SPEAKERS CORNER…by Montserrat Tura
The certainty that Catalonia is a nation, widely shared by the vast majority of Catalan society and political forces, may come with different vital attitudes and ways to face the future. Some parties build everything into a more or less unreal imaginary, without practical immediate consequences.
Others, myself included, firmly believe that great principles must be translated into everyday life, into concrete ways of doing things, into tangible realities and quantifiable social advancements. The institutional sense, the will to make Catalonia stronger, and the unequivocal wage to deepen self-government obliges us to assume new competences, which may be uncomfortable but drive us closer to what is a state configuration.
We are the only Autonomous Community that has wanted to self-manage its own security policies, despite the fact that the political direction of the police or prisons may bring more risks than media successes and social recognition. In the case of penal executive policies, managing the penitentiary centres without conflict is not enough. For this reason, in the last seven years, we have directed the penal executive policy as one of our Government’s social policies. We have multiplied the alternative penal measures and jobs inside prisons for the community’s benefit; we have opened five new prisons and there are two more under construction… all with the main objective of fulfilling the Constitutional mandate for rehabilitation and reinsertion of people who have been convicted on deprivation of liberty sentences.
There have been no governments before that have built Court Houses in 23 jurisdictions, including Barcelona, with the Ciutat de la Justícia (City of Justice) as an indisputable emblematic reference (232,000 square metres). Neither are there governments that have waged for implementing IT technologies in all courts, even in peace courts and civil registers of Catalonia. And if the important thing was to build the nation, we must emphasise that in a single term, three of the six books that form the modernisation and codification process of our civil law have been approved. In fact, the Catalan civil law is a specific code for Catalonia that incorporates very innovative and progressive elements.
It is also true that I like to mention the anecdote referring to the life companion of the deceased best-selling Swedish author Stieg Larsson. After living with him for twenty years, she never saw herself recognised as his legitimate wife, as they were not married. This would be unthinkable in Catalonia, as our civil law recognises the rights of consolidated domestic partners on an equal dimension as marriages. Realities as transcendental as this one mentioned are those that make us more self-government and a federal state, not purely for identity reasons. Because we want a Catalonia with progressive ideological thinking, we want a social “Catalanism”.
Montserrat Tura i Camafreita
Catalan Minister for Justice