BARCELONA – Since the advancing pursuit of independence in Catalonia, the national holiday ‘Diada‘ on September 11 has an extra charge in this autonomous region. For years this day has been used by the separatists to draw attention to the theme again.
The Diada de Catalunya has thus served as a thermometer of independence for years. Even after this year, which has been deeply divided, with the threat of a split government and a public split between the main pro-sovereignty force, Esquerra, and the ANC. This latter party is organising a demonstration on Sunday, September 11. However, neither the “president” Pere Aragonès nor the republican ministers will participate.
‘Let’s win again, independence’
“Let’s win again: independence” is the motto the separatist entity has chosen for Sunday’s march. It sends a clear message to the government partners Junts and the ERC to get back on track towards independence. Moreover, they want to leave the dialogue with the state at the moment that it has been five years since the referendum on 1 October and the subsequent unilateral declaration of independence on 27 October 2017.
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The ANC has warned pro-sovereignty parties that, if they don’t act differently, it will promote an alternative “country list” in the next Catalan elections. But amid so much division, the party fears the independence mobilisation, which has been losing momentum since 2019, will fall.
The president of the ERC, Oriol Junqueras, believes that the march called by the pro-independence organisation is “exclusive”. And, furthermore, it is “against the majority of the Independentistas and of the independence party. From the ERC also told the ANC accused of trying to “divide” the independence movement.
The president of the region, Pere Aragonès, and his ministers will participate in other events to celebrate September 11. Below is an event convened by Òmnium next to the Arc de Triomf, on the Lluís Companys promenade in Barcelona.
The “president” has justified his decision by saying that he will participate in those acts “where all ideas can be defended positively, in an inclusive way”.
The critical sector within the ERC is now grouped into the Collectiu Primer d’Octubre. The latter has distanced itself from the leadership of the party. And, subsequently announced it will support the demonstration because it considers criticism of the political movements “lawful”. The move is also supported by former Speaker of Parliament and the ANC, Carme Forcadell.
Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont (JxCat) has attacked Esquerra for pushing for “a demobilisation” of independence. Another ‘ex-president’, Quim Torra (Junts), has called on the population to flood the streets.
Esquerra is the only pro-independence party committed to dialogue with the central government to achieve self-determination but increasingly stands alone in this goal. Junts and the CUP (external ally in parliament) do not share this view.
The pro-independence formation, which is cooling the ability to negotiate or facilitate the central government’s budgets for next year, criticises that the Catalan government “chose to soften the conflict, make it disappear and this means there are nothing changes in this country”.
The PSC calls for “reducing tension”
Concerning the non-independence parties, Salvador Illa’s PSC, in a manifesto on the occasion of the Diada, has called for a reduction in “edginess” and an increase in the “responsibility” of politicians. And it is that Illa is committed to “the improvement of self-government and self-determination”, to “effectively exercise the powers at the disposal of the Generalitat” and to deepen “in the federal construction of Spain and Europe”.
Ciudadanos wants to move Diada to April 23
Ciudadanos plans to set up tents in different parts of Catalonia on Sunday with the proposal to move the Diada to April 23, the day of Sant Jordi. The party wants the holiday to be everyone’s again instead of a day for the nationalists and separatists.
Furthermore, the PP leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo also thinks so. Therefore, the Diada should serve less to “reflect” the division of independence and the instability of the government.
Moreover, the absence of the mayor of Barcelona will be striking. Ada Colau of the Barcelona and Comú party has indicated that he does not feel “called” by who organises it. “There is no affinity and so I haven’t taken part in the last few years and I won’t this year.