The Dignity of Catalonia

Newspaper Editorial November 26th 2009

The Dignity of Catalonia, or La Dignitat de Catalunya in Catalan, was an editorial published by 12 newspapers on November 26th 2009 complaining about the behaviour of the Spanish Constitutional Court in delaying its decision on the 2006 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia. generally known as the Estatut.

The need for a new Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia had been clear for some time and became a priority for the Tripartit government formed after the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia in 2003.

The drafting process of the Estatut involved moments of tension between the Catalan and Spanish Parliaments but it was finally passed by the Parliament of Catalonia, the Spanish Congress of Deputies and at referendum by the Catalan people and became law on August 9th 2006.

Almost immediately various groups, most notably the Partido Popular, decided that the increase in powers of the Generalitat and the definition of Catalonia as a nation, rather than a nationality as in the 1978 Spanish Constitution, were unconstitutional and took the Estatut to the Spanish Constitutional Court.

More than three years later the Constitutional Court still hadn't reached a resolution and the level of dissatisfaction was growing in Catalonia as various towns began to hold popular consultations on Catalan independence in September 2009.

In this context on November 26th, twelve Catalan newspapers, La Vanguardia, El Periódico de Catalunya, Avui, El Punt, Diari de Girona, Diari de Tarragona, Segre, La Mañana, Regió 7, El 9 Nou, Diari de Sabadell and Diari de Terrassa, published the same editorial entitled La Dignitat de Catalunya or The Dignity of Catalonia.

The reaction was very favourable in Catalonia and received the support of the leaders of the Tripartit government parties, PSC, ERC and ICV, as well as the leader of the opposition Artur Mas.

Most Catalan media backed the editorial as did many public figures and even sports clubs, such as FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol.

Not surprisingly, Spanish magistrates associations and the Madrid press were up in arms about it. 

The editorial added impetus to what would become the Catalan independence movement as more popular consultations were prepared for December 2009.

The unfavourable resolution of the Constitutional Court on the Estatut came out on June 28th 2010 and two weeks later on July 10th, the independence movement showed its full force with the massive Som una nació. Nosaltres decidim (We are a nation. We decide) demonstration in Barcelona.







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