THE Majorcan Socialist party (PSM-EN) has already decided to come down firmly in favour to a no vote to the terms of the European Constitution, which will be put to referendum on 20 February in 2005.
Gabriel Vicens, PSM general secretary, claimed yesterday that no recognition is made in the document of the special circumstances and needs of Island communities such as the Balearics; nor the right to self-determination; or even of the official status of Catalan as a regional language. He confirmed that an internal party referendum on the issue had resulted in 83 percent voting no to the terms of the European Constitution, and six percent abstained.
There were no votes at all in favour of the document but 11 percent returned blank votes.
Vicens, accompanied by PSM Organisation secretary, Barbara Bujosa and deputy Joana Lluisa Mascaro, made it clear, however, that his party's rejection of the text of the Magna Carta is not a refusal to accept a European Constitution. He claimed that the wording of the document amply defines the European Union as an association of States but fails to define an association of European people, a concept strongly upheld by the Majorcan Socialists.
Amongst the failings of the Treaty, Vicens highlighted the fact that no acknowledgement was made of the special difficulties facing Island communities. Neither does it guarantee the participation in European affairs by regions of the Member States. Vicens and his party fear that inter-state dealings will be held without consultation with the regions in the absence of any statutes in the Constitution demanding the contrary. We will be faced, said Vicens, with a situation where the participation of the regions of Member States in European affairs, will depend on the whim of individual central governments.
The party leader then proceeded to slam the absence in the document's text of any acknowledgement of national or linguistic rights resulting in a loss of opportunity for establishing a common platform for European regional populations. Neither continued Vicens, is any reference made in the Constitution to the right to self-determination of non-aligned regions or to the possibility of regional enlargement.
A secondary language
Regarding the issue of the Catalan language, the Majorcan Socialist Party believes that the Constitution, still to be ratified, fails to recognise the full officialdom of the regional language. If we agree to the document in its draft form, as presented by central government, Catalan will remain a secondary language, always following on behind Castillian Spanish, he purported.
The PSM furthered that the Constitution renounces any claim to a common European social policy, whereas it does have common policies for economy and agriculture. Vicens referred to the document as being little more than a summary of treaties, and condemned the fact that the Magna Carta has not emerged from agreement in the European Parliament nor from a debate with full participation by European regions.
Vicens admitted that many of the issues he had drawn attention to yesterday were not incorporated in the Constitutional text because central government had not asked for them to be specified.