested today in attending to their personal or party needs, and at every election, this causes further distancing in the form of increased electoral absentees. That is why, in our capacity as fully fledged members of the European Union, we demand that you, the Head of EU transport, apply the following:
1.- That you use all the mechanisms in your power to put an end to the disastrous situation that we have described, beginning with the catastrophe of the commuter railway service in the city of Barcelona that is affecting thousands of Catalans every day, and the delay in implementing the High Speed Train works and the link with France.
2.- That you call upon the government in Madrid so that once and for all they publish all the tax balances between the various “autonomous communities” in the Spanish State (the Spanish government actually approved this publication in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2005, but no Spanish government has been dignified enough to carry it through). By publishing these balances and increasing the transparency regarding this issue, we will be able to prove that the Catalans are being treated shamefully and in a discriminatory manner with respect to the amount of investment the Spanish government assigns to Catalonia .
We look forward to hearing from you, and remain,
Person's name Person's family name(s)
National Identity Document No.
Posted by Salvador Molins, BIC-CA at 6:34 PM
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