cataloniaBack in May, we asked you whether Scotland should be independent, and put some of your comments to Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith for his reaction (we also picked up on this topic more recently, when we looked at how Scottish independence might affect a possible referendum on EU membership in the UK). However, we might not have to wait as long as 2014 and the Scottish independence referendum before we see the first European member-state start to disintegrate.

On September 11th, 2012, a march in favour of self-determination was held in Catalonia (with city police estimating that up to 1.5 million people took part). Pro-independence activists argue that Catalonia contributes almost 20% of the federal government’s tax revenues, but only receives 14% of federal spending. They are also rankled by the Spanish Constitutional Court’s decision in 2010 to declare part of Catalonia’s 2006 Statute of Autonomy unconstitutional, thereby restricting the region’s autonomous powers.

On September 27th, the Catalan Parliament approved the holding of a referendum on independence from Spain. Critics of independence argue that Catalonia’s interests are better represented by remaining a part of Spain, and point to the current economic uncertainty as further reason for caution. The matter is fast coming to a head, as the Spanish government has announced they will prevent any referendum from taking place.

Recently, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a Spanish MEP with the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), courted controversy by suggesting that, if Catalonia continued to agitate for independence, the Spanish government should send in the country’s civil guards to intervene in the “rebellious region”.

The remarks drew condemnation from some MEPs, including from Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt, who said: “These kinds of careless remarks undermine everything democrats have fought for over the past 60 years and have no place in today’s society.”

What do YOU think? Should Catalonia be independent? Or are Catalonia’s interests better represented by remaining a part of Spain? And is now, with so much uncertainty over the economy, really the right time to be having this debate? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – vdorse


641 comments Post a commentcomment


  1. avatar
    Kasia Dudzinska

    I can understand the Catalans’ wish for independence especially at a time when Spain is at its peak of economic crisis…however I think this will cause yet more problems for Spain, Europe and the Eurozone. Encourage a looser federal structure that would give rebellious regions like Catalonia more autonomy without fracturing a country.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Your suggestion is exactly the view that has been dominant in Catalonia for more than 30 years. A new Statute (a kind of Constitution) was approved by Catalonian Parliament in 2006, it was approved in referendum, it was accepted again in the Spanish Parliament, and finally a high Spanish court (Tribunal Constitucional) blocked everything federal in it. Some weeks ago, Catalonia offered Spain a new fiscal pact in the line of “a looser federal structure” and it was rejected immediately.

      The transformation of Spain in a sense in which Catalonia can fit better has proved historically impossible. Half the Spanish electorate is radically against it (the one voting the Popular Party), and the other half is moderately against it. Changing the Constitution needs 2/3 of the Spanish Parliament. It is impossible, there is no way. That’s why we want independence.

    • avatar
      Bernat

      Grate answer! Thanks!

    • avatar
      Pablo Gutierrez

      I live in the Basque Country, another “rebellious region”. I respect the different languages, cultures, and many other things that make these regions different from the rest of Spain. But the system working is Spain today, known as “comunidades autonomas” is the most unsolidary and pathetic system ever created in Western Europe, and Catalonia is one of these regions that get more from Spain than they give. With a huge spending at the service of nationalism, a high rate of corruption, a deplorable public education dominated by political indoctrination along with a language nobody speaks that they are forced to learn in order to get a job, to hear on [state paid] radio and TV all day long… they’ve been given hardly everything they’ve asked to Madrid for more than 30, and now they’ve spent irrationally all that money, and that Madrid can’t give a lot to Catalonia, Artur Mas says it is all Spain’s fault, and that the only solution to the increasing unemployment and poverty in Catalonia is the independence !!! This mentioned system has created hatred between all the 17 comunities, also in Euskadi, and has led all the 17 together to this crisis. I am Spanish, and I belive Spain should be as united as France is, and should care more about economy than independence.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Pablo,
      I am sorry but you are wrong, and your comment has several biases and uncertainities that only help to polarize (even more) this subject.

      In terms of money, Catalonia gets less than it provides to the national treasure of the Spanish Kingdom. This is a fact, so you are wrong at this point.

      But also other regions like Madrid or Balearic Islands are under this circumstances. This happens in all countries, all regions… the disparity of wealth and contributions it is something we have to live with, and most catalans agree with this solidarity. The problem is that with Catalonia this solidarity has gone so far, to the point that is not a fair trade.

      I think if this was the only problem, could be solved in a 15 minute meeting in parliament or whatever. Just like in the EU.

      Unfortunately this is not the problem.

      The problem, and I agree with you in this point, is that Catalonia used their regional goverment privileges re-gained in 1978 after dictatorship to draw a long-term plot that now is going to arrive to its end. Namely, to get access and control of Education and Media to intoxicate catalan society by manipulating both, and get to the point where after one generation, everyone is so brain-washed that there will be a majority willing independence and to be shown to the world (Europe) as a victim o an opresive country.

      In other words, the only political program for catalan leaders all these years with respect to democratic Spain had only one point: to betray Spain while acting like they were loyal when they knew well this situation will come because they will force it.

    • avatar
      Pol

      What?? “Namely, to get access and control of Education and Media to intoxicate catalan society by manipulating both, and get to the point where after one generation, everyone is so brain-washed that there will be a majority willing independence”

      I’m so sorry but this comment is absolutely out of context… Look, just like 5 or 6 years ago, there was like a 20% (or maybe a little more) people in favour of independence, and thanks to “manipulated education” it has grown to a
      ~55% ???? This year I have started my first year in the University, so the past years I’ve been receiving this “biased education” and a fact is that independence has been a topic never mentioned in schools, what’s more, usually there are more people speaking in Spanish than in Catalan. But maybe the fact is that we don’t want to have old material, old structures and with that a bad education, which is happening as we aren’t receiving the money we produce.

      One last thing, if you are still thinking of this “complot” in favour of independence by Catalan government, it’s what Catalan people have voted, so in fact maybe what they want, or with what they are happy with…

      I know that the word “democracy” is a word that few people can understand nowadays.

    • avatar
      Magda

      Mr. Gutierrez. I am “shocked” (not really) to hear once again the incredible blatant lies that come from people that will use any form of Spanish Nationalist trickery.
      Catalonia not only gives more to the central Government than it gets back, but also will not receive payments which have been agreed by both the Madrid and Catalan Governments, which at this moment stand at 8 billion euros(8,000 million€) as well as other unpaid and already agreed and budgeted plans on infrastructures in Catalonia. Spain is not thinking of Catalonia’s interest being better served by staying in the Status Quo, but of the fact that their ” golden egg producing hen”has said enough. The “cafe para todos” is over, and the best they can offer as an alternative, is sending in the tanks? Well, with such democratic scenario, who wants to stay? The sooner we get the Independence the better for the people of Catalonia, who after decades (and also centuries) have had to put up with unfair treatment because there was no Democracy (though the present one has much to be desired) to even allow us to mentioned such brave, necessary and overdue necessity .

    • avatar
      Bernat

      Hi Kasia, let me tell you about the main reasons why Catalonia can no longer be part of Spain:

      1. Spanish courts systematically overrule Catalan laws, decrees and political mesures, particularly when involving issues such as language, culture and political or economical sovereignty, with no respect at all to the catalan people democratic will (even against what previously was aproved by referendum by the people of Catalonia).

      2. Spanish parliament systematically dictates new laws to overrule any catalan law or decree newly aproved by the Catalan Parliament, particularly when involving issues such as language, culture and political or economical sovereignty, with no respect at all of the statutory powers given by the Spanish Constitution to the region and by the Catalan Statutory Chart that derives from it (the ‘Estatut d’Autonomia de Catalunya’).

      3. Spanish parliament systematically dictates new decrees and aproves new mesures to overrule any new decree aproved by the Catalan executive, particularly when involving issues such as language, culture and political or economical sovereignty, with no respect at all of the statutory powers given by the spanish Constitution to the region and by catalan statutory chart that develops it (the ‘Estatut d’Autonomia de Catalunya’).

      In short, Spain systematically OVERRULES the result of the catalan powers and the catalan people’s democratic will, in a political pressure that has been increasing year after year since the spanish dictatorship of Franco came to its end in 1975 and nowadays appears to be enormous to most of catalan citizens, particularly those ones who feel themselves not being spanish or being more catalan than spanish, last official polls showing that YES would win in a referendum of independence, obtaining more than 70% of votes, being the turnout upper to 70%.

      Barcelona fell to Spanish (Castillian) army in 1714, but the seven centuries of political freedom the region had lived from 980 to 1714, with its own parliament and without having to live under the rule of another country’s powers, created a national identity and a particular culture (including the creation of a strong national language) that remain alive still today.

      Political freedom by the citizens of Catalonia was officialy mantained untill 1714, although with a lot of difficulties since 1469, when the King of Catalonia & Aragon married the Queen of Spain (Castille).

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      A regional parliament approves a law (that later is voted by less than half of its population) that has several articles that are clearly against the main framework law (Constitution) of the country it belongs.

      Logically, this law is halted as it does not comply with the existing laws. You are just not free to break the laws as you wish.

      And then they call it OVERRIDING… Are you going to buy this simple whine? Please…

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      ” … against the main framework law (Constitution) of the country it belongs.”

      Yes, “the country [to which] it belongs,” as a slave “belongs” to its master or a dog “belongs” to its owner.

      The pretense that this Constitution is some sacred document sent down from heaven is pathetic and fools no one except the backward Spaniards.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      This comment has been removed by moderators for breaching our Code of Conduct. Replies may also be removed.

    • avatar
      Magda

      Well said Roger!

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      This comment has been removed by moderators.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      “..the backward Spaniards…”

      Sure, we all are 45 million tyrants, and we all enjoy kill and eat babies like they used to talk in Netherlands in XVI century of course…

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      The hate goes in the other direction. The Canary Islands outlawed bullfighting in 1991 with relatively little incident, but today — as a hateful gesture against the freedom of Catalans — the Spanish government takes up the issue of how to make the Catalans allow this scandalous “fiesta” in their homeland. Imposing an alien culture seems to be the whole agenda of Spain against Catalans. And this kind of thing is their priority while they drive their own people deeper and deeper into poverty.

      And all you have to do is read the articles about this in the papers of democratic countries to see that the stupid rulers in Madrid are digging their own graves politically.

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      “Sure, we all are 45 million tyrants …”

      I wouldn’t say that. Historically your people have preferred ONE tyrant. If your tyrant Franco could only have kept on living even longer, you’d still keep him in charge and adore him day and night (many still do, of course, and his Foundation is massively supported by taxpayers’ money). His heirs still hold on to all they can of this thing called España that is a fiction and a relic of the fast-fading past.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Spanish parliament has also about 50 catalan seats among a total of 350. It looks like Madrid’s parliament is composed only by Castillians who rule the rest of the country. Just for the rest of people to know, just in case they ever tried to buy your spanish-hate claims…

      Catalan parliament outlawed only spanish “corridas”, but of course did not touch other local catalan customs that are also bull-abusing like “Correbous”. It was a clearly a law biased enough to attack spanish folklore while preserving local, even though uses the punishment of animals for fun too.

      We all already know about your wet dreams of a collapsing Spain, don’t need to be reminded :) but just one remark: Catalan goverment is using taxpayer’s money to support a political organization called Omnium Cultural. They claim to be a cultural organization for preserving catalan culture but they are using all of their resources to become activists for the secession and using the money of all catalans (whether they like independence or not) to pay all kind of acts for (in their own words) “to force a social majority in favor of independence”.

      Embarrassing, huge example of political and social manipulation with public money.

      But of course, they are catalan angels that just fear the monstruous spaniards, huh? ;)

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      “Embarrassing”? EMBARRASSING? To support local culture and the right of people to self-determination? I can see why you call that “embarrassing” and speak of a “political organization” as though that’s a dirty word. True, political organizations have been outlawed by Spain for much of the last century, but that doesn’t make popular politics a bad thing in the eyes of free peoples.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Yep, embarrassing.. did I type it wrong? :)

      To use public money from ALL taxpayers to support a political LOBBY masked under the appearance of a cultural association. This is not only embarrassing but a scandal, it goes against the more elemental democracy, it is not fair play, it is tricky, … do you need more adjectives? :P

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      I note that you continue to pass over the exalted Francisco Franco Foundation. If Germany had an Adolph Hitler Foundation, how do you think it would appear to the rest of the world? Would Catalonia want to support it? And if Catalans and their struggles for their culture and liberties are so very objectionable to you, why do you want to continue to rule them? Why not let them go?

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Easy. NO money at all for those freaks of Franco Foundation, and NO money at all for Omnium Cultural.

      And I am not ruling anyone, I’m just a catalan citizen, I am no one to force any other one to stay or leave.

      I am just someone who believes in free minds that can stand and speak out against public accepted lies or any other kind of alienations.

    • avatar
      lolo

      We can not forget that our (catalan) situation is so delicate because even though we have rights, and nobody can break them (even-thought spain does it constantly) Catalonia, is not a recognized state and by the law it is so difficult to step forward… away from the oppressor. We have to prove to the world that all the reasons why we wanna break up with spain are real, and wish for help from Europe and world wide for support, understanding and real help.

    • avatar
      lolo

      What you say, is far of the reality, because if Catalonia becomes independent, it would be an Amazing opportunity for Europe because Catalonia is a powerful income maker. The problem comes when Spain controls and abuse Catalan people (not only economically but also their rights and in a social context).

      Spain would go down economically? yes.. it would… but it wouldn’t happen into the rest of the Europe or even world wide impact. It would be so positive for the rest of countries.

      Then, Why Spain would go down if Catalonia is good for Europe or other markets? for to main reasons. The first one, Because if Catalonia becomes independent, Spain would not want to have business with them, obviously, and that would break lots of businesses that work directly for spain. (big fortunes)

      The second and the most important reason is that Spain doesn’t know how to generate money. They only spend their money in things but they are not really good on creating ways of making new markets and money. As well, Europe is watching very closely every Spanish movement, and none business wants to have deals with a country full of corruption, that treats their citizens so unfairly, and can not keep their economy alive.

      Then, it is really important that Catalonia becomes independent in the next few years to insure that Catalan rights are contemplated.
      The reasons for Catalonia to become independent are not, obviously, only economical, but it is too long to be explained in here. Hope it helped to understand what is going on in Catalonia-Spain.

  2. avatar
    Joanvm

    If the people of Catalonia democratically decides so, and in case of secession, Europe will also get the same benefits te Catalan economy will get: better management in the economy taxes and ruling (nowadays most important legislative rules are decided in Madrid and are not helping the Catalan economy)

    As well I see a chance to rip off of the old and ineficient political and democratic system and build a new one from the ground up taking all the benefits the new technological context provides us.

    Most important thing is to never get this process out of the European context, WE (the Catalan people) are European citizens already and have a strong European feeling we want to keep and grow. Europe should manage the Catalan secession to warrant a peaceful and stable democratic process.

    In an European context, I want to see in this internal expansion the base of the new European Federation, I like to call it the “United Sates Of Europe”, and by the time migrate all the old countries in an unified an standard democratic structures all across Europe.

    We must start building this new United States Of Europe, and that new countries emerging in between Europe must be the state TEMPLATES of this new and exciting project.

    • avatar
      Charles Pathery

      A recent study (actually provided by the pro-independance catalan journal “La Vanguardia”, and afterwards retired from the webpage) demonstrated that only 27.1% of Catalonia’s population feels “only catalonian, and not spanish”.

      However, the other part of the same study showed that a 51.2 percent of Catalonia’s population would vote in favor of the independance of Catalonia. What is the reason, then?
      Money.

      In the past years Catalans have being progressively convinced, by the local media, that the economic crisis affecting their territory is only caused by an unfair distribution of financial and economic means in Spain. In simple words, they receive a lot lesser quantity of money than the one they provide to the rest of Spain. It is called economic solidarity between regions and is unquestionably normal in european countries: richer regions provide economic means to help poorer territories, in order to keep equality between citizens in a same country.

      Well, the case is that this fact has being driving Catalonian people to an unjustified opinion perfectly sumarized in the “españa ens roba” phrase (spain steals from us), which is now a totally accepted idea in Catalonia’s society. Unjustified, why? Simply because Catalonia’s GDP per capita would place them, in an hipothetic re-adhesion to European Union, in a position where they would have to contribute just the same to solidarity funds, just it would be in a european context.

      Where is the point in Catalonia’s independance then? Specially when its undiscussed that the 72.9% of the population feels Spanish? There is not other point but the populist speech of Artur Mas (actual president of the region) that is undoubtedly trying to get the attention focus nearer to a minor identity problem and therefore farer to his disastrous economic gestion.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      There are a few errors in the information you’re giving and, as a result, the conclusions are not right:

      1. The polls containing the question whether people feel only Catalan, more Catalan than Spanish, as Catalan as Spanish, more Spanish than Catalan or only Spanish have been made for a long time by the CEO (which probably were the source cited by La Vanguardia). They show a majority of people feeling only Catalan or more Catalan than Spanish, and this majority has been growing in the last years. In the last poll, of a month ago, the sum of “only Catalan” and “more Catalan than Spanish” is about 58%.

      2. The same poll (and others go in the same line) gives a support for independence in a referendum of 57% (51% in a previous poll), which is very similar to the above percentage of national identification.

      3. The fiscal deficit with Spain, the percentage of the Catalan GDP going to Madrid and never coming back, is between 8% and 10%. This number is widely accepted and corresponds to about 16 million euros annually. The “solidarity” contribution of member states in the EU is little more than 1%. If Catalonia was independent, then, the 8-10% of “solidarity” would be reduced to 1%, which many would say is the difference between robbery and real solidarity.

      4. It’s clear from the polls, from the demonstration of September 11th and from the result of the elections of yesterday, that there is a majority for independence. The new drive for independence is not the result of a “fool’s plan” but the will of a people.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Obviously, I meant 16.000 million euros of fiscal deficit, not 16 million euros.

    • avatar
      fr

      Majority for independence? Numbers are clear. Even in the best case, 1,5 millions, this is not a majority against the 7 millions living in Catalonia. You should take into consideration that even coaches were used to bring people to Barcelona.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      It’s tiring having to remind trivialities. A demonstration can never be used to make an estimate of the support to any cause, while the phrase ‘there are more people who stayed at home’ is the most stupid thing one can say after such an event.

      If you want to know the support to independence and you don’t trust polls (which show about 57% for yes against 23% for no), just look at the results of the elections: there is now an absolute majority of independentist parties.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      How arrogant it sounds: “…It’s tiring having to remind trivialities…”, should be hard your messianic mission of indoctrinate in catalan secessionist, huh? ;-)

      Everyone makes the numbers and statistics to play in their favor. Not everyone in the demonstration would vote yes to independence, not everyone that stayed at home would vote against. Some do prefer to take elections’ results in terms of congressmen in parliament, other in terms of total % of votes… the manipulation jam is open!

      Truth is that things are more or less paired at this time. Majority of secessionist in the countryside, slight majority for unionism in the populated Barcelona’s area. Not as homogeneous as secessionist wanted and try to make you believe.

      By the way, the current secessionist coalition just approved a draft of sovereignty statement:

      http://www.324.cat/multimedia/pdf/8/1/1357840555418.pdf (in Catalan, of course)

      What a kludge of paper! Seems a poor school homework… here you can find sentences like:

      “The people of Catalonia has, because of democratic legitimacy reasons, the nature of legal and political sovereignty status”

      ¡ Viva ad hoc stuff ! :-))

    • avatar
      antonilb

      It may sound arrogant, but facts are arrogant, Ignasi.

      I know it’s difficult not to get confused by one’s own desires and mix them with facts, but if you look at the evidence, we get:

      1. From last poll (CEO, oct. 2012), 57% in favor of independence, 20,5% against (less then the 23% I mentioned by heart)
      2. From last elections, 74 seats for independence, 48 against (I don’t count ICV, which has not make its decision clear). By the way, if you count by votes, the results are similar.

      In any case, it’s more than a 60% for independence against a 40% against after discounting people who don’t vote (as would be done in a real referendum). I wouldn’t say that it’s a small difference, but there is one method to know it: just holding the referendum.

    • avatar
      Magda

      The fact that your arguments (which by the way are full of flaws) are based on “money” shows that you have understood nothing of the Catalan reasons for wanting an Independent country. So…, hard to argue!!!

    • avatar
      Victor

      The catalan civil society has joined efforts to create a new tool that answers all the questions raised in the soveranist debate. ElClauer.cat is a place where you can find and disseminate the information that many of catalans have debated and asked about the new potential state of Catalonia.

      ElClauer.cat arrives with the will and intention of providing arguments through reasoning. Answers to 70 questions using reliable, proven information and data with one inexcusable condition: rigour. With various forms: brief answers, more detailed texts, figures and videos. And one added feature. This project is shared by the Catalan civil society.

      Take your key and together swing the doors wide open to a democratic act to achieve complete dignity as a nation.

      http://www.elclauer.cat/canvi_idioma/en.html

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      This new, Nth project is the plain, obvious proof of what I stated in this forum several times.

      That is, in Catalonia there are more entities than actual citizens or people.

      It is really boring. Since decades, this onerous secessionist people have created hundreds of entities, books, magazines, associations, forums, events… to try to look bigger, when it comes out they are always the same old people gathering again and again (take a life!) with different names, also to try to look new and fresh. So pathetic.

      This is yet another weary stuff, and of course, who’s behind? Same old guys, including this “Omnium Cultural” entity, a musty secessionist political lobby that is financially supported by catalan regional goverment with tax money from all citizens, including the ones who don’t support secessionism.

      And the funny thing is that they call themselves “rigourous”. OMG I can’t stop laughing.

      Keep pushing my dear secessionist and you will succeed in converting Catalonia in some sort of the European Venezuela :)

    • avatar
      Victor

      Ignasi,
      1. Catalan Cultural associations appeared in the second half of the eighteenth century with the ‘Renaixença’, which was a movement that re-vindicated Catalan identity. From the basis of social, friendly, neighbourly networks and human relations, a far-reaching cultural movement has become structured. Nowadays in Catalonia there are 7.000 entities which act as promoters and carry out an important task of social cohesion. Find more information below:
      http://www20.gencat.cat/portal/site/culturacatalana/menuitem.be2bc4cc4c5aec88f94a9710b0c0e1a0/?vgnextoid=d2ed255cb06d6210VgnVCM1000000b0c1e0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=d2ed255cb06d6210VgnVCM1000000b0c1e0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=detall2&contentid=4e92352101fd7210VgnVCM1000008d0c1e0aRCRD&newLang=en_GB
      According to the above, your statement ‘same old people’ is not possible, because no one lives for 150 years.

      2. Catalan associations activities may be ‘really boring’ for you, but are a clear proof of cultural vitality of this small country. People who like to sing songs, join together on Catalan Federation of Choral Entities (FCEC), or play theater can go to Federation of Amateur Groups of Theatre. As you know, Football Club Barcelona is a sport association with more than 173000 people, Omnium Cultural has more than 30000, ANC more than 20000… the list is so long.
      No one in Catalonia is able to be a member of 7000 different association, therefore your argument has just no sense.

      3. Omnium Cultural plays an important role in Catalan culture and more than 2/3 of their incomes are founded by more than 30000 associates. The Catalan goverment contribution is less than 1 milion Eur per year. On the other hand, other cultural Spanish entities like Instituto Cervantes costs about 90 milion Eur per year to all spaniards and only promotes the Spanish (castillian) language avoiding any support to Catalan, Basque and Galician. The data is clear.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Of course, when I say “same old people” I am not referring to “same old individuals”. I think that was pretty obvious, but sometimes one has to explain the obvious to someone. “Same old people” means “same old people and their offsprings”, just like when you see Orange Order marching in Northern Ireland, you can see the elder, the young and the children. But all of them are “the same old people”. Catch it?

      Trying to argue against my opinion, you show numbers and facts that do nothing but support them. So funny!

      FC Barcelona is just a religion for catalans, you know that well. And most of Omnium and ANC members are probably FCB members. You say that no one can belong to 7000 different associations. That is wrong: catalans do!

      Thing is that secessionist catalans, for some freaky reason, cannot just stay together in one simple association. They (and always the same people) always seek to create new entities, to organize speeches, and all that stuff that is boring to death; in order to hear themselves how “socially advanced” they are. It is really curious, freaky and sickening. It is sort of a closed society, and this is not so far from what ancient catalan people identity is: Closed people, that love to live in homes with closed windows, that don’t use to show true empathy or sympathy to others, they just love their closed meetings, speeches and entities.

      On the other hand, hispanic culture, that is many-folds bigger than catalan, has quite fewer entities, and they are strong. And they are focused in culture and language, they are not a cover for underground (or “amagatotis”, like catalans love to say) political lobbies trying to break up some establishments with dirty games.

  3. avatar
    Zoétán Jenei

    a hatrok lebontsvval mr nem annyira fontos fggetlen-e hanem hogy milyenek az letviszonyok

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Especially inside the EU, it shouldn’t be so dramatic to move a border. In 1977, the Swiss canton of Jura, which belonged to the canton of Bern, declared independence. In 1978, Switzerland made the separation official and readmitted Jura in 1979, but now as a new canton.

      Catalonia, Scotland, Flanders, the Basque Country or any other nation seeking for statehood in the EU should have a mechanism to be recognized as new members automatically, if they decide so in a referendum.

    • avatar
      Jordi

      Switzerland is not in the EU…

    • avatar
      Magda

      Sounds lovely. In English, please? Zoétán?

  4. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    What is the point of having too many new states in Europe, since we are working for European integration? A more federal Spain, United Kingdom or any other state that faces the same issues, I think would be a better solution. Give them more freedoms for self governance, but full independence? I am sure when they have their independence from Spain, they will rejoin the EU as Catalonia. Thus still have no borders between them and still not being totally independent from them. And as we see, it is all about money again isn’t it? They claim they contribute 20% of Spain’s GDP but only receive back 14%!! Excuse me, but that is true for any country!!! I was talking to a Finnish lady once, and she told me that the South Finland contributes and sustains the Northern part of the country that has very few natural resources. The Helsinki region in fact supports the north!! “We send them bucket-loads of money,” she said, when we compared Finland and Europe as money transfers concerned!! She supported the idea that poorer regions in Europe should get money from richer regions of Europe, as in Finland, the south supports the north!!! That would be true for most countries. In Greece we have the same problem. In Italy too. Should we start breaking up all countries up? Shall make a regional Europe, with many small regions being autonomous, while all be governed by one entity in Brussels? And if we achieve that, how easy will it be with so many smaller but more numerous voices in EU to reach to an agreement? We are having troubles now as it is!! Why don’t we create federations within a greater federation, so while Catalonia, Scotland, Corsica, Sardinia, Walloon and any other regions that wish to have more independence will be governed in local, national and European level? They will have their own government and parliament that will cooperate, answer and send their representatives to the Spanish one, and the Spanish will do the same in its relations with the European one!! I will respect the outcome of both referendums of course and I will support the wish of the majority of the population of Catalonia. But I also wish that they will decide responsibly and not because a surge of nationalism!!

    • avatar
      Joan

      With a good European federation the number of states doesn’t matter, look at the US, they are 50 states an they are less populated than in Europe.

      In the contribution to the poorest regions I think every body agrees that is necessary, but we have to think that this contribution from the richest parts cannot slow down those economies, and in Catalonia there’s been a lack of investment in necessary infrastructures for decades, it’s been hard to keep up to date in this field.

      The economic situation has just convinced more people in Catalonia to push to become an European state, but it’s not the main reason. We have all the ingredients of a country, and 300 years ago we had one of the best state structures for that time which were abolished by Felipe V (Spain) after a cruel war and brutal repression to our culture followed for many many years. We just seek for a restoration of our country, now in an European Union context, it’s not just economics.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      “And as we see, it is all about money again isn’t it?”

      No, your vision is not correct. Protecting our language has been, historically, a hugh task. It’s just too difficult. New laws appear everyday that take more and more control of Catalan culture and language from Madrid. Money is important, but not the main issue.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Ok, i understand!!! But perhaps the change must come on a Spanish front, not just Catalonia? If the loss of language and identity is being promoted by Madrid then we are talking about a full Spanish state dissolution if the Basques the Galicians and so on follow the example of Catalonia. Perhaps with the encouragement of the EU, Spain should promote more diversity of its culture and heritage. Follow the European motto: Unity is diversity!!

      Or we should be careful on how this dissolution will take place: the Yugoslavian way or the Czechoslovakian way? In most ex-Yugoslavian states, there are still supporters of Tito that remember the Yugoslavian days with a sense of longing.. Is now the best time to promote dissolution of states? How will the global markets and economy react to this? Will the Spanish region as a whole find itself in a new eye of a storm affecting all regions of the former Spanish state? Will such a solution be wise now, and what impact will it have in the overall Iberian and European economy?

    • avatar
      Raquel

      The point is that there hasn’t been any move towards a recognition of Spanish national, cultural and linguistic diversity in several years, and I can assure you that there’s no hope to change that trend in a near future.
      Regarding the economic aspect, obviously Catalonia has no problem in helping financially other regions of Spain (Catalonia itself has benefit from the European Funds from the rich European Countries), the current problem is, that Catalonia has been transfering money (“inter-territorial solidarity”) during many years while no infrastructure or economic investment (that depends on the Spanish gov.) has been made to keep the catalan economy being the motor of Spain. Do you think that it’s normal NOT to have a high-speed train connection between Barcelona and France, but to have it from Madrid to some other less economically important cities of Spain??
      Therefore, Catalans have the right to feel culturally and financially mistreated. I do suggest you to see this british documentary (taking into account that it’s from 2009 context).http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZijN8EijuI
      Obviously, a nicer solution than the Catalan independence would be a United Europe NOT based on the current nation-states. :)

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      So we are talking about massive mistakes and mismanagement from “Madrid’s” side… So if there is not any reconciliation attempt, then perhaps the only solution is independence. Just be sure that you set up your new state with solid foundations and not become another region that desperately needs foreign investment and support to exist. So the best of luck with your cause, and hope to welcome you soon in the European family.

    • avatar
      KlaraMontag

      I completely agree with you. I have lived in Catalonia for over thirty years. I have been educated both in Catalan (at school) and Spanish (at home). Most of my friends are Catalan, some of them claim for independence (which I truly respect), some other would prefer to gain more autonomy within the Spanish state. What I think is, if we are really Europeans, if we really believe in Europe as a cultural concept and not only as an economic one (and I am afraid this is what is all about), we should stay united and fight to solve the real problems here. Fighting together and cooperating doesn’t mean losing our identity. And we shouldn’t forget many people in Catalonia don’t want to be independent and their voice has to be considered as well.

    • avatar
      Victor

      Good point klara,
      Let’s keep Europe united,and Let Catalonia vote a referendum to consider all the opinions of the Catalans.

    • avatar
      Alexandros Baveas

      I still can’t understand this view of “unity”. Can’t the workers od Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal fight all united against their opressors? Do they have to be in one country to do that? I see that many people think that if Catalonia wins Independence then it will be isolated and separated from others… I can’t understand that! I live in Greece, and I go many times at Catalonia and I have many friends there! Nobody separates me with them, only the distance does. When Catalonia will be independent it will still be there, it will not become an island! Nobody will tell you not to go there! Catalonia will only have more tools in its hands to protect the catalan language and culture. All the rest will be the same.

    • avatar
      Alexandros Baveas

      I think that you have a false understanding of the meaning of “unity”. My thoughts have been expressed more or less by the other answers, so I will just add a sentence: The best way to separate the nations is to “unite” them is one state without cultural equality. This is Spain. It’s rather a separation than unity.
      I also would like to remind you that Greece wasn’t free untill 1830. Would you like Greece to remain in the Ottoman Empire just to be “united” with others?

    • avatar
      I.C.

      Considering the population of some EU member states (like Luxembourg, Malta, Estonia, Cyprus, Slovenia…even future ones like Croatia or perhaps Iceland!), Catalonia is not that small!!!! It is comparable to Sweden, Austria or Switzerland (which is not a EU member, though).

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      SWEDEN? Are you actually that dense? Or just blinded by prejudice? When has any English-speaking power tried to make English the official language of Sweden or force the children to be educated in it? How many Swedes would adopt the idea comparable to yours that they should be ashamed of their language because it is a minority language?

      Your vulgar triumphalism about the number of people who speak Castilian ignores the shameful fact that most of the people who do so speak it do so because their ancestors were forced to by the most repulsive, poverty-spreading, cruel empire in modern history, the heritage of which a large proportion of the Western hemisphere still struggles to free itself from.

      You can have your preening about your grand Hispanidad, the manifestations of which are widely held in contempt by democrats around the world.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Sure, the British Empire was so gentle and nice, in Africa they still remember that with joy [/ironic]

      But of course britons are the masters of the art of Cover Up….

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      What does that have to do with anything anyone has said? Sweden is part of the British Empire now? Empires have many sins to answer for, but do you seriously want to get into a comparison of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. — and yes, even much of formerly British Africa — with the former Spanish colonies?

      Increasingly, it seems a waste of time to dialogue with you. Your commitment to a lurid ideology seems more and more clearly to make you merely a troll, in Internet terms.

      (And, by the way, no one has criticized your many examples of nonstandard English, and I wouldn’t be so rude to mention them now if you had not had the effrontery to correct a minor deviation by another poster.)

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      It has to do with you and your efforts to make your Spain hate clear, my dear :)

      We could perfectly compare British and Spanish Empire and their equally gory cruelty with native populations, but this is not the thread.

      What is wrong about correcting? People learn from questions and corrections, there was any intention of criticize in my word suggestion.

      If you feel like correcting my english, you will be welcome :-)

    • avatar
      Mike

      Hahaha, well said. the winners write the history books. But the British Empire was also an advanced institution for its time, as was the Spanish.

    • avatar
      Magda

      Well then, isn’t Spain lucky?! It gets money from Europe and Catalonia and even then is in the worst economic situation of any other European country.
      Could it be that both the European and Catalan contributions are in the Partido Popular’s Swiss Accounts? The PP run banks, and in those brown envelopes?

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      That’s not how the law works… (i.e. the Spanish constitution) If you want to break the territorial integrity of Spain ALL Spanish citizens would have to participate in the referendum, not just those living in the Catalonian region.

    • avatar
      Víctor Rimbau

      I agree with you. That is how Spanish law works today. This legality is inherited from Franco’s obsession with keeping one single national identity in the country even against the will of most of its citizens and using military force to support it. If Catalan independence is supposed to be voted by all Spain, why not asking this question to hole EU?
      There are other legal set ups within Europe that are much more democratic than this one and are not afraid of asking directly to People in the region in a referendum (IE. UK and Scotland)

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      I was just pointing out the way the current judicial structure works, not commenting on whether it is good or bad.

    • avatar
      Victor

      In 2010, International court of justice declaration presented several arguments in support of the unilateral Declaration of Independence. Find some of them below that could be applied to Catalan process:

      – the presumption in international law that civil and human rights, including of minorities, should be protected
      – the principle of territorial integrity constrains only other states, not domestic actors.
      – the right of self-determination, which the ICJ found to be jus cogens in the East Timor case, is a right of all peoples, not only of those in a colonial context.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Court_of_Justice_advisory_opinion_on_Kosovo's_declaration_of_independence

  5. avatar
    Daniel Suranyi

    I understand that the topic of nations is still debated quite emotional in Europe. Furtunately more peaceful than in other parts of the world.
    I however do not understand is why in times of European integration the nation as a political entity is still so important for the leaders. It seems that in those regions (Belgium, Scotland, Spain) the regional identity is stronger present in people’s minds than the national one.
    I truely wonder why it should not be possible to give the regions their autonomy in a Europe of regions. European regulations for basic principles (in no specific order) of trade, movement, currency, human rights, customer rights, …
    by going at the same time with regional governance on how to put those principles into practise taking into account regional specificities. In the end that is what makes Europe differnt to the USA; not a Unites States of Europe, but a Europe of regions with their own culture, identity and governance under the umbrella of a European economic and political framework

    • avatar
      Joan

      +1

  6. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    http://eblanademocraticmove.blogspot.ie/2012/10/should-catalonia-and-scotland-become.html some thoughts on the issue.. I just want to bring to the Catalonians’ attention the dangers and responsibility of independence. Do not become the latest tax haven in Europe in order to support your new state. And of course some thoughts on the future of Europe, that if Catalonia and Scotland gain their independence, they will push for a new political reality in Europe. One perhaps long delayed. I post as many arguments as possible, both for and against the independence bid, in order to have a more spherical view on the situation. Regards.

  7. avatar
    Nikolai Holmov

    The USA is a terrible example to hold up as a model for a federal Europe or a federal European nation. Most US citizens when you speak to them in depth seem to favour a confederation and despise the federal government.

    Germany is a federal nation and a European nation. Why not use the German model as a far more appropriate schematic?

    After all, the German model is one of parliamentary rather than presidential rule whereas the USA is presidential rule with the ability to issue executive orders that circumvents the Senate and House of Reps.

    As for the independence of Catalonia, any believer in democracy must say that it is an issue for the Spanish people and not one for the EU or other EU states to meddle in.

    Living in part of Europe that has seen many nations fracture, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia are the most obvious, but also to the east of Ukraine with the Russian Federation struggling with Chechnya and Dagestan many will have concerns over the friction and criminality independence causes.

    Not that I am inferring that would happen in the case of Catalonia, but it would set a precedent for numerous less stable regions striving for independence to be recognised.

    Personally, it matters not to me as whether Catalonia gets full independence or not as it makes little difference to Ukraine – other than it would mean yet another government to have to deal with in the West.

    Should Spain become a federal nation like Germany or Russia then it would have implications within Ukraine as there is a growing undercurrent within Ukraine to become a federal nation as well.

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      “As for the independence of Catalonia, any believer in democracy must say that it is an issue for the Spanish people and not one for the EU or other EU states to meddle in.”

      Any believer in democracy should say that it’s the Catalans right to self-determination, that it’s absurd that the Spanish constitution can tell them they can’t have a referendum on the issue. It is totally a EU issue – allowing for border movement within the EU strengthens it as a federation, as the sooner these issues are actually dealt with these national issues can be put to rest and we can build a united Europe.

      “Living in part of Europe that has seen many nations fracture, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia are the most obvious, but also to the east of Ukraine with the Russian Federation struggling with Chechnya and Dagestan many will have concerns over the friction and criminality independence causes.”

      The “criminality” is caused by the central government denying referendums and pissing on the minorities’ rights. If we had a federated Europe where secession was just a reconstitution of within-federation boundaries, we wouldn’t be having this problem.

      Self-determination is a right, and part of . It’s the dominant peoples within states denying that right that causes the ‘criminality’. If you can have your referendum on independence, rights to your language, fiscal autonomy and so on there’s no need for any armed uprising or war.

    • avatar
      Victor

      thank you for putting light and a fresh democratic view on this Forum!.
      Freedom for Catalans right to self-determination

  8. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    alguns movimentos catalães sempre quiseram a indepedência da catalunha hoje temos a crise na europa então estes movimentos estão a crescer na catalunha eu não estou de acordo com a idependência da catalunha pode ser mau como pode ser bom para a europa se a catalunha um dia tivere a sua autodeterminação muitas empresas podem ter deficuldades de montar o seu negócio o trabalhador europeu que queira trabalhar na catalunha pode ter deficuldades em arranjar trabalho os independentes da catalunha querem um modelo igual ao monaco e a europa está construida por nações e não por tribos

    • avatar
      Denís Fernández Cabrera

      Compre dizer, Eusebio, que os catalães som bem mais de 7 milhões de pessoas, perto da povoaçom atual do Portugal e bem longe de serem «uma tribo».

      Seja como for, os catalães querem a independência dentro da UE, sempre e quando a UE os aceite, é claro. Portanto as preocupações sobre o trabalho ou o futuro das empresas som mais assunto da UE que duma futura Catalunya independente.

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      Deveria Portugal fazer parte de Espanha? Evidentemente que não. Os castelhanos bem tentaram ao longo dos séculos controlar política e economicamente Portugal e apenas, por uma malfadada sucessão dinástica, o mais que conseguiram foi que o seu Rei fosse o “Rei” de Portugal. Mas, os reinos continuaram separados.

      A Catalunha sempre quis ser independente. Lutou por isso sempre. Se esse é a vontade do povo catalão, nem Espanha nem a União Europeia o poderão impedir. É um direito consignado na Carta das Nações Unidas.

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      E mais… que os castelhanos comecem por devolver Olivença, portuguesa de facto, mas ocupada ilegalmente por Espanha.

      Falam de Gibraltar mas não cumprem com os acordos internacionais que impõem a devolução de Olivença a Portugal.

      Força Catalunha! Cumpram o vosso destino e tornem-se independentes dessa horda de chupistas.

  9. avatar
    catherine benning

    Reading through this thread leaves me with a deep sense of despair.

    How can people of European intelligence and experience be so lacking in common sense.

    You cannot have a unified Europe with endless disparate parts. And the constant reference to the US when Europeans are nowhere near a similarity to that country and its violation of its people, both indigenous and imported. It is as different as chalk and cheese from that nation of warriors.

    However, unless Europeans are ready to see themselves as one united state, and all that goes with that concept and movement, it will break asunder and be unable to compete world wide as it wishes to do, and should do.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/08/size-does-matter-europe-unite-compete

    Leadership in Europe presently is spinning in circles unable to accept the fact of utter betrayal by its financial institutions and the obvious malfeasance toward it from outside. If it doesn’t come to terms with the reality of what has taken place in a Capitalist led society, it will leave itself wide open to be mugged again.

    Wake up to reality as it is and grow up. The big parental states outside your borders are not interested in your well being. They are interested only in their own narrow view of survival. Stop all charitable endeavours outside your borders and concentrate on what is needed right now for Europe and the European people, to raise themselves above the rest and yet remain a civilized enterprise for and of the people. Stop playing at being naive ideologists of political correctness, and instead, take mature decisions to fully endorse unification in order to sustain a healthy and viable environment for the people of this continent.

    So, Catalonia must either accept being European and live by the expectation of a European system, or, get out and quickly. They either like and want to be part of a European superstate or not. No further debate is necessary. Or, can be undertaken.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Hi Catherine, I guess you didn’t get the point. Catalans don’t question at all the European framework, at the contrary. Europeism in Catalonia is stronger than in many other parts of Europe, stronger than in the rest of Spain and stronger than in France. Here we’re talking about being independent from Spain, not from Europe.

      The lemma of the hugh rally of Barcelona was “Catalonia, the next state in Europe”. As for the reasons for independence from Spain, you can find some of them in this thread. Any doubt, we’re here to help.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      Oh, I got the point in full, Antonilb.

      It’s simply about time Europe got a grip on their objectives and are advised directly about their views and status toward what can be a world changing federation if they are so determined.

      Europe appears unable to grasp its importance in the world as it appears to be stuck in an idiot circle of numerous indecisive, factional and relatively insignificant ideologies. Rather than steadfastly upholding the ultimate aim. And an attitude of reality should be pressed on all those in power and fast.

      They waffle with a femininity that is unsound in leadership and it is time they took that on board. Decisive observance is the name of this game.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Catherine, I totally agree that Europe should get a grip on its objectives in a clear way, without doubts and as fast as possible. But not at any price.

      I can’t agree with dismissing all other things as nonimportant. If we talk about the aim of independence for Catalonia, we cannot say that this aim is a “relatively insignificant ideology”. In the first place, because it is not an ideology; it is a goal. And the reasons for this goal are ancient and important.

      Suppose the following. Imagine that France takes control of Belgium and imposes French in Wallonia. Supose that Germany invades the Czech Republic and establishes German as the everyday language at universities (again!). Do you think in this context we can talk about forgetting the “insignificant ideologies” of freedom of Wallons and Czechs because they should concentrate in “unity”?

      We’re living in Catalonia the most agressive imposition of Spanish language culture since the end of the dictatorship. Appart from that, we have clear historical and economic reasons for wanting the independence of our country, and we see it as something necessary and urgent. We are not antieuropean, on the contrary. But if we have to construct a better Europe, we must be sure it’s well constructed. Respecting people’s rights and differenciated cultures should be one of the most important first steps.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Sorry, I meant Flanders, not Wallonia (where, of course, they already speak French).

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      That example is nonsense! Germany invading czech republic… come on! You make it sound like Spanish troops marched into Barcelona last week and set up a military occupation!

      Catalonia has been a part of “Spain” since it’s birth as a country. Spain never “invaded” Catalonia!

      Lets look at the formation of Spain. Spanish kingdoms reconquer the iberian peninsula in the late 15th Century. And the peninsula is unified around two people Isabel of Castille and Fernando of Aragon (count of Barcelona, which merged with Aragon in 1258). And around them “Spain” is born. So, how exactly does this count as an outside invasion?

    • avatar
      Bernat

      Of course! Spanish troops marched into Catalonia in 1714 and the Catalan territory was declared a “conquered territory” by Philipe V of Castille (IV of Catalonia and Aragon, by the way!). I have found it in many documents, and everybody knows in Catalonia that Castillian troops invaded their territory several times until the Castillian political powers got the chance to abolish all Catalan constitutional and democratic system. Wake up! Ask catalan people that love Catalonia about their OWN history. Before to talk go to archives, please.

  10. avatar
    ITURRIAGA

    I’m a little annoyed at the way the debate is being framed, i.e. “The economy is going down the toilet…our ONLY solution is independence…” I don’t get it… Catalan nationalist governments have made a mess of managing the funds they had available to them for 30 years and the solution is more money?

    What I see is a group of politicians trying to shift the attention from their own incompetence by provoking emotional reactions from the population. This is something that we have seen for decades in the Basque region.

    Another point. I live in the city of Madrid (Basque family though) and I can assure you that the citizens living in the Madrid region suffer the greatest tax burden in all of Spain.

    I’d like some of the proponents of independence in this debate to give me a logical and detailed explanation as to why independence is the only solution and how it will fix all their woes… especially considering the European Commission has already pointed out that any state seceeding from an EU member will NOT remain within the EU and would be forced to go through the entire membership process (which requires the approval of all member states… including spain.. which, in the case of unilateral independence, would probably not be inclined to facilitate).

    And enough of the historical reasoning nonsense… because we can keep going further and further back in history with counter-arguments.

    And beware of playing the cultural and linguistic card too much. Otherwise Catalonia may find itself having to fight those same arguments when the Arán Valley makes their case for independence from Catalonia… Which they already do…

    I’m all in favour, as some people have commented, in restructuring Spain as a decentralised federal state on german lines (I agree that this model is superior to the US model) with a clear division of responsibilities at each level of government, removing duplications and thus having more money to spend.

    One final point that particularly annoys my valencian and Balearic friends… Catalan independentists do not JUST want and independent Catalonia… They want all the Catalan countries (what they humbly call them) including Valencia, a strip of Aragon, a piece of France and a town in Sardinia… Something that annoys these other places to no end considering Valencia, the Balearic islands and Aragon were once indepndent kingdoms and Catalonia never was.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Good to have a more “Spanish” perspective!!! Thank you. So perhaps independence is being played as a card, a populist way out to focus the real problems somewhere else? And perhaps all regions of Spain must have a referendum, not just Catalonia? Glad to hear that. Because I do believe that a reform of Spain is necessary, but not necessarily a total break up!!!

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Hi Christos. Independence is not just a card (which may also be for the Catalan Government right now) but, in the long term, it is the only possibility of a bright future for Catalonia.

      For more than 30 years after dictatorship, Catalonia has tried to “fit” in Spain, to change it in a way it could survive without losing its personality. The last try was two years ago with the new Statute, and the Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional) declared most of the “federalist” articles illegal. All the efforts have been frustrated. A new fiscal pact, proposed by the Catalan President to the Spanish one, was directly rejected last month. The pace of centralization of the Spanish Government, and its disloyalty, are simply hugh. People, specially, the middle classes, have said enough is enough.

      There is no other way than independence. Don’t think we’re radical, Catalans are traditionally very moderate, and this option is the most moderate one. The suicidal option right now is to stay in Spain, the reasonable one is to have a new state that can protect our interests and become good neighbors with everybody, including the Spaniards.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Will be watching and listening to both sides, before I make up my mind 100%. I am not against Catalan independence, but I do believe that right now perhaps is not the right moment.. But if the majority of the Catalan people still wish it, then there is no other way…

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      Seriously? The past 30 years have been a little bumpy have they? You mean the transition from a dictatorship to democracy ISN’T a piece of cake?! and it DOESN’T happen overnight?!

      “…it is the only possibility of a bright future for Catalonia.”… once again… no explanation!

      The articles of the statute which were declared void was because they were unconstitutional… I’m not sure why this is so shocking… The authors had the possibility of asking for legal opinions etc. but decided that, since the Socialist government needed catalan nationalist votes to be able to govern the rest of the country, they could just blackmail the government into pushing it through. Didn’t go according to plan though.

      You mention the disloyalty of the Spanish government towards the Catalan government… what about the disloyalty you are demonstrating here towards your fellow spanish citizens? When things are going great then we’re all friends… and when the the economy begins to sink nationalists are the first onto the lifeboats like first-class passangers on the Titanic, trying to abandon the sinking ship… and leaving their fellow passangers to drown… call that solidarity? I don’t!

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Come on! Am I being disloyal? The reasons for Catalan independence are countless and, personally, I don’t give to the economic ones more relevance than to aspects like culture or language. How can you accuse me personally without knowing my motivations?

      Certainly, independentism has raised, in part, because of economic (and political) reasons, but here again, the first disloyalty comes from the Spanish government when they don’t invest in Catalonia as much as the law dictates. Solidarity is one thing, forced solidarity is another one, and still robbery is a very different thing.

      I didn’t answer your previous post because you don’t leave any option. You ask for reasons for independence, ok. But then you beware us not to play the cultural or linguistic cards when these are precisely the deep reasons. You show no knowledge of what’s going on when you mention Aran valley, which is not a problem at all. If they ask for independence, Catalonia will be democratic unlike Spain. In fact, the last Catalan Statute tried to rise the consideration of Aranese and… the change was denied by the Constitutional Court! If people in Aran Valley have to choose between Spain or Catalonia, they know well were to belong.

      On the other hand, the Tribunal Constitucional is a political court. The Statute could have been fully constitutional with a different composition of the members of the court. And in no case a court should have the last word after the Statute was approved in referendum. People’s validation should be the last step. That’s one more proof that Spain is hardly a democratic country.

  11. avatar
    Dave

    If the Catalans want independence….fine go for it…and if that causes the eu problems….even better.

  12. avatar
    Ozcan

    Sentiment is something different than ambition.

  13. avatar
    ITURRIAGA

    Sorry Antonilb, for some reason the system doesn’t let me continue the discussion on the thread so I have to start a new one.

    Ok, lets look at the supposed cultural and linguistic factors that make independence the ONLY solution.

    What exactly is the linguistic problem?
    You have the right to speak Catalan
    You have the right to be educated in Catalan
    You have the right to have every traffic sign/road sign/ street name in Catalan.
    You have Catalan books…

    And the cultural problem? The rest of Spain is somehow oppressing your culture? Is your theatre illegal now? your traditional dress maybe? your traditional dance?

    On the point about infrastructures… What on earth are you talking about?! Just last month they inaugurated the new terminal at the Port of Barcelona which puts Barcelona in the same league as Rotterdam and Hamburg… remind me.. who is paying for the transport infrastructure for that? That’s right… the Spanish government!
    Are you enjoying the AVE trains?
    How about your FOUR airports?

    A cheeky note on the Aran Valley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnMA7KdGxn0

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Good. Let’s leave the economic aspects aside for the moment to keep it simple (I guess you need some information to have a more balanced opinion; I’ll try to give it to you in another message). But language and culture can be discussed together.
      The first thing I’d like to ask is: do you think Catalan culture is just a folkloric thing? That’s what it seems when you say that we can have our traditional dance or dress… Nobody cares about the traditional dress. We care about being able to do normal life in Catalan or feeling it’s not a subordinated language.
      Look. Catalan is not official in the EU. Why? Because neither Spain nor France make any effort in that direction; it depends on them. In the new Catalan Statute, knowledge of Catalan was declared to be a “right and a duty”, at the same level than Spanish (that is a “duty” according to the Constitution). The result? The Constitutional Court (TC) cancelled that point. It wasn’t merely symbolic, it has practical consequences. How is immigration integrated? The only language they should know, as a duty, by law, is now Spanish, and this fact works in the direction of reducing the presence of Catalan in the streets.

      I could give you many examples, but let’s move to culture. The Ministry fixes a percentage of contents that have to be included in the curricula of students. In Catalonia, this percentage was 55%… until a few days ago, when they decided (without dialogue) that they would increase it to a 65%. But Minister Wert (of Education) made things very clear yesterday. I quote the phrase in Spanish “nuestro interés es españolizar a los alumnos catalanes”. In English, something like “we’re interested in making the Catalan students Spanish”. We know what’s he talking about. When they say “españolizar”, they mean “castellanizar”. After our defeat in 1714, José R. Villalpando, from the Castillian Council, said that they should introduce Spanish in Catalonia “so that they can get the result and not the way it’s done” (very bad translation of “que se consiga el efecto sin que se note el cuidado”). Three-hundred years later, it’s the same thing. Wert mentioned the way History is taught in Catalonia, without mentioning Spain much. But we claim our right to teach our History, to teach in our language (which is also questioned), and to reduce the percentage of 65% or 55% to 0%.

      Sports are culture, and there’s much support for having Catalan Selections competing at an international level. You guess why it’s not possible?
      Culture is one of the things that were transferred to Catalonia, ok. But then there is a Spanish Ministry of Culture, which does not disappear from Catalonia. What’s the point? That they need to “españolizar” Catalonia. Instead of making Catalonia feel Spanish, maybe they should Spain feel more European. We know what we are. But history is surprisingly repeating itself these days.

      (I’ll watch the video on the Aran Valley, but I think it’s just a discussion between two people, right?)

    • avatar
      Jaume

      Hutchinson (the Chinese operator) has paid the container terminal in Barcelona. The Spanish government ‘forgot’ to connect it with the national rail system, as agreed about 10 years ago, so a provisional railway had to be built to avoid the shame. We would have had the biggest container terminal in South Europe… with no connections thanks to the Spanish Goverment!!

      Meanwhile, The Spanish government pays a new unprofitable TGV in Galicia, that will go anywhere, just because of the elections there on October 21.

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      The Spanish government is paying for TGV because the PP has decided, politically to do it to it’s own advantage. I’m sure if CiU governed Spain they would do the same when elections occur in Catalonia…

      You see, this is what annoys me about how this argument always gets framed. “The Spanish government ‘forgot’ to connect it with the national rail system, as agreed about 10 years ago”… Wrong, The PSOE didn’t do as it promised 10 years ago… Too busy building phantom airports and high speed train lines to nowhere I suspect.

      Suggesting that Spain is the same as it’s governing party suggests that we are all PP now… which I at least am not.

      Spain is the arena where politics takes place, but it is the political parties that act and take decisions.

    • avatar
      Victor

      Iturriaga,
      ‘Spain is an arena where politics takes place’ but whoever is ruling Spain PP or PSOE, it is always the same antieconomic decision making:
      Invest in unprofitable infraestructures almost always far from profitable mediterranian area.

      It is interesting to remark that mediterranian area was another country named Corona d’arago on XVIII century, that was invaded and is in fact the last colony of this old empire.

  14. avatar
    Ignasi

    Please don’t get confused by the catalan activist biased propaganda. They are all around the media talking about their “problem” like a hurted girlfriend goes around spreading “her truth” to anyone by telephone showing herself as a victim. Catalan region enjoys of a very solid self-governing institutions since few decades ago, like the Education for instance. Power that they have used to spread their message to kids years ago. Kids that are now the voters of this referendum, a kind of evil plan seeded decades ago by people who has clear since the beginning that they wanted the independence. How come would you as a goverment invest in a region of your country that is not loyal and is just waiting his turn to just kick you off? Think carefully for a moment, use reason. All tis noise catalonian activist are making is a madness, a complete nonsense that can only lead to only God knows how many more problems in the near future, a poisoned focus of unstability that could last for decades!! But they have gone mad, they dont care about consequences, they think once they are a new tiny country all problems will dissapear, when it is going to happen just the opposite, they will just start emerging! So we wise and look around for less viased information about Spain, outside from these catalan fanatics.

    • avatar
      Víctor Rimbau

      Ignasi, Let me ask you some questions first.
      If the only reason for the catalan independence feelings is the supposed Catalan doctrine given at the schools,
      – why all Spaniards are not fervent fascists after 40 years of fascism teached at the schools?
      – why there are so much older people in Catalonia willing to live in a Catalan state within EU?
      – why all Catalan kids after catalan school can speak and write both languages (catalan and spanish) at same level?
      – why I have not seen any solid proof of this supposed Secessionist doctrine given at the catalan schools?

      I guess, that the reason is clear. Your statements are simply not based on facts. My opinion is that:
      – The effect of the school education is very limited if it is not in aligned with the family and society.
      – current Catalan school is modern and open and never participated in politic propaganda.

      Please, fins below some interesting links that supports the second conclusion:
      http://www.catalannewsagency.com/news/politics/spanish-parliament-supports-current-catalan-school-model
      http://www.catalannewsagency.com/news/society-science/catalonia-improving-education-pisa-survey-finds

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      “Like the education” – yes, and then recently the Spanish education minister said that the central government should intervene and “Hispanicize” Catalan children. And he kept his job.

      The Castilian political class with this kind of behaviour has shown they don’t want federation. They want to keep Catalonia, but without the Catalans. In that sense, your analogy of a couple is really apt – the Castilians would be the abusive husband who then gets angry at the appearance of divorce papers.

      And no, I’m not Catalan, so what “propaganda” am I spouting?

  15. avatar
    antonilb

    “That example is nonsense! Germany invading czech republic… come on!”

    Take a history book. Hitler, 1938-1939. Czechoslovakia was incorporated to Germany under the nazis.

    “Spain never “invaded” Catalonia!”

    Take another history book. Spanish Succession war, 1701-1714. I quote from the Wikipedia (“war of spanish succession”):

    “With regard to the political organization of their kingdoms, Philip issued the Nueva Planta decrees, following the centralizing approach of the Bourbons in France, ending the political autonomy of the kingdoms which had made up the Crown of Aragon; territories in Spain that had supported the Archduke Charles and up to then had kept their institutions in a framework of loose dynastic union, separate from the rest of the Spanish realm.”

    Losing the war in 1714 meant the end of self-government for Catalonia (and the rest of the Crown of Aragon) and the beginning of linguistic and cultural substitution. In contrast with what happened with North Catalonia, though, which was given to France 70 years before 1714, the part of Catalonia that remained in Spain was never fully dominated. That’s why we’re here again.

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      Ok, first of all according to Godwin’s Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law) mentioning Hitler in an online forum means you lose the argument. I’ll let it slide this time though ;)

      Once again with the history!

      What you are quoting in your reply on the war of succession 1701-1714 is exactly that, a war of succession, not a war of invasion. It was one royal family against another. Castille and Navarre against Aragon fighting for the domination of the iberian peninsula.

      If anything the war should be considered a european war fought over Spain. France on the one side and basically everyone else on the other. France won and the Borbon candidate they backed became king. How is that Spain invading Catalonia?

      This idea that Everything just HAPPENS to Catalonia is nonsense. Catalans have always been active players in what happens in Spain. During the War of Succession, the carlist was, the civil war. Catalan volunteers fought for Spain in North Africa and We have even had at least one Catalan President (I’m thinking Juan Prim).

      This idea of “us” and “them” is nonsense!

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Of course I didn’t say it wasn’t an European conflict. I say that, as a result, Catalonia lost a war against Castille, which is a fact. The “nueva planta” decree, the introduction of Spanish in Catalonia, the construction of military fortresses to dominate Barcelona and Catalonia, all that were also facts following the war. I didn’t call it invasion. You did. But you can call it domination, if you like, military domination.

      The idea of “us” and “them” is quite natural when a country loses a war against another one, isn’t it? In this case, the Crown of Aragon against the Crown of Castille, which formed a loose confederation until 1714, and became a centralized country ruled by Castille after 1714.

      People who go against their own country (collaborationists) have always existed, and not only in Catalonia. France has very good examples of that.

      I’m not a fan of talking about nazis, not at all, but your comment (“Germany invading czech republic… come on!”) was asking for it. Czechs are very aware of the periods when their country was dominated by the nazis, first, and the Soviets, later. And they make the difference very clearly between “us” and “them” even if there were quite a few collaborationists. “Us” and “them” makes all the sense to them.

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      You cannot seriously be comparing this to Nazis and Soviets! Do you have any sense of proportion?

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Of course not! I’m not comparing it with the current situation. I was just asking what would happen if linguistic rights in Europe would be banned for two languages somehow comparable with Catalan. My point was: is it imaginable, in a situation like this, that you ask the Flemish and Czechs to forget about their particularities and think about unity? Would it be imaginable if their languages were still in trouble because of the power of their states? This is our case.

      Catalan language has still many obstacles compared with any other language of its size in Europe. And I suppose you know that Catalan has been persecuted and forbidden not so long ago. You could get a fine if you spoke it in public places, or lose your job. Now it’s not like that, of course, now it’s only minorized and divided. I gave you some concrete reasons regarding language and culture, which for me, is the main motivation for defending independence.

  16. avatar
    ITURRIAGA

    Hey all,

    Just to be clear, I don’t want anybody to think that my personal position on this topic is that Catalonia should not have any right of selfdetermination, Frankly speaking, a Europe of the regions is something I believe in. My problem is with the way things are going. I like Scotland and the former Czechoslovakia as models for this kind of thing, and I do not want Spain to follow the path of Yugoslavia.

    Whenever I hear slogans about perceived abuses against someone’s culture, particularly in a place like Spain, I always become suspicious. In the case of Czechoslovakia I am under the impression that division occured through a civilised dialogue without one side accusing the other of oppression (I’m not an expert so I’m happy to be corrected). In the case of Scotland everything has been done within the existing legal framework, without the use of terms like “conflict”, “opression”, “invasion” or “unilateral”.

    I don’t like the way things are being done in Spain because people have a habit of remembering when someone has compared them to Hitler… or accused them of terrible crimes. And that memory will become the basis of the relationship between the two countries from then onwards.

    Yes the legal framework in Spain is not great. Our constitution was only supposed to be a temporary one that should have been replaced once the transitional period was over. We should have developed a role for the Senate also.

    But it’s not like constitutions cannot be changed! Ofcourse it can! But it has to be done in the political arena, not through ultimatums and threats.

    Not only CAN it be changed but I think very soon we will HAVE to make a new one. And we will have to have conversations about things that we have avoided for more then 30 years. Things like the structure of the country (federalism I mean), whether we want to be a monarchy or a republic (presidential or parliamentary), Do we want a senate representing the regions with alot of power? (like the Bundesrat in Germany), do we want to create a legal mechanism to join and to leave? (the EU should look at the latter also)… That kind of thing.

    Why do I prefer doing things this way? Because by sitting down and having a dialogue based on realities and not sentiments we can together analyse what is best for us, the citizens. Is independence non-negotiable even if it can be proven, in a transparent manner, that it will hurt the people of Catalonia? The Scottish are looking at various options and presenting those options to the population (devolution Max, semi-independence, full independence). Have we proposed other options? have we studied them? Have we had anything similar to the Scottish “National Conversation”? No. We talk about emotions and sentiments and conflict and opression… How will we be good neighbours in the future if the result of this process is that we end up hating eachother? How will this affect our fellow citizens?

    I think it would be good if we started steering the conversation in this direction.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      It’s nice to hear somebody talking about self-determination, rationality or dialogue regarding this issue. I agree that the Yugoslavian way is not the one to follow, but I suppose you know who is playing the role of Serbia here. I agree that the Scottish/British model is a good one, but then, what’s Artur Mas asking for? He’s asking about the possibility of holding a referendum. And who’s denying the right to hold it? The Spanish government. Not only that, they’re already talking about putting Mas in prision if he calls a referendum outside the Constitution. Putting him in prision wouldn’t be like having Otegi in prision, that would mean a revolution. I don’t think they can silence the Catalan people as they did with the Basques. Here we’re talking about middle classes, milions of people and a legitimate government.

      We need more rationality, I agree. We need to talk about people’s rights, about democracy, and not about a Constitution as if it was a hammer, as is the Spanish government doing now.

      You know what? If the response from Madrid had been along the lines you’ve drawn, Catalonia would have probably been satisfied with some sort of federation. In fact, the Statute had a federal flavor that was erased after passing through the Constitutional Court (TC). Catalonia has already tried it. Last time, with the proposal of some “fiscal pact”, which was denied right away. Now it’s too late: people have made their minds, the middle classes have already decided, and most people just want independence.

      We still need dialogue, though. But just about how to hold a referendum, and about what to do later, like in the Scottish case.

  17. avatar
    Ignasi

    Victor, your questions seem so biased to me yet, but nevertheless, my POVs about them:

    1) Because fascism is hard and harsh imposition, not subtle ‘maquiavelic’ long-term plan. So people overeact to it.

    2) I have met so many elder catalan people (with catalan surnames until the dawn of time) that never had any separatist feeling, they just felt spaniards in a very healthy natural way. And they were happy and they loved so much Catalonia and their symbols, but they already had fine spanish-based culture as well. Unfortunately they were so old that probably they are already dead.

    3) I disagree. Sometimes I met young kids that are my neighbors that talk spanish in a very poor way, mixing tons of catalan words together, etc. And this is in a Barcelona metropolitan area, can’t imagine what happens in towns like Vic or so…!

    4) Because probably you are so into the separatism thing that you are blind for this question, it is pure, basic bias my friend! :-)

    My statements are based on facts, beginning by my own experience in school some years ago. I could recognize biasing in textbooks when I was teenager, where carefully catalan language books were so critics about bilingual situations ONLY with spanish but they were so kind when mentioning possible future bilingual situations with ENGLISH.

    Of course, you think that catalan school is open and non-politic, blah blah blah. It is OK. I think just the opposite, so now what? :)

    And if your link point to biased websites that only re-inforce your arguments, what’s the point? Do you want to demonstrate your arguments with self-propaganda? That is too funny…

    Cheers

    Ignasi

    • avatar
      Víctor Rimbau

      i posted links to other websites support ideas with data. the target is to be as objective as possible.
      According to your comments you consider previous links as propaganda. Therefore I attach below a link from the european commission, hopefully you would accepted as objective information.

      http://ec.europa.eu/languages/euromosaic/es51_en.htm


      The catalan school law states that teachers must know both official languages and that teacher training curricula must ensure that students acquire sufficient mastery of Catalan and Spanish. In higher education institutions, teachers and students are entitled to express themselves in any situation, orally or in writing, in the official language of their choice.

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Dear Saim

      Please, be accurate in your terminology.

      Your labelling of spanish as an “immigrant language” or people of different spanish origin as “mixed-ethnicity (Catalan mother and Spanish father)”, may apply to the asian community living in the UK, but certainly is not applicable to the Spanish situation.

      You have a serious conceptual confusion here.

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Ethnicity is essentially the same thing as cultural affiliation. Given race doesn’t exist, I hardly see how it’s unaccurate to refer to someone of mixed descent just because both ethnic groups in question are “White”, Iberian and Catholic. National minorities exist in Spain, even the constitution recognizes it (what is a “nacionalidad histórica” if not a territory inhabited by a particular ethnic group?).

      Spanish is an immigrant language in Catalonia. The native languages are Catalan (in most of the territory) and Occitan (in the Aran Valley). Spanish is an official language, but is not considered autochtonous (“lengua propia/llengua pròpia”). It being spoken as a native language in Catalonia is almost entirely a product of immigration within the last century, not Catalan-speakers shifting to Spanish (unlike in say Valencia or Northern Catalonia).

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Saim, Please go learn some History of Spain or Iberian Peninsula, then come back to discussion.

      World didn’t begin in 1900 :-)

      Thanks.

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      What an arrogant, dismissive thing to say about Saim! And very typical of those with your slant on history. What history before 1900 do you want him to explain to you? The time when Catalonia was a prosperous independent nation while most of what is now called Spain was under Islam? Or when Catalonia had by far the largest Mediterranean empire, stretching all the way to Greece? But even this does not make irrelevant the fact that many Catalans didn’t even know Spanish (any more than they knew French or German) when Franco took over and told them — with guns pointed at them — that they were only Spanish.

      I don’t see that Saim has any debilities in his historical comments — which you don’t in any case contradict with any facts, only aspersions.

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Ignasi, I think Roger has already done a good job of rebutting your casual dismission of my explanation of what “ethnicity” is, what a “national minority” is, and how Spanish came to be spoken natively by residents of Catalonia.

      I’m just going to repeat myself and ask you to backup the implied assertions in your posts:

      -Do national minorities not exist in Spain? If not, what is a nacionalidad histórica in Spanish constitutional law?

      -Why is ethnicity only valid as a concept when used as a synonym of “race” when “race” is not valid as a scientific concept?

      -Why did Spanish become a native language of some Catalonia residents if not because of Spanish immigration in the 20th century? What percentage of people with 3-4 Catalan grandparents are native speakers of Spanish and not Catalan?

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Saim,

      1) In the last centuries, there have been Historic Nations in all the territory of Iberian Peninsula. Some of then became countries as today (like Portugal), some other NEVER been an independent state as we know it, like Catalonia or Basque Country.

      Catalonia was a small set of counties under the rule of Carolingian empire in the early Middle Age. Then, became a Principality belonging to the Reign of Aragon. Something similar with Castille. Castille was very tiny at first, then added the Reign of Leon, then the Reign of Aragon (by dynastic weddings) then the muslim Reign of Granada, then Navarra.
      Actually, in the beginning Basque Country were just three provinces of Castille, never a country, more or less like Catalonia.

      So, to reply to your question, these “Nacionalidad Historica” is to provide a legal and historic continuity. For instance, the current region of Navarra matches the ancient Reign of Navarra. And preserves pretty much of their laws and self-governancy. But this is just because a historic chance: they just followed the winner side when dynastic wars took place in XVIII century.

      2) So then, What is the RIGHT definition of ethnicity? Could you enlighten us a bit about this end?

      3) Try search for formal, popular documents, books, whatever… of XIX, XVIII, XVI centuries in Catalonia: you will find that the languages used were catalan, spanish and latin. Just do some research by yourself, I don’t want to influence you…

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Jesus Ignaci, your last point is absurd! Yes, Spanish has been used for centuries in Catalonia. But it hasn’t been spoken natively by the Catalonian-born until the 20th century, that’s a historical fact.

      Why is the existence of an ethnicity predicated on the existence of an independent state? Do the Aymara not exist because they’ve never had an Aymara national-state? In essence, this requirement is absurd and anachronous: nation-states come about in the late 1700s. Before that the legitimacy of a state was based on dynastic or religious grounds rather than ethnicity. Did distinct cultures not even exist in your eyes before the existence of states? What about North America where state structures where not used as a way to organize society: do the Navajo not exist as an ethnicity? The Cree? The Inuit? Are they just white Europeans under your reckoning?

      Wikipedia can resolve your confusion regarding ethnicity on my behalf:

      “Ethnicity or ethnic group is a socially defined category based on common culture or nationality. Ethnicity can, but does not have to, include common ancestry, appearance, cuisine, dressing style, heritage, history, language or dialect, religion, symbols, traditions, or other cultural factors. Ethnic identity is constantly reinforced through common characteristics which set the group apart from other groups.”

      Can you honestly say that the Catalans and Basques don’t fit that definition?

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Also the Principality of Catalonia was never part of the Kingdom of Aragon. The Kingdom of Aragon, the Principality of Catalonia, the Kingdom of Valencia and for some time the Kingdom of Majorca were all constituent parts of the Aragonese Crown.

      The Aragonese Crown is a broader category than the Kingdom of Aragon. Not particularly relevant to the debate, just some historical errata.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Yes Saim you are right about this end, and yes it is relevant.

      When I said “Kingdom or Aragon” I really meant “Aragon’s Crown”. Totally my mistake, sorry.

      Before the era of modern states, who were the subjects of sovereignty? Not an easy question. Kingdoms? Crowns? Counties? Duchies?

      Which ones from this set could claim to be an state nowadays?

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      I find this definition of Ethnicity loose enough to fit many other groups inside, like “Star Trek fans” for instance. Not that easy.

      About your question if “Can you honestly say that the Catalans and Basques don’t fit that definition?”

      Yes, sure, and also andalusians, and canarians… so forth and so on.

      Some have mixed more than others, but honestly, to try to establish a new more ethnical pure country now but to try now looks like swim against the grain, it sounds weird, old and scary… and so balcanic!

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Come on man, don’t be obtuse. You know full well that Star Trek fans don’t fulfill any of those characteristics. Let’s look through them:

      common ancestry (no), appearance (no), cuisine (no), dressing style (while cosplaying maybe), heritage (no), history (no), language or dialect (no), religion (no), symbols (no), traditions (no), or other cultural factors (no).

      The fact you’d even bother to make this absurd comparison highlights the Hispanocentric thread unerlying your comments on this page. Do you not understand why this kind of attitude irritates Catalans? What if they were to say that being Spanish is the same as being a StarTrek fan?

      Your comparison with Andalusians and Canarians is more apt, and I wouldn’t be shocked by someone considering them ethnic groups. They certainly have less of the differential features from Castilians than Catalans do, though. Canarians would be the least differentiated, although they do have a fairly strong independence movement that I believe has every right to be resolved in referendum.

      “Which one of these could claim to be a modern state today?”

      It doesn’t matter, this decision rests in the democratic will of the people, not in historical arguments.

      But in any case, when I said “before states”, I was talking about nomadic and tribal social structures. Do these peoples not deserve the right to decide their own affairs as well? Why is the posession of a nation-state at some point in history (something found in a small minority of ethnic and linguistic groups) the only thing you base political sovereignty on? Does democracy mean nothing to you?

      “to try to establish a new more ethnical pure country now”
      That’s not what the Catalans are trying to achieve. Can you just put yourself in their shoes for two seconds? They want to protect their language and culture, that doesn’t mean kicking out or murdering all the foreigners. That means integrating immigrants in the same way other Western cultures do, that means having a state apparatus that looks out for their cultural rights, that means not having to constantly fight with the State of Spain over linguistic normalisation.

      “it sounds weird, old and scary… and so balcanic!”

      As someone who has strong roots in Serbia and Yugoslavia, I resent that. One thing I will say though is that the rhetoric you and the PP employ are scarily reminiscent of the sort used by Serbian nationalists before the outbreak of war. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Saim, if you say that Start Trek fans don’t share a common language or dialect is that you know so few about them ;-)

      Catalan secessionist say quite worse things about catalans that feel comfortable about being spaniards. I told you, just do some quick research and you will see how many catalan secessionist are plenty of hate against Spain and against catalans who don’t think like them. Some other times this hate is quite more subtle, disguised in a sort of “civilized european politeness”.

      Again, if you say that canadians are the least differentiated, is that you know few or nothing about Canarians. Actually they are the most genetically differentiated (may be after basques) from castillians. There are scholar articles about it. Also, their secessionist movement is quite quite weaker than you say. Actually it belong to the lunatic fringe, if you ever go to Canary Islands and read their newspapers, for instance. They just got sort of rivalry with peninsula spaniards, but this is very different stuff.

      I was born and lived all my life here, so catalan is the only thing I could be. But, as a descendant of an spanish internal immigration, I am not catalan in the deepest cultural way, or “ethnical” as you like to say. I didn’t inherit catalan language, though I could learn it freely and quickly in the school when I was a kid, and I accepted it enthusiastically.
      No one kept me from get to know or access catalan culture and traditions. There was any spanish force trying to hide local tests, dances or whatever. Some of this rich cultural folklore I like it, some other not.

      I speak and write in catalan ofently much better than proud secessionist catalans from dozens of generations.

      But I agree to be spanish, I like the idea to belong to a bigger, colorful country with many “ethnical groups” and “historical nationalities” rather than belong to another boring, tiny, monochromatic european state. I like the idea to live in an interesting, well connected city that belongs to world and when people can live speaking, learning and interacting in spanish and english.

      What I don’t like is this plan started decades ago to force the split of Spain. After the dictatorship, government was democratized through elections and de-centralized local governments that tried to match historical territories. This was done in a bad way, for many reasons.

      But catalans by that time took what they were looking for. Having economic self-determination was not a priority in 1980’s. To grab the control of what’s taught in the schools was the jewel they were looking after. Like all nationalist governments (including the one of Franco’s of course!) they love to brain-wash children so they’ll become loyal followers in adulthood.
      In the 80’s, 90’s, so on… they were repeating the mantra of Spain Hate, to manipulate History and other subjects to model you to a good future secessionist.

      Even myself suffered form this in school and high-school, but somehow I managed to react, think on my own and open my eyes.

      Now that they are harvesting their fruits, we reached to the point where if you live here and just agreeing with stay together with Spain automatically converts you in a sort of traitor, a fascist and many other terrible things altogether. And you know, most people is afraid of being socially excluded, so they do prefer to just shut up, look elsewhere and follow the mass. That’s why you see huge demonstrations for independence and so few people in demonstrations against, because they got panic from being labeled as “fascist”.

      Curiously, when elections take place, the proportion of secessionist and unionists are quite more even than proportion of people in demonstrations. That’s the proof.

      Most people want to stay where most people already are, no matter how wrong they are. Does this sounds to any particular history episode of the XX century?

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      So little, you mean? I mean, there’s Klingon for sure but that’s a constructed language that has very little to do with “Star Trek identity” so to speak. Not to mention these signs of identity are almost never inherited.

      I read Catalan secessionist forums quite often, to practice my Catalan. I also have Catalan secessionist friends. Most of them are fine with people who say that they’re both Catalan and Spanish, they just want to convince them otherwise. The people that really raises their ire are people like those of Ciudadanos, not just people who are “fine to be Spanish”.

      Genetics doesn’t really matter that much in determining ethnicity. We’re not going back to 1800s racialist and pseudo-scientific theories. What matters is culture, identity, language, etc. But I’m not here to get into a debate about whether Canarians are Spaniards or not. They can be Berbers if they want to be, although it would seem more of the Berber traditions have died out there than have Catalan traditions in the Catalan Countries.

      If you want a colorful diverse Spain, then your enemy is the PP and other Spanish nationalist groups, not the Catalan nationalists. The rise in Catalan independentism has been a response to the rejection of the fiscal pact by President Rajoy and by rampant Catalanophobia and Catalanophobic propaganda being spurted out by the likes of Intereconmia and other Spanish right-wing souces. Catalan federalists feel like they’ve been banging their head against a wall for decades – they now feel it’s better to federate directly with Europe on their own terms rather than with a Castilian population that hold nothing but disdain for them.

      Of course Catalans should have control over their education policy. They have a distinct culture, history and language. This should be true . If this creates secessionism, so be it! For me, the cultures that compose Spain are much more worth protecting than the Spanish State itself. I think you should examine why your identity is so wrapped up in a state apparatus. It doesn’t seem you’ve learned anything from my Wikipedia link about “banal nationalism” either – why is Catalan banal nationalism being present in the schooling system any worse than the Spanish equivalent?

      You don’t see huge demonstrations in favour because most people DONT WANT to stay with Spain. Your denial of reality is getting disconcerting. Last I checked, over 60% of the population was in favour of independence. Also the unionists tend towards older and people who are after the status quo are generally not going to go out and demonstrate.

      Also, I don’t like your conflation of all unionism with “españolismo”. There have always been Catalanists who are also in favour of staying with Spain – known as federalists. But the words of the españolistas makes people with Catalanist mindsets more and more likely to think that the only solution is secession.

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Saim said: “The people that really raises their ire (of Catalan secesionists) are people like those of Ciudadanos, not just people who are “fine to be Spanish”

      Why?

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      OK! That’s it, we got it!

      Saim has been intoxicated and abducted by those secessionist, Spain-hater forums. That explains everything.

      “..Most of them are fine with people who say that they’re both Catalan and Spanish, they just want to convince them otherwise…” of course!! they look at them as preys to convert/intoxicate, don’t you notice?

      “…The people that really raises their ire are people like those of Ciudadanos,…” again, of course!! they are so evil, they need to be deported to Catalan Gulags for proper re-education!

      I am sorry Saim, I took my time to read your post, but it looks like at this point you were already converted into a kind of nice obeying zombie that repeats the official secessionist propaganda and its mantras.

      But it’s ok, everyone should be free to consume anything they want or like !

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Intoxicated and abducted? Zombie? Are you so insane

      For the record – I was Catalanist before ever even thinking about moving to Barcelona or even knew a word of Catalan. I’m an internationalist, so I’m in favour of the protection of all of the languages in the world as well as the use of referendums to settle independentism and border disputes – for me, the people decide. I’m a democrat.

      They look at them as prey to convert? Do you not also want people in Catalonia to be in favour of the Spanish State? Don’t you want to convince people that Catalonia should stay with Spain? How is that any different?

      Saying that they dislike Ciudadanos doesn’t meant that they want them re-educated and sent to Gulags either. Why must you resort to so much hyperbole? Do you have any rational, fact-based arguments to employ? Do you want to address any of the issues about ethnic identification, federalism as a potential solution, Catalanist Europeanism or banal nationalism?

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Pau pau, they raise their ire because they want to get rid of Catalan language immersion, and are against even having a federation with Spain or a referendum on independence. It’s fine to want to stay with Spain, but being against a referendum is fundamentally undemocratic. Not to mention there are people who see themselves as Spanish wo are in favour of secession, or at least neutral.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Saim, your internationalist will seems so noble and fine, but unfortunately world is kind of far more complicated stuff.

      For instance, since late 90’s a new movement in favor of original indian people in Latin America have emerged, claiming for the rights of all these rich, forgotten ethnical groups spread all around American continent.

      But they didn’t know how or where to start, because of course these indian communities never been a modern state.

      So they just took a look at Europe and their myriad of small countries and regions, trying to establish a political frame of reference.

      Since then some experiments have been applying in some countries like Bolivia, where native indian president Evo Morales changed the constitution and even the country’s name to reflect such plurality of “indian nations” inside the modern country of Bolivia.

      The result? Not so shiny. While in one hand historically forgotten indians had emerge into social play and rule (that is good news), other problems raised. There were huge revolutions in several departments of the country (Santa Cruz, Beni), that –guess what– claimed for their right for independence. Also, new laws established that inside native indian communities, only their laws can be applied.

      This was a source of weird problems. Once a forestal guard was killed by members of a native tribe. No one could even solve or investigate the crime because it was committed inside indian land (that is yet part of a country) and native indians refused to even return the corpse!

      Which law to apply then and there?

      And just to mention some of the drawbacks of this internationalism that, when going wrong, it is no more than simple snobbism.

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      So ctalan you have people

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Thanks Saim,

      Could you also define what you mean by “catalanist” or “españolist”?

      Is it a synonym for nationalist?

      Also, how would you determined when a territory has the characteristics required that would entitle such territory to the right of secession?

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Pau pau, it doesn’t matter. Have a democratic referendum, and let the people decide.

      Yes, “catalanisme/catalanismo” and “espanyolisme/españolismo” are more or less synonyms for those competing nationalisms.

      Ignasi, your negative views of what you call “Indians” are quite telling. What, the Aboriginal peoples of the Americas are too stupid or violent to have any meaningful level of autonomy? No wonder you are against Catalan self-determination with such an imperialist mindset.

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Siam, thanks for your partial, but informative, reply.

      I know that the question on how to determine what is required to entitle a territory to the right of secession is not an easy one, but I came hear most of all to hear others opinions.

      Pity that you prefer to pass on this one, because you seem to be quite knowledgeable and articulate in the Catalan question.

      Your information on Ciutadans position on a possible referendum for independence (against) is not correct.

      I have checked this point.

      Ciutadans are of the same opinion than, amongst others, the PSC. Until now the traditional second party in Cataluña with an impeccable record of looking for the interests of both Cataluña and Spain.

      That is: that, amongst others, Ciutadans and PSC would agree to such consultation only if it was made in accordance with the current legality.

      I am not surprised if secessionists have choleric reactions against Ciutadans. These type of emotional reactions are commonly seen in many situations where there are conflicting views about a political situation.

      Another question is these type of reactions are to any good.

      I was trying to understand why secessionists were so anger and offended. You have explained that to me. Thanks again for that.

      The question I am left with is that if secessionists get choleric with a party that does not agree with federalism (but does with allowing greater autonomy) and wants to change the current linguistic policy of not allowing Spanish as main teaching language in schools for parents that want to do so and proposing to lower the currently high standards of Catalan knowledge to access certain jobs, then the secessionists they may get choleric with quite a lot of Catalans, and again, that, in my opinion, is to no good.

      That is, if your use of the word secessionists in your post means all of them, which may not be probably the case.

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Roger said: “The time when Catalonia was a prosperous independent nation while most of what is now called Spain was under Islam? Or when Catalonia had by far the largest Mediterranean empire, stretching all the way to Greece?”

      Men, this is really offensive.

      So being under “the islam” = bad, debasing

      Having and empire = great, dignifying

      I think that we all can feel very proud of the high achievements and contributions to the world civilisation made by the islamic culture when it was established in Iberia.

      I also think that there isn’t anything particularly glorious in invading and colonising other countries.

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      Where, pray, did I characterize Islam as bad and empire as good? I simply mentioned that period in response to being bidden to take history into account. Your own prejudices provided the adjectives that I neither used nor implied. You really are unfit for rational argument, based on these ravings that you keep producing, aren’t you?

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Siam

      The argument that catalanism is equal to españolism, and that both sides are equally nationalistic, is based on the very old strategy of polarising the debate.

      It only contributes to the aggravation of the problem by presenting a bipolar situation that is never true in any society or spectrum of representative political parties.

      It may be useful though, but certainly is not honest, because is avoiding, quite conveniently, the middle ground.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Siam,

      Hey, cool down man… I never said nor meant that Aboriginal were stupid or violent. This you infer it in an insane overacting.

      I just put examples that you can find in the news archives to illustrate the problem to create sub-nations with their own laws inside nations with existing laws. That was all if you read carefully and well my post instead of irrationally look for fighting.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Looks like Roger Evans also knows nothing about Spain’s History, but just spare parts.

      Read books. Check Wikipedia… I don’t feel like become your particular History teacher ;)

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      I won’t trouble you to become my history teacher. I am, as it happens, a doctor of philosophy with a forthcoming book on the very issues we are discussing here, on which you merely recite the old fascist party line and despise anything that is not part of your cramped, passé world-view. And you abuse any thoughtful, progressive discussion, like that of Saim above and embody the very things that a democratic Catalonia wants to become independent from. You, Mr. Wert, and all your comrades are convincing more Catalans every day that you should be left behind to your fate as chosen by you. The latest private polls have the forces for Catalan independence at almost 70%. Spain has people like you to thank for that — many of those people only a few months ago having been still willing to give Spain another chance.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Wow, this is great news Roger! Finally we are learning something from you.

      So you are going to publish a book that would be a delight for your catalan secessionist friends! That explains a lot of things…

      But don’t worry, they will treat you well when you come down here just like Sinn Féin welcome basque secessionist (terrorists and not) with good Guiness beer ;-)

      “Private polls”, sound very funny. Polls made from companies like, for instance, Secessionist Services Inc. or something? ha ha ha

      It this happens is because secessionist intoxication is finally harvesting its fruits. But look, there is also people reacting with. A tiny party that is clearly against Independence and was bound to disappear, had three times more votes than 2 years ago.

      And guess what? They are attacked fiercely and insulted by secessionist all the time!

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      ” I am, as it happens, a doctor of philosophy”

      :-(

      Thats rather pathetic response

      Keep at it, Roger! You are providing us with a good portrait of yourself.

      And forget about critical thinking and considering other interpretations, that´s for wimps and non-scholars!

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      I’m sorry, but how is it “pathetic” for me to respond to a person who had just set himself up as fit to give me a “history lesson” with an actual major academic credential? It would not otherwise have come up.

      You and Ignasi do little but spout ad hominem insinuations and Madrid or PP propaganda. Yet an objective defense of oneself from ignorant aspersion is “pathetic”?

      Anyone with the slightest acquaintance with Catalan society is given, through the tired, flaccid rote arguments of you two, a vivid illustration of why a modern, creative people might want to be on their own and out from under the domination of such.

  18. avatar
    Ignasi

    And more about catalan education… and this is own, eye-witnessing. May be rest of Europe should know what is really happening in catalan streets, so pay attention:

    I was one morning walking down the streets, and there was a small group of students about 11 years-old, going out for some cultural walk, guided by their teacher of course.

    During the walk, kids were just chatting each other. They were from assorted races and origins. Nothing special at all, huh?

    But… suddenly the teacher came by a couple of kids that they were just chatting about their kiddy things, noticed they were doing so in SPANISH, and reacted in an angry way, inmediatly stopping them and ordering them to TALK IN CATALAN between them, in their private conversation !!!

    I have never seen live such an embarrassing episode of imposition to kids, and it happened only a couple of years ago! and of course, it was public school !

    This is becoming just way too unhealthy and crazy…

    • avatar
      Víctor Rimbau

      I am sorry, but this experience you comment is just impossible.
      I am questioning myself why you explain this kind of stories in this international forum… I only find one reason for it, you want to project a bad image against catalonia. Spanish is the 3rd most powerful language in the world, and it is obviously not in danger in this small country.
      Thousands of spanish speakers live in Catalonia without knowing a word of in catalan.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Ok Víctor you can say that what I seen with my eyes and listened with my ears is “impossible”, but I can swear you it happened in a Monday morning and that I was sober… I didn’t record a video of the event because I am not a journalist that wears a camera always ready, but believe me that the first person impressed by the situation was me, I could just not believe what I was watching and hearing. I don’t mean that this is a normal practice in catalan schools, because I don’t know, but I seen that once, and it was enough to just make me wonder what the heck is happening with children in catalan schools. I do prefer to think that forcing kids to speak on language was just an unfortunate, isolated event but believe it is not impossible, because it happened in front of me!

      I am not interested in any kid of project a bad image about Catalonia in this or in any other forum. I was born here and always lived and worked here, so I am very interested on taking care of my land’s reputation, it pays me off of course.

      And because of that I am investing some of my few spare time writing about politics in these kinds of forums, that is pretty weird for me as I never been a fiery political activist of any kind. Like most of people who ever lived peacefully and naturally being catalan and spanish citizens, never had that feeling of behave publicly as angry protester and committed obsessed activist.

      It is true that Catalonia has issues with the Spanish Kingdom administration, but I think they are just that, administrative problems that may be solved from the inside and in a calmed, wise way, and then move on.

      But historically a part of catalans and catalan politicians were always interested on destabilizing Spain whatsoever. It happened in 1934 too. Catalonia was never truly honest and loyal to Spain no matter who was under rule of it.

      What happens here is that, and I think it is fair that rest of european citizens know, catalan secessionist are fiercely rallying all over the Internet claiming their own biased, interested par of the story and of course with zero self-criticism. Like “we are the poor, good ones and Spain is the creepy, bloody country that crushes us”. For me it is just a very bent, biased speech just searching for some international support. That is not fair.

      The problem is that this radical message has been repeated soooo many times during sooo many years that has ben installed in many people’s minds, without questioning.

      I travel all the time around Europe and rest of Spain and there is no problem with any of my spaniard fellows. I can’t see any real threat to catalan language. What I see is a deep inferiority complex of catalans about their language: they refuse to admit that theirs is a weaker, much much smaller language. They don’t understand that this does not mean that IT IS WORSE language whatsoever, it is no worse nor better than spanish, but spanish for historical reasons it is a stronger language. There may be no problem for a healthy mind to recognize that your native tongue is weaker, as I don’t have any issues to recognize that my native tongue (spanish) is weaker than English. It is OK, no problem!

      But I think that for an unhealthy mind that rises a feeling of ‘revenge’ against the stronger big brother and it will always searching a way to discredit it, accusing it of opression, somehow…

      About the document of EU commission you linked, I was trying to find the author or author, but I couldn’t, would you please? Because after reading it, believe I truly believed it was typed by a catalan secessionist working at EU hahahahaha.

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Ignasi, you’re lying. Slapping Spanish-speaking kids would mean teachers would be tasked with an organized campaign against a huge proportion of the students. A majority of the general population is native-Spanish-speaking, so it would be similar in the student population.

      In any case, Spanish-speaking Catalan friends of mine have told me about the opposite phenomenon – teachers in predominantly Spanish-speaking schools ignoring the linguistic policy and holding CLASS in Spanish. So, basically, you’re lying.

      “It is true that Catalonia has issues with the Spanish Kingdom administration, but I think they are just that, administrative problems that may be solved from the inside and in a calmed, wise way, and then move on.”

      Catalans tried to do that within the Spanish state. Their last update to the statute of autonomy was blocked, and they’re not being allowed a referendum on independence. The Castilians are showing no real interest in creating a Spain that Catalonia would want to be part of.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      When or Where did I say that teacher was slapping kids? I just told she was inquiring them, in an imperative angry way, to speak in catalan between them. No slapping, fortunately!

      Probably it is true what you did mention about the opposite phenomenon, but there is no spanish-speaking schools, public at least, they would be outlaw. What you meant is probably schools where most os students are spanish native speakers. But in that case, is the teacher forcing the students to do something against their wiil??

      Latest Catalan statute (voted by less than 50% of catalan population, just remember) was blocked because some of its points were against Spanish Constitution, that is the major framework where this law had to be under operation, not illegally surpassing it. Is it abnormal that a country bans a new law that is made to be out of the major law yet?

      And finally.. why are you talking about ‘Castilians’? Spain is the whole sum of castilians, catalans, andalusians, galicians, basques, and so on… try to present this as a fight between Catalonia and Castille is a little bit naive…

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Hey Ignasi, I think I was reading another tab between righting my comment, so got an article confused with what you were saying. In any case, I’ve heard much more stories about teachers ignoring the education policy and holding class in Catalan than kids being punished for speaking an immigrant language. What happens is that yes, in areas of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area most students are Spanish-speaking and the teacher holds class in Spanish even though all the textbooks are in Catalan and its supposed to be in Catalan. This was told to me by a mixed-ethnicity (Catalan mother and Spanish father). The only people who have said anything about children being punished for speaking Spanish at school have been españolistas, not apolitical people. Do you know any reliable, third party sources that make these claims? I’d like to know how extended it is as well.

      Regarding my own opinion on education policy, I think the children should speak to the teachers in Catalan (unless they need help as recent arrivals), while they can (and should, really – plurilingualism is a good thing) speak any immigrant language like Spanish, Punjabi, Qiantian Chinese, Berber, Maghrebi Arabic or Mandinka (to name some of the more common ones) between each other. Though I think the best solution is for the teacher to talk in Catalan, not to punish students for not speaking it themselves.

      Less than 50% because of low attendence. Most elections and referendums held in Spain win by less than 50%. Parties enter in coalitions, or referendums win on more than 50% of the total votes rather than the total voting population.

      The thing about “Castilians” is a bit of an interference from Catalan, as here any Castilian-speaking Spaniard is seen as a “castellà”. What I mean is inhabitants of monolingual Spain (i.e. those autonomous communities of Spain where there is no native language other than Castilian, or where the native language has little or no status like Asturias or Aragon) as opposed to the periphery, or the not culturally Spanish parts of Spain (that is to say, the Catalan Countries, the Basque Country and Galicia). These are different cultural realities, although yes of course I do realize there are regional differences between an Aragonese, a Castilian and an Andalusian. But they still belong to the same ethnolinguistic sphere, whose members you either have to call “Castilians” (in an expanded sense, including areas outside of Castile) or “Spaniards” (in a restricted sense, excluding Catalans, Basques and Galicians).

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Saim,

      I agree with ‘Pau pau’ about spanish is not any inmigrant or alien language in Catalonia. It is actually an official language. Similar with Ireland for instance, where English and Gaelic.

      Your statement: “..The only people who have said anything about children being punished for speaking Spanish at school have been españolistas, not apolitical people…” look a bit silly in my opinion.
      If I get to know that my children were punished in school to speak in spanish, I would complain and then I would be tagged inmediatly as “españolista”? That would be very annoying and fascist attitude.

      To use catalan as main language in school I think it’s OK, though not the best solution in my opinion. I think that any family living in Catalonia may ask for public education in spanish for their children and there may exist enough offer to cover it. That would be very positive to boost worker’s movement across Spain, but of course is against the Secessionist plans of brain-washing children with Spain-hate claims.

      Catalan secessionists just look for anything that could hurt Spain, that is why they get sympaties from other countries that historically had the same desire.

      I think this is really sick. Regular, healthy people that don’t spend our lifetimes demonstrating and shouting and intoxicating social networks just want to live peacefully in a stable, bigger, more diverse and interesting country instead of this project of Chauvinistic Hell…

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Regarding “immigrant language” and “mixed ethnicity”, I’ve addressed that in my response to Pau pau. Feel free to rebutt that yourself.

      What I mean is that the only people I’ve heard complain about this are actual españolistas. You know, people going on about the indivisbility of Spain or about how they should be able to speak Spanish “cause this is Spain” (not because of any linguistic rights). There may be apolitical or even Catalanist people who have experienced the same thing, but I haven’t heard it from them. I know a more apolitical verging on Catalanist girl (undecided on independence, sees herself as both Catalan and Spanish but somewhat more Catalan) from the Barcelona Metropolitan Area that says that the quillos over there would call people catalufo for speaking the language.

      “but of course is against the Secessionist plans of brain-washing children with Spain-hate claims.”

      See, this is what I mean by espanolista. Do you honestly think you’re going to convince a single Catalan that they should stay in Spain with this xenophobic rhetoric?

      Look, different lines of education don’t work if you want the language not to die out. Look at Valencia or Northern Catalonia, where Catalan is becoming more and more irrelevant and in danger of total extinction.

      Besides, if they are to stay in Catalonia they’d be seriously disadvantaged not knowing Catalan. Or should they change language policy in universities, businesses, and local government bodies? Should we just forget about this entire Catalan thing and just speak in “cristiano”?

      “I think this is really sick. Regular, healthy people that don’t spend our lifetimes demonstrating and shouting and intoxicating social networks just want to live peacefully in a stable, bigger, more diverse and interesting country instead of this project of Chauvinistic Hell…”

      Why can’t they preserve their culture and language in the face of Castilianization? That’s chauvinistic, but when Spaniards come here and talk about how “Catalan is a dialect”, “Catalan isn’t useful for anything”, “why would you learn Catalan??”, “This is Spain! I have the right to be educated in Spanish!” and “wah wah no-one in Barcelona will speak to me in Spanish”, that’s somehow progressive and non-chauvinistic?

      Look, a diverse, non-chauvinistic Spain is only possible when Spanish centralism is dismantled and linguistic normalisation of the minority languages is achieved. You can’t have a diverse stable Spain when it’s full of Spanish nationalists who spit on anything that even has a remote whiff of having to do with the (Catalan-Basque-Galician) periphery.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Saim,

      From reading your experiences I assume that you live here, been here or even have lived all of your life here.

      Anyway… Yes, there are these “quills” (=poor uneducated street young guys) that insult catalan-speaking people as “catalufos” (like naming “nigga” to a black person in the US).

      But try enter Twitter for instance and do a search of “xarnegos”, “espanyols” or “unionistes”, and you fill find plenty of same uneducated insulting attitude. So now what?

      You may know the real meaning of Xenophobia. I am accusing catalan ruling class since 1980’s of an operation of brain-washing, I am not claiming hate against any ethnic group or something. Try to be accurate!

      Secessionist would love (and have been working hard) to blow up spanish from catalan society, because they hate it. They hate everything that represents Spain. This is why they established a law that fines business having their billboards in Spanish, for instance!

      It is like fine business in Ireland because they are only in English and not in Gaelic. Makes a lot of sense, huh?

      Catalans secessionist would love to dump a language that is spoken by more of 400 million people in the world and build a flat, enclosed Catalonia where the only public language is catalan, barely spoken by less than 10 million. It does not seem to be a good business.

      Castilianization?? Castillian it is, because of historic reasons a more powerful language in the world. Any country that has a language that is minority and has to live with english deals with exactly the same problem. Go to Sweden for instance. Are they banning english?

      To have a common language with a bigger country and community it is just a practical advantage, it expands your cultural environment. To go fiercely against this is just silly.

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      Yes, I’ve been living and studying here since August of last year.

      I know that there is xenophobia on the part of ethnic Catalans and Catalan nationalists. The difference is that in Castilian/monolingual Spanish society Catalanophobia is endemic and institutional. Here in Catalonia I’ve heard people upset someone is speaking Catalan, but I’ve never heard someone getting on anyone’s case for speaking Spanish, as you claimed in one of your earlier comments. That was my point.

      The “Catalan ruling class” is not brainwashing anyone. What you are doubtless confused by is Catalan “banal nationalism”, which is not any more insidious or controlling than its Spanish equivalent.

      Wikipedia on banal nationalism:

      “La idea central del nacionalismo banal es que incluso en las naciones estables, sin problemas identitarios, la nacionalidad es constantemente recordada a los ciudadanos. Aunque los líderes políticos de esas naciones puedan no ser nacionalistas en el sentido más militante, el trabajo de Michael Billig dice detectar que el nacionalismo está siempre presente detrás de sus discursos, pero también de los productos culturales, e incluso de la estructura de los periódicos (información nacional, información internacional). El nacionalismo banal reproduce cotidianamente los esquemas mentales del nacionalismo, ya sea en rituales colectivos como el deporte; o en detalles aparentemente nimios, tales como la utilización de banderas para identificar las lenguas en las que se escriben los ingredientes de una caja de cereales, o el sombreado gris del territorio de otros países (v.g. Portugal, en el caso de España) en los mapas de los servicios meteorológicos en televisión.”

      Does this same “brain-washing” not exist in every national community? Why is it brainwashing to talk Catalan and about the history of Catalonia in Catalan schools, but the presence of Spanish language and history in schools is totally fine?

      I know nationalists. I have friends who are nationalists. They don’t hate Spain or everything that represents it. They just don’t want to be part of it, because it doesn’t represent their identity. Anymore than you not wanting to be Portuguese or French doesn’t make you hate those countries.

      They’ve established the law on Catalan billboards so as to give Catalan the public presence it needs to stay alive. Spanish is not banned, it’s just not allowed to NOT have Catalan. You can have a sign in Spanish, so long as there’s a Catalan translation available. You can do the same thing with Arabic, Punjabi, French, German or any other foreign language. Just make sure to use Catalan at least a bit so it doesn’t totally disappear from public use.

      Honestly, I would love for Ireland and all other areas with minority languages to implement similar language policies to Catalonia, so your example isn’t going to make much headway with me. Catalonia is a succesful example of linguistic revitalization.

      Which brings me to your next point about 400 million Spanish speakers. Spanish is great, and I feel I’m enriched by my own knowledge of it. But for me, all 7,000 languages on this planet are invaluable parts of our collective heritage as a species and as a civilization. Every language that is lost is not just the death of a particular communication tool, but the disappearance of a culture, the (perhaps mostly peaceful) extermination of a people. Most Catalans want to keep using Spanish, but as a lingua franca, to communicate with other countries and peoples! What they don’t want is for it to replace Catalan. They want to be able to speak their own language in their own home.

      In Sweden, English is neither an official language (nor should it be), nor is it the native language of any third-generation Swede. Swedish’s place is assured within Sweden, as English is only taking the place a lingua franca should, as a way to comminucate with other cultures. Not that I’m a big fan of English either though. I’m an English-speaker, but I’m totally against English replacing languages that it’s pushed into endangerement through colonization and oppression like Welsh in the UK, Warlpiri in Australia, Maori in New Zealand, Cree in Canada, or Cajun French in the United States. All languages need to be protected and promoted, as they’re all endlessly enriching.

      Castilian is not the most ‘powerful’ language in the world (whatever that means). Mandarin beats it in terms of both total and native speakers, while English beats it in terms of total speakers and overall prestige. By the way, these “historical reasons” you allude to: are they imperialism, perchance? Not that this isn’t true for English or Mandarin, I’d call my own mother tongue imperialistic. Even Catalan was spread by the sword during the Reconquista (but not recently).

      Catalan “only” spoken by 10 million? Do you know how many languages there are in the world? 7, 000! Do you not realize that 95% of the world’s languages are spoken by less than a million people? Catalan stands as a giant next to Warlpiri’s 3,000 speakers. It’s larger than many European languages that don’t have to share official status with a colonial language – like Danish, Macedonian, Slovene, Norwegian Nynorsk, Norwegian Bokmaal, Estonian, Latvian… why do Catalans have any less right to protect their language than these peoples?

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      Saim, your experience of Catalonia, Catalans, and Catalan culture seems to be very similar to my own, though mine goes back a quarter-century. I only wish I were as eloquent as you in appreciating the openness and inevitably flawed and inconsistent but remarkable character of that people. A people, like all, who deserve to choose and effect their own fate.

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Dear Saim

      Sorry, I posted my message in the entry section of the page.

      Please, be accurate in your terminology.

      Your labelling of spanish as an “immigrant language” or people of different spanish origin as “mixed-ethnicity (Catalan mother and Spanish father)”, may apply to the asian community living in the UK, but certainly is not applicable to the Spanish situation.

      If you mean cultural affiliation, please say so.

      Ethnicity has a clear racial implication which is carefully avoided in the current spanish situation.

      You have a serious conceptual error here.

  19. avatar
    Jordi dixit

    Jordi Miralda Escudé (ICREA Professor of Astrophysics
    Institut de Ciències del Cosmos, Universitat de Barcelona)
    wrote the attached great summary in his blog.

    I fully support it, that is way I would like to share it with you:


    There are several objective reasons why the people of Catalonia are increasingly in favor of an independent Catalan state. These reasons fall under three categories: economic, social, and cultural.

    Economic reasons: Catalonia’s economy is being unacceptably damaged because of our inclusion into the Spanish state. The fiscal plunder that the Spanish government imposes on Catalonia has risen to 10% of our Gross Domestic Product, amounting to 20 billion Euros that are extracted in various taxes every year and never return as investments or social services. This is unheard of in any other democracy of the world: within Germany, the maximum amount of any “levelling tax” among territories is 4%, and in the US it is about 2.5%. Moreover, in the case of Catalonia this is not done to level the standard of living among various regions, but it is really fiscal plunder: there are several autonomous communities in Spain that become wealthier than Catalonia in terms of real per capita income only after the fiscal plunder is applied.
    The damage to the Catalan economy is not limited to the annual plunder of 20 billion euros. Investment in our infrastructure is deficient because the Spanish government does not want the Catalan economy to surpass the size and power of its capital, Madrid. Thus, the high-speed train from Barcelona to Madrid has had to wait for 15 years after the train from Madrid to Sevilla was build, when Sevilla is a much smaller city with much less economic output than Barcelona, and Barcelona is the gate towards Europe. The high-speed train from Barcelona to València and from Barcelona to France has not been built. The Spanish government makes plans for a tunnel through the Pyrenees to prevent Catalonia from benefiting from a Mediterranean axis for European trading. The airport in Barcelona cannot establish an international hub and make deals with airlines through independent decisions by the autonomous government, but is still subject to the dictates of the central government in Madrid.

    The Catalan people have attempted to solve this intolerable situation through a new Statute of Autonomy, which was approved by 89% of the elected representatives in our Parliament in September 2005, and by 73% of the voters in a referendum in 2006. However, the Spanish state has eliminated key provisions of the statute by co-opting various Catalan politicians to change the statute in 2006, and finally by means of a judicial sentence by the Spanish Constitutional Court, which has changed a law that was already voted and approved by the citizens (a remnant of the treaties made with the post-Franco politicians during the transition in the late 70’s). The final result is that the new Statute of Autonomy does not solve any of the problems that attempted to solve, and that numerous anti-Catalan campaigns have been unacceptably launched to misinform Spanish people about the problems.

    As the economic crisis unfolds, Catalan people are bound to realise the enormous burden that belonging to Spain implies for us. A process of decapitalization through the fiscal plunder and exclusion from the large companies controlled by an oligarchic Spanish system that traces its roots to the Franco regime is substantially eroding the productive base of the Catalan economy. Tourism and the real estate sector have kept our economy working for some time, but this is now collapsing, with the result of extremely high unemployment. Spain has become a high-cost and low-productivity country through this decapitalization of Catalonia and the maintenance of a poorly productive economy elsewhere in Spain with people used to a free bounty coming from the Catalan fiscal plunder, undermining good working habits of a whole generation. The consequence is that Spain will not be able to recover from the crisis as other European nations will do.

    Social reasons: Increasing antagonism between Catalonia and Spain has been brought about by several anti-Catalan campaigns in Spain. The newspaper “El Mundo” proposed a poll among its readers in 2009 asking them if they felt hatred against the Catalans: the result was that 56% said yes. In a normal country, this poll would have been forbidden and this newspaper would have been closed down for inciting citizens towards hate attitudes. In Spain, there was not even a warning by the Spanish state or any court of justice against the newspaper El Mundo. The fact that 56% of the readers expressed hatred against Catalonia is obviously a result of false campaigns that are instigated from several Spanish institutions and news media.

    The Spanish state has long attempted to foster a division in the Catalan society among those who have Catalan as their mother tongue and those who have Spanish. This division is unwanted in Catalonia and it would never have taken place had it not been for the Franco dictatorship which forbade the use of Catalan in all public institutions and in schools. The Spanish state knows of course that maintaining this division is their way to prevent Catalonia from becoming independent. One of the fundamental successes of the Catalan autonomous government is the creation of a united public school system that uses Catalan as the main language but also incorporates Spanish as a language that is learned with full proficiency. There have been repeated false attacks against this system launched in Spain, attempting to push for a segregated system where separate schools would be established, with schools for non-Catalan speakers in which Catalan is taught like a foreign language and is not learned proficiently. The consequence of this system is not hypothetical, as it has been applied in València and the results are obvious: students attending the non-Valencian schools do not learn Catalan well, while students attending the Valencian schools learn both Catalan and Spanish.

    Cultural reasons: After 35 years of the democratic reform since Franco’s death, it has become perfectly clear that Spain is not interested in defending the normal use of Catalan, Basque and Galician languages. If Spain were interested in promoting a multilingual state, it would dedicate 25% of its cultural budget to each one of the languages. If Spanish is more widely used than the other three languages, the natural response should be to more strongly promote the three languages that are less used to compensate for their unequal extension. Instead, the Spanish state promotes the Spanish language only: for example, the Instituto Cervantes, paid by taxes of all citizens of Spain, is dedicated to create propaganda about the wide extension of the Spanish language throughout the world, and attempts to challenge the role of English as international language arguing that Spanish should be in a similar position, while ignoring Catalan, Basque and Galician. This is a totally ridiculous pretension, as it makes no sense to have more than one language for general international communication, and one should instead try to protect linguistic diversity by prioritizing each language over its natural territory.

    Catalan, Basque and Galician are treated as peripheral and anecdotal, spoken only by “some people” in some autonomous communities, while Spanish is given the role of the “language of everyone” throughout all the Spanish territory. That is to say, the Spanish state imposes the view that Catalan, Basque and Galician have no territory where they are the first and most important language, a view that obviously condemns these three languages to disappear over the next few decades as obsolete and useless in the present era of globalization. The process of substitution by Spanish occurs in a known way that has been observed already in cities like Alacant, where Catalan was spoken by nearly everyone 100 years ago and today most people are no longer able to speak it. One recently arrived immigrant in Catalonia described the situation with the comment that Catalan is “as beautiful as it is useless”: only the immigrants who are particularly interested in our local culture learn to speak Catalan. The school system in Catalonia is the only institution that prioritizes the use of Catalan, and it is of course precisely the target of repeated attacks from the government-controlled Spanish media. The Spanish state has no interest in protecting or promoting languages other than Spanish and creates a media environment that is almost exclusively in Spanish, thereby neglecting its responsibility to preserve its linguistic diversity: here, it is the facts that count, and not any words they may say.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      There are several hidden details in this article, and others that are just biased, even some other ones that simpley false.

      Just to make a quick survey of them:

      1) “…Investment in our infrastructure is deficient because the Spanish government does not want the Catalan economy to surpass the size and power of its capital, Madrid…”

      OMG… Historically Catalonia has been the one and only economic leader of Spain’s economy, only very lately Madrid region had surpassed it (because of secessionist tension may be?). When dictator Franco was ruling the country, in the sixties, first highways were built in Catalonia, and the one and big factory of spanish cars, SEAT, was chosen to land in Barcelona. Probably the fascist dictator wanted Catalonia not to surpass Madrid, huh?

      2) Barcelona’s airport won’t never become a hub. It is not because any evil governor in Madrid is working hard to block it, it is because the plain market rules. There is enough hubs in Europe yet: Amsterdam, Milan, London, Frankfurt-Munich, Paris, Zurich also too… if you put those hubs in a map, there is no reason to add another one in between. There is no market for that. Barcelona’s airport is -sadly- becoming the biggest hub for low-cost airliners in the world. When you land there you see a huge new airport (look! in the place where no one wanted to invest back!) where just Vueling and Ryanair small planes rolling around. Some of the few long-vault flights that connected my city with the rest of world have been just suppressed, like the line Barcelona-Mexico City I used so much. The reason the company that operated that flight gave was just “few business there and very expensive costs”, not “because of evil Madrid plans”.

      Also… if you were a ruling a country… would you invest with huge infrastructures in a region that is always wanting to separate and of course keep those infrastructures for them forever? Think about that…

      3) “…new Statute of Autonomy, which was approved by 89% of the elected representatives in our Parliament in September 2005, and by 73% of the voters…”

      I wonder why he just omits that it was the 73% of 49% of total voters. So actually only 37% of total amount of voters supported the new Statute of Autonomy. Why are you hiding that data, mr. Jordi??

      4) “…A process of decapitalization through the fiscal plunder and exclusion from the large companies controlled by an oligarchic Spanish system that traces its roots to the Franco regime is substantially eroding the productive base of the Catalan economy…”

      Yes, companies like CaixaBank, that I think that by now it’s the 3rd biggest bank in Spain, that is based in Barcelona and that had important amount of shareholding in big spanish companies like Repsol, etc. of course CaixaBank is solo rooted in Franco’s oligarchy, huh?? Why don’t you mention that these guys are so friends of current Catalonia’s president, that now it appears as the people’s leader towards independence, but it did nothing to ease the pressure of highway tolls, controlled by a CaixaBank company?? Just to mention something from a long list of course…

      You know guys I can’t get enough of silly biased arguments… may be tomorrow I may go on with rest of article. But if people with arguments like those are going to become the ones who are going to rule the supposed future Catalan Republic, my gosh I am leaving it!!

    • avatar
      Jordi dixit

      Hello Ignasi,

      Find below my reply to you comments based on facts and figures:

      1) ‘Investment in Catalan infrastructure is deficient’. The highways that was built between 1969 and early 70’s was not public investment. It was paid by private companies. Nowadays, there are high tolls on these roads, so we catalans and valencians have to pay them because Spain has built no public motorways as an alternative (as all the other areas in Spain)
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ad/Red_espa%C3%B1ola_de_autopistas_de_peaje.PNG
      We catalans even make jokes about this. See attached link:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpO_9bpCaUs

      2) ‘Barcelona’s airport to become a hub.’
      Nowadays there are more passangers in Barcelona’s airport as final destination than Madrid. Only London LHD and Paris CDG beat Barcelona in this ranking.
      http://www.aeropuertosenred.com/noticias/aeropuerto-barcelona/el-aeropuerto-de-barcelona-el-prat-supera-las-cifras-del-de-madrid-barajas/

      In addition the investment in MAD airport was much, much higher…
      Is it strange that the 9th airport in Europe is not a hub yet?.
      I will tell you why, AENA (central goverment managment). Eliminate AENA, leave free competence and you will see what Barcelona can do without public funds
      http://estadisticas.aena.es/csee/ccurl/206/811/anualDefinitivos_2011.pdf

      3) “…new Statute of Autonomy, which was approved …by 73% of the voters… 49% of total voters.”
      People in our country is not use to vote for referendums. Just for your information, the European Union Referendum in Spain February 2005 only 41,7% of the electors vote…
      http://www.infoelectoral.mir.es/min/busquedaAvanzadaAction.html;jsessionid=B65A10FAEF45397A29FEB8C08F2D8EEA.app1?isHome=1&codTipoEleccion=1&codPeriodo=200502&codEstado=99&codComunidad=0

      This is also a sad number, but it is easy to see paralelism with Catalan Referendum. Does it mean that almost 60% of the Spaniards are not Europeans?
      (obviously not)

      4) “…A process of decapitalization through the fiscal plunder and exclusion from the large companies controlled by an oligarchic Spanish system that traces its roots to the Franco regime is substantially eroding the productive base of the Catalan economy…”

      According to Bloomber, ‘Catalonia represents about 16 percent of Spain’s population, 20 percent of the economy and 30 percent of exports’
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-15/to-keep-catalonia-in-spain-should-allow-a-vote-to-secede.html

      On the other hand, the biggest catalan based company is CaixaBank who is the 9th company in capital size in IBEX. (Find data on stock market link attached)
      http://www.invertia.com/mercados/bolsa/indices/ibex-35/acciones-ib011ibex35/3b

      The data above clearly show unbalanced distribution of this important factors.

      Summarizing the above:
      you say tomato, I say Freedom for Catalonia
      :)

    • avatar
      I.C.

      3) If I’m not mistaken, democracy counts for those who acctually voted. how can you be so sure that all other voters (not going to the polls) would dissmiss the Statute??

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      Not sure why you put the opinion of an astrophysicist… you might as well have put the opinion of a farmer.

      More relevant is the opinion of someone who is a scholar in this topic… Like John Elliot, British Historian, memeber of the royal academy of history and winner of the premioPríncipe de Asturias:

      “I was shocked the other day at a Catalan university that a young man, who was studying history there, thought that the spanish civil war was a war between Spain and Catalonia. They are learning a false history.”

      “Me chocó que el otro día, en una universidad catalana, un joven, que además estudiaba Historia, creyera que la Guerra Civil era una guerra de España contra Cataluña. Están aprendiendo una historia falsa”

      Frankly, if you can’t make your own arguments and need to resort to regurgitating those of others then I’m not sure what you’re doing here.

  20. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Any person from a democratic culture reading the exchange above can’t help noticing the difference between the totalitarian temperament of those who want Madrid to continue dominate and suppress the Catalans, and the arguments of those who simply want to Catalans to be allowed to return to determining their own destiny.

    The heirs of Franco are still in charge in the Spanish state. Those who aren’t comfortable with that naturally want out.

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      Ah yes, I was wondering when someone would bring in good old Franco (you do know he’s been dead for more then three decades right?). But I understand… suggesting that Spain is run by fascists makes everything so neatly black and white doesn’t it? no grey area at all in that paradigm is there?

  21. avatar
    ITURRIAGA

    Anyone watch Artur Mas’ interview yesterday on “Salvados” (Sexta)? I recomend it to both sides of the argument. There were a few interesting differences between what he says from his own mouth and what people say he says (He’s very articulate).

    1.) He does not like using the word “independence”.
    2.) He says that in the case that Catalonia were to become a country the national flag would be the current “Senyera” and NOT the “Estelada” (I thought this was curious).

    He also expalained his “roadmap”:

    Firstly, asuming he wins enough seats in the Catalan parliament (he wasn’t very clear on what “enough” means), he will first follow the Spanish legal process for the conduct of referendums. He expects this to be blocked.

    He will then pass a “consultation law” in Catalonia which will allow him to carryout a NON-BINDING consultation which will have NO LEGAL VALUE (his words not mine).

    The question he will ask at that consultation is: “Do you want Catalonia to become a new European State?”. I find this curious because it does not use the word independence and it is a loaded question (in the sense that it can be interpreted as saying tha he will ONLY keep pushing if Catalonia will also be in the EU). In the case of Scotland, where the SNP wanted to make it a multiple choice referendum, the UK governemnt refused and demanded that the basic question be asked directly i.e. Independence Yes or no?

    Then depending on the outcome he will see how to proceed. He is quite vague about how much of a majority a “yes” vote would need to justify further action… 51%? two thirds? what happens if abstention is very high? Many unanswered questions.

    So, Having watched the interview I am under the impression that that CiU is try to create exit ramps on their independence highway. Does “new european state” mean the same as independent country? can a non-soverign entity still be a european state? after all, Germany has “states”, are they “european states”? Why does he ask this and not the direct question on independence? If the EU says no to Catalan direct entry does that give him a way out?

    It’s all very interesting and I am begining to believe that the “louder” (but not necesarily bigger) parts of Catalan society may be getting a bit ahead of themselves, while the government is being much more restrained.

    I’m not against the consultation in principle, but in that case the question should be independence yes or no.

    Any comments? Analysis?

  22. avatar
    Roger Evans

    “He says that in the case that Catalonia were to become a country the national flag would be the current ‘Senyera’ and NOT the ‘Estelada’ (I thought this was curious).”

    Why “curious” for a country to use the flag that it has used for a millennium? The senyera estrelada is a banner devised by partisans of independence to demonstrate for that one object. Once that object is achieved, it would become a historical relic like the “Don’t Tread on Me” flags that campaigners for American independence once waved.

    “It’s all very interesting and I am beginning to believe that the ‘louder’ (but not necesarily bigger) parts of Catalan society may be getting a bit ahead of themselves, while the government is being much more restrained.”

    Again, you seem surprised by entirely unsurprising things. Catalonia has free parties with various shades of opinion — some of which are naturally “louder” on certain subjects than others. Mr. Mas’s party is a moderate one that has famously tried to accommodate Madrid’s rule for three decades. (Note its very name, Convergencia i Unió.) Mr. Mas has never come out for independence, though — as a democrat — he has since the events of last September 11 naturally perceived that the will of the people may well be for statehood, and his own position has evolved accordingly. It is not strange that a man (and a party), having tried for so long to influence the Spanish state in the direction of democracy, would give up when roads are not only blocked but are increasingly so. Nor is it strange that, in a polity with democracy as its ideal, those with government responsibility should be guided by the popular will, however relatively novel this may be in Spanish history.

    The comparison with Germany’s “states” is no comparison at all. The German Federal Republic (whose constitution was drawn up under the supervision of the Allied democracies) declares by its name that it is nothing at all like the Spanish state, with its rule of all nationalities by a Castilian-style dominance from Madrid that is completely alien to the much more libertarian structures that Madrid abolished in Catalonia in 1714.

    Why are you surprised that Mas admits that a referendum forbidden by the Spanish state would have “no legal value” so long as all the laws are made in Madrid — and even new, more progressive laws overwhelmingly approved in Catalonia and ratified by the Madrid parliament are overruled by a politicized and partisan supreme court? The whole point of a new state would be to renounce allegiance to such imposed rule.

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      Hi Roger,

      The only thing I said was curious was the part about the “Estelada” seeing as it’s the go-to flag for independentists. I get your point about the “don’t tread on me” flags in the US.

      The rest I was just going through what Mr. Mas said during the interview. I was not “surprised” by any of it. That he said the consultation would not be legally binding… I was just communicating what he said as other commentators on this page have insinuated that it IS a referendum and that it’ll be as good as legal.

      The point I was getting at with the whole CiU being more restrained was that it seems to me that they are talking the talk but building exits all along the way so they can “get off” that particular road at any time. The gap between what those “loud” parts of catalan society are saying and what the government is more discreetly saying I think is bigger then many people realise.

      The german state thingy, once again, I think you were missing the point and responding to something that isn’t there. I was commenting on the question that the consultation will ask. By saying “European state” and not “independent country” he is allowing himself a lot of space to manouvre. It’s like saying “nation” instead of “country”… it’s open to almost limitless interpretation.

      And once again with the castillian dominance and 1714… sheesh! it’s been three hundred years! we’ve had an invasion from France, two republics a dictatorship and a parliamentary democracy since then… I don’t hear the Scots using past conflicts with England as a basis for independence… just saying…

      Lets focus ont he issues and not the slogans shall we?

  23. avatar
    Roger Evans

    “Lets focus ont he issues and not the slogans shall we?”

    Where are my “slogans”? You accuse me of that immediately after you minimize the Catalonia-versus-Spain issues with “I don’t hear the Scots using past conflicts with England as a basis for independence… just saying…”

    Do you seriously intend to equate the relationship of two kingdoms united by treaty, characterized by long and durable democratic traditions, with the dominance of Catalonia by a polity long attached to dictatorship when not otherwise famously unstable and illiberal, now controlled largely by people who are characterized by a residue of the worst instincts and practices of the past?

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      Roger, Relax,

      I don’t “accuse” you of anything, don’t play the injured victim here.

      Let’s look at his whole Scotland thing first shall we? Democratic tradition and what not… Scotland only got it’s parliament in 1999… up until then it was all decided by a parliament in London which was primarily English… When did Catalonia get it’s current parliament? oh right when everyone else got theirs after the dictatorship 20 years earlier.

      Also the Act of Union of 1707 that created the UK was by and large opposed to by the Scots but was imposed anyway… and what was that whole thing between William Wallace and King Edward I? democracy?

      Castille and Aragon were also two kingdoms united by treaty (well dynasty anyway… which in those days was just as good… Catholic kings Isabel and Ferdinand… that is the basis of what we call “Spain” is it not?… then Emperor Charles V goes a little further then the spanish war of succession and suddenly we have a french king etc… We could blame the French for everything if you like :)

      So as you can see by Slogan I mean focusing on things like “1714” (as if it exists in a vacuum) above everything else that has happened both before and after, and this whole idea of “Spain” being the oppressor, or, as you call it”…the dominance of Catalonia by a polity long attached to dictatorship when not otherwise famously unstable and illiberal”…

      I say “Spain” because I assume by this you are refering to us Basques… the people of Navarre, Valencians, Balearics, Galecians, Andalucians, Castilians etc. If what you are saying is true then ALL the people’s that collectively are known Spanish (including catalans) form part of that colourful tradition you describe. You are basically saying that everyone on this peninsula EXCEPT the Catalonians are evil dictators who just have it in for them…

    • avatar
      KlaraMontag

      Hi, Roger. I agree with you when you say the cases England-Scotland and Catalonia-Spain are not due to comparison. However, think on what is the real purpose of all this and think on the possible consequences for both Catalonia and Spain. The current government in Catalonia, as well as the “Tripartit” have been lying to us, Catalan people for a long time. It is true that the Spanish government has brought us to the point we are now, but they haven’t done that alone. Blaming Madrid for everything that goes wrong in Catalonia is ridiculous and you know it. I understand that many people see this as an oportunity for self-determination, but you would agree Mr Mas is using your beliefs to get what he wants, which is simply power, the power to keep doing whatever he wants with your money.
      Dit això, no sé què té a veure el Barça en tot això…

    • avatar
      Victor

      klara,
      If mr.Mas wanted only power, why getting himself in this adventure of the independence if he already had the power until 2014?
      Maybe there is something else, for Example, it could be possible that he wanted to give some hope to more than 1,5 milions of demonstrators and avoid a revolution. it is always better to vote and act as an organized society

    • avatar
      KlaraMontag

      I wish you were right, Victor, truly. But as far as I am concerned about politicians both in Spain and Catalonia, ideology is never as important as power and money.

  24. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Your “history” is nonsense. The ideas that Edward I has anything to do with a United Kingdom or that Castile and Aragon were a united government in any sense are as absurd as your accusing me of acting the “victim” in the sordid story of Spanish politics. I’m an American, and thus am in no sense a victim here — simply interested as a lover of liberty and an admirer of the still unextinguished Catalan struggle for it.

    I will not try to address you again.

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      Ehm… if you keep saying that I’m accussing you of something when I’m not that kind of suggests you’re playing the victim…

      Oh I’m absurd now am I? Is this how you win arguments? not talking about the issues and focusing on accusations and deciding willy nilly what is sordid and what is not? And then, just in case, you decide you will not be put ina position where you have to answer any counter argument… Because I couldn’t help noticing you didn’t answer my question… When you say “Spain” who do you mean? Are Basques, Galicians, Andalucians etc. oppressing catalonia? Because that is all Spain is, the collective identity of all these nations and peoples. Answer the question.

    • avatar
      Victor

      Iturriaga, do you really think that the majority of Basques feel they are spaniards?
      Just check the results of the elections results from yesterday …
      (60% of the votes were for Basque nationalists PNV & BILDU. See link below
      http://resultados.elpais.com/elecciones/2012/autonomicas/14/
      )
      I am sorry man, you live in world separated from reality.

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      Ofcourse I saw the elections… and lets look at those closely shall we?

      Participation in the vote: 65% of thevoting population,
      and 60% of those votes were to basque nationalists parties. so, of the actual voting population (not the ones that voted but the full voting population) only 38.4% voted for nationalist parties… how is that “the majority of basques”?

      But I’m glad you pointed to the Basques. So what you are insinuating is that “Spain” is everyone EXCEPT the Catalonians and Basques… So, now we have established, following from Roger’s previous discussion with me, that the people oppressing the Catalonians are, the Valencians, the Balearics, the Andalucians, the Galicians, the Canarians and company.

      Do you see where this is going? Are you sure when commentators here say “Spain” they don’t mean the current political class?… the same one that EVERYONE in this country is fed up with? And it has nothing to do with being oppressed or suppressed or dominated by a collection of other national groups?

    • avatar
      Victor

      Hi Roger,
      Thank you for your support and comments.
      I think that you really got the point of the situation here.
      All the best,

  25. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Victor,

    It’s not really difficult to see the issues. We have an absolutist state trying to impose its will on people with other ideas. It has happened before; it will happen again, unfortunately. But there have been few causes that I have so identified in my whole life. While to the untutored, it may seem beside the point, or even frivolous, I find that, as you may understand, I want to shout:

    VISCA EL BARÇA! VISCA CATALUNYA LLIURE!

  26. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Why has this wonderful post not appeared here?

    Author: Jordi dixit
    Comment:
    Hello Ignasi,

    Find below my reply to you comments based on facts and figures:

    1) ‘Investment in Catalan infrastructure is deficient’. The highways that was built between 1969 and early 70’s was not public investment. It was paid by private companies. Nowadays, there are high tolls on these roads, so we catalans and valencians have to pay them because Spain has built no public motorways as an alternative (as all the other areas in Spain)
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ad/Red_espa%C3%B1ola_de_autopistas_de_peaje.PNG
    We catalans even make jokes about this. See attached link:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpO_9bpCaUs

    2) ‘Barcelona’s airport to become a hub.’
    Nowadays there are more passangers in Barcelona’s airport as final destination than Madrid. Only London LHD and Paris CDG beat Barcelona in this ranking.
    http://www.aeropuertosenred.com/noticias/aeropuerto-barcelona/el-aeropuerto-de-barcelona-el-prat-supera-las-cifras-del-de-madrid-barajas/

    In addition the investment in MAD airport was much, much higher…
    Is it strange that the 9th airport in Europe is not a hub yet?.
    I will tell you why, AENA (central goverment managment). Eliminate AENA, leave free competence and you will see what Barcelona can do without public funds
    http://estadisticas.aena.es/csee/ccurl/206/811/anualDefinitivos_2011.pdf

    3) “…new Statute of Autonomy, which was approved …by 73% of the voters… 49% of total voters.”
    People in our country is not use to vote for referendums. Just for your information, the European Union Referendum in Spain February 2005 only 41,7% of the electors vote…
    http://www.infoelectoral.mir.es/min/busquedaAvanzadaAction.html;jsessionid=B65A10FAEF45397A29FEB8C08F2D8EEA.app1?isHome=1&codTipoEleccion=1&codPeriodo=200502&codEstado=99&codComunidad=0

    This is also a sad number, but it is easy to see paralelism with Catalan Referendum. Does it mean that almost 60% of the Spaniards are not Europeans?
    (obviously not)

    4) “…A process of decapitalization through the fiscal plunder and exclusion from the large companies controlled by an oligarchic Spanish system that traces its roots to the Franco regime is substantially eroding the productive base of the Catalan economy…”

    According to Bloomber, ‘Catalonia represents about 16 percent of Spain’s population, 20 percent of the economy and 30 percent of exports’
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-15/to-keep-catalonia-in-spain-should-allow-a-vote-to-secede.html

    On the other hand, the biggest catalan based company is CaixaBank who is the 9th company in capital size in IBEX. (Find data on stock market link attached)
    http://www.invertia.com/mercados/bolsa/indices/ibex-35/acciones-ib011ibex35/3b

    The data above clearly show unbalanced distribution of this important factors.

    Summarizing the above:
    you say tomato, I say Freedom for Catalonia
    :)

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      OK Jordi, looks like weak arguments can look good and even strong by adding a few nice figures, huh? So here we go ;) …

      – Catalan Highways in the 60’s and 70’s paid by private investors? Really? Terrassa highway that was free since the beginning too? Or Mataró highway that was a toll way since the beginning but, as you love easy linking, read this:
      http://servicios.invertia.com/foros/read.asp?idMen=1023332168

      In your comment looks like catalan people just put a coin each one to build their highways. Sorry to reveal that this is not exactly true…

      2) Yes, true, Barcelona Airport holds this passenger’s record of… peer flights! That is exactly what I was talking about in my previous post (if you make the effort of carefully reading it of course). Barcelona is the huge hub of low-cost flights and the main landing airport for low-cost tourists, congratulations. But sorry, this does not mean to be a hub precisely. A hub is bound to an airliner that uses the airport as a base for connection flight. You know catalans tried it with Spanair but of course was a fail. Face reality, it is easier than force it because of your pride.

      3) Oh yes, our people is not used to referendums, that is why we are fighting to have yet another one! This is one of funniest arguments I have read here :-))

      Yes, now that you finally agreed NOT TO HIDE key information and provided the data of the European Constitution Referendum, you can notice that YES, Spaniards, like many other european countries demonstrated a big lack of interest about the subject. Irish people rejected it once, and yet are they europeans? Your weakest argument so far, my friend. The EU Constitution plan has been a big fail as history has demonstrated and now they are looking for something else. Same with Catalonia’s Estatut, it was born weak from the beginning voted by less than half of catalan population. Again, accept it instead of futilely fight against it. It is not healthy.

      – Finally, your latest random collection of links about how important is Catalonia in Spanish economy make no point for the ridiculous argument of Franco’s roots eroding catalan economy. I am still waiting for something that look kind of valid to support your argument…

      But, anyway, you can keep living in your biased, crazy, self-complacent reality

      so you say bread-with-tomato, I just laugh about it :D

  27. avatar
    ITURRIAGA

    Hey all,

    Here’s a link that appeared today about a recent poll conducted in Catalonia on the topic:

    http://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/2012/10/25/la-mayoria-de-los-catalanes-votaria-no-a-una-cataluna-independiente-fuera-de-la-ue-107869/

    It’s in Spanish, but it basically says the following:

    1. in a straight up “independence yes or no” question it would be about 50-50 (the yes would win by about 3%.. but considereing a deviation of +/- 2% that hardly seems like a good basis for such a huge decision)

    2. In the case that the EU guaranteed Catalonia’s direct entry into the Union, the “yes” camp would grow to about 62% of the vote.

    3. In the case that the EU confirmed it’s current stance that Catalonia would be left out of the Union the “Yes” camp drops to 44%.

    4. 65% of Catalonians believe Artur Mas will not go all the way and will rather end up making some kind of political pact with the Spanish government.

    5. Identity: How respondants identify themselves
    – 20.9% as “only Catalan”

    – 28.1% as “more Catalan then Spanish”

    – 41% as “EQUALLY Spanish and Catalan”

    – 5.2% as “more Spanish then Catalan”

    – 4.9% as “only Spanish”

    My personal impression is that this more or less confirms my idea that the reason for CiU phrasing the proposed referendum question as “do you want Catalonia to be a new European state” is becasue they are perfectly aware of this reality and are trying to guarantee themselves an exit strategy. Some people in Catalonia believe in independence but definately not if it requires any kind of sacrifice or risk.

    I recomend you all take a look at the actual report here: http://www.racalacarta.com/audio/audios_elmon/2012_10_24_racometre.pdf

    Looking forward to your feedback!

  28. avatar
    antonilb

    Ok, some feedback. Notice an error in your point 1: in the case of a “straight up independence yes or no”, the result is 53-39, not 50-50 as you say. That means a 14 points difference, which can range between 12 and 16 given the margin or error of the poll.

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      You are correct. I should have been clearer. in reality it should be “Yes” – “No” + “don’t know”.

      Although I do not agree that you can just ignore the “don’t know” block. it isn’t 53% vs. 39%, the point is that about half of polsters responded “yes”. My comment on this is that this (seems to me) is too tiny a majority to decide on something so important.

    • avatar
      victor

      If the polls are so in favour of the current political relationship between Catalonia and Spain… why spanish parties are against a referendum?, just let people vote and lets see what catalan people wants.
      If the spanish constitutions does not allow it, well, easy answer: just change it

  29. avatar
    antonilb

    You don’t agree that I ignore the “don’t know” block? You can calculate it very easily just like this: 100 – (53+39) = 8. What is not acceptable is that you add 39 of “no” with the 8 of “don’t know” to make people think that the “no” is 47%. It’s even less acceptable that, then, you round up the numbers and transform your false 53-47 into 50-50. Fantastic! By tricks like that, you can get any number!

    In any case, I get your point about the tiny majority. But it turns out that, if you make attention, it’s not tiny at all. A result like 53-39 means that the real numbers in a real referendum would transform into 57,6-42,3 which, following your simplification method, is close to a 60-40. The reason is that the “don’t know” don’t count. If you don’t know how to calculate it, I can tell you.

  30. avatar
    ITURRIAGA

    ok hold your horses. I see we have a bit of a misunderstanding here.

    In a referendum, you are correct, those people who vote “blank” (i.e. neither “yes” nor “no”) would not be computed. so it would be as you point out 57%-42%.

    BUT this isn’t a referendum. This is a poll, and what this poll demonstrates is that ONLY 53% of the people who participated are SURE that they want independence. The rest are either not convinced enough to say or are against the idea.

    That number changes from 53% who GENRERALLY want independence to 44% who would still want it if it meant leaving the EU and 62% who would want it if EU membership was guaranteed. So, it seems to me, when the numbers are put together that ONLY 44% of the respondants want independence NO MATER THE COST.

    THAT is what I was trying to say (clearly not very effectively, so I apologise)

  31. avatar
    antonilb

    No misunderstanding, I just pointed out an error on your side, and it is already fixed. Thanks for that.

  32. avatar
    Assamblea.cat

    For our national dignity, we catalans must defend our freedom, moving towards our independence process.
    We say enough to the submission and continued abuse in the economic, social, cultural and linguistic ambits.
    We say enough to insidious campaigns performed by the mass and Spanish institutional media.
    We say enough the spreading of hate and lies against Catalonia, and we say it strongly, clear, calm and peacefuly.

    FREEDOM FOR CATALONIA
    CATALONIA NEW STATE IN EUROPE
    http://www.youtube.com/user/assembleavideo

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      yeah ok… how about you put some proof afo any of those things you just posted.

      You want independence that’s just fine, but you are accusing Spain (and I assume here you are talking about the Spanish government because you are not very clear on that) of social crimes, so… either provide proof of these alleged crimes or retract the accusations… talk about spreading hate and lies… love the irony.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      “…We say enough of spreading hate and lies against Catalonia…”

      Here they may add “…so now we claim it’s our turn, we want to spread hate and lies against Spain too!”

      Scary… :-/

    • avatar
      Victor

      Ignasi,

      I do not think it is fair to add your evil comments in the message above, specially if they are against Spain.

      I grew up in a home where both languages were spoken at same time: an ideal bilinguism. My mother tongue was spanish and my father spoke catalan and spanish.

      The point here is that no organization promoting the catalan independentism has ever spread hate towards Spain or spaniards, that is why it is such an important movement in a country that received big amount of immigrants in the last 60 years. There is a lot of bilingual people like me, immigrants from other parts of Spain or comming from all over the world that supports Catalonia independence just because it is fair.

      I know it is hard to understand for a metal set up could be summarized as ‘if you are not with me, you are against me’, but the catalans desire the independence of their country to be able to exist as culture, to have the right to decide for their future, as all other normal nations, and nothing in the above feelings is against Spain.

    • avatar
      ITURRIAGA

      Can I just point out that people keep using the words “Catalans” ehn it seems they mean “Catalonians”.

      It would help clarify positions if we all used the correct word. I know that in Spanish (and I imagine in Catalan it is the same) there is no word that differenciates between a citizen of the Catalonia (who might be andalucian originally) and a Catalan.

      In my previous posts I have tried to differentiate between the two because I do not think they are interchangable.

      Why? well, if we look at “assamblea.cat”‘s comment above, does he/she mean that only speaks for CATALANS? or for all citizens of CATALONIA (i.e. Catalonians)?

      When comments talk abou the right of CATALANS to choose do they include all CATALONIANS?

      I think this is imortant for the following reason:

      (all numbers come from the website of the Generalitat)

      Catalonia has 7.565.603 inhabitants.
      Of these
      – ONLY around 60% were born in Catalonia.

      – 20% were born in the rest of Spain

      -15% were born in other countries

      (I’m aware that this only adds up to 95%… the generalitat’s website does not clarify what the final 5% represents)

      So. CATALANS, technically, are just over half the population while CATALONIANS are the whole population.

      Comments? feedback?

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Some feedback. The Assemblea, myself and many others don’t make any difference between Catalans and Catalonians. We consider Catalan to anyone who lives in Catalonia, we don’t look at the surnames, and we don’t care about ethnic differences at all. But I admit that this is a matter of personal preference.

      There is one thing, though, that does not depend on opinion: everyone in Catalonia has the same rights, and nobody should have a right (like voting or anything else) depending on ethnic criteria. Nobody is proposing to make differences between old and new Catalans. I hope you neither.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Oh, come on Victor, where do you live?

      I have quite similar biographic background than you, so probably we share the same reality (I hope!)

      If burning publicly a Spanish flag in the middle of a clapping crowd (which uses to happen in independentist demonstrations) is not spread hate against Spain, so what is?? :-))
      Again, where is the REAL threat against catalan culture now? Is it forbidden to publish books in catalan? Can you freely speak catalan or to attend to catalan spoken theater? Who and How is blocking catalans to express themselves freely?

      I would say just the opposite… How much $$ gives catalan goverment to culture expressions made from catalans inside Catalonia… but in spanish?

      Why if a catalan politician expresses himself in spanish language in catalan parliament is automatically seen as a “fascist”???

      So what it’s normal or not I think that depends of which “normality” would you like to impose, of course…

    • avatar
      victor

      Ignasi,
      I have been in all the 11th of September demonstrations in the last 10 years and I have never seen a spanish flag burning.
      Have you ever been in one?
      Well, you may have seen it in the TV, but it is just spanish propagada against catalan cause.

  33. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Outsiders have not right to impose on Catalonia distinctions or degrees of citizenship (like Catalan/Catalonian) that the country itself emphatically rejects. The marked lack of racism, for example, in Catalan polity is remarkable and understandably incomprehensible to some from other traditions.

    Also, in the asserted distinction, there would seem to be the idea that people can (or, in this case perhaps, should) move to a country with an intention not to become part of its society. While it was an explicit policy under Franco to try to stamp out Catalan culture through immigration, it didn’t work; immigrants have shown their ability to become Catalans quickly. The continuation of that hope of extinguishing Catalan culture that we hear from the Spanish government and one of our commentators is precisely one more reason for self-determination — for the opportunity to detach from domination by such alien thinking.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Roger, what are your sources? Do you live in Catalonia? Can you provide of solid proofs that catalan culture is extinguising, and because of an external force on purpose?

  34. avatar
    Roger Evans

    If you don’t consider the almost daily hostile statements from Madrid lately (like the Minister of Education saying that Catalan schools must be forced to “hispanicize” Catalan children, or the MInister of Culture blaming publishers for publishing books in the Catalan language because they “give people a Catalan conscience”) as a continuation of attempts to stamp out Catalan culture, then it’s no wonder that you post the nonsense that you post.

    Odd that you should use the word “normal” as you do, since it is a word much used by Catalan politicians lately to describe what they want: a *normal* state. Your politician who insists on speaking Spanish in the Catalan parliament: how far do you think he’d get with that in any “normal” country? France? England? And you are shocked that the Catalan government doesn’t subsidize Spanish as they do their own language? This is beyond silly. You can’t be that dense — that they should subsidize a language (one of the most-spoken in the world) that is imposed on them and has been for three centuries without yet completely triumphing?

    And your example of “hate” is some instances of burning a flag of a state that is seen as alien and oppressive? That is a pretty mild example of “hate” in which no one is injured and no individuals are singled out — completely unlike the schoolgirls who are threatened with bodily harm for speaking Catalan to each other on the Madrid metro, or people repeatedly asked to leave bars or restaurants for daring to speak Catalan among themselves. Burning a flag that was so proudly waved by Franco and still is by the Falange is a pretty measured response, I’d say.

  35. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Meus amigos espanha hoje é uma nação mais democrata do mundo a democracia em espanha é rainha mas porquê porque enfrentou crises ao longo da sua independencia e da sua politica hoje olhamos para a espanha como um modelo democratico e assim se pode ver que á democracia na nação espanhóla eu não estou contra a independencia de catalunha e não a favor eu olho para a europa eu vejo uma familia democratica que quere fazer politicas novas e vos digo mais sim á catalunha como um estado descentralizado porque a europa é e será no futuro construida por nações

  36. avatar
    KlaraMontag

    First, nationalism is considered by many intellectuals as a cruel tool for manipulating people, since everything turns to be related to one’s self identity and the feeling of belonging to something which, in fact, is abstract. In the second place, why do Catalan nationalists ask for independence? Is there a cultural reason for that? I am Catalan, I have been taught Catalan as the main language in school, I can speak Catalan everywhere in Catalonia, in fact, I must use it at work since I am a teacher. I can celebrate Catalan holidays, dance “sardanes”, go watch Barça matches… I can hang a Catalan flag (even the nationalist one) on my window, I could educate my children in Catalan… nobody from Madrid would or could stop you to do that. Then, are we just talking about money? Or is it that the Catalan government has done such a bad job in the last years (just as bad as the Spanish central one, for sure) that they need to distract people with something else? Mr. Artur Mas has just spent 1600 euros per night in a hotel in Russia (paid by the Catalan people of course) and he is blaming Madrid for the Catalan economic disaster. Were there 1,500,000 people marching for independence? That means we still need to hear the voices of the other 5,500,000.

  37. avatar
    catherine benning

    What exactly is it those who want independence want? What is it you believe you will gain in Europe as simply Catalonia?

    If you cannot decide amongst yourselves what it is you expect to get, and do this openly, then why would Europe want any of you as part of it? What benefit would you be as part of Europe and to the European people as a whole?

    Too many small countries who have not evolved well enough to take proper decisions as to their vision in the world. expect the richer countries in this union to support them. How much money can you give the EU annually to contribute toward its benefits and continue to do so ad infinitum for the benefit of being part of it? What is the position of your fiscal status?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNBG9GckaEs

    It doesn’t sound good to me. I wouldn’t take a wager on you being a winner inside the EU. I would take a bet on you being a drain. and my country has to make a large contribution in tax payers cash to keep this machine going. Why does Catalonia feel it is worth being integrated into such a large organization and yet, it cannot come to terms with your present situation amicably? Doesn’t that indicate you would be divisive in a bigger more responsible union?

  38. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Catherine Benning, you clearly need to get some information before you spout off the way you do there. Catalonia has always been very well equipped to take care of itself, even under repression and being forced to give a large proportion of its GDP to a central government intent on keeping it down. It was long the only industrialized community in Southern Europe, and has one of the healthiest economies in the West. Why would it be a drain on Europe? Quite the contrary. Freed up from being drained itself, it would be an economic powerhouse, as all economists know. Your talk of “small countries” is as uninformed as it is contemptuous. Doesn’t Southern Europe need another Holland? That’s what it would have in this “small country,” which is larger than several current member states of the EU.

    • avatar
      KlaraMontag

      Oh please… “another Holland”? This is exactly the type of comment that makes me sick, stating that getting rid of spaniards, Spanish-speaking people and so… Catalonia will suddenly become a wealthy, polite, civilised and advanced country. I have taught Catalan students for almost ten years, worked for Catalan businessmen, lived by Catalan neighbours… some of them will never be able to compare themselves to Northern European people. You can defend nationalism and the right for a referendum, but please don’t state things you can’t possibly believe.

  39. avatar
    KlaraMontag

    Sure, but let’s start with an important question… What is a Catalan? Are we talking about someone born in Catalonia, like my sister or brother? Someone who has lived, worked and paid taxes in Catalonia for over 40 years, like my parents? Someone who arrived two years ago and doesn’t even speak the language? I am not against the possibility of celebrating a referendum but it still makes me sick the fact that many people don’t really know what they are asking for, because they have never opened and read a book, and they have been brainwashed by those holding the power. Besides, I am convinced the only reason why this is a trendy topic today is that other major problems must be hid from the majority of the people, who gets easily distracted from the main thing, in my humble opinion.

  40. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Your objections are objections to democracy.

    • avatar
      KlaraMontag

      An objection to democracy = Artur Mas saying he doesn’t care about Constitution and laws because he will do whatever he pleases

  41. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Why do you keep making things up?

    N one has said anything like this: “… that getting rid of spaniards, Spanish-speaking people and so… Catalonia will suddenly become a wealthy, polite, civilised and advanced country.”

    And the the talk of Catalonia as a kind of southern Holland is the idea of economists not of me.

    Lastly, you call me a liar by saying I “state things you can’t possibly believe.”

    Your extreme anti-Catalan, anti-democratic animus is just what so many want, via a referendum, to escape by having their own state. Your fact-free arguments, accusations, and inventions are the same old tired right-wing ones. They’r not new, but they remain contemptible.

    • avatar
      KlaraMontag

      First, I’m not anti-Catalan, I’M CATALAN AND I LOVE CATALONIA, which doesn’t mean I want its independence and I don’t see why you can’t understand this. It seems every Catalan who loves Catalonia must go for independence according to your opinion. Second, I am not anti-democratic, I haven’t said I’m against a referendum. In fact I have said just the opposite. I suggest you to read before accusing because otherwise you make no sense. Thank you.

  42. avatar
    Roger Evans

    There you go with more lies. Please cite where you can show us “Artur Mas saying he doesn’t care about Constitution and laws because he will do whatever he pleases.”

    The Soviet Union had a constitution. Should the Ukraine, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, etc. have respected it? England had a constitution, but the American colonies violated it and broke away. The Spanish constitution was confected at gunpoint, with Catalonia as a minority participant in the deliberations and with Franco’s army still very mucha around and at the ready to invade if they didn’t like Catalonia’s role. Why should that document have some kind of divine status that the President of Catalonia should give more respect than to the will of his people? Constitutions can be changed, and nations can break free from their occupiers. I know that’s a novel idea to many Spaniards, but Europe will not put up with the kind of thinking you are supporting from Madrid.

    • avatar
      KlaraMontag

      Artur Mas: “Ni los tribunales ni la Constitución pararán el proceso soberanista de Cataluña” (El País). Roger, please read before replying. I am in favour of a referendum, so that everyone in Catalonia can express his own opinion. That’s democracy. But I can see you are so excited at this prospect you can’t even see clear.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      That’s the point. The Spanish government wants to make us think that Mas is a criminal because he doesn’t respect the laws. However, a law that is not fair should not be respected. A law that goes against a whole nation, that binds it tight and intends it to shut up, that denies its very existence, should not be respected.

      Who dares to say now that Georges Washington was a criminal because he didn’t respect English laws? In the future, Artur Mas may be our equivalent for Catalonia of Georges Washington.

  43. avatar
    Roger Evans

    I have read it. He doesn’t say what you claim he says. He says that (notoriously politicized) judges and a piece of paper from the late ’70s lack the democratic authority that the will of a people carries. If you disagree with that, then you disagree.

    Meanwhile, more than 200 Galician intellectuals have signed a manifestation in solidarity with Catalan’s aspirations for self-determination, and against the threats emanating from Madrid:

    http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/4053040/20121106/200-intellectuals-gallecs-solidaritat-proces-catala.html

  44. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Artur Mas, President of the Government of Catalonia, is speaking today at a Policy Spotlight discussion organised by Friends of Europe: ?Destination Europe: Catalonia?s EU Future?. WATCH the livestream on http://www.debatingeurope.eu at 13.00 CET!

  45. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Just to let everybody know – we are livestreaming a debate with Artur Mas, President of the Government of Catalonia, at 13h00 (GMT +1) today, and we hope to take some of the questions from this comment thread and put them to him for his reaction.

    You can view the livestream here

  46. avatar
    Salvador Mujal Valls

    Ramon Tremosa (European MP): With a free Catalonia, Europe would see an improvement in its economy, in freedom, in justice, in democracy.

  47. avatar
    Susy

    Can someone tell me when Catalonia was an Idenpendent Estate in his Past???

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Hi Susy. The Guardian has just published an overview of Catalonia’s history:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2012/nov/20/europe-spain-catalonia-history-interactive

      As you can see there, the County of Barcelona was in the origins of Catalonia and was independent for more than 300 years: until 1137, when it joined Aragon. But even if Catalonia has been part from the Crown of Aragon and, afterwards, of Spain, it kept its institutions and laws until 1714. Now people are talking about holding a referendum in 2014, which will be very symbolic year.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      as a modern State as we now it, never…

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Ignasi, Susy asked about the past and, as far as I know, the past includes the Middle Ages. And the “de facto” sovereignty held until 1714 is also something she may be interested in.

      In any case, History is History, and the future is drawn by the will of people who is now alive.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      “de facto sovereignity”, how useful are euphemisms when it comes to manipulate :)

      She asked about if Catalonia was an independent Estate. This is a modern concept for any country. In the middle ages, populations were jsut loyal to this or the other king or lord, there was not a clear concept of Estate as we know now.

      And in this sense, Catalonia has been never a modern Estate. But yes, this should not be an issue for a territory or political subject to become a Estate for their first time in History. Was Bavaria for instance a Estate ever?

    • avatar
      antonilb

      I’d say that a country like Catalonia with its own courts, laws, army and currency was far more sovereign until 1714 than, say, Spain at this moment of History. And that was the “de facto sovereignty” I meant, it’s hardly an euphemism. The manipulation is perhaps on your side when you talk about loyalty to “this or the other king” to give the impression that the frontiers didn’t exist in the Middle Ages. Sovereignty has existed for millennia in Empires, Kingdoms or modern States.

  48. avatar
    Luis Eusebio

    To compare Madeira (or The Azores, for that matter) with Catalonia, it’s like comparing Heaven and Hell. Madeira (and The Azores) were discovered and populated by The Portuguese. They are Portuguese, no matter by what standards you try to look into it.

    Catalonia, on the other hand, has its own language, culture and for several times tried to free themselves from Castilian pawns. They’ve failed in the middle of the XVII century but – and Portuguese will never forget this! -, it was only thanks to their sublevation that Portugal managed to get free from an oppressive foreigner rule. So, go ahead Catalonia. The Portuguese salute you on your plight!

  49. avatar
    Cioc Nicolae

    People should have the right to choose their own administration WITHOUT interfering with other people’s rights. “My freedom ends where your freedom begins!”

  50. avatar
    jordi georgios varkas

    open the pandoras box???really?so ok, let’s let england spain and whichever other country keep their occupied by army and force countries for themselfs…but then, in this point of view,lets all surrender our countries to germany!!!i mean, the have money, a strong goverment,and power!why to have this multi countries sceen in europe!lets all be united!let’s be germans!!!!!
    EACH COUNTRY,WHO HISTORICALY WAS AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY AND HAS BEEN OCCUPIED BY A WAR, THAT WANTS IT’S INDEPENDENCE SHOULD GET IT!!! LIKE GREECE DID IN 1821 AFTER 1800 YEARS OF DIFFERENT OCCUPATIONS (TURKS,ROMANS,BYZANTIUM,FRAGS,ENGLISH,ITALIANS,GERMANS,CATALANS(YES ALSO CATALANS OCCUPIED GREECE FOR SOME YEARS) LIKE CUBA DID, LIKE POLAND CZECH REP. LITHUANIA, CROATIA,SLOVENIA ETC ETC DID!!!!

  51. avatar
    Europe

    Catalonian Independence would be very stupid, there is a basket of reasons why.

  52. avatar
    Bahjat Tabbara

    These arguments for/against are all very interesting. The bottom line is, will Catalonia and Catalans be better off as an independent nation or as the smaller conjoined twin of Spain and its Castallian majority?

    The ‘we contribute 20% but recieve only 14%’ is true; and fair on the surface of it. However, Spain is also debt-financing. The problem is not so much the ‘distribution’ as much as it is the ‘face’ of the distribution. Catalans are funding Castillians, and Castillians are not appreciative of Catalans. So for all the talk of nations splitting, we find that these are only ethno-lingual lines where the money becomes apparent.

    Northern and South Italy are (arguably) separate nations; the North of Italy is rich, the South is impoverished, with the highest rates of outward immigration; often away from Italy (as they experienced discrimination in the North).

    Catalonia is unique in five aspects:

    1. It is a minority in Spain; which (as above) recieves less than it contributes (as most regions do). That ‘extra’ income could go towards Catalonia; for even better economic progress and prosperity.

    2. It does not seek to be part of a larger nation (i.e. the East Germans joining West Germany, or Eastern Ukrainians joining Russia)

    3. It is ethnically and lingually different from Spain (Catalonian versus Castillian culture) which alone constitutes an argument for independence.

    4. Economic mismanagement (of Spain) has meant that Catalonia (already giving more than it recieves) would naturally give more towards servicing Spanish debt; again, which does not go back to Catalonia. (take Croatia and Bosnia seceding from the former Yugoslavia)

    5. Economic and Socio-economic integration with Spain will remain despite independence. It will not affect living standards; after-all, even Quebec can survive and prosper if it left the rest of Canada. The majority of Quebecans (who I know) couldn’t care less however.

  53. avatar
    Roger Evans

    On the question treated above about international universities and the teaching of Catalan (where the very idea was ridiculed) here are the actual figures:

    https://www.plataforma-llengua.cat/media/assets/2559/informeCAT.pdf

    (see page 25 of the PDF)

    The total is the total is 25 universities teaching over 7,000 students in Catalan studies. These institutions include Yale, Cambridge, Harvard, Oxford, Chicago, Pennsylvania, and Columbia.

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      I apologize for the typo above. It is not 25 universities but 125!

  54. avatar
    Bahjat Tabbara

    Realistically Catalonia is too inter-linked to the Hispanophone to insist on Catalonian as a language of choice. When Catalan became compulsory, people from (say) Andalusia and foreign workers from the Hispanophone (including Latin America, and even Morocco and other places) were at a disadvantaged position. Realistically if all Catalans speak Spanish (Castallian being the proper name) and Catalan is (realistically) a 2nd language to most Catalans then it is foolish to assume that it can (or should) replace Spanish. After-all, 25% of people in Wales speak Welsh (more than Irish who speak Irish or Scotsmen who speak Gaelic) , but Wales would be hard-pressed making Welsh compulsory.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Catalonia is inter-linked to the Hispanophone territories but in a different way to Wales with respect to the English speaking territories. If Welsh is spoken by the 25% of people in Wales, Catalan is spoken by the 70% of people in Catalan speaking countries. If every welsh speaks English, not every catalan speaks Spanish because a part of Catalonia lies in France, and Andorra is independent.

      The fact is that Catalan is gaining speakers and it does it more quickly now because of the descent of immigration. It’s not foolish to expect that the national language become the normal language of use by its population. On the contrary, it’s foolish for a country to adopt the language that is just more confortable to outsiders.

  55. avatar
    Pau pau

    Hello everybody,

    Some persons in this thread have been talking about the USA independence war from UK as an example to support the independence of Catalonia.

    That line of reasoning induce me to think that the atrocious USA civil war fought against secessionist states could also be also used as an abhorrent argument to justify the resistance of countries to their disintegration.

    Warning to the furious reader: with this I am not trying to suggest conclusions of any kind.

    On the contrary, just to point out that comparisons of any kind are inherently incapable of providing evidence to support any argument.

    Over and back to you

  56. avatar
    Moya O'Sullivan

    After evaluating the fact-sheet setting out the arguments for both sides, I have found independence to be the more equitable outcome. The Balkinisation of Europe argument I aver to be specious as it contains the Slippery Slope fallacy, or assuming that there is a causal link between independence and a deluge of conflict in a fractured Europe of micro-states, and postulating that at no point along the fallacious ‘slippery slope’ will this descension into dystopia be stopped. As regards the monetary argument, in principle and theory if nothing else we must look beyond economics in attaining liberty and protecting the collective right of self-determination. In response to the first premise of the monetary argument, an independent Catalonia, assuming it achieves membership of the EU, would be a member state like any other, warranting financial support in times of fiscal difficulty, and this arguments avering that Europe needs solidarity could not be more contrary to its questioning of Europes duty to aid Catalonia in the financial sense. Finally, a couple of shared cultural practices and customs with Spain is no reason to remain tied when Catalonias cultural as a whole is so different, and this arguments reasoning is flawed – assuming that culture warrants the continuance of the union, how then can Catalonias union with Spain be defended when the two cultures are very different?

  57. avatar
    Ignasi

    Impressive to see how this thread had “cooled down” right after the catalan elections on 25th Nov.

    But of course life goes on after that date —and after Dec 21st ;-)— and stakes keep high.

    Anyone who takes his/her time to read carefully the election’s results, will get to know how complex catalan society’s is and how not so fallacious is that “Slippery Slope” someone mentioned here.

    Secesionists manipulators state that they got the majority to reach the independence, based upon election’s results in terms of seats in Parliament, so they use it as a main tool to keep pushing.

    But, again, reality is more subtle. Again, if you look closer at election’s results in terms of votes (that is what it would count in case of referendum), things are not so naive.

    For instance, in some corners of Catalonia WHERE they have diferent culture and even language, like the small valley of Val d’Aran, unionists votes overcame secesionists. So, in case of independence, what if this tiny chunk of land refuses to join Catalonia in his adventure? Ask the sececionists about this subject they don’t specially like to talk about.

    But moreoever, if you isolate Barcelona and its surroundings, that count for more than 50% of Catalonia’s population, secesionist and unionists votes are paired, slightly in favor to unionist parties. So what? What if Barcelona’s population refuses to join independence?

    It would be a mess as Catalonia’s is basically fractured between largest city, Barcelona (and paradoxically the hypothetical capital city of future state) and the countryside.

    So any sudden, huge change in statu quo would be effectively a Slippery Slope that could (not 100% sure of course) head to a Dystopia.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      By similar arguments as yours, one could argue that any chunck of land sharing language with Catalonia could join it in its “adventure”, isn’t it? Pollença in Mallorca or Alcoi in the Valencian Country would probably join an independent Catalonia. The problem is that cities or small counties don’t vote separately.

      In fact, what we are seeing these days is the emergence of a new subject of sovereignty, Catalonia: that’s the real point of discussion. The point is wether Catalonia is a nation: if it is, it can decide. And after a long time considering itself a nation (without any consequence), a new consensus is emerging now in Catalonia about the legitimacy to decide its own future. Out of it, there will be enough support for the organization of a referendum, even if Spain considers it illegal. If such a strong will of the population happens in Vall d’Aran or Barcelona or any other place, let’s see, but nothing is moving in that direction and it won’t easily happen. People in Vall d’Aran know that Aranese is more protected as a part of Catalonia than as a part of Spain, as the Constitutional Court proved recently (I assume you know why). Barcelona, on the other hand, has no interest in remeining an Spanish island inside a Catalan state.

    • avatar
      victor

      I agree that reality is subtle, and its complexity can be difficult to capture.
      For example, the data you have provided about Barcelona is not correct.
      Barcelona city is clearly soberanist, check the election map below and the video link on minute 9:25.
      http://www.vilaweb.cat/mapa-electoral
      http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/4059424/20121127/video-mapping-the-catalan-election-results-pro-referendum-parties-win.html

      Vall d’Aran has its own culture and language, thus I fully respect their identity and I would support them in case they would like to vote in a hypothetical referendum to decide to be independent from Spain or maybe Catalonia.

      Ignasi, your argument is rather weak. I want Catalonia to be a new state of the EU and at the same time I would respect the will of Vall d’Aran people. How can be this possible?

      The answer is very easy: I believe in democracy.
      Mr. Daniel Turp, politician and Head of Department of International Law at Mont-real University explains it pretty well on attached video:
      http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2012/12/video-summary-building-new-state.html

      On the other hand, your comments about ‘Dystopia’ are not based in facts and seems to me a projection of your own fears against the Catalonia’s eventual independence from Spain.

      EU please help Catalonia to be free.
      Support Catalan referendum for 2014

  58. avatar
    Manolito

    I am an international citizen, a European and Spaniard with my origins in Andalucia, the poorest region of Spain with the highest unemployment rate. Currently i live and work in Sweden, a paradise that combines a decent amount of work together with the necessary part time needed to take care of family, hobbies, social life etc. I can understand in someway what the catalans are seeking for. It is my conviction that the catalans in their hearts feel as much Spanish as I do but they want to develop their society. Some other parts of Spain are more conservative (both right and left). I think that the only solution for Spain is to have a federal structure, let the regions try methods on their own to achieve welfare and progress, let there be good examples for other regions to follow. There MUST be a dialogue but I feel that the current two big national parties and the nationalist parties are not speaking parties in this discussion, too much inheritance from past times, too much corruption. In Spain a new political map has to be drawn, new politicians has to emerge from the true people. Otherwise it will be a war. Am I propagating for a revolution in Spain? One could say yes, but a silent and peaceful revolution from elections. Let Catalonia have their self government under Spains federated arm. Let the catalans decide of what kind of stuff they want to govern and give them this opportunity being a loosely coupled region of Spain.

  59. avatar
    Ignasi

    By the way, a little excerpt of the ‘democratic’ dystopia that awaits us when catalan secessionists take control: World famous football coach Johan Cruyff was jeered by the secessionist crowd in yesterday’s match between Catalonia and Nigerian national teams, because he was talking to public in spanish and not in catalan:
    http://deportes.e-noticies.es/silbidos-a-cruyff-por-hablar-en-castellano-71546.html

    • avatar
      Eli

      Dear Ignasi,
      I can see that your sensitivity on this topic is rather high.
      I would like to explain some facts about Mr. Johan Cruyff:

      – He is living fully integrated in Catalonia for 40 years (since 1970’s).
      – As you know, he was a football player at FC Barcelona, and later on he was the coach of FCB during the 90’s
      – He has never been a great speaker in Spanish nor Catalan, but it has never been a problem for Catalan people to love him.
      – Catalan people and particularly FCB supporters love him because of his achievements and fair play.
      – He is so well integrated in the Catalan society that he has been the coach of Catalan National team and also named his son Jordi (patron saint of Catalonia)

      According to the above, I think that your arguments to challenge catalan secessionism with this video is absurd and simplistic.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Dear Eli,

      Thank you for take your time with your explanations. It is a pity that I rather don’t need them, because I am catalan and FCB supporter, and I knew those facts long time ago :-)

      Also, these facts are so useless to my argument. Yes, Johan Cruyff have been living in Barcelona for long time and has provided FCB with many historic moments of joy.

      He always spoke in spanish to all media, to press conferences, etc. Never had any angry reaction against that. Everything was just natural and fine.

      But now things has changed, and now an intolerant catalan secessionism has intoxicated catalan society, promoting hate to anyone who uses spanish as a primary language for express him/her self. No matter he had been living here for ages, no matter he or she is a newcomer.

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      The reaction that you mention was that of a small minority to which there was a strong counter-reaction all over social media and on the spot. But it has to be said that Mr. Cruyf made a real public-relations mistake. When even a Bruce Springsteen is careful to address the audience with a few words of Catalan, which could have been legitimately expected from the manager of the national team at a national event.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Imagina a foreign coach for the Irish national team, talking to the crowd in english instead of gaelic… so wrong too, huh?

  60. avatar
    Ignasi

    Victor, if you take as a source of objective information the Vilaweb website, whose only motto is to fight fiercely for Catalonia’s independence using all kinds of Martingales, you will only see arguments in your favor of course!

    Just go to the plain source: http://www.gencat.cat/governacio/resultats-parlament2012/09AU/DAU09999CM_L2.htm

    And get some calculator you have handy, and just apply these simple rules, to any region, sub-region or sub-set of your choice:

    1) Most of CiU voters want independence, but certainly not 100%
    2) 100% of ERC voters want independence
    3) 100% of CUP voters want independence
    4) 100% of PP voters refuse independence, as well as 100% of PSC, 100% of C’s, UPyD and PxC.
    5) Voters of ICV agree with referendum but this does not mean that 100% of them desire independence. This is the main trick secessionist media use to bias their infos. So let’s be ‘Salomonic’ and apply that 50% of ICV voters want independence, 50% not, so it is basically a neutral contribution.

    If you do so, you will see that Barcelona city is certainly secessionist but only by a slight % , while if you take the big bity of whole Barcelona area, secessionism is defeated.

    Same with Val d’Aran, may be they’d like to remain in Spain but not in Catalonia.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      The problem of appying your simple rules is that they are flawed. From polls, it’s well known that the support to independence is transversal to all parties, with some 30% in PSC, certainly not 100% for ERC and not 100% against for PP. The conclusion is that it may not be a good idea to use the calculator and appy any kind of simple rules. For example, if support to independence for PSC voters is about 30%, that’s for the total number of voters, but there’s no information for regions, subregions or the like. Therefore, the computation is bound to give useless information.

      On the other hand, who cares about the support in the big or small Barcelona area? No one cares about partial results exept those who are afraid of the fact that the whole nation decides its own future.

    • avatar
      Victor

      Good point Antoni.
      Following your comments, I would add that The only way to the catalan national decide is to ask directly the question in a referendum. Any other way would rely on over simplified models

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      “antonilb”, these rules are a simplification, or an approximative method, but I think it is in the right track.

      The same remark about the lack of regional resolution in the % of voters of each party that can agree or not with Independence applies to all parties, so we could easily cancel the effects and keep this calculation sort of valid as an approximation.

      Now, the funny part: “…No one cares about partial results…”.

      That is the key point where you just showed your cards, the ones of Secessionist Dogma, that is “Everything is valid to reach Independence, we don’t care about if it’s legal or not”. Or, like they use to say in Italy “Si non è veto, è ben trovatto” [‘f it’s not true, it’s happily found’].

      In al secessionist processes, it is crucial to look carefully about the homogeneity of population and its will. Look at Kosovo, look at Bosnia itself, look at Nagorno-Karabaj in the Caucasus, so forth and so on… if you have “bags” of population against secession (or in favor) you generate tensions that, in that cases, degenerated into war.

      It is clear that, for instance, in corners like Girona’s province, like in Guipuzcoa province in Basque country, almost everyone claims for independence. Would make sense to declare a new “Subject of Sovereignity” just for these small provinces? Not that easy…

      And finally.. you claim that we are seeing the rise of a new subject of sovereignty (Catalonia) and it belongs to all citizens of this subject “..not caring about partial results…” to decide. OK, then this same argument can be applied ti Spain, as ALL spaniard citizens “not caring about partial results” may decide about changes in their existing, recognized subject of sovereignty, isn’t??

      Again, for the secessionist machinery, everything is valid if they can reach their goals that, let’s not forget and tell so all Europe can learn… WOULD NOT STOP with Catalonia’s independence. If they succeed, they will go ahead immediately with same dirty techniques to intoxicate Baleric Island’s and Valencian’s societies to be annexed in their expansionist fantasy plan of a “Big Catalonia”…

      CRAZY..!

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      “CRAZY..!”

      Speaking of crazy:
      “If they succeed, they will go ahead immediately with same dirty techniques to intoxicate Baleric Island’s and Valencian’s societies to be annexed in their expansionist fantasy plan of a ‘Big Catalonia’…”

      You need to look up the word DEMOCRACY in a dictionary. You seem to thing that anyone who does not want to be part of the ridiculous excuse for a government that has been Spain for almost all its history is either mentally or morally deficient. The free world will see it otherwise. And, when Spain is left without Catalonia to rescue it and give it a cloak of modernity and respectability, it too will either improve or continue its track to being a completely failed state like some of the African countries it too often resembles.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      This comment has been removed by moderators for breaching our Code of Conduct. Replies may also be removed.

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      This comment has been removed by moderators.

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Spain is a “failed state like some of the African countries it too often resembles.”

      Got you Roger!

      You´ve come here to make friends and learn from different points of view!

      And first and foremost, and as a EEUU citizen, to show us, poor north african people, how a respectful debate is conducted in democracy.

      Your are, first insulting the North Africans and two making a big disservice to your honourable country!

    • avatar
      Victor

      Ignasi,

      Thank you for the useful link, it is a Good summary.
      Interestingly you have included in your calculations 14600 votes of the unionist party UPyD but you have not included the 46800 votes for SI (solidaritat per la independència) a Party that clearly supports independence.

      Maybe your ‘objective information’ and conclusions are a result of ‘all kind of martingales’ created by your conscious or unconscious mind…
      :-)

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Victor,

      Yes you are right. I forgot to count SI, these poor people are moving towards the sea of irrelevancy, but of course, these votes need to be counted.
      It was my fault, you can choose to believe if I truly forgot it or was another “martingale” :P

  61. avatar
    Tiago Mouta

    Opening a regional precedent that could crumble EU apart…

  62. avatar
    Shimon de Valencia

    Or rewrite the internal map of the EU. The possibilities for new paradigms to emerge are only limited by our ability to adapt. And we all know what happens when we don’t adapt…..

  63. avatar
    Vladuţţ Ke

    so we.ll have an almost similar case to greece?

  64. avatar
    Sunny Cvitkovic Anderson

    Yes! If they want to be independent, why not? Do we need more terrorism in the world?

  65. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Who is talking about terrorism? Catalonia isn’t the Baque country and even there Batasuna was hardly popular.

  66. avatar
    Sunny Cvitkovic Anderson

    Jovan Ivosevic, as usual you serbs DO NOT understand what is it do to people when you do not allow them to govern them selfs if they want to! Your minorities in countries surrounding serbia are all forced and blackmailed to give serbs terrorists all rights, so they will not start to plant bombs and become terrorist. But you do not have understanding for Catalonia! Arrogant and still didn’t learn the lesson. With time, you will …..

  67. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    First of all my heritage is less Serb than Macedonian and Montenegrin and second, I think the fact that you would believe what one’s ethnic DNA should control one’s political opinions says much more about you than about me. My only reaction to that is that I am very glad today’s Europe doesn’t have a majority of people who think like you the way it did 100 years ago.

  68. avatar
    Gerasimos Laios

    It is not wise. People should find strength in their similarities and not be torn appart by their differences. It would be better for Spain itself to be renamed as a federation than to be torn appart to smaller, weaker states.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      you’re right, but these days people is so obfuscated that easily buy intolerant ideas.

    • avatar
      Victor

      Gerasimos,

      Who needs strong bigger state like Spain, if a really big & modern European federation is so close to reach?

      Let Catalonia vote in a referendum a be part of EU

  69. avatar
    Gerasimos Laios

    @Vladu?? Ke “so we.ll have an almost similar case to greece?” Please explain what you mean…I am not aware of any serious separatist movement in Greece. (appart from 2.000 Slavomacedonians and an ultra-radical small fraction of a multi-ethnic muslim population in Thrace)

  70. avatar
    Sunny Cvitkovic Anderson

    Jovan Ivosevic, right you were raised on the halls of State Department and EU building in Brussels. :) And you are dead wrong, todays Europe has majority of people that believe that our national culture and tradition formed us! Your problem is that you trying to escape your traditions!

  71. avatar
    Juan Cantos

    We must never allow a minority decides the fate of a majority. The Catalans are being deceived with promises of a better horizon with the indepence (when every analysis say it is completely unviable. Mr. Artur Mas a man who closes hospitals while continuing grants millions to his friends, is using the anger and disgust of the people not only for independence but also to instill hatred of Spain and its institutions.
    We should stop this before it was too late, although it is likely that government and its partners ERC sink under the weight of corruption that they all are stained

  72. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Actually I was raised to learn history and to think for myself. And if I have a choice of supporting a Europe that is based on the nation state, which brought its people constant warfare and genocide for the better part of the last 500+ years, or one based on continental cooperation where Europe’s people work together where their interests are the same, and where they aren’t they work out their differences in a Parliament or a Council of Ministers instead of the battlefield, it is not a very difficult choice for me.

  73. avatar
    Hugo Gonzalez de Oliveira

    So…Suposing that Catalonia gets te independence what stops Pays Vasco, Galicia, Walonia, Flanders, Silesia, Corse, Scotland, Bavaria, etc to get independent? Absolutelly nothing. Its stupid that, in the time that we are trying to have more cohesion in E.U., some of the most wealthy regions want independence. Second, Catalonia wants independence due to economical reasons because they argue that Spain is “taking their money to help the other autonomic regions, and this is normal considering that Spain has regions that have some of the lowest gdp in E.U. The same happens trough all the countries and regions in E.U. The richest helps the poorest, and this is the cement of E.U. So if they achieve independence, why do they want to be part of E.U. if they will have to contribute for the cohesion politics budget? Better to stay by their own and not enter in E.U… Third, Catalonian language is not spoken by the majority of people living in catalonia, and a big majority of people actually living there comes from other regions of Spain (mostly andaluzia), so, Catalonian national identity?lol, please, dont make me laugh…Last argument, and the one that really makes me fear the most: Do you really think the army, that is still controled by former followers of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco will let Catalonia be independent without any attempt against it? Its a bit naive (not to mention dangerous) to think like that. Such a situation can create a scenario of civil war, even worst than the wars in Former Yugoslavia. Like yugoslavia, Spain as also a lot of ghosts from the past. The worst blind is the one that doesnt see that.

  74. avatar
    Sunny Cvitkovic Anderson

    Hugo Gonzalez de Oliveira, when every country in exjugoslavia got their independence, peace came! We had to win the war against the serbs, to get that peace. Believe me, sooner or later Catalonia will get independence, if they really wanted, it is much better to happen sooner, before radicalization and bad blood!

  75. avatar
    Alejandra Morales

    I am sorry? The case of Yugoslavia has nothing to do with the case of Catalonia. Spanish people had to deal with dictatorship for 40 years. After that, they made it to build something worth it -something awesome- and which has been working well. I am Spanish, and I am really but really open minded, but i swear that there is no point, not crucial and necessary reason, for the independence – it worth mentioning that not many Catalonians are for the independence!. With the crisis, many people have realised that there are things that are really important and that, amid bad times, we should support each other, stay strong and be together!

  76. avatar
    Hugo Gonzalez de Oliveira

    Sunny, I was in former yugo, in almost every country(except Macedonia). I even studied one year in one of them (Slovenia) so Im quite aware of how “peace” was achieved. Civil war in Spain? No thanks! I had enough war vision with everything I saw in Mostar, Sarajevo and Krajina…Do you know what happeneed in Bosnia? Its exactly the kind of thing that can hapen in Spain. No more war in Europe!! Enough is enough. Though Im not Spanish by nationality, a part of my family is and it had to pass trough the horrrors of the Spanish civil war like many! That memory, despite almost one century has passed, is still very vivid in hte memory of everybody, even on my generation Besides, Slovenia, Hrvaska, Srbjia, all of them were majorities in their regions, not the case of catalonia. Even if 1.5 million were on that demonstration, that is 1/10 of population in Catalonia. The independentist dont represent the majority of population. So, what gives them th right to speak for everybody living in Catalonia?

    • avatar
      I.C.

      well, If you manage to gather 1,5 million people in one place then you can not ignore what they are trying to say! especially in a country od approximatelly 7-9 million people! I’m sorry, but it doesn’t make sence to expect all the population to march on such an occassion. Some are children, some are old, some are ill and can not walk, some are policemen or work in hospitals, some had other things to do … it doesn’t mean all other people not present there where against the cause!??!

  77. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Guys, you are wasting your time talking to someone who believes the European Union and Yugoslavia are the same. The Union was built out of the ashes of a world war by a voluntary association of member states who wanted to cooperate economically and later politically. Yugoslavia was built by foreigners out of necessity the first time around, and after the second world war, by a Communist dictatorship that didn’t just fail to solve the problems from the first federation but created new ones. As I said in another thread, nationalists are not driven by a rational analysis of facts, but by emotional reactions, fears which group is “theirs”, which group is “the other”, etc. There is little point in having a fact based discussion.

  78. avatar
    George Papadimitriou

    Divide and conquer…In an era of serious financial and social turmoil I believe that regional independence issues should not be brought up. It is better, at least for now, to stay together. Do not take the bait.

  79. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    It will be interesting to see what happens to separatist movements as it relates to European integration sentiments. The EU successfully held Italy together in the early 1990s when the Northern League was less a party about regional budgets and more a party about creating La Padagna as a sovereign state. Now we have separatism in Spain which is a pro-EU country, and in the UK (scotland), which is less integrated, and is looking for even looser ties, with some of the smaller parties calling for outright leaving the Union. I wonder if the rise of British nationalism in England over the next 2 years will impact the rise of Scottish sentiment for independence from the UK.

  80. avatar
    Sunny Cvitkovic Anderson

    Guys, I have NEVER claimed that EU is same as yugoslavia, far from that. It is common for manipulators to attack opposite opinion with a lie, or with taking things out of context. I have used nothing but rational arguments here, but different than some here! I guess that is enough to stump me down, I guess that is what they call democracy, right?

  81. avatar
    Hugo Gonzalez de Oliveira

    Wheres rationality in suporting a minority that wants independence of a Spanish region, without having any valid reason for that?

  82. avatar
    Sunny Cvitkovic Anderson

    Hugo Gonzalez de Oliveira, that is your opinion. They have reasons, just you do not see validity in them! Why are they even asking for it? For some very good reasons! Be more open for wishes of your countryman.

  83. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Sunny it is common to compare two things only of you believe they have common traits between them. if you don’t believe the EU and Yugoslavia are sufficiently similar in this context, there would no reason to bring it up. Another common tactic in debating is when a person starts to lose an argument, they abandon attacks on the argument and start attacking the other person by calling them manipulators etc.

  84. avatar
    Hugo Gonzalez de Oliveira

    My countryman? I am proud of both my origins (Spanish and Portuguese), but for all that maters I am, and always will be Portuguese and European till the last of my days. Second, If Spain would still be a dictatorship, and not a full democratic state like nowadays and if the independentists represented the will of ALL people living in Catalonia, wich is not the case, I would give some reason to it. Not the case! Catalonia is not military occupy territory, it isnt living in dictatorship where the rights and duties of the people living there arent being attack and it hasnt a large majority speaking catalonian nor is the majority of people living there originary from catalonia. So, does independence make any sense? Not to me, nor to the majority of people living there and in E.U. The split of Spain interests only to foreign countries, not to the Spanish people. Besides, do you have any spanish decesdence (or Catalonian) to defend so passionately the independence of catalonia? Seens not to be the case…

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      Base on your arguments, Olivença, belongs to Spain. When it doesn’t. Olivença is a Portuguese territory illegaly occupied by Spain.

      Nowadays, only the old generation still speak Portuguese, although the new generations are now reversing the cultural cleansing Castilians perpetrated in the territory.

      You know what? ALL of them born in Olivença – no matter whether they have Portuguese or Castilian origins and according to the Portuguese Constitution- , ARE Portuguese and ARE entitled to Portuguese citizenship as they were born in a territory Portuguese ‘De Jure’.

  85. avatar
    Georgi Hrisstof

    Rather, “twisting” of hands for good economic flows from the center to Catalonia …
    How many city-states are envisaged in the European Union?
    Generic-municipal groupings and clans? ..
    Or even the consent of States to build the European base model in its structure will gravitate “free” electrons without energy potential .. dubious origin suitable for colonization (material and spiritual) antagonism in the future …
    “Freedom Sancho (on top of my copy!) .. Is a great thing,” says Don Quixote.
    However, the referendum is a way to set the clock and analyze social and public “degree” caused by “debt” crisis drove inflation between people and institutions!

  86. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    Jovan, why not the Europe of Regions? Why cannot each ethnic group to be independent within the E. U.? The fact is, most countries were formed by an ethnic group dominating others. Democracy is giving equal rights to everybody, it is time to deep Democracy.

  87. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Vicente, there is already regional participation in the EU at the Committee of the Regions level. However, you can’t realistically expect for the entire Union to be restructured because Catalonia wants it so. The only question is whether Catalonia wants to be a sovereign state and then if desired, reapply to the EU, or stay in Spain (Barroso already warned the Scots leaving the UK doesn’t automatically leave them in the Union).

    Seems to me the biggest recent call for Catalonia’s independence stems from Catalonia’s unwillingness to “subsidize” poorer regions during what is a terrible economic crisis. However, I should remind you that had Germany believed in the 1980s that the same principle should apply to Spain, Catalonia and other Spanish regions would be much poorer than they are today after decades of Franco’s fascist experiment.

    Meanwhile, Spain developed with regional funds, was able to be a better market for German products, and both sides profited. Development is often not a zero sum game. In a world that is increasingly becoming smaller and more globalized, the idea that countries should be fragmenting seems like a step backward.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Jovan, who said that Catalonia is not willing to “subsidize” poorer regions? If you don’t want to get it wrong, you should look at numbers. Catalonia is subsidizing the rest of Spain with a 9% of its GDP. As you may know, the Catalan president proposed to Spain a new “fiscal pact” (which was rejected rightaway by Madrid) in order to reduce that quantity and have a fiscal treatment similar to the Basque… but not identical: the proposal included a “solidarity chapter” which may be as much as 4% of the Catalan GDP, while in the case of the Basque Country it’s roughly zero. Nobody in Catalonia has suggested to stop solidarity to poorer regions, just to limit it to reasonable numbers that don’t put in trouble the industry and local economy.

      How much is the German (or otherwise) solidarity to the rest of Europe? Isn’t it a little more than 1% of its GPD? You may know better, but I’m sure it’s far away from the Catalan 9%. Nobody can seriously accuse Catalonia of not helping or not wanting to help others.

  88. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    Jovan, it is common to say that the deficit of one country is the superavit of other. Although I am a pro-European integration at this stage I doubt some of the policies of E.U. when Portugal, Spain and Greece became members were that “innocents”. They had favoured the destroy of fishing fleets, the digging up of olive trees (to save the sunflower oil they were producing), the destroy of shipyards, steel mills, and so on. Germans were saying: “you have such a nice coast and a great climate, you could live on tourism”. So, in the end, they got all the factories, the manufacture of high tech machinery and the Southern countries got the low salaries of hospitality industry. But, turning back to the issue, if you read the History of most European countries, you know it was an ethnic group defeating neighbouring ethnic groups and imposing its own culture. In France, for instance, the Franks dominated the Normands, the Basques, the Provenals, the German speakers of Alsace, stole land of Italians, etc. Europe was made of conquering and religious wars and genocide. The wonderful of the actual E. U. is that we decided to be more civilized and talk about the questions instead of fighting. Look what happened with Tchek Republic and Slovakia split! Nothing special. Now they are two friendly neighbours and did not fall any evil on Europe. If all ethnic groups in Europe wants to split from their own imposed union, why cannot they follow the Slovakian example? Nothing bad will happen to the Europe. It is time we get more integrated on a chosen greater union than on smaller imposed one.

  89. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    Vicente, I don’t think you and I disagree on facts, but more on what to do about the same facts. The fact that Germany and the north built trade surpluses on the backs of the Southern economies has great factual support. And Nation states, polities which were built on the chaos and slaughter of the religious wars of the kingdoms of the Middle Ages, which in turn were built on the chaos and slaughter of the downfall of the Western Roman Empire, have predictably been formed by the military and political subjugation of one group by another. But unless we all plan on returning to where we lived 2000 years ago, I am not sure how much practical value that has in modern political discussion (whatever will be do with people of mixed heritage)

    In 2013, Germany dominates the EU politically. partly with its votes in the Council, partly with its purse because of these bailouts. The days of the balance of power between France, a country that can champion Mediterranean bloc, and Germany which would champion the North, are long over. They ended when the new members in the East mostly fell in line with Berlin, and now the Mediterranean bloc has no credibility on financial issues coming to the German Chancery with their hat in hand. So the issue of today for both Catalans and other Spaniards is how to jump start the economy? More austerity, the vicious cycle which is forced by Germany, and which only continues long term unemployment and economic malaise? Of course not. Relying on Francois Hollande to fight that battle with Merkel so that austerity is no longer the holy gospel of European fiscal thinking? Good luck, because France is either unwilling or unable to reign in Germany.

    So the # 1 problem for Spain (including Catalonia) is how to break this Germanocentric consensus on “saving your way out of recession” – this above all should be the focus of every Spaniard today. My view is that Catalonia and a smaller rump Spanish state will be even more easily picked apart by German influence in European institutions. By standing together, Spain along with an Italian government led by the center Left after February CAN together come to Paris and tell President Hollande that the time for Germany’s reign of fiscal terror should come to an end, that guaranteeing eurobonds by all member states should make it easier to deficit spend, and just like what we saw in the United States in 2009 as well as in China, Spain, Greece and everyone else can use a fiscal stimulus to get themselves out of this economic situation. So believe me, I have no dog in this fight. I will come to Barcelona regardless of which flag flies at the airport. I just think the more Spain fragments, the worse off it will be.

  90. avatar
    Hugo Gonzalez de Oliveira

    Exactly. Unite we stand, apart we fall! Its one of USA motosbut it can be apply to all of us in E.U.

  91. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    Jovan, we two know, that some of the German policies connected with the austerity is protecting German interests. Germany is against Eurobonds because their banks will loose their profits in investing in sovereign debts. And remember, Germany as a State, gave not a cent on bailouts. Germany as a State only gave a final guaranty to German banks. Just imagine if the Governments can finance themselves at the same rate of 1% with ECB? All German banks will loose a great part of their market. The only way for Mediterranean countries to get out of this cyclic economic depression: is getting industrialized. Of course this goes against the German interest and they will use its economic and political power to prevent this happening. Another question is the European custom tariffs between 3 and 6% when China and all BRICS charge between 40 and 100%. Unfortunately I do not count on Franois Holland. It’s a balloon full of empty words. He doesn’t has the balls.

  92. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    There you go. So are you sure it’s a good idea to fracture Spain’s influence in the Council of Ministers while the CDU marches on with its agenda?

  93. avatar
    Edwin Hoogerbrugge

    This year is the 300th anniversary of the Peace of Utrecht.

  94. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    Jovan, you forget countries can do alliances within the EU Commission. The question is not limited to Spain. Are you forgetting Belgium, UK, France (Basques and Corses at least), Italy (Lombardia), etc. In the end, all these already happened in your country.

  95. avatar
    Gullu Mammedova

    No, Catalonia is a inseparable part of Spain and can’t be independent, Also its againts all european countries interests.

  96. avatar
    André Torres Nunes

    Yes, they should be allowed self-determination as Catalonians are not Castillians, they are a separate nation under the Spanish Crown. They should decide their own faith.

  97. avatar
    L. Adrian

    No, Catalonia should stay with Spain. Who care if “they pay the most”. What is another region paid Catalonia the most and Catalonia was poor as hell? Would they still open their big mouths and cry?
    This is SELFISH NATIONALISM as one of the “against” arguments states.

    If Catalonia becomes free, the EU should not recognize its independence. We need Spain not some wayward region with delusions of grandeur.

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      Says who? Castilians? No matter what the Europeans instances might say now, whenever Catalonia get its independance, they’ll be begging for their return as a sovereign nation.

  98. avatar
    Hugo Gonzalez de Oliveira

    I am for the independence of Berlengas, Perejil, Desertas, Selvagens, Island of Faro and the island of Gozo. Yes, Im being Ironic… We are EUROPEANS! Instead of discussing these nationalist blabla bla, that only appears during economical crisis, we better use our energies and dedication to solve the economical problem of European Union, and believe me, there are plenty of problems that need energetic measures to be solve.

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      We have been Europeans long before the concept of this Europe came along. We will always be Europeans, no matter what. Hopefully, we will always belong to European Union. But a Europe of nations, not a federation of states.

  99. avatar
    Luís Eusébio

    Que Portugal e os portugueses inspirem o povo catalão, na senda da independência. Que a Catalunha, como no poema abaixo de Neruda, vuelva “a ser camino. / En esta edad agrega / tu luz, vuelve a ser lámpara: / aprenderás de nuevo a ser estrella”
    ———————————————————–
    La Lámpara Marina

    Portugal,
    vuelve al mar, a tus navíos,
    Portugal, vuelve al hombre, al marinero,
    vuelve a la tierra tuya, a tu fragancia,
    a tu razón libre en el viento,
    de nuevo
    a la luz matutina
    del clavel y la espuma.

    Muéstranos tu tesoro,
    tus hombres, tus mujeres.
    No escondas más tu rostro
    de embarcación valiente
    puesta en las avanzadas de Océano.

    Portugal, navegante,
    descubridor de islas,
    inventor de pimientas,
    descubre el nuevo hombre,
    las islas asombradas,
    descubre el archipélago en el tiempo.

    La súbita aparición del pan
    sobre la mesa,
    la aurora,
    tú, descúbrela,
    descubridor de auroras.

    Cómo es esto?
    Cómo puedes negarte
    al ciclo de la luz tú que mostraste
    caminos a los ciegos?
    Tú, dulce y férreo y viejo,
    angosto y ancho padre
    del horizonte, cómo
    puedes cerrar la puerta
    a los nuevos racimos
    y al viento con estrellas del Oriente?

    Proa de Europa, busca
    en la corriente
    las olas ancestrales,
    la marítima barba
    de Camoens.

    Rompe
    las telaranãs
    que cubren tu fragrante arboladura,
    y entonces
    a nosotros los hijos de tus hijos,
    aquellos para quienes
    descubriste la arena
    hasta entonces oscura
    de la geografía deslumbrante,
    muéstranos que tú puedes
    atravesar de nuevo
    el nuevo mar oscuro
    y descubrir al hombre que ha nacido
    en las islas más grandes de la tierra.

    Navega, Portugal, la hora
    llégó, levanta
    tu estatura de proa
    y entre las islas y los hombres vuelve
    a ser camino.
    En esta edad agrega
    tu luz, vuelve a ser lámpara:
    aprenderás de nuevo a ser estrella.

    Pablo Neruda
    Las uvas y el viento, 1954 (in Poemas de Obras, 3 ª ed., Buenos Aires, Editorial Losada, 1967)

  100. avatar
    Ignasi

    Look at this document. It comes from 1990 (it’s in Spanish, you can use translators).

    http://elpais.com/diario/1990/10/28/espana/657068405_850215.html

    It is just an example of how disloyal catalan authorities where playing this “Social Engineering” plan in order to intoxicate catalan society, just waiting a future with some window of Spain’s weakness to accomplish their plan.

    You may manage more information before expressing blind solidarity with a cause that, from outside, seems so noble…

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      “Social Engineering” was the insensible, persistent but inconsequent acculturation of Catalonia (and other nations within Spain) perpetrated by Castilians along the centuries. By all means, not short of ethnic and social cleansing.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      Ignasi, do you think that somebody who reads Neruda needs any translation? In any case, he does not need to be illuminated by your discoveries. The article you cite, just looking at the language it contains (with words like ‘obsession’) has an obvious lack of neutrality. And fortunately we don’t need to find any hidden document to know the intentions of the Spanish government: ‘hispanisize’ (españolizar) Catalan children, as the minister of education has said openly. Don’t be naive, the intentions are now clear on both sides, and of course nobody can force an occupied country to be loyal to the occupier.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      This may fit here better:

      Lack of neutrality? And which references are neutral here then? Of course, yours, huh??

      But yes, in a way you spat the true between the lines of your comment, when you mention that “…the intentions are now clear both sides…”. That’s the point, and also the point why you don’t need to find any “hidden document”.

      Because Spain’s government could have not treat Catalonia in the best way, but this is rather more fair than conspire in the dark during decades, using “hidden documents” to put Spain finally in an open dispute or confrontation.

      I do prefer rather honest people that can argue or fight facing each other rather than deal with a conspiracy group in the dark. What Europe may know is that catalan government has played an hypocrite game, acting like loyal to Spanish Kingdom when actually they were working in the backstage in this social engineering to achieve its goal, that was never the goal of the majority of Catalonia’s population (now subtly intoxicated enough and in shock for economic crisis like the rest of Spain).

      This is not fair so long, but as I mentioned in a former post, secessionist don’t care about being fair nor anything noble.

    • avatar
      antonilb

      All this chat and bla-bla-bla about honesty on the side of Spain is complete nonsense. From the times of Phillip V, when the Castilian militar authorities were ordered to introduce Spanish in Catalonia surreptitiously (“para que se note el efecto sin que se note el cuidado”) to the last draft of a police document published by El Mundo in order to make damage in the electoral campaign of CiU (of which nobody claims authority), the history of Spanish domination on Catalonia is full of dishonest and disloyal attitudes. But in addition to that, from time to time, there is somebody like the education minister who speaks clearly.

      Don’t be confused, though. Catalan citizens are not more manipulated by the different Catalan governments than by the Spanish governments of all colors. People are not stupid, ultimately people act as they think is fair. Years of indoctrination from Franco’s education plans didn’t generate fascists but free people. Now most catalans have freely chosen the option of freedom for Catalonia as well. And they are right.

  101. avatar
    Ignasi

    Lack of neutrality? And which references are neutral here then? Of course, yours, huh??

    But yes, in a way you spat the true between the lines of your comment, when you mention that “…the intentions are now clear both sides…”. That’s the point, and also the point why you don’t need to find any “hidden document”.

    Because Spain’s government could have not treat Catalonia in the best way, but this is rather more fair than conspire in the dark during decades, using “hidden documents” to put Spain finally in an open dispute or confrontation.

    I do prefer rather honest people that can argue or fight facing each other rather than deal with a conspiracy group in the dark. What Europe may know is that catalan government has played an hypocrite game, acting like loyal to Spanish Kingdom when actually they were working in the backstage in this social engineering to achieve its goal, that was never the goal of the majority of Catalonia’s population (now subtly intoxicated enough and in shock for economic crisis like the rest of Spain).

    This is not fair so long, but as I mentioned in a former post, secessionist don’t care about being fair nor anything noble.

  102. avatar
    Jokera Jokerov

    Nope, we are not Europeans in the political sense of the word, only in the geographical.

  103. avatar
    Tomas Baranauskas

    The Catalonians should decide. And there is no need for discussion outside Catalonia.

  104. avatar
    Roger Evans

    This “Ignasi” writes like a true Francoist. Why should Catalans be “loyal” to their occupiers? And, if he and his masters are so sure that Catalans don’t really want independence, why are they so hysterical at the very idea of a free vote on the matter?

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      If I sound like “francoist”, you sound like a (british may be??) snob who consumed enough catalanist toxines, who knows why and how… (you never explained)

      You easily bought that fake rhetoric of “occupiers-occupied” from Catalan Secessionist propaganda without questioning. This referendum would not be legal nor 100% free as they managed tactically to organize it in a moment of maximum social confusion and intoxication, to induce people vote with their guts and not with their brains.

  105. avatar
    Pau pau

    “This “Ignasi” writes like a true Francoist”

    That´s a despicable and ugly “ad hominem” attack, but a good barometer of your argumentative skills and knowledge, Roger.

  106. avatar
    Pau pau

    I know that the big news of the day is the Amstrong admission of having run a drugstore without license and a tax id but it seems that there are some news on the subject of this blog

    Spanish press reports that the current draft proposed by the secessionist parties forming the actual catalan government has changed its wording from proposing “a new country within the EU” to “soberanity”

    I am not sure if this is a good or a bad thing.

    In one hand, it shows the coalition loosing its nerve and shying away from a daring task.

    In the other, it prevents a clear debate on the issue.

    Should this question be confronted in a clear and open manner that also excludes the anti-panic clause independent “within the EU”?

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Pau pau,

      First of all, in english is not “soberanity” but “sovereignity” :-)

      Secessionist would change their paper for a comic sheet if needed to achieve what they want. They are playing Martingales all this time, why should they stop doing so now? :)

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Ignasi, no worries about corrections.

      Hey, I do mistakes in my mother tongue too!

      These type of comments are only distasteful when they are used to debase an argument simply because you have made a written mistake.

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Nobody seems interested in commenting on the so important practical aspects of the intended Catalan secession process other than myself.

      Minds here seem more trained for the high level erudite historic analysis and other conceptual type of thinking.

      So I think I would answer my own low level entry.

      If I am not wrong, I think that the main reason for this change comes down to a simple arithmetic operation.

      The original document proposing a “new country within the EU” would only get the 58 votes of CDC and ERC out of a total of 135 possible, or 43% of the total vote and short of the 50% rate approval needed.

      So this is where we are at the present moment. Short of a majority vote in the Catalan chamber.

      More coming soon.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Hey Pau pau, I am interested too, you are not alone! :-)

      Yes, by the first time people is beginning to count Unió seats separately from CDC one, and some people claim that CiU may be splitted in two parties but… who is really interested on this?

      Not secessionists of course, because then their speech about having the majority will be instantly diluted as you pointed out…

  107. avatar
    ITURRIAGA

    Hey guys,

    I can’t help but notice that the conversation has drifted to the history debate. I don’t think this is useful at all, as the past is the past and unless we plan on going back all the way to the first homo sapiens that arrived in what is today the region of Catalonia then there is no point. I think we should focus on the present.

    Lets update ourselves a bit on the latest goings on. The “pro-independence” front seems to be goingthrough some internal troubles after finding every single party in the parliament (other then CiU and ERC) opposed the proposed the document. Not the response Mr. Mas was hoping for no doubt. And angering Mr. Duran’s Unio party to no end.

    So, The independentists in the Catalan parliament have not only pissed every other party off but they are also self-destructing. Is it possible to contemplate CiU splitting into its constituent parties? If that happens, then the independentists would be left with only 61 seats in the parliament (13 of CiU’s seats belong to Unio) hardly an overwhelming majority…

    What IS true though is that there is a more generalised support for the right to decide… as long as the “consulta” is legal and is a straight “in or out” question (similar to scotland). This would have the support of PSC, ICV, and Unio but might lose the support of ERC.

    How are they going to reconcile? I think that unless something changes drastically soon this will go the same way as the “Plan Ibarretxe” did.

    P.S. Having differences of opinion is fine, that’s democracy, but there is no need for anyone to be disrespectful. So please stop calling eachother Fascists etc. ok?

    • avatar
      Saim Dušan Inayatullah

      You forgot the CUP, and it’s certain the ICV will give support behind any push for a popular consulation. Even PSC might agree to it. They were arguing about details of the sovereignty declaration, not about whether it should be done at all (that would be the domain of the PP and C’s).

  108. avatar
    Pau pau

    Unless you are cooking paella, not everything goes in the pan with the rice, Siam!

    The way you are formulating the subject, when employing terms such as “ethnicity” and “immigrant language” (implying that the people that speaks Spanish are also immigrants) is entirely erroneous and fallacious in disguise.

    – Ethnicity has a clear racial connotation that is not at all present in the Catalan debate. It is not used at all.

    You may say that races do not exist, but the real fact is that this word is part of the definition of the word ethnic in any dictionary, that race is a loaded word that has been used historically to commit enormous atrocities. Meaning depends on the definition and its meaning in the world.

    – An immigrant, in any part of the world, is a person from another country.

    A Catalan permanently settled in Leon is a new resident, not an immigrant. Or if you want a more specific and technical term: an internal migrant.

    These two terms are not the same by any stretch of the imagination.

    That´s precisely why nobody within the political field argues against the principle that any Spaniard leaving in Cataluña; no matter origin, ascent or length of residency, should be able to vote in any political consultation whatsoever, be it regional or national.

    The whole spectrum of the Catalan nationalism, unlike the Basque, has an almost pristine record of democratic behaviour, and in general, has shown a much more reasonable and perceptive social understanding of its own society.

    So, no ethnic genocide or immigration from other spanish countries please, its clear where are you trying to get to, be judicious when selecting your terms, and don´t freely mix up any ingredients in your reasoning.

    Leave it for the delicious paella!

    A final warning for the tempestuous reader:

    That Spanish was commonly used in the old kingdoms forming the actual kingdom of Spain, and also through the entire history of the actual kingdom, does not mean that other national languages have not been, at certain times in history, ignored or actively silenced by governmental policies.

    An a personal message to Roger and Siam.

    If I was intervening in a public conversation regarding the political situation in your countries (USA and probably Serbia) I would be very prudent using categorical (not restricted by qualifiers) terminology.

    You are expressing opinions as absolute truths and continuously offending the nationals of Spain by presenting a unique and tremendously negative and false vision of all us.

    This European Union forum deserves another level of more respectful dialogue.

    The situation for us is rather delicate, hearts and souls are being hurt, no doubt in both sides of the society (secessionists and non secessionists), and you are just acting in a very callous and disrespectful way.

    You have not much to teach us, but rather to listen from (all) of us.

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      What poppycock. You try to act so innocent and offended by frank discussion when your Spanish government has just this week dedicated a bust in its very Senate to Franco’s propaganda minister, Fraga. If Germany erected such to Goebbels, would we be wrong to characterize them as unrepentant of their fascist past? No. No one would.

      You find it insulting to the famed Spanish arrogance to point out the truth? Too bad. And if you find such discussion unfit for a European forum, pressure your government to act fit for a modern democratic state instead of honoring the killers of thousands and continuing to devote millions of taxpayer funds (yes, extracted by force from Catalans too) to a Francisco Franco Foundation that has recently had a big mourning event — in government buildings — in lamentation of his death. Why not have an Adolf Hitler Foundation to honor the Generalisimo’s pal as well? I repeat. I don’t care how insulting you find such truths. Tyranny is tyranny, and your affection for it does not make it less so.

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      You are really wanting to inflict pain and distress isn´t it?

    • avatar
      Pau pau

      Follow further indications in my next entry. Only for you.

  109. avatar
    Pau pau

    Calm down and go for a walk in the park Dr Roger.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Yeah… Roger has finally went mad.

      Such a respectable doctor going down on irrational rage up to the Godwin’s Law point. It’s not strange that he’s a secessionist supporter, they are so alike.

      What a pity…

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Also, it is so funny so check this criteria of which Empire is good or not.

      Let’s see: Catalan Nation was so great and proud it had a great empire in the Mediterranean, what a noble nation… but of course Spanish Empire was gory, criminal, nasty…

      Pure rational arguments! ha ha ha

      To anyone who cares about really learn History, he or she will know that in the Middle Age things were so different. Armies belonged to Lords, Kings, even Popes, not countries or states.

      Very often “empires” were just made out from these Kings or Lords victories, pacts or dinastic weddings. Basically, Naples was an independent kingdom, but as it was so weak itself to defend from French incursions, Arago Crown troops were helping.

  110. avatar
    Luís Eusébio

    Portugal e Galiza, até à reunificação. Via a Galiza! Viva Portugal! Força Catalunha!
    http://youtu.be/DUpYnCvS9Cw

  111. avatar
    Santi Mondejar

    Why on earth an American citizen feels entitled to lecture -and gratuitously offend- in a European forum is beyond me.

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      Oh, dear. What a fertile sentence, full of things we could talk about for days.

      Most basically, we live in a global community now. Your Mr. Franco is dead, and the excuse that “Spain is different” fell with the state’s desire to be included in international agreements, treaties, and protections. We’re all in this together now, whether you like it or not.

      On a more personal front: who more likely to care about struggles for freedom and independence than beneficiaries of the first republic still around that successfully did it in history? My family was active in that fight, and I identify strongly with my Catalan friends in a similar project.

      But, on your own terms: what you dismiss as American citizenship (whatever that actually has to do with questions of basic human rights) was responsible for freeing Europeans from fascism (with the lamentable exception of the last holdout, Spain) and thus has at least a certain investment, of our substance and of blood of many of our relatives — including that of my own father — in the issue of European freedom. Your xenophobic reflection is of a piece with the whole issue.

    • avatar
      Santi Mondejar

      Dr. Evans: don’t dig if you are in a hole. Your partisan reply commits the same argumental falacies (“your Franco”, “your xenophobic”) and does not bring any value to the dabate, only mild annoyment and surrealism.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Santi, I think there is nothing to do… Mr Evans lives drowned in his own Ego…

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      Santi and Ignasi, where are your arguments against the facts I adduced? You just call names, like all who are flailing against the march of history.

    • avatar
      Santi Mondejar

      Oh well. It seems to me that all what the good old doc is doing is playing the agent provocateur role, to see if he can derail the debate enraging those pesky, primal Spaniards…
      And yet resorting to ad-hoc ‘Francoists’, ‘African resemblers’ rants as if waving a red rag is nothing but a red herring.
      It’s all great fun, though. His mix of mutatio controversiae and ad-hominem pompous manichaeism results in a most enjoyable parody. But Hemingway he’s certainly not.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      True… :)

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      FAir enough!

      I presume you’ll give Europeans the right to vote in America’s elections and to have a say regarding the 2nd. Amendment and gun control, as well.

      I presume you’ll give us the right to be consulted whenever a cowboy gets to be a president of America and decides to act on his own.

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      If it were in my power, yes.

      But, alas …

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      Yeah right! :)

  112. avatar
    victor

    Why is so difficult for Unionist to see what is happening?
    Sobiranist posititions are far, far away the Unionist concept of ‘ONE’ Spain.
    Whatever your position is, reality is that Spain has pushed some areas of its territory up to a non return point… Accoring to last poll,

    69% of Catalans want to vote in a referendum
    63% of Catalans want to vote in a referendum even if it is against Spainish Central Goverment will
    57% of Catalans want the independence inside of the EU

    http://www.elperiodico.com/es/noticias/politica/consulta-soberanista-barometro-politico-invierno-periodico-catalunya-2298484

    Therefore, situation is crystal clear. Most of Catalans want Spain to be just another neighbourgh in the EU, nothing else… Why?, well, maybe most catalans (like me) believe that Spain just does not respect them… maybe because the interest of Spain are not Catalan ones … who knows…
    If most of Catalans want to vote, let them do it, a let democracy operate normally… like Scotland case.

  113. avatar
    victor

    Highly recommended: “Catalonia independence for business lights is best economic option all round” (The Guardian by Jon Henley )
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2012/nov/22/catalonia-independence-business-economy-spain

    Some excerpts:

    (…) Over the past 10 years, the businessmen claim, Catalonia has paid nearly twice as much into Spanish coffers as the EU. “It’s not that we don’t want to contribute,” says Canadell. “But we don’t want to contribute to a model that doesn’t work, and that is counter-productive to our model.”

    The Catalan economy, says De Porrate, is “compressed – cramped by the fiscal deficit with Spain, the lack of infrastructure, the fact that everything Madrid spends is invested politically, like bailing out Bankia, rather than economically. Profitability is not a word Madrid understands.”

    (…) Perhaps more controversially, the group believes independence would be good not only for Catalonia but, longer term, for Spain and for the EU. “As soon as Spain doesn’t have the Catalonian powerhouse, it will have to change,” says De Porrete. “It will have to set about serious reforms, become efficient, think about productivity and profitability. You can’t build an economy on tourism and the construction sector.”

    And a more efficient and competitive Spain, they continue, is clearly good for Europe and the euro. “An independent Catalonia is a huge opportunity, for Catalonia of course, but also for Spain, for Europe – for London,” says Cabanas.

  114. avatar
    victor

    Recommended: “How to lose regions and alienate peoples” (The Times by Matthew Parris)

    An excerpt:

    The Catalan bid for independence has been handled shockingly by Madrid. Spain could learn a lot from the UK

    It’s a fair bet that Alex Salmond, a man who believes in Celtic tigers and the Arc of Prosperity, believes in Father Christmas too. The Scottish First Minister’s letter to Santa this weekend could be short and heartfelt. “Dear Mr Claus, Please send me the Government of Spain to handle my bid for Scottish independence. I’m getting desperate. Love, Alex XXX” We British run down our politics and politicians, but take some seasonal cheer from a worse mess. Come here to Catalonia to see in all its horror the horlicks our European partners can make of democracy.

    (…) Madrid has begun a hot-headed bout of sabre-rattling. Central government wants to end Catalan’s status as the medium of instruction in schools — and demands that the language be ranked behind English in the curriculum. This is insulting, and meant to be.

    And the latest insult is outlandish: Madrid is threatening that if devolved authorities do not agree to nationally directed spending cuts, autonomy could be abolished. “Devolution was created to solve the Basque and Catalan problem,” says an unnamed senior PP official, “but those problems are actually getting worse and the cost of all this is no longer affordable.”

    (…) Barking at Catalans that the army’s ready, their Parliament may be abolished, and anyway the EUwill kick them out, can only make things worse. Catalonia will have its referendum, whatever Madrid commands; and though it could just be within Madrid’s power to scare and harry so that enough Catalans lose their nerve for the “no” vote to gain the edge, this would be no way to bring unity.
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/matthewparris/article3638839.ece

  115. avatar
    Victor

    Drawing a Road Map for Catalonia

    A new regional government is now in place in Catalonia. Like many other administrations in Europe these days, it will have a hard time providing an adequate level of services to its citizens while it strives to help a battered economy get back on the right track. With an added handicap: it has to deal with a Spanish government that won’t make either of these tasks any easier. Never mind that Catalonia is a productive society and a vital contributor to the State’s finances. The central government retains control over the public purse and deals out or withholds funds mainly as a way of furthering its own political agenda.

    http://www.collectiuemma.cat/article/1550/drawing-a-road-map-for-catalonia

  116. avatar
    Michael

    Catalans do dance and sing flamenco.

    Get your facts right!!
    Miguel Poveda is a Catalan flamenco singer and one of Spain’s best! He often collaborates with the Catalan flamenco guitarist, Juan Gómez “Chicuelo” with whom he has toured extensively in Europe, Japan and the US.

    The things one has to read these days…

    • avatar
      Victor

      Michael ,
      I am a sobiranist Catalan, and I am proud of Catalan musicians to play great flamenco the same way I am proud that Manuel Valls is french minister with Catalan roots, or Cesc Fabregues playing an English sport named football.

  117. avatar
    jake winnings

    Catalonia will NEVER be independent, not even GOD can divide Spain, they should get OVER it. It makes me sick when they claim they were independent in the year1000 or something like. If all countries took reasoning from that angle, the world as we know it will not exist, the Indians in America can claim that too! So it’s absolute nonsense! I’ve been to Barcelona and I always thought (no offense) that the Russians are racist, news flash! I was dead wrong! The atmosphere is just toxic, you see little kids already talking about their hatred for Spain, imp like wtf? And the funny thing is, they speak in Spanish. Now where did they learn all this from? I think Wert might be right after all, there must be some secret kind of teaching in schools against “Spain” or Castile I should say. I need Catalans in favor for independence to answer this
    -Do you guys seriously think you’ll gain independence from Spain and at the same time gain union with Germany and France? Do you think they’ll support you?
    -If the vote for independence is 53- 47 and the 47% against start an immediate war that they want union with Spain or independence too in the same Catalonia what will the Catalan government do? What will Catalonia look like? heaven?
    – will they be democratic and led them “decide on their future”?
    – Why do Catalans claim they’ll be the Germany of southern Europe? That’s the most racist thing I’ve ever heard, coming from a civilized region. Why do you think the Germans are better than you guys? Do you think this love is reciprocal? Because last time I checked they call you moors! So trying to be Dutch is like a black bleaching his skin to be white!
    – If you get the referendum, then all citizens of Europe should decide if you can join the eu. All citizens in Europe should vote too. You guys are not gods, to have everything you want. Now tell me, why should a German or French support you? You have proven how unpatriotic and self centered you guys are. Will they allow you to join eu to help dismantle their own countries? It will just shine the light for all rich regions in Europe to go on with independence. almost all countries have regions that where independent centuries ago, and they’ll start claiming that independence: the industrial regions of Germany, northern Italy, Flanders, Corsica in France, thus Catalan independence will be the cause of the failure of the European union! You guys should stay close to the light! Stop fighting for something that isn’t real.
    – All this nonsense of independence will be beneficial to Valencia in the long run im afraid. And most Catalans don’t even have a clue about it!
    Do you guys know how many MAJOR companies in barca are planning to relocate in Valencia? No idea right? I thought so too. Stop creating tensions,
    – What about being patriotic? Here, rich states support poor ones, and NO ONE COMPLAINS ABOUT IT.
    – About the language, first. From my experiences in Barcelona, I truly think the system is brainwashing the minds of kids. No Catalan can deny it. It’s so obvious: my cousin (13yrs) spoke Spanish in a book store and she was asked to speak in Catalan! And it’s just sad, there’s much more to gain being Spanish and Catalan than just Catalan.
    – You forget the army and remember Spain is not some poor worthless Serbia or Yugoslavia. Spain is one of the most important countries in the history of the world, even more important than Germany, France, Serbia, Poland, Holland, etc. The only European countries with bigger influence in the history of the world are Greece, Italy (Roman Kingdom) and England (not that big). If not for Spain, I will not be here talking about it! Do you guys love war?
    If the Spanish government decides and cancel your autonomous region and join it with Valencia what will you guys do?
    – If they set the head of their military base in Barcelona?
    – what do you think Catalonia will look like in the next 5 years if it becomes independent, will it look like the so claim Holland or heaven or will it look like Syria, north Korea?
    – If you thing the USA will support you, you are in for a fall. It will break my country and Texas and California which are already almost more than 60% Mexican, can also claim independence because it was their land! And their claims will be somewhat more valid than yours. We already have enough troubles and messing with the Spanish kingdom is not our forte!
    – Stop saying Spain is not democratic, because it only shows one thing: either you’re uneducated or just brainwashed! What do you know about democracy?
    – Why do I see complains everywhere that Spain built train lines to Galicia- Madrid instead of barca-france? It just shows how patriotic you guys are. You’ll prefer Galicia to remain poor forever and then as Catalonia is getting richer, brainwashing the minds of kids in schools you’ll guys just seize the opportunity and start claiming your difference in culture/ language? Terrific! Way to go!…NOT!
    Just pray for luck because if MADRID truly starts behind your back, you won’t know what hit you. They can ban the so loved language if THEY WANT TO!
    ALL THE STRIKES ON EARTH WILL DO NOTHING. you guys will waste months striking outside for the world to see your situation meanwhile all industries start moving to Valencia, Madrid, Bilbao etc. don’t forget!
    Like the say: history shall repeat itself if idiots keep committing the same mistake! My advice:
    DO not step on the lion’s tail; it’s not good for you. Spain can put a region into pain if they wish to. So don’t think the Spanish government will do nothing.
    peace!

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      The doctor will see you now.

    • avatar
      jake winnings

      you freak!

    • avatar
      Victor

      Wow jake,

      You have summarised pretty well why Catalan people want to step out of Spain.
      Thank you.
      You just point out how bad and evil could be Spain if this state decides to launch the army against Catalonia , … as you said history is full of examples of Spainish armies bombing Barcelona, smashing catalan desire for freedom …etc… Approximately every 80 years since 1714.
      As you may understand, I do not want to live in a country in this condition, as surrendered country that accepts all desire and interest of people like you.

      The Catalan people look at advanced societies like Dutch or Germans to look for inspiration and development. Maybe you do like this kind of countries because their wealth is provided by their good work as a society and not to squeezing surrendered colonies or natural resources… But I do, I respect them.

      About language and culture, your arguments are as weak as Spanish education minister. Let me ask you a question, if Castilian language is such a good reason to keep Spain united, why there are so many ex colonies of Spanish empire who are just independent ?

      Finally, I just want to state that your comment about your ‘cousin (13yrs) ‘ is a lie. every single person in my country speaks spanish and infortunately not everyone is able to speak Catalan.

      Keep trying to fear Catalonia with your war, EU would not let Spain become a 2ond iugoslavian war inside of the union.

      Jake come aboard, leave 18th century and join the 21st. Let democracy work and support a referendum instead of a war.

  118. avatar
    Victor

    Catalan parliament declaration pushes self-determination (CNN)
    By Al Goodman

    — The heated debate over potential Catalan independence from Spain took a new turn Wednesday when the Catalan regional parliament approved a declaration alluding to sovereign rights.

    Find declaration below:
    http://www.collectiuemma.cat/article/1555/declaration-of-sovereignty-and-right-to-decide-of-the-people-of-catalonia

    It is not an outright statement of independence, but parliament’s declaration insists that the Catalan people, in northeast Spain around Barcelona, have the right to self-determination.

    Over sharp opposition from the conservative Spanish government in Madrid, the Catalan parliament voted 85-41 for the declaration, with two abstentions. Five other regional members of parliament chose not to vote at all.

    A key part of the declaration reads: “The people of Catalonia have — by reason of democratic legitimacy — the character of a sovereign political and legal entity.”

    It vows that Catalonia will hold talks with the Spanish government, European institutions and the international community over the self-determination issue.

    Last September 11, an estimated 1.5 million people — 20% of Catalonia’s population — filled the streets of Barcelona, the Catalan capital and Spain’s second-largest city, demanding independence.

    But the Spanish government insists the Spanish constitution does not permit any one of Spain’s 17 regions to unilaterally break away.

    ….

    The date and year for such a referendum were not included in Wednesday’s parliamentary declaration, but many analysts see it as an attempt to keep the independence topic at the forefront.

    Voting against the declaration were the regional members of parliament from the Spanish prime minister’s conservative Popular Party and most of the regional members from the Socialist party, which is the main opposition party at the national level.

    Catalonia has its own flag and language, produces 19% of the nation’s wealth and argues that it sends far more in taxes to Madrid than it gets back in central government spending.

    A survey last November by the Catalan government’s polling center showed 57% of Catalans would vote for independence, a 6 percentage-point increase from last June and a 14 percentage-point increase from mid-2011.

    A survey last November by the Catalan government’s polling center showed 57% of Catalans would vote for independence, a 6 percentage-point increase from last June and a 14 percentage-point increase from mid-2011.

  119. avatar
    Mike

    Victor,

    Good good good. and I’m a citizen of the world my good man with Catalonian blood.

    My philosophy is that of cosmopolitanism and small government, I don’t want another state in Europe, yet another government. I want to be free and you’re a fool if you believe Ciu & ERC are offering you freedom.

    Good luck in your life, hope you find something else to fill it with than

  120. avatar
    Mike

    Victor,

    Good good good, and I’m a citizen of the world with Catalonian blood, my good man.

    My philosophy is that of cosmopolitanism and small government, I don’t want another state in Europe, yet another government. I want to be free and you’re a fool if you believe Ciu & ERC are offering you freedom.

    Good luck in your life, hope you find something else to fill it with than

    • avatar
      Victor

      I like the sense of freedom that a democratic referendum provides. It gives me hope to keep working everyday to get out of this country called Spain whose only interest is to eliminate my culture and society.
      And yes this is filing pretty well my life,
      Sometimes I look at my 4 y daughter, and remember my grandfather dreams of Catalan country liberty, and I say to my self, maybe this time we can make it, maybe I can live to my daughter a better and fee country to live her life.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      This is so biased… this thing that Spain is obssesed to eliminate your language, culture, society… it is just plain false and it only fits in the head of the secessionist fanatic cult that prevails these days.

      I think much of this secessionist rage is boosted by a subtle but deep inferiority complex. Anything healthy, so far…

    • avatar
      Mike

      Estic d’acord sobre això

    • avatar
      victor

      Ignasi,
      Maybe you are happy with current behaviour of Spainish media towards whatever that is catalan, but I am not.

      What Spain is doing is not healthy at all.

      I am just pro-independence, but I still want to have a good relationship with Spain as a neighbor in the EU.

  121. avatar
    Mike

    Sorry, enlighten me please, what part of our Catalonian culture is being eliminated? Is it not perhaps just the passing of time, just the effects of globalization? Is it not perhaps good that things change, the dream of brotherhood amongst nations, being able to communicate with, say, an African, an Arab and have something in common with him?

    I quite like the idea of having my children go to a school and learning various useful languages (Spanish, English, Chinese for example) that will allow them to thrive in a competitive workplace, like the city of London, for example, developing an international company ‘s business in Asia or Latin America.. the world is a big place you know?

    Do what you like in your home and force your daughter to be a little radical if you want, but there is nobody thwarting your options, except for your our politicians limitations. Why don’t you just teach her to love her peers and treat them with equality regardless of their origin, nationality or race. Because, after all I assume you claim that there is a distinct Catalonian pedigree, which you belong to?

    I don’t think ERC will ensure a free country for your daughter, remember socialism is a cousin of fascism.

    “To those who have watched the transition from socialism to fascism at close quarters, the connection between the two systems is obvious. The realization of the socialist program means the destruction of freedom. Democratic socialism, the great utopia of the last few generations, is simply not achievable.” Hayek

    Hitler united his people against a common enemy, don’t hate, don’t fall in the same nationalist mistake the depressed germans did in their darkest hour.

    Long live freedom and capitalism.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Mike,

      When you learn how catalan society’s really work, you get the facts, you discover interesting things.

      I really believe that in Catalonia there is more association and social entities than actual human beings or citizens. They got an obsession for associations, you can find groups of almost anything, even the weirdest stuff.
      And the best is that they are soooo proud of it, of their strong social network.

      But this reveals that they barely believe in the freedom of individuals, rather they blindly believe in the freedom of the country, of an entity that is above the free citizen. You know, anything new at all… that’s why they tend to love socialists countries.

    • avatar
      Mike

      Quite embarrassing that one of the most high up chaps in North Korea’s foreign relations is from Catalonia….

      However, i insist, what does it mean to be Catalonian? When your grandfather was born in Extremadura?

      What does it mean to be Spanish, to be English, to be Irish? if we all share blood…

    • avatar
      victor

      Ignasi,

      In Catalonia there is a long tradition of associationism and social entities because it is an advanced and solidarity society. It is a particularity of my culture that makes us proud, eventhough you cannot understand the undelaying values and laugh about it.

      Find below some cool examples of Catalan associationism below:

      – Catalan Human Towers (‘castellers’)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeyTr43cEYw

      – Television of Catalonia’s telethon raises highest per capita solidarity in the world . The 2012 telethon raised 10,113,152 € against cancer. It means the highest per capita solidarity event in the world (1,35€/inhabitant)
      http://www.tv3.cat/marato/

      – Summer Festival in Gracia Village in Barcelona ‘Les festes de Gràcia’ 100% organized by the neighbors of the village
      http://www.festamajordegracia.cat/album/album/carrers-guarnits-2010

    • avatar
      jake winnings

      dude, i couldn’t agree more!
      what you say is the absolute truth!
      An independent Catalonia will never be free.
      and,
      what will Catalonia do with the 47% who are against independence? Will they have the right to also “determine their future”? if they want to join back with Spain or be independent? i need a more clear answer on this one. Because catalans claim they’ll be more “democratic” so…. i need to know

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Jake,

      In Twitter you can find plenty of messages of secessionists “on fire”. For instance yesterday I read a tweet saying that “When Catalonia is independent country that 47% of spaniards living here will SUFFER what we are SUFFERING now belonging to Spain”.

      As I mentioned several times, this is just sickening. A sovereign Catalonia would be like Estonia, a country where a 50% of ruling ethnical class will bully the other half. This may happen, and this 50% would be abandoned to their fate of forced to be deported. Even worse if Spain reacts and does not want leave them alone… then it’s the war, another Yugoslavia in Western Europe because of the madness of some illuminated people taking advantage of an economic weakness situation… scary

    • avatar
      victor

      Mike,
      Which part of our Catalonian culture is not being eliminated?
      Find some examples below:

      – Catalan language is being harassed in the judicial proceedings
      http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2013/01/council-of-europe-urges-spain-to.html
      – Spanish government continues its policy of language suppression in the Balearic islands and Valencia
      http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2012/12/linguistic-apartheid-at-balearic-schools.html
      http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2012/11/council-of-europe-urges-spain-to.html
      – Sentences of High Court of Justice imposes the use of Spanish in Catalonia
      http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2012/05/sentences-of-high-court-of-justice.html
      – Spanish Minister of Education, José Ignacio Wert said “Our interest is to Spanish-cize Catalan students so that they feel proud of being Spanish.”
      http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2012/10/spanishizing-catalan-schoolchildren.html
      – Catalan Flag Burned on Live TV
      http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2013/01/catalan-flag-burned-on-live-tv.html

      I am Catalan, so I like to talk to my daughter in my language even it is a minority one like Swedish, Danish or Dutch. At the same time, I strongly invest in her education to let her speak global languages like English, Spainish and very soon Chinese (like I do), 我的朋友.

      Your comments shows me your lack of undestanding of Catalanism main stream.

      As as Catalan, I feel very happy when I see an AfroCatalan person fully integrated in my country, having a productive work and learning my languange, or even climbing human towers ‘castellers’… Your comments about ‘blood purity’ and ‘race’ has nothing to do with this… and seems extracted from Franco’s ages.

      An increasing number of the most ardent supporters of Catalan independence do not even have roots in the region. They are immigrants from the rest of Spain or the rest of the world who have embraced separatism because they believe Catalonia, historically an economic powerhouse, would be more prosperous out of Spain.

      For example, my mother was born out of catalonia, she spoke spanish with my father and me, but I spoke catalan with my sister and my father…. and you know, I am supporting independence… like many of the people who live in Catalonia. Check this cool video link about last demonstration of 1,5 milion people:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xFDj27y_xE

  122. avatar
    jake winnings

    It’s funny how catalan people say they don’t feel related to spain,
    when in fact, catalonia is at least 35% genetically from adaluz and galacia. Not to talk of the other regions not mentioned! So any one can be catalan? even colombians and argentinians in barca? what is the criteria to know who’s catalan and who’s not?

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Jake,

      Well this you say is not so accurate.

      This 35% is due to massive migrations from Andalusia and Galicia in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Secessionists often whine that this was planned by dictatorship to put catalans aside and make Catalonia more “spanish”. Whether this is true or not, it does not matter, as those people and their offsprings have been diluted into catalan or hybrid new cultures, so that hypothetic plan had fail anyway.

      So then before that time in XX century, Catalonia was made of catalans “100% pure”. Well, not at all. Before the 60’s there have been of course more migrations in the past, but from less distant places as of course communications were not so developed by that time. For instance, many catalans are descendants of inhabitants of Aragon region from the beginning of XX and end of XIX century.

      The history of Spain is plenty of internal migrations. In the Middle Age, the era of “Re-conquest”, lots of people from north migrated to south to populate empty spaces that muslims left behind. This is why you can find quite more blond, blue-eyed people in cities like Sevilla than anywhere northern.

    • avatar
      victor

      Catalans are the persons who live and work in Catalonia.
      Nothing else. As you can see there is no genetics or ethnics definitions here.

      I do not feel related to Spain because this state is against my culture, society and economy. For example, there are high tolls at Catalan highways while most of the highways in the rest of Spain are free.
      Find ironic but accurate video below:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpO_9bpCaUs
      And there are many other examples in this forum.

    • avatar
      jake winnings

      Spain is against what culture?
      remember that catalan culture is still spanish culture as a whole. i think there’s a difference between Castilian culture and Spanish culture. how do i say this? regional cutures are different: basque, catalan, galician, castilian. spanish is the overall culture! just like saying European culture. do you get it now? its not just the language! Who even knew there was something like catalan culture?
      Stop promoting nonsense you freak! Even i, a foreigner understand why some castilians make fun of you.
      YOu’ll always bring childish claims about not being part of spain? excuse me! where did you think you guys came from?
      Seriously, i’l personally advice the spanish government to lock up all those @##^#$# promoting independence! Like in Russia! its the only way to completely delete this nonsensical “secessionist catalans” idiots.
      when other countries are striving to be developed and advanced, your only dream is destroy spain, not worrying about how it will damage the lives of you RELATIVES. like it or not! now…GET OVER IT. and move on with your lives.
      stop blaming ‘spain” for your misery: if you’re unemployed its because you did not go to school, or you can’t be creative on your own to succeed in life without a third party! Only lazy people will have time fighting for some dead roten gross language which they are not even related to the people ethnically.lol . please!
      if you’re not ethnically catalan but feel so much in love with catalan and you’re willing to sacrifice your life for it, why not do same thing with spanish? You just feel the need to hate spanish as a way of life? Nonsense!. @#$@hole. stupid people!

    • avatar
      Eli

      Why do you insult all time the people who support the Catalan independence? Your words are full of hate and resentment. It’s a pity!
      I think that most of the habitants of Catalonia love the Catalan culture, due to its language, gastronomy, architecture…etc… it is more than 1000 years old, it has quality and global recognition.
      Your words “dead rotten gross language” regarding the Catalan are completely false because it is the 88th language spoken in the world, ahead Swedish and Bulgarian, for example.
      Perhaps you think that the minority languages no need protection? Why do you think that EU supports the minority languages?
      Think about it.

  123. avatar
    jake winnings

    Catalonia will be independent only when pigs fly! n’ff said!
    You guys think Artur mas truly loves Catalonia? or is it JUST for money?
    and remember: HE LOOKS LIKE CHARLIE SHEEN for GOD’S SAKES!
    All men with that genotype are naturally deceptive in nature!
    Any catalan who wishes independence, is @#$%%^$^&^%&%$%$^&*^$%$
    so you wish the death of thousands of people and children, in the name of some stupid language or whatever@#$@#? You guys need therapy!

    • avatar
      victor

      Jake,

      Yourcomments are full of hate…
      Please, breath deeply and calm down….

      If you cannot listen to people who thinks in another way than you do without insulting them, it means that you are not a democrat … so get closer and closer to fascism.

      I hope you do not really want to be fascist, so try to accept naturally other different opinions. (Accept does not mean agree with)

      About Artur Mas comment, I want to share with you my point of view.
      Catalan people is not following him, he is doing what people is pushing him to do. Check what happenend after the 1,5 M Demonstration of Sept 11 2012, the communicate of the ANC (Catalan National Assembly) and recently the Catalan Elections on 25 Nov.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNBG9GckaEs

      If Artur Mas is put in jail, or killed, .. , another Catalan leader will take his place. Remember what happened with Lluis Companys (the 123th President of Catalonia) He was killed by Franco 70 years ago., but catalanism is today alive and stong.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llu%C3%ADs_Companys

  124. avatar
    Ignasi

    Secessionist vote in Catalonia had been typically less than 20% when not inside the “lunatic fringe”.
    It’s been only in last few years that had become close to 50% overall and majority in countryside. It’s been all of a sudden, really.

    It all obeys to a designed campaign of the secessionist. Instead of being frustrated from being irrelevant, they just allocated people with plenty of time to make calculations.

    They just waited until inmigrants from rest of Spain were older and started to demographically decline, and their offsprings were subtly infected by secessionist ideas (by means of school and media), then it was only a matter of wait until an economic crisis to come to blaim Spain “occupation” for the misery, that all desperate poor people would just embrace the idea of an independent Catalonia as the cure of that misery.

    This is why catalan goverment wants a referendum where even non-EU inmigrants and teenagers could vote as well. They want to set te rules so they can grab as many pro-independence votes as possible. Just another of their martingales of course.

    This “window of opportunity” just came in with a horrible crisis with fiery unemployemnt, so secessionist think that “it’s now or never” and will play anything whether is fair or not to reach their FIRST golden dream. But remember, if they succeed, they will be so intoxicated with their “glory” that they will start their catalan imperialist dream right after, looking for add Balearic Islands first, then the Aragon fringe, then Valencia… trying to rebuild the ancient Aragon Crown centralized in Catalonia of course, and also trying to inflict as much pain to Spain (Castille as they thought) as possible.

    In summary: really sickening. But certainly they managed to grab a mass of people for their cause, so I have to admit they are really good in Social Engineering and Social Media intoxication.

    • avatar
      victor

      Ignasi,
      You are continously attacking Catalan soberanism with words like ‘really sickening’ and ‘Social Media intoxication’.
      Why are you so rude? I suggest you to express your disagreement without insulting. It would be more democratic and for your side and pleasant for the ones who take their time to read your words

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Insulting?

      First, I find some situation that is really sickening, why not use that word? If I recognize real social media intoxication, why shut up?

      Insulting? Attacking? What about the hundreds of attacks to the nation of Spain and to all spaniards when accusing them with false premises? Is that more democratic? Come on!!

      Europe may know that this sort of independency process is far from being clean and romantic cause, but full of dirty tricks of all sorts and from all sides.

      May be you are tired of attacks to your cause but believe me, not even half of insults and attacks we spaniards have to hear everyday from a crazy mass-movement that thought everyone would say Yes to their plans with no disagreement like we all were lambs. Believe theres is more and more people everyday who used to be apolitical that are reacting and waking up against this wicked game of the Secesionism… and it’s not insulting, it is just plain talking…

  125. avatar
    Stefan Badita

    I say NO! NO! NO! Catalonia must remain in Spain. If this small region became independent some ripple effects will be felt in Europe, and will create a weak Europe with 100 countries, small, uncapable of self sustain….., for example:

    1. Ținutul Secuiesc, 3 counties in center of Roumania, very small in-state country, no economy, no industry, nothing.
    2. Srspka Republic in Bosnia
    3. Transnistria in Moldova
    4. Germany will divide also
    5. Italy split in 5-6 small countries, but same language
    6. Scotland will became independent
    7. France will feel the effects too
    8. Kosovo in Serbia is the same like Catalunia in Spain
    ………………………………………………………………………………..

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      What’s the matter JoJo? Concerned about the ‘ripple’ effects in Spain? Because you’ve forgotten to mention the Basques and Galiza. Spain is not a country. It’s not a nation. It’s a “blanket of scraps”.

      Also, PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO RETURN OLIVENÇA and pay compensation for the illegal occupation of a Portuguese territory.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Almost no one from Olivenza wants to become portuguese… now the borders between Spain and Portugal not exist at all, people can walk in and out as many times as they want in a day like they were living in the same country, so what’s the matter with this?

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      Really? Have they told you that? That’s not the point. Sovereignty is not a matter of choice. Besides, whether requiring it or not, by the Portuguese Constitution they all are Portuguese as they were born in a Portuguese territory.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      “Sovereignity is not a matter of choice”… Fantastic!! Then you are denying self-determination to catalonians, huh? :-D

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      On the contrary. I am all in favor of independence of Catalonia. Spain is not a nation. Spain is Castillians controlling a vast abducted territory made of nations. Catalonia it isn’t and will never be Spain. Being part of Spain doesn’t mean it is Spain. They have a History, language and culture of their own. Spain, along the centuries have tried to curb it. Not only in Catalonia but i.e. in Galiza. If you’re so sure Catalonians would gladly remain under the control of Castillians recognize their right to decide of their future and accept the consequences. But don’t try to dupe the reality.
      OLIVENÇA (and not Olivenza) is a “de jure” Portuguese territory occupied by Castillians as well. You’ve recognize it in international treaties and promise to return it to Portugal. But you never did. Castillians are just a bunch of monky liers. Do you want respect? Try to impale yourselves.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      OK so then your position is: Catalonians got the right to decide about their sovereignty but Oliventians not. Right. You seem like a kid establishing his own rules for his own football match, so tender :-)

      OlivenZa and all other territories that belong to the Spanish Kingdom are so because of historic facts, most of the times alien to the people, like royal weddings, wars, agreements, so forth and so on.

      Portugal could be perfectly now under Spanish Crown if those facts had been slightly different (some minor changes in weddings or so). All big nations are an ensemble of diverse nationalities, and they don’t have to split into minor countries.

      If Portugal is so homogeneous, may be it is because is not a big nation yet :-)

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      Your ignorance its excruciating, Ignasi.

      Do you have any clue about what you’re talking about? Portugal is one of the oldest nations on earth. Certainly the oldest when it comes to maintaining intact it’s on borders.

      No one loves their country for its size or power, but because it’s their own.

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      That’s right. You can’t compare both cases.

      Olivença was taken during peninsular wars and should have been returned to Portugal as your own government agreed to in a international treaty. Olivença, although still administered by Spain it is not a territory of Spain. What you’re claiming its no different of ethnic cleansing you condemned in Kosovo and other parts of the former Yugoslavia.

      Catalonia, has a different historic. It’s a nation on their own right.

      The amazing thing is that you do not give Catalonians the right to self determination or independence (look at the British having a referendum about Scotland only in Scotland), but you have no shame to claim Gibraltar as a spanish territory.

    • avatar
      victor

      The UE would be stronger with more cohesion within its states and with smaller less powerful states.
      Why be dominated by Germany or France ? Give more power to the Union like the US and work for common interest.
      For example, I think that France should not be alone in current conflict in Africa because at the end all Europe would benefit of more stable natural gas supply from that area.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      This is the theory and it does not sound bad at all, but we’re still far from that. Particular interests of different countries are still so far from being a common cause.

      France still loves to feel its “grandeur” acting in the countries that belonged to it in the past. It should not be alone, it is actually not alone but it wants to be the star in this movie.

      It may be a stronger EU that acts without seeing older borders and still good old countries exist without the need to be shattered in pieces. But the current EU structure and bureaucracy (or “bureaucrazy”) is still far from work that way, so by now I think it is safer to keep current borders.

  126. avatar
    victor

    Catalonia nation brief Story

    – Starting the 12th century, during the Middle Ages, Barcelona experienced an era in which it flourished in all aspects of city life. It was considered the hearth of the Crown of Aragon territories, which included the kingdom of Valencia, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and settlements in Naples, Sicily, Sardinia and Athens in the thirteenth century.

    – This flourishing period came to an end during the 15th century, since the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile in 1469 united the two main kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula and moved the center of political power to Madrid.

    – Catalan discontent increased in the course of time due to facts like wars between France and Spain as part of the Thirty Year’s War, because local peasants were forced to quarter Castilian troops. It caused the Pau Claris’ ephemeral proclamation of Catalan Republic and the well known “Guerra dels Segadors” (Reapers’s war), between 1640 and 1659.

    – Later, Catalan nobilty sided with the Habsburgs against the Bourbon Philip V, during the Succession War in Spain (1701-1714). This war ended in Barcelona’s conquest by Franco-Castilian troops, Philip’s coronation, the abolition of Catalan Autonomy and an enormous degree of repression. The Fosar de les Moreres, located next to the Santa Maria del Mar church, recalls this defeat and a lit flame
    represents the remembrance of all Catalonians who fell during the Succession War.

    – Barcelona was bombed again in 1842 by artillery installed Montjuïcpor general Espartero said. A bombardment that lasted almost 13 hours in order to punish the civil uprising of Barcelona against the Spanish government. During that fell on the city bombardment projectiles 1014, 460 buildings were destroyed and thirty people died.

    -In 1936 the Spanish Civil War broke out, thousands of people were forced into exile abroad while the bombings devastated Barcelona . In 1939, when the Civil War ended and Franco’s dictatorship began, Catalonia lost many of its freedoms, including the self-government it had achieved in the past and the Catalan language was once again prohibited.

    – Franco’s death in 1975 finally brought democracy to Spain. Barcelona reinstated the Generalitat and regained its place as the capital of Catalonia an Autonomous Community within the Kingdom of Spain, with the status of historical region in the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

    – In September 2005, the Parliament of Catalonia approved the definition of Catalonia as a ‘nation’ in the preamble of the new Statute of Autonomy (autonomous basic law). The 120 delegates of all parties (CiU, PSC, ERC, ICV-EA) with the exception of the 15 delegates of the Partido Popular approved this definition. In the opinion of the Spanish Government this has a ‘declaratory’ but not a ‘legal’ value, since the Spanish Constitution recognises the indissoluble “unity of the Spanish Nation”.

    – After four years of deliberations, the Constitutional Court of Spain assessed the constitutionality of the challenged articles and its binding assessment was released on June 28 of 2010. By a 6 to 4 majority, the Court’s justices rewrote 14 articles and dictated the interpretation for 27 more, mainly relating to language, justice and fiscal policy. The judgment reassured that the term “nation” used in the preamble has no legal standing. It left without effect any of the legal clauses that could have guaranteed a true measure of self-government for Catalonia. It also abolished all the mechanisms that had been put in place to minimize the distortionary effects of the existing Spanish tax and transfer system. The legitimacy of the decision has been widely questioned in Catalonia: the term of three of the twelve members of the Court had already expired when a decision had been made; a fourth member had passed away and the Spanish Parliament had not appointed any successor.

    – In 2010 following the decision of the Constitutional Court, Catalan public opinion grew increasingly favorable to hold a referendum to decide whether Catalonia should become an independent state from Spain. In addition a huge demonstration against this decision filled Barcelona’s streets with aprox 1 milion people. See attached airplane images:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHtYn9NL2do

    – By mid 2012, polls shows that 80 per cent of Catalans would vote in an independence referendum. Among those that would turn, about 60 per cent would vote for secession, 25 to 30 per cent against. The remaining 10 to 15 percent are still undecided.

    – the 11.09.2012 aprox 1,5 milion people joint in a demonstration calling for Catalonia’s independence of Spain inside the EU. See attached video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNBG9GckaEs

    – Partido Popular is currently ruling Spain and sistematically imposing laws reducing Catalan autonomy and any possibility to hold a legal refrendum to ask Catalonians.

    Support Catalan Referendum and let democracy decide
    :)

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      OK OK, Welcome to the great show of Biasing the History, hosted by our beloved friend Victor!

      (cheers)

      or “How to drive a bulldozer over history and present it totally distorted to talk in favor of my interests”. Did you really are aware that now everyone can learn history and compare your story with actual History?? Did you really believe that people may buy this simple story about Catalonia?

      Well,… may be the lazy ones, that’s the way it is, but…

      1) You start in the 12th century, why? Was Catalonia any older? Why did you say Barcelona and not Catalonia? What a confusion for a beginner!

      But ok, let’s accept your huge ad hoc intro…

      2) “…This flourishing period came to an end […] since the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon […] and moved the center of political power to Madrid.

      WOW, Where did you learn history? at ERC’s party headquarters??

      Precisely AFTER that marriage, Crown of Aragon troops were soooo successfully in its Naples territory, smashing powerful french troops with the help of a…. oh, wait!! a Castillian captain, Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba a.k.a “El Gran Capitán”. But of course, this needs to be hidden and covered shhhhhhht…..

      Also, after the marriage the kingdoms continued to exist, it was just the unification of a crown. In Castille, there was several centers of power by that time, Madrid was only one of them, a minor one by the way… the court was at Valladolid, Segovia, Toro…. if Castille was by that time brighter and more dynamic and important than Aragon Kingdom, so what? May it’s here when that inferiority complex starts out… (subject of study!)

      3) You tell that catalan peasants were angry for being forced to host Imperial troops. What you don’t mention is those same catalan peasants were even MORE angry with French troops that were camping before spanish ones… may be catalan peasants had no guts to face them?

      4) Catalan Courts were accepting at first Philippe Bourbon and swore loyalty to him as their King when he went to Barcelona. Short after that, the contender, the duke Charles came to Barcelona and then they swore loyalty to him. This is typically named betrayal. So it is not strange that when Philippe won the succession war, wanted to smash disloyal catalans, isn’t?

      and like this many many other counter examples you omitted of course…

    • avatar
      victor

      Hello Ignasi,
      Taking into the account the amount of conflicts between Catalunya and bigger Castilla (or Spain) and the level of cultural and economic repression suffered by Catalonia during more than 350 years, it is clear that current independence process is not due to current crisis.
      It has deep roots in the history and the feelings of Catalan people.
      Ignasi, I admit that this time you have not insulted myself, but instead of that, you have offended Catalan people several times: ‘ inferiority complex ‘, ‘ catalan peasants had no guts’, ‘catalan betrayal’…. You disqualify your comments yourself.
      History is full of data about the difficulties and incomprehension of Catalonia within the Spainish empire… Even your comments present this typical Spanish incomprehension vs Catalan view…
      Your comments could be summarized as ‘ if you do not agree to be assimilated by Spanish culture, you are against me.’ … and you know, this is far away my point of view.
      We Catalan people want to live in peace with our neightbours and brothers from Spain, but we need a separe State to be able to exist.
      Support Catalan Referendum and let democracy decide
      :)

      PS. I said Barcelona on point 1. to facilitate the comprehension of foreigners. You know, Catalonia like Castilla was on XII were mainly at the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. That is why, I though it woud be better described like Barcelona (County of Barcelona = Comtat de Barcelona).
      Check attached a cool map from century VIII-XII at the wikipedia
      http://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitxer:Comtats_catalans_s._VIII-XII.svg

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      This comment has been removed by moderators for breaching our Code of Conduct. Replies may also be removed.

  127. avatar
    jake winnings

    just wait till MADRID starts putting Catolonia into real PAIN. i admit; it will be entertaining to watch:D
    To see how catalans scream and shout their brains out, feeling the need to defend their language and culture. So touching! I’ve read rumors that MADRID can/ has the power to cancel autonomous regions and divide, rename the region if She wants to.
    If they divide and rename the catalan region into 3-5 new regions, will the catalan unity be strong?
    Madrid, i’ll admit, is that mysterious “devil” that i love:D….so sinister and so damn impressive! ALWAYS cleaning the tracks! look the accomplishments in Valencia and those ibiza islands, the destruction of catalan language. God gave Madrid a bow for such greats acts in promoting Hispania! Even though God tried to stop Madrid, he gave up, and recognized who’s the real Master? Of course you all know it!
    i can’t wait to see her next move. Madrid; only you can f*$k those Catalans in the @$$
    May Lucifer guide you in this brave Quest as ALWAYS. SHINE your lights upon them…they will come to back to their senses when they realize there’s no escape from Madrid, SPAIN, and the “curse” will live forever in their hearts, tormenting their souls restlessly for eternity. Amen!

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      ¿Por qué no te callas, pendejo?

      Are you looking for another civil war, you moron?

    • avatar
      jake winnings

      i know Portuguese people are wishing for the fall of spain. Its all over youtube, some even declaring they’ll raise funds for Catalonia to buys arms, that Portugal is free today because of Catalonia. and the list goes on.
      Get over it. catalonia will be independent only if Portuguese people surrender their rights back to Spain! Spain should claim back portugal. its their land!
      its impossible for Spain to loose on both ends! our Holy lord, Lucifer (may peace be upon him) will not allow this. and stop saying Spain should give Olivencia back. its total nonsense! its not gonna happen in the next 998374645373839373628 years, i can assure you that.
      Who even knew there’s a country called Portugal? i thought it was a region like Galicia in Spain. Until they’ve got mouths to talk badly about Spain. May Lucifer punish all those Pigs/geese called Portuguese. Amen
      P.S, portuguese women are beautiful by the way.

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      Portuguese support Catalonia firstly as a token of gratitude. They made it easier for us to get rid of Castillian duchebags; secondly, well!, because Castillians are, in fact, duchebags. No questions about it!

      Cataloni will be independent. Galiza will be independent. Country Basque will be independent. Olivença will return to Portuguese administration.

      However we will still allow you to exist. Resumed to your insignificance, for we can all live without Castillian duchebags.

      Mind you that you King was brought up in Portugal, speaks fluently Portuguese and that without him and the education and protection we provided him with you’d still be under some dictatorship rule. So be careful. Be very careful. He, all of the sudden, might decide to be more Portuguese than Castillian, move the Capital city to Lisbon and put you duchebags under Portuguese rule.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Ha ha ha

      Before this post I thought that there was anyone freakier and trollier than Jake Winnings but man you gained the crown by your own merits! Congratulations!

      I’d rather let you alone in the dark while you masturbate your mind with your dreams of Hate against Castille… man, a psicoanalist will just freak out with you as a patient!!

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      Lacking arguments, Ignasi? No problem. We understand for we know that you guys have a thick genetic code. ;)

    • avatar
      jake winnings

      i know Portuguese people are jealous of Spain because of the success of the Castillian language. Well, if not for Brazil, no one would even imagine that there’s a language called Portuguese!
      It raves your hearts to see that Brazil will soon become a bilingual nation in the future. what an irony. it will have the same problems in Catalonia indeed.
      The media (most ads on tv clearly promote the message, learn to speak spanish), schools, almost everyone i met in brazil could speak and understand Spanish, but try Argentina, Colombia or Venezuela and see if someone even knows what portuguese language is! If the Brazilian Government keeps promoting Spanish like they are doing now, i see a very dark future for Portuguese! It will be just like the us here! Spanish will live forever! Im almost sure that by 2050, more than half of the American population will be able to use Spanish with very high standards, same goes for Brazil! But who can blame them? Portuguese as we all know it is a dialect from Spanish! just like Catalan but Portuguese is much more closer!
      Who will prefer to speak a Dialect instead of the real deal?
      but anyways Spanish will always be the most used Romantic language, ever!
      The Portuguese in Brazil was bound to fall as globalization truly starts to kick in. You all know Brazil wants to be the main country in Latin america but there’s a catch, they speak Portuguese and NO one is going to take them seriously. So the government came up with obvious way out. to promote Schools! I even found them watching Argentinian series in spanish and they seem to understand EVERYTHING!
      http://transpanish.biz/translation_blog/the-spanish-language-in-brazil/

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      You know nothing. You’re a complete moron.

      Brazil has around 180 million people and you’re talking to me about 1 million learning Spanish? The “Museu da Lingua Portuguesa” (http://www.museulinguaportuguesa.org.br/) is based in S.Paulo. I tell you what, if they learn Castilian (not Spanish as you say) the same way they learn Portuguese, if it will ever – as you’d wish – became a widespread language in Brazil, they’d screw it in a blink of an eye. Trust me. But you, conveniently, forgot an important aspect of it: Portuguese has been taught in all the Spanish countries, belonging to Mercosul. So forget about it. You’re more likely to get an hybrid language in another hundred years than to have Brazil speaking Castilian.

      Portuguese and Galego share the same roots. In despite de fact they all are romance languages, they have nothing to do with Castilian. Portuguese is much richer than Castilian. Talk not about what you know nothing about.

  128. avatar
    Debating Europe

    This has been a popular thread, but if people cannot follow our code of conduct (i.e. respect one another, debate the arguments and don’t make it personal) then we will have to lock the thread. Please don’t insult one another, and stick to the arguments themselves.

    • avatar
      Luís Eusébio

      This comment has been removed by moderators.

  129. avatar
    Luís Eusébio

    Exemplo de racismo linguístico na Galiza. Na Catalunha mais do mesmo… http://youtu.be/Im69fzNSDOU

  130. avatar
    Chesus Galindo

    Catalan opresion and abuse suffered in Aragon.

    As an aragonese citizen (a region bordering Cataluña) i have to suffer abuse and bulying from catalan region:

    -if after secondary school I want to go to a catalan university, despite in the selectividad exam (national spanish exam at the end of secondary school to choose a faculty depending on the marks achieved) i have studied more sacrificed more and finally achieved better marks than most catalans tring to get into the same faculty as me, just for being catalans they will be in the acess list before me. even in the remote posibility that i am able to get into, i still will have to learn catalan to follow the classes despite the are open to all spainards and we are in spanish terrytory. in the contrary if any catalan wants to study in Aragon, and get better selectividad marks than other students from aragon he will get in better positions competing directly with us and no protectionist discrimination like the catalans. Also he wont have to study another new language than spanish.

    -Zaragoza, the capital of aragon, is exactly at the same 300 km (more or less) from madrid and barcelona and also from toulouse, but despite the aragonese claim to have a central pyrenees tunnel to france and good communications with france to be in the same condition as is actually basque country and catalonia, both regions have allways vetoed a cental pass that would benefit aragon because as we are closer to the south of france, the lorries and trains that actually use the communications infrastructures and taxed freeways would not go though catalonia but though Aragon that is closer to France.
    Think of the high gross of income that cataluña and basque country would loose if the merchandaises were going from madrid to paris though a central pass directly, instead of having to go to the meditrranean coast of la junquera in catalonia, or though the cantabric sea coast, thought Irun in the basque country
    As an aragonese living in Zaragoza i would be able to go to work to toulouse in the same that takes me to go to Barcelona. but this delayed and necessary infrastructure is something that should have been done at least 20 yearas ago.
    Sooner or later we will see it done, we will keep fighting against catalan oppression and abuse.

    Catholic church has administered itself in the past in districts that didnt correspiond exactly to regions and so the dicesis( catholic church region) of cataluña also administered aragon.
    For the last decades the leader of this diocesis has beeing stripping all aragonese small village churches of their riches, of their middle aged holly crosses figures and ancient altar pices of the highest value, they have stolen it in vans and brought to catalonia Lerida diocesis. Having denounced this steals on behalf of the catalan catholich curch. after gong to trial several times, all trials and judges have resolved in favor of returning the goods to their original churches in Aragon even the pope trial in rome decided into returnning the pieces, and a museum in Aragon has been made so they are better cataloged and no any other thief or catalan can steal them any more, they still have not returned the pieces, Just because they are catalans nobody is forcing them to return the pieces.
    On the contrary in the case of the catalans claiming the registers of the civil war of the catalans that was in Salamanca they could make the cops force into returning them to catalonia.
    this is a clear case of the typical greed and insolidaryty of catalans as the traditional saying: “what belongs to the catalans to catalonia and what is not also”

    the bias in geographical “mistakes” in maps edited in Catalonia is also common, normaly you find Aneto mountain, the highest in Aragon pyrinees with 3404m inside catalan borders, the same as you find aragonese border villages also in catalonia. despite this aragonese border villages that in aragon are called “la franja” speack their own Aragonese language variant catalans insult them telling that they speak catalan and that they belong to the occidental catalonia. they bully political leaders in the area into trying to make offical language catalan in aragon, IN MY OWN REGION where it has never been spoken. Total nationalist craze and madness.

    In terms of history, the bias is even bigger. Aragonese crown called Catalano-Aragonese (which never existed as i explain in my first post) some kings with the names changed to fit the “history” that some catalans would like to have, not the real one.
    The biggest danger is that the hystorical archive of the crown of aragon, that should be in Zaragoza, the crown hystorical capital of Aragon, is instead in barcelona, where under catalan control they are very likelly to manipulate document or “lose” documents in order to fit to the fanatic nationalistic desire evidence has been already prooved that famous Bofarull familly, the old administrators of the archive already manipulated watever they wanted in this sense.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Chesus,

      I think you are missing the point. I disagree with your post in some points:

      1) The “Central Corridor”. This project would be a very expensive work. I all cases, to make merchandises pass through the rougher part of the Pyrennes instead of the existing, easy passes of both ends, it is far from being an efficient investment. And this has nothing to do about politics, it is pure engineering.

      Moreover, even if this pass-through is done, you will be connecting to secondary roads in France, and trucks would hardly do their way until they could connect with some highway to Toulouse.

      But what is true is that if Catalonia gains its independence and Basque Country shortly after… Spain is really screwed because all import/export traffic would have to pass by catalan or basque soil before reach Europe, so it is estrategically key to Spain to preserve those borders. If not, it may be forced to build this central pass-through way to not depend on third countries, but this is so expensive that it would not be able.

      The most interesting and efficient solution for Spain, Catalonia and Europe is that both Basque Country and Catalonia remain stable and inside Spain with no political turbulence so Major infrastructures could be build like the Mediterranean Corridor, from Almería (Andalusia) to Montpellier, and another one from Portugal to Bourdeaux via Basque Country. This will provide with wealth that would be spread out the whole european region (south France-Spain-Portugal) and provide with resources to then build that central corridor. But in this order.

      2) I know many people living in those towns in that “Fringe” area of Aragon. They speak exactly the SAME catalan than their neighbors inside Catalonia. If you want to name that language Aragonese, it’s up to you, but absolutely no one who’s serious can deny that is exactly the same language.

  131. avatar
    Ignasi

    Another example of how catalans distort History: in the beginning of XIX century, the war against Napoleon troops that were occupying Spain was called the “War of Independence”, so to say that Spain re-gained its independence form France after invasion. But in Catalonia, they officially name it “The French War”, to avoid put itself in the same independence fight than rest of Spain.

    The Spanish Civil War is often named in Catalonia as “The War of Spain”, because if it was called “Civil War”, it would mean that it was a war inside the same country…

    Just a couple of examples of language perversion in favor of a political cause.

    • avatar
      victor

      Ignasi,
      If it makes you happy, let’s call the wars the way you prefer.
      I do not care at all. The point is the huge amount of conflicts between Catalunya and Spain and the level of cultural and economic repression suffered by Catalonia during more than 350 years.
      Let’s admit it Ignasi, Catalan culture has never loved in Spain. Catalan countries have been systematically mistreated and economically drained. The same way that Spain already did to other countries that are independent today.

      I think that we all (Spain and Catalonia) would be better in separate States within EU (with freedom of commerce and liberty of people movement as we have today …) but without cultural and economic repression from Spanish Central goverment.

      I want Catalonia to be the next state in the EU.
      Let’s make a referendum and ask Catalan people what they want.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Victor,

      I respect your position but I cannot and won’t admit something that is just false, as it can barely proved to be true. I am referring to your statements like this:
      “Catalan culture has never loved in Spain…”. Really? How do you know that? Do you manage statistics that tell that? I don’t understand… What is supposed to be then? That everyone learned to dance Sardanas in Madrid o play human castles in Seville, for instance? What should the rest of Spain have done in order to proof their love to catalan culture??
      That statement is just silly, please demonstrate why should that be true?

      About Catalonia (or *Catalan countries* as you say, that also makes no sense) to be economically drained… this is unconsistent in the overall although it may lie some truth on it. But then it is a trick, again….

      Today Catalonia is not the top most contributor to the Spanish budget. It is third after Balearic Islands and Madrid. Historically, you can find quite more instances of countries being drained by others. For instance, in times of Spanish Empire (XVI century), when catalans now claim that Catalonia was let astray, it was Castille that was paying most of Empire’s expenses. By that time no Catalans nor Navarrians for instance were contributing anything to it, although they belonged to Spanish Crown.

      I mean, it may be true (and I think it is) that nowadays Catalonia is mistreated in terms of Tax Policy, as Spain Fiscal Policy is totally bad done and biased since there are abnormal exceptions (Basque Country and Navarra) who don’t have to be solidary with the rest of Spain. These uneven abnormalities could only lead to fracture, as we see now. But this is far beyond from being just a rebel region claiming for a more fair $$$ treatment. If it was just that, there would not be such a conundrum with it.

      It goes beyond and the roots are the MUTUAL historical suspicion between catalonians and the rest of Spain. I completely refuse the picture of one side bullying the other side (victim). This picture, that is what secessionists are waving to the world now, only comes from friends of the Black Legend. And of course, this is unhealthy.

      Or is that insulting???

  132. avatar
    Manuel Lorenzo

    I am from Barcelona: I think Catalonia should not become an independent country, or at the very least, not right now with the alternatives they would have to create goverment: CIU, ERC which have proven to be corrupt, incompetent and sometimes even negligent goverments.
    If you want some examples just google “Informes ERC” or “Palau de la musica CIU”.

    Like the rest of Spain, they just have corrupt Goverments that have left the whole Spain in a terrible recession which according to widely accepted forecasts – will not be overcome until at least 2017 -.
    In all Spain the media is accountable for sending the wrong message, albeit in Catalonia it has also been used to manipulate Catalan’s opinion by repeating the message that “España nos roba” (Spain steals from us) they support their speech with distorted or false figures, forgetting and remembering only what they want.
    Nowadays people is naturally unhappy with Goverment, and Catalan parties like CIU, ERC among others have become the owners of this speech & that sadly took them to win the last polls recently.

    The reality, and that is very clear for those of us that follow closely the economic news is that this triumph is nothing but a desperate run onwards for Separatist Politicians who, scared of a possible (and for many also necessary) reduction of the size of Public Structures – which means less work posts for friends, relatives or people loyal to their cause – have been manipulating media during months to give an image of an Anti-Spanish Catalonia. As an example, the so-called Demonstration of 11-September was promoted during months by media such as TV3, La Vanguardia…

    I wish the best for Catalonia and for me it’s to grow along with Spain – I know it sounds impossible today – but if Catalonia were going to become independent (in which case most probably I’d emigrate) I hope they learnt the lesson from Spain and it was without ERC & CIU but with a fresh Technical Goverment eager to work for their people rather than manipulating and stealing and cheating.

    • avatar
      Victor

      Which media promoted the other huge soberanist demonstration back in 2010?
      For sure it was not la vanguardia. i think it was just spanish Constitutional Court, attacking Catalan estatute voted by the people of catalonia and accepted by spanish parlament.
      The demonstration against this decision filled Barcelona’s streets with aprox 1 milion people. See attached airplane images:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHtYn9NL2do

      Who supported the declaration of catalan state back in the 1930’s?
      Again la vanguardia or tv3 could not do it
      Consider that Most probably just catalan people did.

  133. avatar
    Roger Evans

    This comment has been removed by moderators.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      This comment has been removed by moderators.

  134. avatar
    Ignasi

    Yet another sample of “Social Engineering” or manipulation from catalan authorities in order to abduct catalan population, that Europeans may get to know:

    There is an entity called “Omnium Cultural” that they claim to be a cultural association to promote catalan culture and arts. That’s OK… so they just got public $$$ from catalan goverment, that is, tax money from ALL of us.

    But…What do they do with that money? They start campaigns of Social Influence in order to change people’s minds about independence and try to convert them in future voters for that option.

    In other words, all catalans, no matter they agree with independence or not, are paying with tax money a political lobby that is not a political party but something disguised of a cultural association to manipulate catalan society.

    That’s the way Secessionist play. Always tricking….

  135. avatar
    Daniel

    Nobody who has a little bit of common sense in Catalonia wants the independence. Why? Many of the most successful Spanish companies have their headquarters there, especially in Barcelona, as one of the most inetresting places to do business as Madrid. For example, Gas Natural , a huge company that provides energy to Spain would be out of business. Energy supply is a political and technological matter that depends on the national government. Therefore, the rest of Spain would be supplied by SPANISH companies such as Iberdrola. Another example, the Port of Barcelona is one of the biggest port in Spain because an important part of the products that the Spanish people buy come to Spain through that port. In a independent Catalonia , this port would lose a huge volume of business.

    Do you know who paid the construction of infrastructures that enable Barcelona to hold the Olimpic Games in 1992 ? The Spanish population ( Catalonia included ) through the taxes. Those investments made possible that event. As a result Barcelona is a modern and amazing city.

    Spain needs Catalonia but Catalonia even more needs Spain. This controversial topic has been promoted by politicians from Catalonia as a way of manupulating the population. It is deeply sad to read some comments of people in favour of the indepence while they are not aware of the future of their beloved land.

  136. avatar
    Marcel

    The People of Catalonia, would like to hold a referendum on whether or not they would like to become independent from the Spain. The Catalan people have their own distinct language, culture and traditions that are not being respected by the Spanish government.
    The European Union should openly force Spain to respect and legalize a binding referendum in Catalonia about the new relationship that Catalans want with Spain and the EU.
    The citizens of Catalonia have the right to decide freely, without fear or threats, and with as much information as possible.
    http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/
    Denouncing the silent war
    Spain is waging against Catalonia.

    • avatar
      Jordi

      I would like you to answer the following question. Provided that the referendum shows that in a village in Catalonia most of the citizens want to be part of Spain , will this village belong to Catalonia ?

      I am looking forward to reading your answer

    • avatar
      victor

      Obviously yes. this village belongs to Catalonia.
      Look at Quebec example, because you are so close to Catalonia that you may get obfuscated:
      – In Quebec many villages voted yes to independece but all the country remained in Canada because the majority of Quebec citizens voted this way
      – therefore just accept the opposite argument: if the majority of Catalan citizens vote yes to indepentendece then all Catalonia will become independent.

      I foresee a typical reply to my previous statement. If you defend that all Spain should vote the Catalan referendum, my answer is the same. Just look at other refrendums in advanced countries:
      – Only Scotish will vote for Scotland referendum
      – Only Quebec citizens voted on their referendum

      This is just democracy and international legislation and not the postfranquist spanish constitution.

  137. avatar
    Eli

    Daniel,
    Are you trying to scare the Catalan people with arguments about companies, port..? Don’t worry, a free Catalonia will be survive. Sure.
    Corcerning History and financing of Barcelona Olympic Games, you’re talking about a sort of gift from Spain to Catalonia. That’s a joke?
    Actually, these are the real financing that make possible the Barcelona Olympic Games’s budget:
    – 33,3%: sale of TV rights
    – 27’7%: donation of sponsors
    – 18,6: sale of commemorative coins, stamps and lottery
    – 5,5 %: sale of tickets
    – 2,1 %: licenses for use the graphical image of Barcelona Olympic Games
    – 9% : public funding
    Only 9% was public funding. Far from the 100% in taxes, as you said… your simply arguments cannot distort the reality. An the public funding not came only from Spanish Government, it contributed too Generalitat of Catalonia and Barcelona City Council.
    About these numbers, you can write an interesting paper of CEO-UAB Centro de Estudios Olímpicos (Jordi Sole Tura and Joan Subirats) “La organización de los Juegos Olímpicos de Barcelona’92: un ejemplo de economía mixta o de sociedad pública o privada”
    I want to remember the huge job of 30.000 Catalan volunteers in Barcelona Olympic Games. Another proof of effort and collective illusion, as nowadays is happening in Catalonia.

    Finally, I want to say that this topic has been promoted by EU, don’t forget it. So, respect it and don’t talk about manipulation.

    • avatar
      Roger Evans

      Don’t worry, Eli. Your reasoned arguments only come up against rote recitation of propaganda such people have been fed and continue to repeat themselves like automatons. One reason I’ve mostly stopped arguing here is because of the truth of Jay Rosen’s saying: “Untended, online comment sections have become sewers, protectorates for the deranged, depraved and deluded.”

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      But in another post Mr. Evans claims that he got “an extensive online experience”, so, if we join this fact with this about online comments sections are for “..“Untended, online comment sections have become sewers, protectorates for the deranged, depraved and deluded…”

      Take your own conclusions :-))

  138. avatar
    Juan

    Eli, did you check the ID of 30.000 volunteers in during the Olympic Games ? I helped as a volunteer there with more that 100 people from my city ( Zaragoza ) and I am still very proud of that.

  139. avatar
    Jordi

    Assuming that ,as a result of an hypothetical referendum , some villages in Catalonia want to be part of Spain, will these villages be part of Catalonia ?

    • avatar
      victor

      Obviously yes.
      Look at Quebec example, because you are so close to Catalonia that you may get obfuscated:
      – In Quebec may villages voted yes to independece but all the country remained in Canada because the majority of Quebec citizens voted this way
      – therefore just accept the opposite argument: if the majority of Catalan citizens vote yes to indepentendece then all Catalonia will become independent.

      I foresee a typical reply to my previous statement. If you defend that all Spain should vote the Catalan referendum, my answer is the same. Just look at other refrendums in advanced countries:
      – Only Scotish will vote for Scotland referendum
      – Only Quebec citizens voted on their referendum

      This is just democracy and international legislation and not the postfranquist spanish constitution.

  140. avatar
    Luís Eusébio

    Senhora, senhora do Almortão
    Senhora do Almortão
    Ó minha linda raiana
    Virai costas a Castela
    Não queirais ser castelhana

    Portuguese medieval song, from Beira Baixa.
    http://letras.mus.br/dulce-pontes/393171/

  141. avatar
    Bernat

    Main reasons why Catalonia can no longer be part of Spain:

    1. Spanish courts systematically overrule Catalan laws, decrees and political mesures, particularly when involving issues such as language, culture and political or economical sovereignty, with no respect at all to the catalan people democratic will (even against what previously was aproved by referendum by the people of Catalonia).

    2. Spanish parliament systematically dictates new laws to overrule any catalan law or decree newly aproved by the Catalan Parliament, particularly when involving issues such as language, culture and political or economical sovereignty, with no respect at all of the statutory powers given by the Spanish Constitution to the region and by the Catalan Statutory Chart that derives from it (the ‘Estatut d’Autonomia de Catalunya’).

    3. Spanish parliament systematically dictates new decrees and aproves new mesures to overrule any new decree aproved by the Catalan executive, particularly when involving issues such as language, culture and political or economical sovereignty, with no respect at all of the statutory powers given by the spanish Constitution to the region and by catalan statutory chart that develops it (the ‘Estatut d’Autonomia de Catalunya’).

    In short, Spain systematically OVERRULES the result of the catalan powers and the catalan people’s democratic will, in a political pressure that has been increasing year after year since the spanish dictatorship of Franco came to its end in 1975 and nowadays appears to be enormous to most of catalan citizens, particularly those ones who feel themselves not being spanish or being more catalan than spanish, last official polls showing that YES would win in a referendum of independence, obtaining more than 70% of votes, being the turnout upper to 70%.

    Barcelona fell to Spanish (Castillian) army in 1714, but the seven centuries of political freedom the region had lived from 980 to 1714, with its own parliament and without having to live under the rule of another country’s powers, created a national identity and a particular culture (including the creation of a strong national language) that remain alive still today.

    Political freedom by the citizens of Catalonia was officialy mantained untill 1714, although with a lot of difficulties since 1469, when the King of Catalonia & Aragon married the Queen of Spain (Castille).

    • avatar
      Peret

      Your historical ignorance is really painful to bear! Catalonia has been NEVER independent and the King of Spain is the legitimate successor of the Count of Barcelona. It never existed such a thing called “Kingdom of Catalonia”… And about law you don´t have a clue: a parliament cannot enact a “decree”, for example. You don´t explain a word of truth…

    • avatar
      Victor

      Catalonia has been an independent nation since 987 to 1714.
      For your information, Catalonia in the Middle Ages was known as Catalan counties that were united under the county of Barcelona.
      ‘In 987, the count of Barcelona did not recognise Hugh Capet, which effectively put Catalonia beyond Frankish rule.’
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalonia#History

      The theory of Nation-State appears in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), so it cannot be applied to a nation like Catalonia that is much older than that theory.
      If you say that Catalonia has been never independent is as false as proclaim that Universal Gravitation did not exist until Newton formulated the theory.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_state

  142. avatar
    Victor

    Recommended article: “Spain gets into ring to protect bullfighting” (Financial Times)
    We recommend the article “Spain gets into ring to protect bullfighting” by Miles Johnson published in The Financial Times.

    Some excerpts:
    Spain’s parliament is expected to declare bullfighting a protected national cultural pastime on Tuesday, stoking tensions with Catalonia where the sport is banned and raising questions about EU subsidies to the country’s struggling bull farmers.

    The ruling centre right Popular party will urge lawmakers to back the measure, which could provide the legal basis to overrule existing bans on bullfighting in Catalonia and the Canary Islands.

    (…) Currently Spanish farmers who use their land to cultivate fighting bulls receive EU subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy, criticised by Catalan nationalist politicians as public funding of a sport they argue is cruel to animals.

    • avatar
      Peret

      Of course! But you avoid mentioning that Catalan bullfights, the so-called “Correbous” are also payed by our own money , but they quite sweet to bulls… They are only striken blind!

    • avatar
      Victor

      Correbous is a tradition I would also ban.
      At least the animal is not killed at the end of the show, so yes it is sweeter than bullfights.

  143. avatar
    Luís Eusébio

    “Sou carioca de Goa, de Angola e da Guiné
    Cabo Verde, Moçambique, Timor-Leste e São Tomé
    Macau, Portugal mas vim pela Galicia”

    Independência para a Catalunha, Galiza e País Basco, já!

  144. avatar
    Peret

    The whole independence debate is rubbish, payed by our own money and a good way to avoid justice. Catalonia is not any more the richest region in Spain, thank especially to Catalan nationalism. I think that independence is the main project for thieves and corrupted politicians, since it is their own path to impunity!!!! In fact, CiU and the fascist party ERC (whose crimes are still remembered ) are in the peak of corruption and it is pretty significant that alwayas when a corrupted Cataln politician is arrested it is organized from Madrid. Besides, there is no historical argument in support of independence, Catalonia has been NEVER independent in her history. Actually, Catalan nationalism is a typical Spanish product…

  145. avatar
    Victor

    Peret,
    Your level of History distortion is really amazing… I am still astonished…
    Find some facts below. You can verify them in all History books, but you can also use the Wikipedia link at the end of each paragraph.

    1. Catalan Nationalism means historically wealth and modernity
    For Example, the Commonwealth of Catalonia ( Mancomunitat de Catalunya) was an old nationalist institution which grouped the provincial administrations of Catalonia. It was created on 1914 and outlawed during Miguel Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship.
    ‘The Commonwealth was formed by the federation of the four Catalan provincial councils, a long-standing demand on the part of the Catalans. Even though it was restricted to purely administrative functions, and its powers did not go beyond those of the provincial administrations, it acquired great political importance: it represented the first recognition by the Spanish state of the existence and of the unity of Catalonia since the year 1714.’
    ‘It created and consolidated a set of cultural and scientific institutions in order to give greater prestige to Catalan language and culture, such as the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (Institute of Catalan Studies), the Biblioteca de Catalunya (Library of Catalonia), the Escola Industrial (Industrial School), the Escola Superior de Belles Arts (College of Fine Arts), the College of Higher Commercial Studies or the Escola del Treball (College of Industry)…’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mancomunitat_de_Catalunya

    2. ERC party had been the victim of fascist crimes and not a fascist criminal party
    Lluis Companys was an ERC leader and the 123rd President of the Generalitat de Catalunya. He was extradited by Nazi German authorities to the Spanish government in Madrid and then He was executed by Fascists at Montjuïc Castle in Barcelona on October 15, 1940. Refusing to wear a blindfold, he was taken before a firing squad of Civil Guards and, as they fired, he cried ‘Per Catalunya!’ (For Catalonia!) .
    The Spanish goverment has never ask forgiveness for this magnicide, Germany did in 01/Oct/2008
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lluis_Companys

    3. Catalonia has been an independent nation since 987 to 1714.
    ‘In 987, the count of Barcelona did not recognise Hugh Capet, which effectively put Catalonia beyond Frankish rule.’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalonia#History

    The theory of Nation-State appears in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), so it cannot be applied to a nation like Catalonia that is much older than that theory (Middle Ages). If you say that ‘Catalonia has been never independent’ is as false as proclaim that Universal Gravitation did not exist until Newton’s theory was formulated.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_state

  146. avatar
    Marcel

    “The Catalan people have struggled for their liberty and self-government during the last three centuries. A democratic Europe is only possible if the rights of the European peoples are recognized and respected. In spite of that, the people of Catalonia are not considered by the current Spanish Constitution as a sovereign nation entitled to the right of self-determination. This is a serious democratic anomaly that should not be tolerated in a truly democratic Europe. The movement in favor of Catalonia’s self-determination is but one aspect of the movement towards a much more democratic Europe.”

    Juan Carlos Moreno Cabrera
    Professor of linguistics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

    http://www.europeancitizensdecide.eu/

    A million signatures for self-determination.

  147. avatar
    Marcel

    The Catalan independence process isn’t based only in the economic factor. There is much more. Culture, language, but from my point of view the most important reason is democracy. Catalonia has a goal that excites a significant part of the population, a large majority sees in the independence process is a salutary lesson that will allow deeper changes in the political system and more democracy.

    There is a big sensation in Spain that even with the social protests, nothing will change and two political parties (PP and PSOE) will continue protecting each other. Spain is so corrupt as a result of the regime of power. It is not a Democratic system but an oligarchy of state political parties, the opposite of a Democracy. Moreover separation of powers doesn’t exist in Spanish state.

    European people and people of rest the world, please keep an eye on us, we are peaceful people who are asking for the right to have a vote to decide about our political status but the Spanish government has already stated that they will use “all means available” to stop us (including the army).

    Catalan people need international support.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      You are trying to convince people here that Catalonia is free from the vices of Spain: corruption, nepotism, etc. If you really believe that, I am sorry but you live in a delusion.

      Catalonia was ruled for non-stop 23 years by the same hegemonic party (the same one that rules even now, after a short period of a leftist coalition). During those 23 years, there was plenty of corruption and catalonians kept voting the same. These days we are witnessing to several corruption cases in catalan parties (almost all of them).

      With the secessionist thing, the hegemonic, nepotist ruling party is trying to avoid justice by ruling a whole new country where they can control their own justice (separation of powers? hahahaha)

      But it comes out that they are trying to sell this idea to catalan deceived population that We are the best, much much better than Spain, and we deserve a new country to live on our own, that will be kind of a Perfect, Promised Land with a crystal-clean system, etc. Unfortunately there is a mass of innocent, easy to cheat catalan dreamers that will buy this fake and will become a kind of social army defending local nepotism against “spanish” one.

      Really awful.

    • avatar
      Ignasi

      Moreover, and this is something Europe may know: current catalan president Artur Mas (from hegemonic nepotist party CiU) just released a new rule stating that politicians that are being investigated by judges for corruption cases, they cannot resign. Clearly to protect one of his best collaborators, and preferred son of the former catalonian president (remember, who was in office for non-stop 23 years) that is formally accused of nepotism.
      This same ruling hegemonic party is totally ROTTEN and it is supposed to be the one that will lead Catalonia to its glorius independence with the help of the international community… it sucks.

  148. avatar
    Victor

    Recent events in Spain are not only showing economic troubles but also profound flaws in the democratic values and state configuration:

    1. Yesterday, at the Spanish Congress a crucial event happened for Catalonia’s future: Thirteen Catalan congressmen of PSC (Catalan Socialist Party) broke for the first time in the History the voting discipline of the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Party).
    ALL Catalan parties represented on the Spanish Congress as well as other parties (Izquierda Plural, PNV, Amaiur, BNG, Coalición Canaria, Compromís y G-Bai) approved following resolution:
    “Congress urges the government to start a dialogue with the Government of Catalonia, in order to facilitate the referendum to the citizens of Catalonia to decide their future”(In total 60 votes in favor)
    These are great news for the Catalan people because it is a big step for a stronger unity of Catalan parties around the Catalan people’s rights.
    On the other hand, the rest of PSOE and all PP voted against that resolution. And every 13 Catalan congressmen of PSC will be punished by PSOE with a fine of 600 € to vote in favor of that resolution.
    http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2013/02/27/actualidad/1361966923_297223.html

    2. Today, due to a demand of the Spanish Government, the Spanish Council of State has issued a report that declared “there are sufficient legal grounds to challenge at the Constitutional Court (TC) the declaration of sovereignty approved by the Catalan Parliament on January 23”. http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2013/02/28/actualidad/1362060063_376488.html

    In other words, the Spanish Executive Government is using the power of the Courts to fight against Catalans’ people will expressed democratically at the Catalan Parliament.

    This is the Spanish way of understanding democracy, separation of Powers and respect to minorities.
    Support Catalan Referendum and let democracy overcome oppression.

    • avatar
      Victor

      This week we have seen another proof of the Spanish ‘special’ way of understanding democracy and separation of Powers.

      The Spanish Attorney General, Eduardo Torres-Dulce has removed from office the Catalan General Attorney Martín Rodríguez Sol, due to declarations made by the latter, stating that he considered Catalonia’s aspirations to hold a referendum on its future is legitimated.

      Martín Rodríguez Sol is a skilled professional of recognized experience, that has been criminalized for using common sense and democratic convictions when admitting that any people should be able to vote on its future within legal limits. In this respect, how it is possible that a general threatens to send in the army and nothing happens?
      http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20130307/54368116143/ciu-psc-icv-erc-bruselas-rodriguez-sol.html

  149. avatar
    Marcel

    A Spanish general has suggested that the armed forces should consider invading Catalonia if the region attempts to break away from the rest of the country.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2013/0301/1224330654203.html

    Spanish Retired Military Officer Demands that President Mas Should Be Sent to Prison
    http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2013/01/spanish-retired-military-officer.html

    Spain compares Catalan Democratic Process to Terrorism
    http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2012/12/spain-compares-catalan-democratic.html

    Some in Spanish Army Encouraging Catalonia’s Occupation
    http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2012/12/some-in-spanish-army-encouraging.html

    Spanish professor calculates how many troops it would take to occupy Catalonia
    http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2012/10/spanish-professor-calculates-how-many.html

    The Spanish Government Response: more money for military equipment
    http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2012/10/the-spanish-government-response-more.html

    Catalonia was a millenary country in Europe that was conquered by another country less than 300 years ago. Most of the time since then, their language and culture have been forbidden and persecuted with the explicit objective of erasing from their memories their national identity so they also forget their rights, ancient laws and constitutions and can be easily dominated. Whenever this country tried to recover its independence or even some rights, the only response from their oppressor was a military one, including a 40-years long fascist dictatorship that wanted to totally exterminate any hint of this millenary culture.

    Spain is the only country in Europe in which constitution the menace of military attack against any democratic attempt to create a new state is present, directly contradicting the UN Charter and many international treaties. Referendums of any kind cannot be held in Spain without the explicit approval of the Spanish government.

    We Catalans have long been attached to our distinct identity and never accepted the loss of national sovereignty after being defeated by the Spanish monarchy in 1714. For three centuries, Catalonia has striven to regain its independence. Most attempts to establish a state were put down by force. The “Catalan question” was a major catalyst of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, and Gen. Francisco Franco’s dictatorship harshly repressed Catalan culture.

    At the core of Catalonia’s unique identity is the Catalan language, which is distinct from Spanish. Since the re-establishment of Spain’s democracy in 1977 and Catalonia’s autonomy in 1979, Catalan has been revived in the region’s schools. However, a recent ruling by Spain’s Constitutional Court threatens this policy. To most Catalans, our language is a red line. If the current system of autonomy can’t guarantee protection of it, independence is the only solution.

    The independence movement is not driven by hatred of Spain. Catalan nationalism is civic and cultural, unlike the ethnic nationalism that has so often plagued Europe. Indeed, most of the two million Spaniards who migrated to Catalonia in the 1960s and ’70s are today fully integrated and many of them have embraced secessionist ideals.

    The growth of the secessionist movement is also a reaction to a renewed wave of Spanish nationalism. When Catalonia passed a more far-reaching autonomy law in 2006, some political parties and media outlets unleashed a fierce anti-Catalan campaign that included a boycott of Catalan products. This campaign caused an emotional rift, and many Catalans concluded that only independence would protect them. Once mutual trust was lost, other possible solutions, like a federal state, lost their appeal. The fact that the Spanish government is now seeking to curb the powers of autonomous regions by blaming them for the economic crisis doesn’t help.

    We are Spanish Prisoners.

    We need international support.
    Help Catalonia please.

    • avatar
      Jake winnings

      ok, im not gonna start some of my old ways again, but all i can say is:
      the freedom that Catalonia currently enjoys due to the mercy of Spain is enough! anything more is like a challenge to Madrid ( may peace be upon you). I hear people saying bravely ( like they picked up the lines from some disney channel comedy show) “I want to live in Catalonia as a new country in Europe” “We were independent in the year 1000 B.C” “We want to protect the Catalan language, it might be extinct ” “We are treated as Catalans, (prisoners)” ” we want Madrid to be under Barcelona” ” We want to be Dutch, they should be our masters” ” i will die if Madrid murders my language” ” sex does not feel that good either”
      ” we want independent catalonia to ban gay marriage ”
      Well, those are things i hear from most catalans in favor for independence ( the ones with Catalan names )
      The truth is, those dreams of the Catalans will Never, i repeat Never become reality. And truth be told; some dreams are just not worth dieing for. P.s, change your dreams, dream something new, like for instance: the bright future of Catalonia in Spain. Just imagine spain in the year 2045, it is now richer than france, the Catalonia region was divided into 3 or 4. No one hears about catalan language anymore ( thanks to the language reforms of Madrid) Madrid takes all powers and rips off Barca position as Capital of Catalonia. ( there will be no region called catalonia) Barcelona will be a city of almost 19 M people. Any body who dares to challenge Madrid will be put in prisons far away from home like in the Canaries islands. Madrid officially becomes richer than Paris thanks to eurovegas and other industries choosing Madrid for its postition. Spain regains its lost rights as One of the World powers.
      and remember if not of the catalan war trouble in 1930s, Spain would have been richer than Germany right now as we speak! catalans don’t see that side of the story. When other countries where building automobile, industries, spain got cutoff the race because of Catalonia.
      well, its all in the past now.
      I see a bright future for spain and its departments ( like in france) in the year 2045. the hegemony of Barca as the Capital of catalonia will be no more. it will just be the Barca department or Province. All those fallacies put to jail, a catalan kid can now pursue his dreams in working in the Spanish Space Agency, building rockets, without fear of uneducated cousins trying to destroy the lyrics.
      where are manners? i can’t leave without prayers.
      “may our lord lucifer guide Madrid ( Spain ) into putting Catalonia in Pain, the fight for freedom comes with consequences. It is bad and we know it, but its not evil, so its good, and its a good thing to obey Madrid. Amen!
      i’ve clearly not threaten any one so don’t say this is me bullying. This goes to Roger Evans who claims his virginity online “i have an image to protect” ( don’t make me go gangnam style on you) This is called freedom of speech.

  150. avatar
    Ignasi

    More information about Catalan Secessionist Bad Practises:
    This entity called “Omnium Cultural” (http://omnium.cat) that is supposed to be an non-profit to support catalan culture and language, it is really a secessionist political lobby that is financed by public money from all tax payers. This is already a scandal and an embarrassing issue for catalan regional goverment.
    Look, if you visit their website, you can browse the contents in Catalan, French and English. Not in Spanish. Another proof that is not any cultural association. This is just a simple cover for a fiery political lobby that is trying to seed hate against everything that is spanish between catalan population.

    Any kind of public funding to this fake political party should be stopped inmediatly.

    • avatar
      Victor

      Ignasi,
      Summarizing your comments:
      • You think it is a ‘freaky and sickening’ scandal if less 1 milion Euros/ Y from catalan taxpayers goes to Omnium Cultural, a catalan cultural association that speak Catalan and not Spanish.
      http:/www.omnium.cat/
      • On the other hand, you think it is good and ‘focused in culture‘ if catalans pay 15 milions / Y (total budget is 90 milions Euros/ Y) to Instituto Cervantes that only promotes Spanish (Castillian) and avoids any support to Catalan, Basque and Galician
      http://www.cervantes.es/

      Why you do not feel embarrassed for marginalize all Spanish minority languages while Castillian, the 3rd largest language in the world is so strongly supported?
      Maybe you just want the minority languages to disappear?
      Who are really running ‘Bad Practises’ Catalan Soberanists or Spanish Unionist government?

      PS. Omnium website is in 3 languages, while Instituto Cervantes is only in one: Spanish (Castillian)

  151. avatar
    Marcel

    As a result of the sovereign process that Catalonia has undertaken in a democratic and peaceful manner, have emerged many voices against it, many of these with arguments totally out of any democratic basis. One of these threats, comes from part of the Francisco Franco National Foundation (http://www.fnff.es).

    This Foundation extols the figure of a fascist dictator and makes apology of fascism, the violence and the genocide of all cultural and ideological movement different than the Spanish absolutism.

    If you take a few minutes to visit their website, you can check that it makes explicit apologia of fascism and exalts the figure and the work of the dictator Francisco Franco.

    -In the majority of its contents it criminalizes and pursues any ideology that does not match its totalitarian ideals.

    -In their different newsletters and articles, they commemorate as a victory and patriotic pride, dates and tragic and deplorable events that are nothing other than the control of abhorrent acts by the dictator Francisco Franco during their 40 years of dictatorship.

    -In several of your newsletters and, especially in the Bulletin of October 2012, the Foundation urged the Government of Spain to declare a State of war against Catalonia, arrest, judge and condemn its legitimate President Mr. Artur Mas. In the same paragraph, and by way of suggestion, it alludes to the tragic end of the President of the Catalan Republic, Lluís Companys, who was shot by Franco’s forces.

    -In its contents, make repeated appeal to the population to defend the unity of Spain against separatists, referring to them with an endless number of humiliating adjectives, and in turn, encouraging hatred, xenophobia and violence between fellow citizens.

    -During the period 2001-2004 has been subsidized by the Government of Spain by an amount greater than € 147,000, grants that are available in the Official Gazette. Unknown subsidies received past that period since the publication of these caused a great controversy. At that time, almost all parties called on the Government of Spain, at that time the Popular Party, the immediate cessation of the FNFF subsidies, receiving a refusal to do so by the Government, justifying the FNFF carries out a work of preservation of historical memory.

    -Sells on its web site various articles and totally unconstitutional flags and that, as in the case of the Nazi insignia, such as swastikas, their sale and distribution should be totally prohibited in a State of the European Union.

    For all the reasons mentioned above, and considering that a foundation of this kind has no place or legality in a democratic country within the EU, understanding that their contents and its existence is an insult to all the victims of the Franco’s regime and fascism in general, and that the Foundation not only not shows the slightest modesty and desire for condemnation by the cultural and physical victims of the Franco’s regime, but that also is proud of it, we appeal to your modern, European and democratic conscience for which:

    -In the next parliamentary session, to take a decision on these facts and on the thousands of requests for banning you received.

    -Urge all parliamentary groups to condemn and publicly reject the Spain Government by consent, and finance the Francisco Franco National Foundation and others of the same kind, and penalize it for it.

    -Urge all parliamentary groups to force the Government of Spain to immediately ban this Foundation and to request the refund and termination of any public subsidy which has been beneficiary.

    -Urge the Government of Spain to all documentary and material of the Foundation material spend to be guarded by the Ministry of culture, since we understand that if it has a public interest and historical value, whereas the nature of it, is a Ministry who should manage it in a way that makes no apologia for what it represents and make it reachable for everybody.

    With the greatest desire that the European Parliament will be at the height of the values that represents for which it has been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, we are waiting for your feedback on this matter.

    Kind regards,
    https://www.change.org/es/peticiones/presidente-del-parlamento-europeo-sr-martin-schulz-ilegalizaci%C3%B3n-de-la-fundaci%C3%B3n-nacional-francisco-franco#
    English version

  152. avatar
    Victor

    Meet every week a different Catalan or someone who has lived or is living in Catalonia in @CatalanVoices and http://catalanvoices.com/

    This project wants to foster debate and raise international awareness about Catalonia by giving voice to the people and friends of Catalonia all over the world and by showing the diversity of thought that exists in our country.

    Every week a Catalan or an expat living or who has lived in Catalonia will tweet from the @CatalanVoices account. These people will give you an insight into their lives and tell you what Catalonia is like. Which places you should visit or what they recommend you to do in Catalonia. Occasionally, they may share their thoughts about the current democratic political process concerning Catalonia’s political status in Europe and Spain.

    It is an iniciative of Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT) inspired by the @Sweden account which is managed jointly by the Swedish Institute and Visit Sweden as well as the @Scotvoices project which is managed by The National Collective association.

  153. avatar
    georgecc

    Whether they should or shouldn’t is a matter of perspective. It’s their nation, it’s their people, let them chose.
    But the mere fact that they are being prevented from chosing is what should really alarm the EU. On Wednesday I was in a EP meeting regarding a foreign policy called “more for more”, in the sense European aid should be proportional to the democracy level of the recipient countries.
    Really, how can we ask third countries for democracy when we are currently facing democracy prevention in the very core of the EU? Should we remove all EU funds Spain is receiving then? REALLY?

  154. avatar
    Eli

    Next week, Catalonia’s Advisory Council for the National Transition will be constituted.
    Its members are prestigious jurists, professors, business man and journalist whose target is to support and advice the Catalan Institutions to accomplish the creation of State Structures and enable the Catalan Referendum.
    It is interesting to remark that the members will not earn any remuneration for this function.

    http://www.govern.cat/pres_gov/AppJava/govern/grans-reptes/transicio-nacional/notapremsa-189889.html?mode=static

  155. avatar
    Cyril

    Incredible points. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing effort.

    Also visit my weblog :: Cyril

  156. avatar
    Victor

    I would like to share with you this article By Salvador Garcia (economist, member of the Emma Network) that Replies to The Times ‘ article written by Matthew Parris today
    Sunday, 7 april de 2013.

    ‘We’re on the right path, but we’ve got a long way to go on education about Catalonia in the international arena.

    Today we have a new example. Matthew Parris has written an article for The Times,”Catalonia is a bigger timebomb than Cyprus” You think Cyprus is a disaster? Well, Catalonia is worse still!!

    Before saying that this correspondent is an enemy of Catalonia, that doesn’t know us, that he’s exaggerating… it’s important to point out that he has close ties with Catalonia and that I share his principal thesis that Catalonia is a threat to international economic stability. In fact, a few months ago, I explained that Catalonia is the principal enemy of the euro since our independence would bring more instability to an already weakened state like Spain and that at the same time Catalan independence would lessen Spain’s capacity to pay off its debts. But I said that not in order to stop the process but rather to warn that it was an inevitable topic to contend with and that we had to work to change the perception of this potentiality and I offered proposals for doing so.

    We would do well to carefully analyze Parris’ article–which will be duly magnified by both proponents (paradoxically) and opponents (obviously) of independence– so as to figure out what we need to address. Let’s go step-by-step.

    The article criticizes the expansion of the Barcelona airport and says that when he was there it was totally empty. Beyond my own curiosity about what day and time he caught his flight, it should be noted that Barcelona’s airport served more than 35 million passengers in 2012, growing 2.2% with respect to the previous year, despite the financial crisis, and that it will inaugurate more new routes in 2013 than any other airport in the world. Pending lesson: The truth is our infrastructure is insufficient, and Catalonia’s economic potential would be much greater if these needs were sufficiently met.

    He claims that the danger is a “disorderly secession”, that is, independence that is not negotiated with Spain. I totally agree! International concern should therefore be directed to avoiding such a calamity, not avoiding secession, but rather ensuring that if it occurs, it does so in an orderly fashion (that is, negotiated).

    Parris speaks of polls and refers to proponents of independence being around 50% in a referendum: we need to explain that this refers to the total number of registered voters, and that according to these same polls, there would be between 67% and 73% favorable votes in a referendum. That is, it makes sense that at the very least that we Catalans vote, since we have much higher support for independence than in places like Scotland and Quebec.

    Parris refers to the impact of independence on the potential secession of other countries, like France and Belgium. And he’s right, and thus this is the time to have less “solidarity” with other stateless nations, because it is important that the states be what their citizens vote but even more important is that first, we do it ourselves.

    He proposes a referendum with three options (one of which is ‘devo-max’, that is, much more self-rule, an option that lies somewhere between independence and the status quo). We have to explain that that option is impossible within Spain, since such an offer by the Spanish State is neither possible nor credible, and including such a question on a referendum would be promising something that is out of the hands of the Catalan Government.

    The title of the article is attention-getting but true: we are a threat to European economic stability, but it’s not because ‘we want to be’ but rather because “Spain will keep us from being it”. And it’s here where we have to respond, and continue with our pedagogy explaining Catalonia’s economic potential, the popular will to vote on a referendum, and the impossibility of a bargain that Spain would never keep. And never renounce independence: if all the rest of the countries in the world look first to their own interests, why shouldn’t we Catalans do the same, especially when what we want is an impeccably democratic process with the utmost respect for our potential international partners?

    And so I return to the beginning of the article: we’re on the right path, but there are still many lessons to impart in the international sphere. And I truly believe we–including the Catalan Government–are doing a good job. Let’s keep at it.

    By Salvador Garcia, economist, member of the Emma Network and co-author of the book ‘Catalunya Last Call: Propostes per tornar a fer enlairar el país’. Originally published in VilaWeb on 6 April 2013. Translated by Liz Castro

    http://www.collectiuemma.cat/article/1596/reply-to-the-times-catalonia-international-economics-and-whats-left-to-explain

  157. avatar
    Europe

    Yes, Catalonia should be independent, then democratically the rest of Europeans should decide whether we want a club of 28 insteal of 27 members and this decision should be taken unanimously by the 27, that’s the club’s law.

  158. avatar
    Europe

    The re-occurring ridiculous argument of “Madrid”, Madrid is where the Spanish Parliament sits and every single general election since Democracy began the Catalan nationalists are in a minority within the Catalan members of parliament THE CATALAN PEOPLE SENDS THERE.

    CIU 1.014.263 votes

    PSOEspañol 920.323 votes

    PP 715.802 votes

    ERC 244.245 votes

    ( PP three times more votes in Catalonia than the openly separatists of ERC, hilarious)

  159. avatar
    Europe

    The Spanish book company Editorial Planeta is based in Barcelona and prints books for the over 400 million lucrative market of Spanish speakers. Spanish SEAT car company is also based in Barcelona. Today if someone from Cadiz or Bilbao buys a Planeta book or a SEAT car the Catalan nationalists accuse Spain of robbing them the VAT, sad but true. Spain is stealing from us, the poor Catalans have swallowed the hook, line and sinker of this populist fish.

  160. avatar
    Victor

    I am catalan and I do not know anyone in my country Catalonia who ‘accuse Spain of robbing VAT’ related to ‘ditorial Planeta and SEAT car company’ …
    Sorry, but it just has no sense.
    Let’s put on this forum one example of a real Catalan claim to show to Europe how terrible it is for Catalonia’s economy be a part of Spain:

    During more than 35 years, the Spanish government has systematically signed agreements with other countries to forbid the use of Barcelona’s airport for direct flights coming from Asia, America, Africa and former USSR (find summary of the countries on pag. 3 of attached report).
    It is obvious to say that by doing so, Madrid airport has no real Spanish competition in the intercontinental flights market.

    http://fitxers.esquerra.cat/arxius/barcelonesnord/CES_aeroports_vf.pdf

    PS. Interestingly you sign you comments as ‘Europe’, Why do you do so? I hope that do not think that your comments are supported by all the UE… because you would be wrong… I am part of the UE and I do not agree with you.

  161. avatar
    Victor

    Regarding the support of catalan people to soberanist process, I suggest to use the last Catalan elections from 25th Nov 2012 instead of older Spanish elections.
    Find data below:
    http://www.vilaweb.cat/mapa-electoral
    As you would see most of the map supports soberanist parties

  162. avatar
    Europe

    It would be hilarious if Catalonia would vote to remain in Spain and Murcia would vote to send them to fly a kite, great for business. (Catalan nationalists are under the illusion that only they have the right to decide and Europe is going to roll down the red carpet)

    They should get out more.

  163. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Why “hilarious”? It would be the most natural thing in the world, since Murcia lives largely off the money that comes to them from Catalonia. Your portrayal of people’s right to self-determination as an “illusion” shows your complete hostility to democracy. This, unfortunately, is characteristic of Madrid and the PP and dramatizes why any progressive population (not just your “Catalan nationalists”) would want to be free of such misrule.

    And of course there WILL be a red carpet to Europe for a free Catalonia. Europe is well aware that it needs solvent, energetic, creative countries; and Catalonia, unlike the backward and corrupt Spain, will clearly be just that.

  164. avatar
    Europe

    Murcia (fact) buys more catalan products that the entire USA and yes, the rural Catalonia lives off the money they receive from Barcelona (there, allow me to be as ridiculous as you).

    There is neither democracy nor freedom outside a well defined legal frame work. I believe in democracy…. the catalan nationalist should go to the Spanish Parliament to say there what they haven’t done so in 30 years, it’s sounds like a load of blah blah blah blah to me.

    z z z z z z

  165. avatar
    Europe

    Votes from Catalonia to the Spanish Parliament in the last general election.

    PP 715.802 votes

    ERC 244.245 votes

    There, take a sip from the cup of demcracy.

  166. avatar
    Roger Evans

    What’s your point? Those are both minority parties in Catalonia.

  167. avatar
    Victor

    Your sense of democracy is far from the one widely accepted by consolidated democracatic societies like UK and Canada. Only scottish citizens will vote for Scottland secession, the same way that only Quebec citizens voted in their referendum about their independence from Canada.

    Interestingly, your idea of democracy in Spain is in fact a kind of imperialism, where the majority of spanish citizens (metropolis) impose their will over the minorities like catalan or basques (colonies).

    I am a catalan (not a slave) and I just want to vote in a referendum in Catalonia to decide if my country wants to be free from Spain or not. This is real democracy.

    If you cannot accept it, then you are against United Nations international law about the right of peoples to self-determination. Find a summary below:

    All Peoples always have the right, in full freedom, to determine, when and as they wish, their internal and external political status, without external interference, and to pursue as they wish their political, economic, social and cultural development

    http://www.cetim.ch/en/documents/bro12-auto1-A4-an.pdf
    Check on pag 10.

    Do you really think that UN’s is not a ‘well defined legal frame work’?

  168. avatar
    Europe

    Spanish Constitution, results in Catalonia: YES 90,46% NO 4,61%

    In order to respect future referendums we need to respect the ones already held. Now, the Catalan nationalists should stop the constant blah blah blah and go to the Spanish Parliament to demand independence or at least a legally binding referendum, not a consultation with a very clear question, Independence from Spain (and Europe) YES – NO.

    I doubt they’d ever have the balls, I can predict more whining and bitching, much ado about nothing.

  169. avatar
    Roger Evans

    THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

  170. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Are you also unaware, as you say they should have the “balls” to ask for independence, that every modest request for democratic freedoms that Catalonia has made lately has been contemptuously refused by Madrid? Are you uninformed or simply a lying propagandist?

  171. avatar
    Europe

    Ha ha ha!!!! Catalonia is a colony, on arrival all one can see is the refugee camps, not the Ibex companies’ headquarters in Barcelona.

    Spain is a member of the European Union, the European Union only admits democratic nations, put two and two together. According to the UN the right to self determination is for colonies or peoples oppressed and not represented in a democracy, so Catalonia I’m afraid doesn’t qualify, better luck next time.

  172. avatar
    Europe

    Among the SEVEN Spanish Constitution drafters there were TWO catalans; one socialist Jordi Sole Tura and one nationalist Miquel Roca i Junyent.

    You were free and more than welcome to vote no. Better luck next time.

  173. avatar
    Eli

    Catalonia is not a “classical” colony, of course, we are living in XXI century not in 60’s, but Spain is far away from be a modellic democracy. The selfdetermination right of peoples is not only for colonies. Freedom is a human right and nobody can’t stop the will of catalan people or any other country in the World.
    Don’t forget that EU is watching the process and UN too, so that’s an important subject, it’s not a joke.
    If Spanish government do not give a chance to the referendum, you can be sure that the process will go until the end: the freedom for Catalonia.

  174. avatar
    Europe

    Spain is a member of the European Union, the European Union only admits democratic countries, full stop. Catalonia is not a colony, ” modellic” or otherwise, stop being ridiculous, in order to be able to communicate we have to start calling things by its correct name, a spade a spade.

    The following is the number of Catalan MPs in the Spanish Parliament sent by the catalan people in the last General Election 2011

    CIU 16

    PSOE 14

    PP 11

    ICV 3

    ERC 3

    So there you have it, the nationalist are in a clear minority (19 – 28). (funny looking colony, with MPs in the Parliament, pathetic argument)

    The freedom for Catalonia? cheap rhetoric and yes, the European Union and the UN are watching …. nervously. Don’t spend the red carpet treatment, Union and SOLIDARITY is what makes Europe tick and I’m afraid you don’t qualify, come back tomorrow.

  175. avatar
    Europe

    I read this in the forum of a British newspaper, hilarious.

    “Having lived in Catalonia for a year and been bored shitless by the Catatans’ excruciating litany of victimisation at the hands of Madrid (and BTW the rest of the world REALLY doesn’t give a monkey’s), I can guarantee that if this region does one day acquire autonomy as a nation it will just be a matter of minutes before different parts of the newly proclaimed Republic of Cat (Tarragona, Lerida, Gerona) start moaning about tyrannical Barcelona and habouring their own separatist aspirations. Eventually each village will have to draft its own separate constitution. Not even the incessantly whinging Catalans can stand each other.”

  176. avatar
    Europe

    Living in the clouds. Of course the declaration of sovereignty has been suspended by the Constitutional Court!!! simply because the Catalan Parliament doesn’t have authority to declare the war to Syria, to approve or disapprove the Spanish National budget or to declare themselves the 28th member state of the European Union, simple. The Germans must be laughing theirs heads off with these unilateral wannabes, pathetic this going on in the European Union, the poor catalans swallowing it hook, line and sinker.

  177. avatar
    Roger Evans

    No, my dear. What the Germans shake their heads over (they don’t laugh, since it isn’t funny) is the combination of incompetence and arrogance that the Spanish government keeps exhibiting in their international dealings. Showing themselves completely unable to manage an economy but demanding that everyone speak Castilian to them (since they are ignorant of all other languages) and insisting on being treated as a major power while they pout and refuse to sign international accords that don’t privilege their language, for example. Whereas Catalonia is respected as a creative, vital economy and an open, cosmopolitan culture. And the Catalan language and literature are very widely studied in German universities — unlike in the Spanish ones.

  178. avatar
    Europe

    Yes darling, Catalonia is the most indebted region of Spain, practically bankrupt and ” showing themselves completely unable to manage an economy ” (your words).

    Catalan language widely studied in German Universities? define “widely”. There’s nothing worse than a navel gazing wannabe, you should leave language and culture aside, you smear their richness.

  179. avatar
    Europe

    I’ve just checked one Spanish University, Granada : Departamento de Filología Románica, Italiana, Gallego-Portuguesa y Catalana. (Needless to say that I haven’t checked your list, I can also copy and paste the 81 Universities in Spain, but not my style, just by reading your comments I can tell a couple of things about you, good luck in life, you are gonna need it)

    You don’t know what you are talking about, every region has a bugdet independently of how much or how little they contribute and Catalonia has spent spent spent for 30 years, is the most indebted region in Spain, the Champions’ Champion, a total bankrupt, the Spanish Cyprus.

    As I’ve said before, someone from Cadiz buys a Planteta book, a SEAT car, a Hewlett Pakard printer, a Nisan and a long etc of companies that are based in Barcelona (SPAIN) and the nationalist say that Spain is taking their VAT, catalan money going to Madrid.

    You don’t qualify to join the European Union, come back tomorrow, like Turkey.

  180. avatar
    Roger Evans

    As for my supposed cutting and pasting, see this authoritative link:
    http://www.llull.cat/english/aprendre_catala/mapa_llengua.cfm

    The Columbia University economist Xavier Sala i Martin reiterated today that the end of the economic crisis in Catalonia will end with its independence from Spain and that state’s ruinous economic practices. And the European Union lists Catalonia as a “net contributor” to the finances of the Union, while Spain is a “net debtor.”

  181. avatar
    Victor

    To the person who improperly signs as ‘Europe’:
    Regarding the support of catalan people to soberanist process, I already suggested to use the last Catalan elections from 25th Nov 2012. It is more accurate than your data from 2011. Find link below:
    http://www.vilaweb.cat/mapa-electoral

    Since you do not want to analyze these results, I will analyze yours.
    Following what you said:

    the number of Catalan MPs in the Spanish Parliament sent by the catalan people in the last General Election 2011
    CIU 16
    PSOE 14
    PP 11
    ICV 3
    ERC 3

    CIU and ERC are both supporting the referendum (I agree with you), But PSOE in Catalonia is called PSC who is supporting the referendum & ICV-EUiA also supports the referendum.

    So making the right calculation with your data, we can see that supporting the referendum there are 36 Catalan MPs in the Spanish Parliament and against it only 11 from one single party PP.

    Conclusion 1. More than 76 % Catalan MPs in Spainsh Parl. supports referendum
    Conclusion 2. You should better analyze your arguments before proclaming them, because they are now supporting Catalan independence.

    Finally, I do not share your ‘funny’ vision of this matter. From my point of view democracy, human rights and peoples self determination are very serious subjects.

  182. avatar
    Europe

    Sweetheart, you are mistaking referedum with consultation and in the last Spanish general election is the PSOEspañol the party that got 14 seats in Catalonia.

    You don’t qualify to be a member of the European Union, come back tomorrow.

  183. avatar
    Europe

    Great, a catalan nationalist that says that the financial troubles of Catalonia would end the very next minute after leaving Spain and therefore the European Union, very authoritative I think not.

    But hey, you are free to buy hot air in the market if you wish, goog luck.

    You don’t qualify to enter the EU, come back tomorrow.

  184. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Denominating a world-famous economist simply as “a Catalan nationalist” does nothing to affect his argument. He has been voted, by the way, the most influential professor of one of the world’s greatest universities, Columbia, in New York. His fellow internationally renowned economists at Harvard and Princeton also happen to be Catalan and support his research and conclusions as social scientists, rather than as Catalans. What does Spain have to compare with this? Ignorant politicians who get their posts by patronage (and very often family connections) and whose knowledge of basic economics is no improvement over the régime of their party’s inspiration, General Franco.

    So blather on while Catalonia becomes independent and gives Spain a chance to reform without their piggy-bank on the Mediterranean. It could be the best thing that ever happened to Spain.

  185. avatar
    Roger Evans

    The representative that the people elected in November to the Parliament of Catalonia voted today to set up a commission to prepare for the referendum or “consultation.” The vote was 106 to 9.

  186. avatar
    Europe

    A very influential professor unaware of the fact that an independent Catalonia would have to re-apply to enter the European Union and this decision would have to be taken unanimously by the 27 members doesn’t seem very influential to me, it looks like one of those internet professors awarded an invisible Noble Prize.

    The Catalan parliament can vote unanimously to claim Valencia, to organize a referendum or to decide that the capital of France in Lyon, that is worth nothing, nada, rien, niente, zero. nichts, nix. A democratic parliament, a real one, can only vote on the competencies it has assigned, bestowed upon. The opposite is theatre, an illusion, a waste of time.

  187. avatar
    Jake Winnings

    THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

  188. avatar
    Victor

    Jake,
    According to your previous comments, I understand that:
    – you would preffer a world without catalan people and catalan language
    – you are threatening catalans with pain and death if keep supporting independence
    Please correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like racism and genocide.

  189. avatar
    Victor

    To the person who improperly signs as ‘Europe’:

    1. You say I made a mistake when I said referedum instead of consultation. I said ‘referendum’ to clarify the languange because in fact, ‘consultation’ is the euphemism used by catalanism to talk about the referendum and avoid breaking the Spanish Constitution. As you should know, Catalonia has the right to set up consultations and Spain has the right to set up referendums.
    2. You said that Catalonia ‘don’t qualify to be a member of the European Union’. Do you really think that your opinion is the EU oppinion?
    Do you really understand why the EU Commission and EU parliament exist?

    I would like to live in a independent Catalonia within EU. If Spain does not admit Catalonia to join back, maybe the EU would ban Spain also for their unproper behaviour.
    In any case, I would prefer to live in a independent Catalonia with the status of
    Switzerland or Andorra than be part of the Spanish State that sistematically repress my liberty, culture and economy.

  190. avatar
    Europe

    1- Legally binding referendum with a very clear question, YES/NO to Spain and therefore Europe, then re-apply to get in like the rest.

    2- Exactly, you have your opinion I have mine… but I’m in the European Union and you’d be out, take your indepdendence with a bit or pride an balls and stop the constan whinging, moaning a bitching, it’s pathetic.

    3- Off you go, it’s very simple, tear up your passport and throw it in the bin… unless you are all talk.

    z z z z z

  191. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Actually, the state that is un-European in its behavior is that of Spain. And despite what “Europe” keeps repeating, there is no precedent for the proposed status of Scotland or Catalonia in a future EU, as some officials in Brussels have stated. It’s not clear why “Europe” takes it upon him/herself to pronounce (repeatedly) on this question.

    Spain’s childish behavior over Kosovo (simply because they see it as a precursor to Catalonia’s just claims) is duly noted and despised by democratic Europe. And, with its corruption and economic imbecility, Spain is already walking a dangerous line with Europe. This prancing around as though it is a great imperial power, treating Catalonia as a colony, when it depends on the rest of Europe to keep it in food is really appalling and would be laughable if so many weren’t suffering because of it.

  192. avatar
    Roger Evans

    From a Catalan perspective, devolution has been a story of difficult negotiations and broken promises. However, that has not stopped them from trying to reach agreements.

    In 2006, Catalonia proposed solutions to improve the quality of devolution. A new “Statute of Autonomy” would define clearly who does what and with what resources, thus ending the constant disputes between Central Government and regions. The Catalan proposal was approved by 89% of the MPs in its Parliament but it was met with anger and hostility in the rest of Spain. The Spanish Prime Minister at the time, Mr Zapatero, went back on his promise of supporting the proposal without changes; and Mr Rajoy, the current Spanish Prime Minister, helped collecting signatures in the street for a petition against it. Boycotts of Catalan-made goods were organized; bishops took sides; and a senior army commander was arrested for recommending a military intervention.

    Following difficult negotiations, a much more modest reform was approved by the Spanish Parliament, and – despite mixed feelings – this was approved in a Catalan referedum. But then Mr Rajoy’s party presented a challenge in the Constitutional Court. Four years later, the Court annulled key parts of the law and effectively threw devolution into reverse. Parts of the law which remain, such as the rules on the fair distribution resources within Spain, are simply ignored by Central Government.

    Despite these set-backs, a further attempt to negotiate was made in 2012, when the Catalan Parliament proposed a new tax system, the “Fiscal Pact”. This would have given Catalonia an autonomous tax system similar to those which already exist in other Autonomous Communities. Although 80% of the MPs in the Catalan Parliament voted for key parts of the proposal, the Spanish Government refused to discuss the matter.

    Some Catalan politicians still wish to continue negotiations, the aim now being to turn Spain into a federal state. But the Spanish Government has already said that this is unacceptable; and many Catalans now believe that it is not possible to negotiate with Spain, because Spain does not want to negotiate.

    http://international.reagrupament.cat/?p=7012

  193. avatar
    Europe

    Yes Spain is insolvent and Catalonia is very solvent, ridiculous argument. The European Commission is very clear, an independent Catalonia would have to negotiate its readmission and this decision would have to be taken by the 27, where is the problem? no balls.

    z z z z z z pathetic.

  194. avatar
    Eli

    Catalonia’s debt is an important consequence of the Spanish spoliation. The figures are very clear in the link attached
    http://www.espolimetre.cat/index.php?lang=en

    Where is the word readmission in the Treaties of the EU? It just does not exist.
    In case of independence, it will be very difficult for EU to deprive all the EU rights to catalonian people. Any solution will be new for that special case. This situation is not the same as the last new members States in EU, because catalan people, individually, has rights in EU now.

    Is not a question of “balls”, Mr. Europe: the status of Andorra, Monaco or Switzerland will be a good and interesting situation for Catalonia, if an hypothetic Spanish veto works in EU.

  195. avatar
    Europe

    Madrid region and the Balearic islands contribute more than Catalonia and they are not as indebted, so your first point goes out the window. There is a budget and Catalonia is the most indebted region in Spain, this normally happens when you ignore your budget and spend money you don’t have. Today Catalonia is a bigger time bomb than Cyprus.

    The European Commission is very clear, an independent Catalonia would have to negotiate its readmission and this decision would have to be taken by the 27, the EU doesn’t deprive you of rights, it’s you the one that chooses to position yourself outside its legal framework with a unilateral declaration of independence… if you had the balls.

    Pathetic, from a new state of Europe now you want to be a Principality outside de European Union like Monaco, and don’t flatter yourself with Switzerland, you are making a fool of yourself.

    It’s a question of balls, balls to do the right thing: First and foremost going to the Spanish Parliament and say loud and clear “we want independence, this is the amount of money Spain steals from us (they might laugh at you when you tell Spanish Members of Parliament that the VAT you generate from selling SPANISH PRODUCTS IN SPAIN is yours and you want it for yourself)

    So there, no balls.

  196. avatar
    Marcel

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt31tCJdsLE
    BBC: Catalonia, A region apart (1979)

    Europe’s Red Lines
    http://www.helpcatalonia.cat/2013/05/europes-red-lines.html
    The temporary suspension of the Catalan Declaration of Sovereignty by the Spanish Constitutional Court is forcing Catalonia into a direct confrontation with Spain. It is the second time in less than three years that Madrid’s government utilizes their judicial system to put a stopper on Catalonia’s national aspirations. The May 8th ruling is trying to negate the right to self-determination of Catalans, and it resembles the ways in which the same court severely curtailed cultural and economic aspects of Catalonia’s autonomy charter on June 30th 2010, even after it had been approved by the Spanish parliament itself and sanctioned by a referendum in Catalonia on 2006. This new charter tried to make up for some inadequacies evident in the earlier one, which had been approved in 1979 under the implicit threats by the military during the Spanish transition from Franco’s dictatorship into a democracy built around the Bourbon’s monarchy.

    During the last three decades, Catalonia has had to put up with all kinds of dishonesties and with Spain’s unwillingness to honor any agreements. For example, conomic agreements have never been honored, with a resulting 8% of the Catalan GDP being drained away yearly to subsidize other regions in Spain. Cultural and language related agreements have also not been honored, as Spain keeps threatening the Catalan school system. Also, with regards to foreign affairs, Spain has continually thwarted any efforts to project Catalonia internationally as a unique culture. So, the promise of a multi-national, diverse, federal state has not only not been fulfilled, but in the last two years the Spanish government has implemented invasive policies against the Catalan government’s areas of self-government with the goal of re-centralizing Spain.

    With the suspension of the Declaration of Sovereignty, Madrid’s government is sending a signal that they won’t negotiate about what they consider the indivisibility of the Spanish nation. The state’s prosecutors who presented the accusation warned that if the final ruling by the Spanish Constitutional Court — which will be known in October 2013 — annuls this declaration, the Spanish government will be able to stop both a referendum by the Catalan government and any plebiscitary elections thereafter. This warning by the state’s prosecutors would represent a serious impediment to the official proposal by the Catalan government to hold a referendum within the Spanish constitution’s framework, which requires — as in Scotland and the UK — the approval of the central government.

    This increase in prohibitions which go against basic democratic principles could end up in the suspension of Catalonia’s autonomy, as reflected in article 155 of the Spanish Constitution—that, or article 8, which gives the army full powers to safeguard territorial unity. These two scenarios would mean going against several European Union treaties, such as the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, or against the spirit behind organizations like the European Council, the High Commission for National Minorities —with headquarters in La Hague — or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The international community will need to be watchful so that certain red lines do not get crossed in Europe — the line of democracy and the line of peace.

  197. avatar
    Jaume Filló

    Of course Catalonia should be independent. Catalan language and culture is being damaged seriously by Spanish nationalists. Nowadays, each day we the Catalans hear a news item that hurts us. And more too, accusations of Nazis by Spanish people to Catalans are increasing, and they are ‘normal’ on today. More than 60% Catalonians say ‘no’ to Spain, we are already tired of a country who opresses us economically and culturally.

  198. avatar
    Roger Evans

    What Jaume Filló has written is so obvious that it’s sad that it even needs to be said in a mostly democratic Europe.

    And, by the way, as for the puzzling fashion of Spanish nationalists calling Catalan’s “fascists”: just this week the representative of the Spanish state in Catalonia (that is, the center’s enforcer in the colony) has attended a ceremony honoring the Spanish fascists who formed a brigade to fight for Hitler! That’s the current rulers of Spain in a nutshell.

  199. avatar
    Victor

    Good point Roger,
    Even German press is astonished with the honors that the Spanish Government delegat honoring fascist blue brigade who fight for hitler. Find link below:
    http://www.taz.de/Spanien-und-der-Faschismus/!116450/
    http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/4116507/20130518/lescandol-lhomenatge-llanos-luna-division-azul-nazi-arriba-alemanya.html

    You can read some of this spanish radical thinking reading the comments of mr. ‘Europe’. As you would appreciate, he is systematically using gross language against catalan people and culture ‘have no balls’ ‘are pathetic’ to support his statements. A clear example of non democratic values.

  200. avatar
    Europe

    1- no one is above the law, not even the members of Parliament, be catalan or not.
    2- a parliament can only vote on the competencies bestowed upon, if the Catalan Parliament votes unanimously to declare itself king of the seven seas that declaration is worth absolutely nothing.
    3- Spanish Constitution, results in Catalonia: YES 90,46% NO 4,61%
    4- education in Catalonia is 100% in catalan, even for children whose parents are temporarily in Catalonia, let’s say a German familiy living in Barcelona for a year. Some advocate for a public education in three languages; catalan, spanish and english but they are fascists who don’t respect the catalan culture (pathetic argument).
    5- if someone from Cadiz buys a Planeta book the catalan nationalists accuse Spain of robbing them that VAT
    6- of the 7 drafters of the Spanish Constitution 2 were catalans, one socialist (Jordi Sole Tura) and one nationalist (Miquel Roca i Yunient). The text was prooread by a Galician whom later on would be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
    7- I don’t have the ins and outs but in the same ceremony republican fighters were being honored too.
    8- the catalan right fought on Franco’s side (ask CIU in what side would they have been)
    9- Spain is a member of the European Union.
    10- there, without the blah blah blah

  201. avatar
    Europe

    6- the text was proofread…. or even better, exerted some influence in the wording of the Spanish Constitution. The Galician Noble Prize Laureate was Camilo Jose Cela.

  202. avatar
    Roger Evans

    “Europe” keeps saying that “No one is above the law.”

    Hogwash. It depends entirely on how the law was generated. Hitler, Stalin, and Franco made exactly the same argument, and now the heirs of Franco make it day and night. They place their “law” above the will of the people who have been made by force to live under it.

    As I say, Hogwash — and dangerous hogwash at that. But Spaniards of the “Europe” type will soon rue the day when they insisted on that absurd Constitution against the will of a determined people with a history of representative government.

  203. avatar
    Eli

    Talking about the recent ceremony that gave honors to the fascist “Division azul”, Mr. Europe said “I don’t have the ins and outs but in the same ceremony republican fighters were being honored too”.
    Its sounds like an excuse.
    Do you think that is the same? Is the same the Spanish republican fighters than the fascist Division Azul (Blue Division)? I’m horrified with your argument.
    The republicans fought for the Spanish Republic because it was democratic. During 3 years a military man named Franco devastated Spain with a civil war and later on, ruled Spain during more than 40 years of dictatorship.
    As you know, the Division Azul members were fascists who helped Hitler. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Division
    Then, how you can compare them? They’re antagonistic. That is why all European democratic countries cannot conceive any honor to fascism (including Division Azul).

  204. avatar
    Europe

    Well that depends, between Stalin and Hitler you seem to prefer Stalin, I personally don’t have any admiration for either. And yes, NO ONE is above the law and to compare a democratic nation member of the European Union with the Franco era is disingenuous, ridiculous or simply stupid, pick your own adjective.

  205. avatar
    Victor

    Mr. ‘Europe’,
    Please try to avoid to insult Eli just because does not think like you.
    Respect is a necessary value for any debate.

  206. avatar
    Europe

    Insult? please highlight in red my insults to anyone. Maybe you are referring to the fact that when confronted with a stupid remark I simply state the fact that it’s a stupid remark, that’s not insulting in my book, that’s calling a spade a spade, I’ve never insulted anyone.

    With the RIGHT to decide comes the OBLIGATION to do it following the well marked path OF THE LAW.

    Stop the navel gazing, it’s ridiculous (not an insult, an opinion) and provincial.

  207. avatar
    Lluís

    There are economical issues but the independence is the only solution to preserve our culture and language: being on a country that forces people to know Spanish but ignores Catalan and other languages also spoken since the very origin of Spain (they are, at most, optional), having a king that denies the historical fact of Spanish repression against other cultures, relegating other-than-Spanish languages to the private space (note that, differently from other multi-language countries, in Spain the official language is only Spanish, that there are more places to learn Catalan outside Spain than in Spain itself, apart from the Catalan-speaking areas, where Catalan is said to be co-official, but no obligation to know it), … are forms to quietly make a language and a culture disappear. I understand that non-Catalan people may look at this problem as not as big as it is, but when we accept that one language and one culture has not the same rights as another only because the last one is more powerful, then we accept that anyone being powerful can do whatever he or she wants… which is the beginning of the destroying of any social structure but the law of the strong. Be supportive to the independence of Catalonia is be supportive to the preservation of our culture and, in the end, of the European social essence.

  208. avatar
    Victor

    Mr. ‘Europe’,
    Before telling to others that their opinions are ‘disingenuous, ridiculous or simply stupid’, you should review your own.

    Your said that ‘8- the catalan right fought on Franco’s side (ask CIU in what side would they have been)’.
    Did you know that the person who founded CIU was tortured and put in jail by Franco’s regime? Do you really think he would support Franco’s Regime?

    Find a link to the wikipedia below:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordi_Pujol_i_Soley
    ‘In 1960, in the course of an homage to Catalan poetist Joan Maragall, held in Palau de la Música Catalana, part of the audience sang the Cant de la Senyera (The Song of the Flag in English) despite being previously prohibited by the Spanish authorities. Jordi Pujol was among those who organized this protest, and he was captured and detained for his protests against the regime of Francisco Franco. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, accused of organizing the opposition campaign.’

    After reading this, you can also ‘pick your own adjective’ to describe your opinion.

  209. avatar
    Europe

    You should know by now who fought on what side during the Spanish Civil War and the Catalan or Basque languages are as “forbidden” in France TODAY as you claim there were in Franco’s time, so go play the victim somewhere else, Madrid suffered 3 years of bombardments…. same as the rest of Spain and if you wanna witness real repression during the war you need to travel to Andalusia.

    The argument of the fiscal deficit is risible, I too would be better off if I didn’t pay any taxes, go knocking on the door of the European Union or the USA with that argument, the laughs would be heard from here. Funny that the argument of “Spain is stealing from us” only occurs among nationalists making dodgy videos on the internet and not in the Spanish Parliament where the numbers can be discussed in an open manner.

    Whinge, whine, bitch and moan… all adjectives associated with Catalan nationalism, they’ll get what they deserve.

  210. avatar
    jaume filló

    I would first like to comment what Europe wrote on 19th May:
    “3- Spanish Constitution, results in Catalonia: YES 90,46% NO 4,61%”
    The Constitution was voted 40 years ago, a lot of things have happened after this. Spain was already going out of Franco’s era.
    “4- education in Catalonia is 100% in catalan”
    A hundred years ago Catalans only used to speak Catalan, but Spanish, with a lot of Andalusian immigration and with the force, has been implanted. It’s logical that if our language is Catalan we should study in Catalan. And 10% of the education is in Spanish, don’t forget.
    “10- there, without the blah blah blah”
    Your last reason is the best with difference.

  211. avatar
    jaume filló

    Here you have my list of the 5 most important arguments of why to support Catalan independence:
    1) It will help with Catalan and Aranese languages protection, which are being seriously damaged. ‘Divide et impera’, PP has tried so many times to split Catalan language: Valencian, Balearic, LAPAO…
    2) Each year, 2.000 euros of Catalans go to Madrid and never return. Some examples: 600 km constructed in the 20 past years in Madrid Metropolitan Area but only 20 km in Barcelona MA. The AVE (High Velocity Train) passes for La Mancha (almost desert area), and until last month there was no AVE in Barcelona, the second city of Spain. With an independent state Catalan money will remain in Catalonia, and will be distributed equally.
    3) Every day insults of Spaniards to Catalonians are becoming more ‘normal’. For example, Companys (Catalan nationalist) was killed by Franco dictatorship and a Spanish journalist has said today that this should be done with Artur Mas (Catalan president).
    4) Spain is going to the disaster. The unemployment rates are rising and no one knows how to stop them. 6 million people (25%) is unemployed in Spain. People are migrating to Germany for economical reasons, to leave the country. There are three options: to migrate and empty our land, to hopelessly impoverish or to become independent.
    5) It’s the only way to make reality the Mediterranean corridor. To make more benefits for Catalonia and Spain it should pass near the Mediterranean sea, but Madrid, only to angry Catalans, doesn’t want it in Girona, Barcelona, Tarragona, Castelló, València, Alacant, Murcia, Almería, Málaga… Spain wants it in Castilla, an inhabited place where it wouldn’t gain anything.

  212. avatar
    Europe

    1- the Spanish constitution was voted 40 years ago, the American constitution over 200 years ago, what’s your point?

    2- some people advocate for a public education system in Catalonia in 3 languages, 2 of them the most widely spoken in the World. Catalan nationalist want the public education system in one language, like Franco.

    3- thank you.

  213. avatar
    Europe

    1- the catalan language is spoken in France, Spain and in a town in an Italian island…… but it’s only OFFICIAL in Spain. The Aragonese Parliament can do as they please with the competencies it has bestowed upon, stop interfering ( there, take a cup and a half of your own argument)

    2- funny the pack of lies about the fiscal deficit and the “Spain is stealing from us” only occurs among catalan nationalists who refuse to take this debate to the Parliament so the numbers can be discussed openly. Madrid is a region that contributes more than Catalonia and Barcelona contributes more than the rest of Catalonia put together. There, allow me to be as short sighted as you. Catalonia is the most indebted region in Spain, a real mess, but what do they do? they wrap themselves in a flag and blame “Madrid”, not a very adult thing to do.

    3- stop playing the victim, is pathetic. I guess you are one of those that want to have a national football selection but the catalan teams to play in the Spanish League, this must be the catalan pride.

    4- ha ha ha ha!!!!! nearly ONE MILLION people unemployed in Catalonia and there you are navel gazing and blaming Spain, priceless!!!!!!!!

    5- yes sweetheart, a lot to be done yet, go tell the Basque nationalist that you wan to build a corridor that is going to stop goods passing through San Sebastian. Typical Spanish, provincial and narrow minded…. and an airport in every province, like in Catalonia. (By the way, I agree with you that a Mediterranean Corridor should be built, 40% of the Spanish population lives there.

  214. avatar
    jaume filló

    1) No one is able to make disappear a language or a part of a language. Aragonese Parliament is not an exception. What they are doing is a completely lack of sense and of scientific rigor. There are no other similar laws in the world to rename such pathetically a language.
    2) ‘Spain is stealing us’ is completely true. I will translate you strictly what says El Mundo, a clearly Spanish nationalist newspaper (translated with Google Translate, excuse me:
    “Catalonia is the second region with more solidarity behind the Balearics. In third and fourth place are Valencia and Madrid.
    Thus, the difference between income from public coffers and what finally allocates Balearic State lies between 13.96 and 14.2% of its GDP, and below are Catalonia between 8.69 and 8 , 7% -, Valencia-between 6.32 and 6.4% – and the Community of Madrid, between 5.57 and 5.99% -.” This news item was wrote in 2008, but the things haven’t changed. http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2008/07/15/barcelona/1216117691.html
    3) I’m of the ones who wants Barça and Catalan teams in Catalan leagues. The argument ‘Barça will play with very vert modest teams’ is a foolishness. Yes, it may be true, but we don’t mind, it’s a very secondary subject.
    4) In Catalonia we can do nothing to stop the unemployment rates. And you have to know that is in Southern communities (Andalucia, Extremadura, Canary Islands, Castilla La Mancha…) where the unemployment is higher.
    5) What you have said about the question of airports is true, I agree with you. Spain thinks that the capitals of province are very important. In Catalonia, we’ve got 4 airports and 1 is totally useless and another a bit. But in the rest of Spain, more than 50% of the airports are pointless.

  215. avatar
    Europe

    1- to make a language disappear? it looks like paranoia to me, a ridiculous paranoia in fact.

    2- Goebbels rules of propaganda: “Keep it simple and direct your propaganda to the most stupid individuals the message is aimed at ” -Canarias nos roba-, say it again and again till the whole herd of sheep memorises it.

    3- Barca in a Catalan football League?, say it laud and clear, you’ll get many votes.

    4- One million people unemployed in Catalonia and you can’t do anything about it? poor you, probably the unemployment rate in Catalonia will decrease once the rest of Spain is beginning to buy again, put two and two together.

    5 – In Catalonia there are 4 provinces and 4 airports, typical Spanish.

  216. avatar
    Victor

    1. There is a strong pressure to eliminate Catalan language that can only be balanced using inmersive techniques in primary school. The eficiency of this model has been recognized by the European Commission. Find link:
    http://ec.europa.eu/languages/euromosaic/es51_en.htm

    ‘The catalan school law states that teachers must know both official languages and that teacher training curricula must ensure that students acquire sufficient mastery of Catalan and Spanish. In higher education institutions, teachers and students are entitled to express themselves in any situation, orally or in writing, in the official language of their choice.‘

    On the other hand, if you eliminate Catalan immersive education and introduce the law imposed by Mr. Wert (PP Spanish Minister of Education), then you will get a reduction of minority language. For example, in Valencia since 1995 to 2005 local government ruled by PP reduced the use of the Valencian from 50% to 37%. Find link below:
    http://www.cece.gva.es/polin/docs/sies_docs/desp_interactiu/llibre.html

    2. It is a fact. According to Spanish unionist media, more than 16000 milion Euros of only 7,5 milions of catalan taxpayers are given to other parts of Spain (2133 Eur/ person every Year).
    http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2008/07/15/barcelona/1216117691.html

    3. If the only argument to support unionism is Barça to keep playing in the Spanish league, then let’s create a Catalan league or join Catalan teams to other European leagues like french or italian. I think they would be more than happy to play against Barça.

    4. Unemployment rate in Catalonia reached 24.53% by the end of March 2013, with 902,300 people. I do not think it is related to the Spanish boicott to catalan products you have mentioned, but to the Spanish systematic mismanagement of investments and resources. As comment before, the airports are good example, as well as the roads system and TGV.
    If Catalonia were independent, it could focus its own resources in efficient services and infrastructures to support catalan industry and turism.

    As you know, Catalonia is a very dynamic country. Find attached a recent report written by UK goverment:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/world-location-news/take-a-look-at-catalonia

    (By the way, Spanish average unemployment rate reached 27.16% and it is not suffering any boicott. In my oppinion, Spain would have to keep a high pace of reforms after Catalan independence. But do not worry, Catalonia would support Spain as Europe does nowadays, and finally after several years, a Spain without Catalonia will succeed economically)

    5. I agree with your statement: ‘In Catalonia there are 4 provinces and 4 airports, typical Spanish’. It is obvious, Catalonia’s major ports and airports are ‘ruled’, exploited and mismanaged by AENA (Spanish central government)

    As commented on 5 May, 2013, the Spanish government has signed agreements with other countries to forbid the use of Barcelona’s airport for direct flights to Asia, America, Africa and former USSR (find summary of the countries on pag. 3 of attached report).
    http://fitxers.esquerra.cat/arxius/barcelonesnord/CES_aeroports_vf.pdf

    Support the Catalan referendum and give democracy a chance!

  217. avatar
    Roger Evans

    Excellent, Victor. But, as you well know, facts mean nothing to the bigoted Spanish Nationalists. Their fictional “nation,” built on terror and repression, requires them to maintain fictions to justify it.

  218. avatar
    Ahab

    Victor, thank you very much for the effort behind the data gathering. Much appreciated. I would only add a bullet to your list – a figure used over and over in order to mask an even direst mismanagement of the taxpayers’ money.
    One of the arguments that are continually used in order to disseminate the idea that Catalonia is being treated fairly relies on how much money each region contributes and how much it receives in return. The data are constantly manipulated using creative accountancy: published reports state that Madrid outranks Catalonia by several million €. However, two facts are constantly pushed aside.
    1) The budget is an a priori report; revenues in terms of execution don’t factor into the equation. For the past few years, Catalonia’s mean percentile ranges between 30-35%, in comparison with Madrid’s 130% (I wonder how is it possible to actually invest more money than available).
    2) All resources that are sent back from the Central Government to Catalonia are listed as investment for the region – and therefore, computed as return. A great deal of investments in Madrid are instead catalogued as “for the common good”, and computed as general investments not in the region but in Spain (i.e., the Catalan National Museum of Art MNAC gets its funding indirectly computed as a return cost paid to the Catalan Government for its usage; El Prado has a budget almost a hundred times fold and yet Madrid doesn’t pay a cent – the Ministry of Culture covers the budget directly, bypassing regional accountancy systems).
    Therefore, the result is a diluted figure that does not reflect real contributions and revenues.

  219. avatar
    Europe

    1 – Cataluña, a la cabeza en fracaso y abandono escolares
    El 22% de alumnos de ESO no llega a graduarse y el 26% no continúa sus estudios (Basically is saying that school failure rates in Catalonia are the HIGHEST in Spain).

    2- Following the ridiculous nationalist argument Barcelona taxpayers contribute more than the rest of Catalonia put together.

    3- Catalan nationalists want a National football team but the Catalan teams to play in the Spanish Football League, not my argument sweetheart, yours. Barca without the Spanish League would be bankrupt, like Catalonia.

    4- Unemployment rate Catalonia 25%, but let’s blame Madrid or Murcia

    5