Catalonia: independence from Spain, independence from capitalism

11sEsther Vivas

Hundreds of thousands turned out last September 11 to demand independence for Catalonia. Some decided to surround the Caixa, form a human chain around the largest bank in Catalonia and third largest in Spain, to demand not only independence from Spain, but from capitalism.

Some say that independence comes first, and then we’ll see. That this will end unemployment , poverty , hunger. As if independence were a divine manna. However, this is a fallacious argument. Just ask people in Greece, Portugal, Ireland , Cyprus and the Spanish state itself. Being independent means we get out from, well, the grip of the Troika. The European financial power does not give freedom to the people. There can be no real independence under the burden of debt , the blackmail of the risk premium and the “markets”.

Others claim that “Madrid robs us ” and that if we say “Farewell to Spain”, problem solved. Nothing is further from reality. Where are we going with a country in the hands of just 400 families forever? Moving towards independence, involves asking : independence for what and for whom.

The open debate in Catalonia today is an opportunity to rethink the foundations of our model of society. Be independent, yes, but to open a constituent process that allows us to decide together which country we want. Banks are the most responsible for the crisis and La Caixa is the largest bank in Catalonia. To save financial institutions, we have sunk into absolute misery. We will never be free nor independent, if we are subject to their policies.

It is also common knowledge that La Caixa does not want a referendum [on independence] “Social peace” is the ultimate guarantor of its profits and the Spanish State its biggest source of business. Its loyalties have been shown with the royal family ensuring a golden retirement to the Infanta Cristina in Switzerland, as head of the International Department of the La Caixa Fundación, and increasing her salary to 320,000 euros per year.

Which country will we have if its largest bank evicts families and rips us off through preferred shares ? What will our independence amount to if we are in the hands of thieves?

This is an extract from an article published by Esther Vivas in Spanish in, 12/11/2013. Translated by

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