A COUPLE of months in and the regional government’s PSOE-Compromis-Podemos alliance is having a tense moment. The culprit is Vicent Marza, who heads the Generalitat’s Education Department.
Statements regarding Valencian nationalism and independence made almost a year ago have returned to haunt him as Opposition parties dig for dirt.
Marza commented to an interviewer in September 2014 that many in the Valencia Region were convinced that the Catalan Nations – in the plural and encompassing Valencia – “are a reality not only culturally but politically.”
They should be even more so in the future, Marza declared: “We are national companions.”
Questioned about Cataluña’s approaching referendum in November 2015, Marza predicted: “We’ll get there,” in a clear allusion to Valencian nationalism.
Marza belongs to the Bloc which is the majority partner in the Compromis coalition, headed by the regional vice-president Monica Oltra.
She hastened to dissociate herself and Compromis from Marza’s views and ambitions for Valencian independence: “I do not share them and neither do Compromis or the Consell.”
Oltra went on to say that everyone was free to hold their own opinions but Marza’s were not in line with those of her party or the regional government.
Predictably the regional Partido Popular (PP) and Ciudadanos opposition parties are calling for Marza’s head. Neither should the matter be dealt with by the PSOE’s Ximo Puig, President of the Valencia Region, they argued but should go all the way up to the party leadership and Secretary General Pedro Sanchez in Madrid.
Ironically, the political storm has passed over the heads of most of the population of the region’s three provinces, particularly in Alicante.
“Independence? What do they want that for? I’d need a passport to go to Murcia!” exclaimed 73-year-old Andreu Lloret in an Alfaz del Pi bar as he and others discussed Marza’s views before turning to Barcelona’s recent 0-4 defeat by Atletico de Bilbao.