Catalans opposed to nationalism start new party
2 March 2006, BARCELONA — A new political party has been formed by Catalans who oppose the region's nationalist politics.
2 March 2006
BARCELONA — A new political party has been formed by Catalans who oppose the region's nationalist politics.
With 800 members, the Ciutadans de Catalunya is set to launch officially next Saturday.
The party, which includes members from a variety of other existing parties, believes the region has become "inhospitable" to those who are not nationalists.
In a statement, it added: "The nationalist project is leaving out an important part of the population.
"We have to put an end to the nationalist monopoly in public life."
Supporters say they are in favour of citizenship, liberty and equality, secularism, bilingualism and defence of the Constitution.
They are against the so-called 'estatut' or bid for greater autonomy from Catalonia, which has caused an on-going political row in Spain.
The estatut calls for Catalonia to have tax-raising powers, to pay less to poorer parts of the country and to be called a 'nation'.
It is currently going through parliament and a deal between the national government in Madrid and the regional one in Catalonia should be reached later this year.
Arcadi Espada, spokesman for the party, claims forty percent of its members are from the Socialists, 30 percent from the conservative Popular Party, and the rest from regional parties.
Three Socialist deputies are considering 'crossing the floor' to join the new party.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news