This evening the president of the Government of Catalonia, Artur Mas, assured that it is time for Catalonia to exercise its political maturity, emphasizing that when one has “an authoritarian and intolerant patriarchal figure, one is even more inclined to assert his or her own maturity”. The Chief Executive stressed that “many people in Catalonia have decided to take this step ahead and believe we should be taken seriously as a grown-up and mature nation”. “We are already economically, socially and culturally so, and now we have the opportunity to prove that we are also politically mature; this is the most important challenge we face” assured the President.
During the inaugural conference for this year’s academic course at the Ateneu Barcalonès, Artur Mas explained that for the many years political catalanism has tried to fit within the Spanish framework and asked whether there was “any other path which has not been tried before which could also be the right one?”. In answering the question, the President stated that the path in which Catalonia currently finds itself has never been attempted before because “the objective difficulties are vast”, and noted that “we are encountering rough terrain”.
In this regard, the Head of the Catalan government affirmed that “I have always tried to address the Catalan population realistically” and stressed the difficulty in “giving absolute certainties when one is in unknown territory”. “We must get used to govern that which is uncertain, but this does not mean that we do not have a path” concluded the President, asking the public not to be “overwhelmed”, because it is “clearly a new opportunity which our country is opting for”.
The President noted that in this situation what is being tested is, firstly, the resilience of the Catalan society against the objective difficulties. The President, however, was calm because of the "noticeable amount of people conscious of the path taken". Secondly, the joint action between the associations and the Catalan institutions, which was reflected in the National Agreement for the Right to Decide on Catalonia’s political future. And third and finally, the President cited the existing political consensus which "can be more delicate, especially when it is mixed with the electoral process” stated the President. "That these three things are maintained is crucial and it depends on us that they stay strong" highlighted the President, expressing his confidence that "we will be able pass this test".
A political process to build a better country
At the end of his intervention, the President insisted on the idea that the political process that Catalonia has begun is to “give us, as a nation and as a society, the opportunity to build a new country that is really worth something, knowing full well our capacity to do so”. This will to improve, noted the President, “is not a race to compete in, nor to be better than others” but it is a path to “better ourselves”, and to make this possible “we need the same instruments, decision-making capability and equivalent resources that similar societies have at a European level”.
The President reminded Catalans that "when we have the tools, even though not all of them, we can do good work", the proof of which, he pointed out, were the many good structures that have been successful in different areas, despite having fewer resources and instruments than other countries.
To illustrate the right path which has been taken for the last thirty years, the Chief Executive cited the healthcare model “which everyone uses as a model and as an example and which was created from public institutions and the input of organized society through their associations”. As part of this collective success, the President also highlighted the Catalan university model, in research, which gained its place on the European and global maps, which it did not hold before and the language immersion model “recognised at a European level”.
“If with the few instruments, resources and decision-making capability we actually have, we can compare ourselves with others and not appear inadequate, can you imagine what we can be capable of as a country if we had the same tools, the same level of self-governance and the same resources like any other country?” reflected the Head of the Catalan government.