“We will be independent, I don’t know if it will happen in some months or in few years, but it will be soon”.

 “We need a well-prepared team of women and men that know how find allies in Europe while calming people down at home”.

Isabel-Clara Simó at her place in l’Ametlla del Vallès. Foto: O. DURAN.

Isabel-Clara Simó was born in 1943 in Alcoi. She is a writer and journalist  and has degrees in Philosophy and Journalism and a doctorate in Romance Languages Philology. As a journalist she was editor of the weekly review Canigó. In her stories and novels she has created complex characters with conflictive relationships, as may be seen in La Nati (1991), Raquel (1992), Històries perverses (1992) and T’imagines la vida sense ell? (Can You Imagine Life without Him? – 2000).

She has been awarded several times, and on April 23rd 1993 she received Sant Jordi’s literary award for her book La salvatge (The Wild Woman). She worked in the Department of Culture at Generalitat of Catalonia as Literary Representative. In 1999 she received “La creu de Sant Jordi” (Saint George Cross-is the utmost  award that a Catalan citizen can receive for a relevant contribution to the Catalan culture). The collection of stories entitled Dones (Women – 1997) has been made into a film (2000). And in 2010 she published the opposite story Homes (Men-2010).

She likes appearing as a tertullian on TV and the radio, and was teacher in the Pompeu Fabra University, where I actually met her as a teacher. I had the pleasure to receive lessons from her for Catalan discourse class during my second year degree for Translation and Interpretation. She used to have a very sweet accent from Alcoi, which hope she still preserves. In this interview, she declares convinced that Catalonia is just about to start a different chapter in our history as a nation: independence!

(A translation of the article published in El Punt-Avui  on July 14th  based on the interview done at Ametlla del Vallès, Catalonia, by David Marín)

DM

Last week in Lleida, Mr Joan Rocamora, who was arrested during Garzón’s operation on 1992, quoted Isabel Clara Simó as one of the few people who helped him out of prison when nobody gave a damn for those who suffered the consequences of the Spanish repression.

Do you remember?

IC

It’s true that I wrote some articles then. But they were the brave ones. It was a brutal action from the Spanish government, indeed. I was so indignant about it: the judge Baltasar Garzón has a very good public image, however, the purpose of the operation was clear: since peopled booed towards the Spanish anthem in the opening of a stadium in Spain – and that was considered offensive to the Spanish monarchy they decided to clean the streets out of Catalan independent people.

DM

Why?

IC

Look now, after 20 years of Garzon’s operation, Catalan people keep booing to the Royal Spanish family and their anthem in soccer matches, but Mr Garzon does not appear on TV anymore. That means we are winning! Though some Catalans were tortured for it…

DM

Are you optimistic?

IC

Absolutely. We will become independent in the next years. I don’t know if it will happen in some months or in few years, but this is going to happen in short-term. The issue is quite mature by now. More than we think. The last poll results show a 51% of Catalan population are truly convinced our country must be independent. It is a hot topic today and even Mrs Alícia Sáncez-Camacho or Mrs Rosa Díez talk about it on the media every day. The threatens we keep on receiving are another proof independence is closer. They say we won’t be in the European Union, that we depend on the trade commerce with Spain. Bullshit. It never happened in Europe that a new independent state would not join the EU. And the European Union has already welcome some of them lately. And in regards to commerce, we will keep on doing business, with everybody. So don’t come with silly stories now…

DM

Why do you think the independent movement has grown so much?

IC

I would say it all started when some Catalan economists, like Ramon Tremosa, Xavier Roig, and others, decided to write publicly about the fiscal plundering the Spanish government imposes to Catalonia. Because most people were not aware of it, and all of a sudden we all discovered the magnitude of the tragedy.

Ramon Tremosa Balcells is a Catalan macro-economist who is publicly supporting the Catalan independent movement.

DM

How do you think the process into self-determination will happen?

IC

It will be complicated. And unpleasant. They will insult us, they will call us “talibans”, but eventually they will say: if they want to leave, let them go. And if Catalan people are capable of standing all of this, we will be free at the end. We are so fainthearted that whatever they will tell us will cause us sadness and guiltiness, this is what losers do. I get upset saying this but, we do not need a leader, but a team of leaders. I mean, a group of people with a strong personality who are capable of finding allies in Europe, while calming down anxiety and fear of our own people at home.

DM

And what about the regions of Valencia and the Balearic Islands?

IC

If Catalonia becomes independent and they see it is cheaper to be part of Catalonia, they will say, why not joining the Catalans? In Valencia, where there has been the most corrupted government on earth for many years, people will finally wake up of the easy-money castle-in-the-air dream, and then impressive things will come to happen. I know less the Balearic Islands situation, but the anger caused among Balearic population by the last attacks against the Catalan language gives me hope to believe they will join us as well.