Photo: Quim Torra, presenting his book, next to writer Albert Villaró (Credit: Government of Catalonia)
By Oriol March, Nació Digital
From 25th June, 2018
Quim Torra lived in Switzerland for eighteen months and the experience marked him. To the point that from his experiences as a senior manager of a multinational insurance company came a book, “The Swiss Notebook” (Proa Publishing house) and knowledge which he claims can be applied to the current political situation in Catalonia. Torra has sent a message to the supporters of reforming Spain federally, during a presentation of the book at La Calders: “Go spend a weekend in Switzerland.” A country that flies the flag of neutrality and in which one can understand, “by taking a train ride from Zurich to Geneva”, how the cultural specificities of each one of the cantons that make up the country, are respected. Switzerland, yes, is already independent, while Catalonia has not yet “made the Republic effective”, and therefore it will be necessary to “create another 1-O” [1st of October, referring to the 2018 referendum date] to achieve independence.
What specifically can one learn from the Swiss experience, according to the president? “In Winterthur, one of the most important points was to evaluate what went well, and what didn’t, in each project. If something didn’t work well, we had to look at how to improve it. And this is a good epilogue: in this country we were able to hold a referendum, we politically declared independence but we have not made the Republic effective. We have not been able to, and we will have to facilitate the creation of another 1-O to reach the goal that some of us want to achieve, which is the independence of the Our country. We need to be self-critical”, he pointed at the end of the presentation.
The leader of the Together for Catalonia Party (JxCat), following the Helvetic example, wanted to make it clear that Spain “will never be like Switzerland”, a country which applies the federal model academically. “Also, they have faced up to their past, very robustly” stressed Torra, referring to the time of World War II.