23:38 GMT +316 October 2018
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    Members of a ultra-right-wing movement called 'Catalan Identitarian Movement' walk guarded by the police during celebrations of the Catalonia's regional holiday known as La Diada in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018

    No One is Above the Law: MP Offers Up Recipe to End Catalan Crisis

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    Exactly a year ago about 90 percent of voters supported Catalonia's secession from Spain in a regional referendum. However, the vote failed to form an independent state with several pro-independence Catalan politicians jailed and currently in pre-trial detention.

    Rebuilding the political, social and emotional bridges blown up by the pro-independence process in Catalonia and seeking mutually acceptable solutions to the conflict is the only way to end the crisis in Spain’s troubled northeastern province, a Citizens Party MP Sonia Sierra told Sputnik.

    Sonia Sierra believes that if local pro-independence politicians admit the failure of the separation process and that they cannot ignore the country’s laws; this could be a way to end the crisis that put the peaceful coexistence of Catalonia on the line.

    Caught in the maelstrom of last year’s separatist rebellion in Catalonia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stepped down handing power over to Socialist Pedro Sanchez who has recently been sending reconciliatory signals to the provincial leadership.

    "Sanchez offered privileges to politicians. We believe that politicians do not need privileges and that they should be like all citizens. No politician, who bends the law, should be allowed to get away with it. We believe no one is above the law and, of course, we want to put an end to any privileges for politicians. There should be no privileges for corrupt politicians and those who pose a threat to democracy,” Sonia Sierra emphasized.

    However, some experts note that neither Mariano Rajoy nor socialist Pedro Sanchez have been able to find a way out of the Catalan crisis.

    According to Sierra, all attempts by the People's Party (Partido Popular) and the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) to solve this problem have been “catastrophic."

    Sonia Sierra said that both parties “were trying to negotiate with nationalists in exchange for privileges: ‘you vote for my proposals in the national parliament, and I let you do whatever you please in Catalonia.’”

    “This is why we ended up in a situation we always warned about,” Sierra added.

    She noted that the Citizens’ Party she belongs to “was born exactly because we need an alternative that is not nationalistic and doesn’t turn a blind eye to the illegal actions they engage in.”

    Sierra believes that next year’s municipal elections could become a turning point because municipalities are directly responsible to the citizens “they meet in the street every day.”

    “We’ll be putting forward our best candidates. Here in Barcelona we support [former French PM) Manuel Valls. He is promoting the idea of the United States of Europe. Born in Barcelona and having spent years building a political career in France, he could now become the mayor of Barcelona,” Sonia Sierra said.

    In the October 1, 2017 independence referendum, about 90 percent of voters supported Catalonia's secession from Spain.

    On October 27, 2017, the Catalan government proclaimed the region's independence.

    READ MORE: Catalonia Independence Supporters Try to Adapt to New Reality — Politician

    However, the Spanish government refused to accept the results of the plebiscite and imposed direct rule over Catalonia, dissolving the regional legislature, stripping the local government of power and issuing arrest warrants for Catalan politicians.

    Related:

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    Lavrov Trolls Spain at UN, Says Russia 'Busy Meddling in Catalonia's Elections'
    Tags:
    municipal elections, conflict, independence supporters, referendum, Spain's Citizens party, Manuel Valls, Pedro Sanchez, Mariano Rajoy, Sonia Sierra, Spain
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