Oriol Junqueras, the leader of the Catalan Republican Left has a different media image from Vladimir Putin but when it comes to territorial expansion there’s not much difference between them. Just as Putin wants to grab bits of Ukraine because the people there speak Russian, the policy of pancatalism involves the incorporation of a future independent Catalonia of three separate parts of Spain (Valencia, the Balearic Islands and part of Aragon), part of France (Languedoc-Roussillon, known as Catalunya Nord), the town of Alghero in Sardinia, and all of Andorra.
According to the party’s programme for the European parliament elections the first step will be
the recognition of the rights of the inhabitants of the rest of the territories of the Catalan Lands to add Catalan nationality to Spanish nationality if they want.
Yes, they’re going to start poaching citizens of other countries. Won’t that make them popular!
These lands, we are told, must ‘be present’ in the process that has started in Catalonia that will culminate with a new Catalan state in the EU.
Being present in the process means clearly laying the foundations of future relations between the free Catalan nation and the nation that will continue under Spanish or French jurisdiction.
According to Junqueras:
the future Catalan Constitution will have to include the definition and the complete framework of the nation, bearing in mind especially aspects like the recognition of the national condition for the citizens of the other territories who freely claim it or the inclusion a reunification clause (as was done at the time in the constitutions of the German Federal Republic and the Republic of Ireland.
What examples to give! The German example ignores the fact that Germany had been partitioned after a war and had its capital under military occupation till the fall of the Berlin Wall. And that, unusually, German citizenship derives through descent (jus sanguinis), so the citizens of the GDR were entitled to nationality anyway.
And what about Ireland? Yes indeed, the constitution of the Irish Republic did indeed claim all of the island of Ireland as its territory, including the six counties of Northern Ireland. That was, not surprisingly, a huge stumbling block in Anglo-Irish relations. As part of the Good Friday Agreement, the claim for reunification was removed by a complete amendment to clause 2, which now describes the Irish nation as a community of individuals with a common identity rather than as a territory.
Nationalists playing fast and loose with history? Now there’s a surprise!