Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Effective Catalonia

The below is an article by Josep Vergés, it was published in the Catalan web portal, Racó Català. I agree wholeheartedly with his views. Sadly, independent voices like him are silenced in the Spanish-controlled, pro-unionist Catalan media.

Effective Catalonia
Enterprise is risk, but without entrepreneurs a country does not advance. Catalonia progresses, not through politicians profiting from the money of others, but from thousands of businessmen risking their own money. Some businesses go very well and others not because it is the law of life to grow and decline. This dynamism, not natural resources which we not possess nor our own State which we also do not have, gives us our wealth and strength.

In Madrid the word risk does not exist, because behind everything they always have the State: behind Iberia the gift of Terminal IV in Madrid or behind Endesa, the former PP electricity monopoly, which prefers to be in German than Catalan hands, as though Berlin were closer and more easily influenced than Barcelona. The Madrid entrepreneur lives off politics and bureaucracy. The Barcelona-Madrid shuttle has tried unsuccessfully to integrate Catalans in the Madrid economics because Catalans are viewed as suspiciously in Madrid as Jews were in Berlin when this was the capital of fascism. Catalan politicians -some to enrich themselves and if not ask Duran Lleida or José Montilla why both are multimillionaires if they have never worked- have copied the Madrid model. We have public companies like TV3, and staying in the same branch, private like Avui enormous loss makers, but certainly 100% servile. But Catalonia grows not through political pork barrel, but through entrepreneurs taking risks.

Josep Jane Sola is a typical Catalan entrepreneur who founded his own dynamic bank, finally victim of a stock exchange crisis. He is also a well known economist, for many years president of the Catalan Economics Society, part of the Institute of Catalan Studies, where I was secretary until 2005 when Jose Montilla imposed Mr. X of GAL State terrorism, Narcis Serra, as president of socialist Caixa Catalunya which sponsors our Catalan Economics Prize. “Effective Economics” (Milenio, 2006) is the massive homage in two volumes, 1,466 pages and 116 contributors, which we economists dedicate to him. Dr. Jane shows me the front cover of himself as a young mountaineer and says that mountains teach about living: “The measured effort, the calculated risk, to reach the summit and, above all, to know how to get back.” In his dedication he writes: “The best secretary-collaborator I have ever had and what constant support and farseeing and unbreakable loyalty.” The Festschrift is promoted by Fabia Estape, of Port Bou by the way as his stormy mind shows, Juan Velarde Fuertes, Josep Vilarasau of la Caixa, and Jesus Timoteo, editor of the book with his son Oscar Jane. Populariser of economics and of the popular participation in the economy, he follows the observation by John Maynard Keynes: “What changes the world are not interest rates but ideas.” The effective economy is what makes the world go round.

His model of an effective man is the inventor of the peseta Laurea Figuerola, born in the county of Anoia, in Calaf, and he in Igualada. He imposed the Catalan peseta eliminating the chaos of 97 Spanish coins. On the centenary of his death, February 28th 2003, we presented his book in homage. Apart from the peseta, he reformed foreign trade, freed education from the Church and even gave back Citadel Park from the military to Barcelona, something which present day politicians have still failed to do with Montjuic Castle, the other symbol of Franco-Spanish repression of Catalan freedoms. There is nothing that last longer than the provisional. A provisional, and liberal, government installed the provisional, and liberalising, peseta which lasted for 133 years. What is never provisional is proper work. What will remain of 23 years of Jordi Pujol, incapable of getting anything permanent for Catalonia? History will look more kindly on Josep Tarradellas, who found the way to force Madrid to break with the fascist past by restoring the Catalan government. He was a provisional president, in exile and after his return, but what remains is the return to legality, like what remains is the initiative of liberal entrepreneurs who reach the peak for an effective Catalonia.Josep C. Vergés27.8.06


1 comment:

ian llorens said...

I am very disappointed with what is going on in Catalonia. The motto "Catalonia is NOT Spain" is becoming meaningless. Entrepreneurship is gone (did you see the latest poll that showed that more than 50% of Catalans wanted to be public servants?). Give me a break!
I once hoped that Catalonia would become the Netherlands of the South. The reality is that more and more Catalonia resembles the rest of Spain ("vuelva usted mañana", chapuzas, red tape, bribery). Our politicians suck. I would like to see a unity government fighting for what is right for our country Catalonia, but they only seek personal gain. They could not care less about the future of our country and its citizens.
If we continue this way, sign me out. It will just be a nice place to vacation (if there is no strike at the airport) and, of course, the place where I was born.