He lived the “procés” in the front line as leader of the Catalan Civil Society (SCC). Now, Mariano Gomà (Barcelona, 1952) chairs the Spain Forum of Solidarity and Progress, which on Thursday will deliver its first prizes in Madrid. He is blunt in stating that what happened in those months in Catalonia was a coup d’etat – and as “coup” defines those convicted by the Supreme Court – but also ensures that he has no rancor. That is what makes him open to a “technical, legal and constitutional solution” that helps “distend” the situation in Catalonia and that could happen, for example, by the reduction of sedition.
What is the Spain Forum of Solidarity and Progress?
It is an altruistic, voluntary and transversal association that considers that we should aspire to be the reference of civil society, which would have to take action on the matter and say the things that society suffers. It cannot be that in a country there are democratic elections, the Government takes possession and nothing is known about it until four years later. Civil society has to be there to say “this was not what happened” or, why not, to say “this way we are doing well”. They must take the boat to where society has told them to go. We do not know about ethnicities, religions, political acronyms or ideologies, in our association there is everything. Forum Spain aims to become a benchmark of society.
Is there any control to the Government right now?
No, there is more to see what is happening. I am not going to talk about party politics, but I am beginning to see that the current Executive is acting and making decisions, some already announced, and if they have formed a government, it is that the voters have legitimized that they can do so. We must see how these decisions affect citizens. Now they talk about euthanasia: if they take it in their program and Spain has voted a legitimate government that will legalize it, this is what we voted. But if they do things that we have not voted for, society has to say “Enough, this was not the commission.” If the pact with the independentistas leads to the break with the Constitution, there we have to be and warn.
What feelings provoke the table of Governments that has been announced? What do you expect from her?
I don’t expect anything because nothing can come out of that table. I can understand that there is a dialogue table, but with a clear premise of departure: that it is not equal to equal, it is between the Government of the Nation and the Autonomous Government. In addition, negotiators must have before the law, a copy of the Constitution. Anything other than respect for the rule of law has no place. That’s why I don’t expect anything, because I know the independentists and they are going to demand self-determination. One of the serious problems of Catalonia is that the State disappeared, and I would like its presence to recover. The negotiation framework is fine, but always respecting the Constitution, the law and the rule of law.
But the government depends on ERC.
It cannot be that an entire country is waiting for the Budgets to approve them or not for a party that in Congress has said that it is a radish that Spanish stability matters. That’s the problem. Sanchez is balancing on Niagara Falls. What will happen? We do not know. I was very critical of the investiture agreement because after that agreement comes the Budgets. If what I said before happens on the table of Governments, ERC will say that there are no Budgets. Do we go back to the elections then? They may gain some time, but no Spaniards can fool themselves: ERC and JpC go for independence, they don’t go for anything else. The rest give a radish.
There is talk of reducing the crime of sedition to satisfy them.
Antonio Tajani said that everything can be changed, but if today the law is like that, it is like that, period. As a Catalan and former president of SCC I have no interest in Mr. Junqueras being 13 years in jail, we are turning martyrs into coup plotters. There is no grudge. I do not think they should be released because I do not believe in an amnesty, but if to distend relations between Spain and Catalonia there is a path that passes by giving less importance to sedition in the Criminal Code, and that entails a reduction, by way legal, of the penalties imposed by the TS, I have no problem. As a Spaniard I have no grudge, what I think is that they did it and they pay it. In Catalonia there are many people who have opinion, criteria and vision of what has happened. Many wonder why they are in jail and it is difficult to explain. We Catalans are good people and they say: «They did it and they have been in jail for two years, let them go to the streets». And they are not independentistas, but they think so. I do not, but I understand. Perhaps a technical, legal and constitutional solution that would get this tension removed would be good.
Tajani is precisely one of the winners of the first Spain Forum of Values awards. What has motivated its creation?
Within the concept of the Spain Forum is that civil society has to protect the values of the human being. Society must have values and ethics, responsibility and love. These fundamental values must be protected and we reward in some way those people who are working for them. Society will not be saved by politics, technology, or money, but the human being and his solidarity. For this we must have educational values, ethics, and we intend to promote it. Now that it is so fashionable to talk about gender and LGTBI … Do not be confused. Courage is love Then, if there are groups of any kind, marriages … All these are technical details, the value above is love. If there is love, I don’t care what it is. From there, let’s live in freedom. That is what the Spain Forum wants to promote.
«It cannot be that constitutionalism is divided and independence, even if stabbing, go to one»
He was president of the Catalan Civil Society during the “hot autumn” of 2017, how do you remember that time?
I remember it with a lot of love and a lot of pressure. SCC, when he saw what they had perpetrated, a clear coup d’etat, and the famous referendum, which was a festival very poorly managed by the Government of Spain, immediately decided that one had to go out to say enough. The pressure was very strong, the organization was tremendous, but we managed to make constitutionalist Catalonia, the majority, go out to say enough. That is very important because it meant a touch of attention to the Catalans who wanted to drag the whole of Catalonia into an abyss that was only theirs, and changed the mentality of all of Spain. Because we must also be critical of Spain: Catalonia has felt abandoned, it seemed that the Spaniards had it far away. SCC got it out with them, that the battle was out of Spain. I founded the Spain Forum precisely because I realized that the conflict is also in Spain.
Before the next regional elections in the Basque Country, Galicia and Catalonia are trying to promote joint candidacies of PP and Cs. Its viable? Would it be positive?
Viable yes, positive too. Another thing is that it was a winning bid. In Catalonia, things are not going to change until they win the elections at the polls. At that time things could change very quickly. What cannot be is that constitutionalism is divided and independence, even if they are stabbing, go to one. As long as the constitutionalist groups maintain the situation of Taifa kingdoms, the course will never change. The PSC must be fed separately. If you see that with ERC and the commons you can do a tripartite again, which will be a disaster, it will support that. If the PSC saw that by supporting the other constitutionalist groups, a majority would also be added, it would be in their hands to give the Government to the independentists or the constitutionalists. And there would come the PSOE to say “be careful what you do.” By the time the PSC could guarantee the stability of constitutionalism in Catalonia, at that time things would begin to change very quickly. By cutting the TV3 thread, the ANC and Òmnium public financing or the investments made in Puigdemont, independence would plummet because it would lose food. That is the solution, another thing is that we are able to carry it out. .