Almost 10 months after last year's Catalan independence referendum and the Spanish police attacks on members of the public voting with, and protecting, the ballot boxes, the General Psychology Council of Spain has still not announced an official position.
For this reason, El Nacional has learnt, 150 Catalan psychologists, the majority of them members of pro-independence civil society organisation ANC, have joined the campaign, #NovullpagarConsejo (I don't want to pay the Consejo), which this newspaper reported started in January. 100 of them have not paid the biannual fee, risking facing disciplinary proceedings or being dismissed from the college. 52 of their colleagues already stopped paying in January.
Retornada la quota del Colegio de Psicologos, sols el Col.legi de Psicòlegs de Catalunya em representa @copc_cat . Si vols informar-te pots escriure a firstname.lastname@example.org la sectorial de psicolegs de ANC pic.twitter.com/zdzWL51IIv— Marina Castro (@MarinaCastroPsi) 18 de juliol de 2018
The argument is clear: the Council hasn't declared a stance on either the police attacks during the referendum which left more than a thousand people injured, nor on the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution and the resulting suspension of Catalonia's autonomy and the mass firing of its government.
Next Monday, 30th July, they will deliver a letter to the board of the College of Psychology of Catalonia, which El Nacional has seen, expressing their "disagreement with the payment of the fee of the General Psychology Council", 21.29 euros every six months, on top of 101.10 euros to the Catalan college, "for the lack of information on this amount, on the pacts and agreements between the institutions involved, as well on how it's calculated".
In the letter, they also ask for a copy of their 2017 records "referring to the fees paid by members, broken down by item and by the type of services offered, as well as the rules for their calculation and application".
Act of disobedience
Now, as well as calling for "more transparency in relation to the agreements between the two institutions", they call for the board of the Catalan college to become "sovereign with respect to the Spanish council" via an "act of disobedience".
For the moment, however, no such split has happened. As such, they have planned this new action by members themselves to "show commitment to the popular mandate of the 1st October 2017 [referendum] and the declaration of independence of Catalonia by the Parliament on 27th October of the same year".
The psychologists who have joined the campaign argue that the Official Psychology College of Catalonia "should defend with conviction the interests of Catalan psychologists, and should not be scared of its social commitment to be proactive in these convulsive but exciting times Catalan society is living through".
What's the Council for?
According to the law, any profession with different colleges in each of Spain's autonomous communities is required to have a council at the statewide level.
Its role is to coordinate all the psychology councils of the Spanish state. Its seat, like those of 41 other colleges, is in Madrid, whilst there's only one in Catalonia.
According to ANC psychologists, "the eight most important Catalan professional colleges contribute more than 6 million euros a year". These include the college of nurses of Barcelona, the college of psychologists, the college of lawyers, the college of architects and the college of doctors.
The email addresses for Catalan professionals wishing to join the campaign are: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.