By Professor Carlos-Nahman Escudé i Carvajal
With suggestions being aired from various sides about rethinking the Spanish Constitution, redefining the state as the United Kingdom of Spain and Catalonia might defuse the current tension.
This would entail reverting the titles of Count of Barcelona and Prince of Girona, which now belong to the Crown, to the Generalitat de Catalunya, on an ex officio basis. Just as Andorra has two co-sovereigns who are, ex officio, the Bishop of Urgell and the President of France, these titles would belong to no one family, but would rather be like a torch that passes from one President to the next.
I think this is symbolically important, because the very idea that the King of Spain should be Count of Barcelona (remember that, by order of his son King Juan Carlos I, Don Juan de Borbón was graced with this title until his death) is an insult to Catalonia that underlines its occupied status.
On the other hand, given the republican mood of the Catalan population, given its eminently bourgeois character, and considering that there are no genealogical grounds for bestowing these titles upon any one Catalonian family, these two titles (and maybe some others) must be symbols of Catalonia that are passed on from one head of government to the other.
The Andorran case is the perfect precedent. With its two ex officio co-sovereigns, it is almost far-fetched. Yet it works, and it has given birth to the only independent state in the world whose one official language is… Catalan.
Buenos Aires, January 2019