Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Santiago Espot
Executive Chairman of Catalunya Acció.

Translated from Catalan into English by
Christian Andreu
and Jackie Morrow


Our Downfall

When we talk about Catalonia’s downfall, we normally think exclusively in monetary terms, since we are all aware of the current economic looting. However for colonized countries such as Catalonia, there is something even worse to consider: a spiritual defeat. Because of this very fact, while watching, in exile, as the Catalan soul was squashed by the fascist tyranny, the famous doctor Josep Trueta decided to write his very well known book L’esprit de Catalunya (The spirit of Catalonia). This work was very significant and one of the most illustrious Catalans in history, Pau Casals, wrote about it: “His book represents the most respectable of protests because he explains to the nations in question, in their own language, about the Catalan people and their spirit. That touches me, as it touches or should touch all Catalans who are still sensitive to patriotic issues”.

In these pages we are going to talk about the collective looting Catalonia is currently suffering, and its drastic consequences. However, it is worth considering that we will only be able to recover from economic impoverishment if, first, we maintain Catalonia’s spiritual richness. A nation does not die just because its pockets are empty, but because its national genius ceases to exist. Do you not agree?

Our elite, theoretical leaders deliberately ignore this fact. They will not and cannot understand it, since they are only interested in their own position and party. So, now, more than ever, we can see the urgency of new approaches and ideas. Naturally, there are those who do not want to put into practice what in Catalan we call the “new flame”; in other words, new leaders who have no connection to the last 30 years of Bourbon rule, the transition or our autonomy.

In fact, looting taxes from Catalonia is not a new issue. Eminent economist and politician, Mr. Ramon Trias Fargas, inter alia, reported it years ago. Then it was a secondary issue, because at the time it was more important to recover our culture and language. That is fair enough, but now, years later, neither our culture nor our language has been saved and in economic terms, our country is sinking. Our society’s current advantages are simply the result of a modern society. Similarly, today’s Morocco is not the same country it was thirty years ago and no one thinks everything is fantastic there. We need only read what Trias Fargas wrote 30 years ago: “The shortage of public expenses in the region has a very direct and decisive consequence: the lack of sufficient infrastructure inside Catalonia is creating a deep-rooted problem for our economical development” .

In fact, we are still suffering from the economic strangulation that is the consequence of our colonial condition. Mind you, we can build roads and high-speed trains. However, what we will not be able to build anymore if we abandon our national spirit, is a Catalonia rich and full, as quoted in our national anthem. Yet some people are still trying to crush our spirit. So, on the threshold of this unbearable situation, there is a very clear message ringing out: Let’s go for our independence!



1) R. Trias i Fargas (1922-1989. Catalan economist and politician). Introducció a l’economia de Catalunya. Edicions 62, Barcelona

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