Dear pro-European friends,
Over the last few weeks I have noticed various concerns expressed by pan-europeans and federalists in Veneto about the referendum (for the autonomy of Veneto) of 22th October.
It makes me said seeing how a referendum question has been downgraded to a useless propaganda of anti-European populists.
Even the historical events along Catalan streets are seen as suspect and sometimes opposed. It seems, according to some Europeans, that these initiatives are likely to hamper the already unclear process of European integration between member states. It seems that a region, a territory that calls for more freedom from its central state, even for independence, is solely and exclusively for the benefit of the Eurosceptics.
This did not happen in the Scottish case: in the face of the English choice to leave the European Union, a strong support emerged in favour of an independent Scotland to remain the European Union. In that case the drives towards independence were applauded. But for Catalonia and Veneto (provided that Veneto will vote solely on autonomy and not independence): NO.
We should also remember that there are already autonomous regions (i.e. regions with a stronger level of self-government) with special status in Italy. Do these regions create those concerns for those who fight for the United States of Europe? I don’t think so.
So why is there a worry that Venetian autonomy might bring about a rise in anti-EU populism?
Even without special autonomy, we have a deep-rooted populist sentiment in Veneto and we know that it is our duty to undermine its dangers.
We keep on hoping that a genuine European federalism could be implemented, but then why do we obstruct the same kind of process in Veneto by favouring a centralist state?
The Catalans themselves pursue a journey that wants to move away from Madrid to get closer to Brussels. We believe they are working and fighting for Europe. We equally do not fear voting and democracy in Veneto. We believe, however, that hindering and sneering the natural drive of Venetians towards self-government can and will foster populism. By making a parallel with the situation on immigration, Venetian autonomy is also a structural issue and must be managed. Management involves participation.
So, we urge you to participate with us for the good of Europe that will come.
P.S. Returning to the Catalan question, we have seen the worst repression typical of weak and fearsome states: barrels, threats that bring our memory back to Franchism.
Despite all this, the Generalitat wrote a piece of history on this continent. He proclaimed independence through a responsible act, still asking for dialogue in the Spanish state. The ball went so far in Madrid, in the hands of Rajoy who has already demonstrated what he thinks about the liberties of Catalan citizens. I just remember that the start to the end of ETA, the Basque armed group, was due to Zapatero’s dialogue and was vigorously opposed by Rajoy at that time. He is certainly not a cultural mediator. Spain adopted a constitution only in 1978, following the fall of dictator Francisco Franco. The Spanish Constitution is a recent fact and no matter how important it is, it can always be improved. Affirming that unconstitutionality can stop the freedom is to say that pieces of paper are worth more than principles.
We must now ask Europe to be strong. We have to ask Europe not to leave this issue to an internal discussion of a single state. The task we entrust to supranational European structures is also to maintain peace, democracy and security within its own borders. Europe must now arbitrate the different aspirations in the Iberian peninsula. It is crucial now to believe in the European project and to support self-determination of peoples living within its borders.
For peace, democracy and freedom.
Find the original article here: https://goo.gl/LWrcv5