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Catalonia is close to independence, despite Madrid

The greater the stubbornness of Spain’s centralists, the greater the determination of those who wish to build a free and full statehood.

By



Diada, September 2012

“As was the case in the Baltic republics or the Central European experiences, democratic deficits end up being a central actor in the road to independence.”

I represent the pro-independence Catalan Republican Left in Spain’s Congress. Part of my job, therefore, is trying to explain and sustain our quest for social justice and for Catalan Freedom in the Spanish Parliament. It is not an easy job, not only because the two main Spanish parties are against such ideas, but also because they oppose the notion of self-determination itself.

In contrast to the Scottish/British scenario, the Catalan/Spanish issue could seem in deadlock, since Madrid does not allow Catalans to vote on their future. There have been a number of proposals for holding a referendum among citizens living in Catalonia to ask the people about independence in a future Catalan Republic. These have always been rejected on the grounds that the Spanish Constitution prevents such a move. We very much disagree; rules for holding referendums are clearly stipulated in the Spanish supreme law, and as for the content (i.e. asking for independence), it is hard to sustain its illegal condition, when members of parliament like myself are freely going to the ballots on a clearly separatist agenda.

The Spanish ban, however, persists, and while this fact makes the prospect of independence harder to plan and develop, it also gives extra fuel to the Freedom cause, since fewer and fewer Catalans are happy to live in a political jail which will not admit basic and fundamental rights. Up to date, the threats and bans have only increased popular support for independence. According to opinion polls, backing for a sovereign Catalan Nation-State has gone up from 15 percent to around 60 percent in less than a decade.

The latest ruling from the Spanish Constitutional Court, which suspended a recent declaration of sovereignty passed by the Catalan Parliament, is a clear example of the ongoing action/reaction environment; the reaction on the Catalan side, as far as parties and civic groups are concerned, has been of greater unity, greater determination and further opposition to Spanish hurdles. As was the case in the Baltic republics or the Central European experiences, democratic deficits end up being a central actor in the road to independence. As a result of extreme nationalism and intransigence in the seat of power, peripheral countries such as Catalonia can harbour discontent from quarters which initially might not support the liberation cause.

The current crisis further nourishes the feeling of imprisonment, mainly political but also economic, within the Kingdom of Spain. The Catalan economy is, despite the ongoing depression, a fairly solid and prosperous powerhouse, and the feeling that we are ruining our prospects by paying abusive Spanish bills is widespread. In times of wealth this feeling can be tolerated, but in times of scarcity it seems unbearable.

We are unable to predict how and when Catalonia will become independent, but we can clearly state that right now the path is open, plans are being drawn and accomplished, and there certainly is no turning back to the old times of dependence.

Alfred Bosch is spokesman in Spain’s Congress for Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC). 





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Published: May 16 2013
Category: Featured, Iberoblog
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138 Comments for “Catalonia is close to independence, despite Madrid”

  1. Hi Alfred, Alan here, we’ve collaborated before in some projects. Perhaps you remember me from the 10-A referendum in 2011, I was helping out in the press centre. We spoke in Catalan because I had no idea you have such excellent English at that time…

    OK, here’s the point. Catalans are not prepared to sacrifice everything – risking their place in the EU, their Spanish-based welfare contributions and the stability of their aleready shaky economy – in order merely to create a Catalan Republic which is merely Spain in miniature.

    If the Spanish paradigm of political control of justice and law enforcement continues in Catalonia, it simply won’t be worth it. We will merely swap a non-democratic Spanish state which works for the Madrid business oligarchy for a non-democratic Catalan state which works for La Caixa and other dominant Catalan business interests. If the justice system doesn’t become independent, we’ll see important Catalans enjoy the same kind of immunity as Princess Cristina does today.

    And that is clearly what’s going to happen. Just yesterday Artur Mas presented the San Jordi Cross to Josep Maria Bosch Aymerich, who spent many years laundering his accounts through Lichtenstein and featured in the Falciani List of tax dodgers. Felix Millet has used his political connections to evade justice for five years and counting. Duran Lleida’s party is proven to have corrupt practices for many years and evades punishment in a similar way.

    It all adds up to: an independent Catalonia = Guatemala or Burkina Faso.And Artur Mas = European Mobutu. Not something we feel we want to sacrifice our livelihood to achieve. The result of all that is that only a third of Catalans see an independent state as achievable or desirable at this time.

    In my case, I abandoned all collaboration with independence movements and withdrew from ANC after the Pallerols Case, which proved that the Catalan establishment is no better than the Spanish establishment, and therefore would be the last group in the world to set up a truly accountable and transparent state.

    So Catalan independence will remain a pipe dream until the meaning of “accountability” can somehow be made apparent in the Catalan language. With your excellent linguistic skills, perhaps you could suggest a word that covers this all-important meaning?

    Maybe then the Catalan political class can begin to understand what’s new, radical and important about this concept, and why self-determination will assuredly fail without it.

    Simply put: why should I – a Catalan citizen – risk my economic livelihood and my diplomatic status as EU citizen in order to create a “new” state in which the same-old same-old political bosses reap the rewards? What’s in it for me?

    • Dear friend, your must accept just a vote. Then, the result of what ALL voters want will became the principle in the basis of the future of that territory. Here we dont fight against an olygarchy, but against the imperialism, and we do that with democracy. That’s the word.

  2. Hello, Mr. Bosch. I am an American living in the Midi and i applaud your courage and wish your movement all the best. In the forming of the United States some warned that if a central government tries to serve too large a geographic area it struggles and the people suffer. We have found that to be the case. Our 50 States are thousands of miles apart both in actual miles and also in cultural differences. The one-government-fits-all idea doesn’t always work well. Catalonia has a rich history and deserves to have control of its own destiny. I wish you well.

  3. Dear Mr Bosch, words like “freedom” and “liberation” sound so well, and one might want to join you in that quest. However, one would like to see some clarity first.

    Let’s take the central word of your article, “Catalonia”. It is never clear what territory you mean when you speak about it. There is an Autonomous Community of that name, which is well defined. On the other hand, in a recent video you labelled as “Catalonia” a far greater area. Let me link to a video reply of mine which, using you original material, makes that clear.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQnTeYmwwHo&feature=youtu.be

    The credo of your party, and of basically every other Catalan separatist organisation, sees the “Catalan nation” in these larger borders, which you call Països Catalans and can be translated as Catalan Lands (or Countries).

    You speak of “self-determination”, obviously in reference to the principle of international law that says “all peoples have the right of self-determination”. Then you should seek to fulfil that right for all those you call Catalans.

    Instead, you speak of opinion polls from only Catalonia proper.

    Indeed, there also is the “nation of Catalonia”, which is Catalonia proper, and for which you demand a referendum on independence. Nevertheless, you do not give up on the final goal of unifying all Catalan Lands at a later stage. This would come into conflict with another, main principle of international law, that of territorial integrity.

    Double standards abound.

    Instead of coming clear and offering one single definition of “Catalonia”, you take the easy way out bashing Spain as “a political jail which will not admit basic and fundamental rights”. I wonder, which fundamental rights do you mean?

    Are you not allowed to speak your mind freely? Are you not allowed to freely organise? You say “Madrid does not allow Catalans to vote on their future”, there we have another well-sounding word. Behind it stand the current demands for a so-called “right to decide”.

    The Catalan government, supported by your party, has so far avoided to put together a delegation to negotiate with Madrid. Instead, it puts much effort in building up “structures of a state”, prejudging the outcome of the referendum it has been elected to conduct. One gets the impression that it is aiming for what you describe as “extra fuel to the Freedom cause”, getting into conflict with Madrid on a daily basis without really trying to make the referendum possible -just yet.

    Apparently, time is needed for negative propaganda to work both on the domestic and the international front. Domestically this might work, yet I doubt that this kind of maneuvering will show the desired effect internationally.

    “Freedom”, “liberation” and “future” are empty words when lack of clarity and double standards abound. This is a strategy that might in the end disenfranchise those whose “right to decide” you now defend, because it brings you into conflict with not only domestic and international law, but with democracy itself.

    There is no such “right to decide”, because there is no absolute right. There is always a context within which any right is being upheld. The “right to decide” is a democratic principle, which if set as an absolute collides with other principles, indeed with democracy itself.

    And you do not ever adhere to it! There are now more than 700 municipalities in Catalonia (I mean Catalonia proper) that have declared the separatist flag as “official”, without consulting the population. Those local governments, always with the support of your party, overstepping their authority and in contradiction to your very own demands that the people should vote, are now using all their powers to one-sidedly prepare their local populations for the referendum on independence.

    700 (out of 947) is an awfully great number, but it has to be pointed out that they do not represent even half of the Catalan population.

    All these propaganda efforts and the social engineering hugely degrade a political cause that is as respectable as any other. They have already lead to deep rifts in Catalan society, and they might lead to an outcome that is unacceptable for Catalonia’s neighbours and the international community at large, and thus, feeding back into Catalonia, ultimately taint the “independence process”, as your side likes to call it, in such a way as to make it fail.

    • For readers who are interested in my original video and not the manipulated fake Candide suggests, here is the link:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST5LpJxKHvA

      • I did not manipulate your video, I quoted and commented it. And I also linked from my video to your original. But whatever your problems, it remains true what I say above: you label territories with “Catalonia” which go far beyond what one currently knows as Catalonia. That’s right there, in your own video, at 00:37.

        I just thought that the international audience you addressed yourself to, and who might not recognise the local maps as easily as you and me, deserved this information. So I gave it, in detail. If at any point I was incorrect, or committed a mistake, please do tell.

        • Candide you are wining your spanish gov money! We know CNI have a big budget for unionist propaganda…. but lies are lies…
          I’m really tired to listen words about manipulated percentages.. .
          If spaniards thik there is not a majority of catalan people that wont to be free of Spanish state, why not a referendum? BECAUSE YOU LIES…

  4. I assume Alfred Bosch will reply to your lack of familiarity withCatalonia and your several problems with Catalonian freedom but I’d like to jump in here with my perspective simply as an American. In 1776 the American British colonies declared in our Declaration of Independence that there indeed ARE certain Inalienable Rights, among them the right to Life Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. You are dead wrong when you say: “There is no such “right to decide”, because there is no absolute right.” The right to decide under what government you will be willing to submit any of your natural rights is paramount. The Spanish government has no right to deny Catalonia’s freedom of choice except by using force, The adage that “Might Makes Right” is not well founded and will surely reap a harvest of willing supporters who would defend Catalonia against such a wrong.

    • Please note that there is a difference between “absolute” and “inalienable”. Even the right to life is not absolute, as someone might rightfully get killed in self-defence.

      • Let me share what one of Merkel’s advisers decleared two days ago, as regards to the right of self-determination: “Any State is based upon a common agreement between people, and if one part decide to terminate such agreement, are free to do so unilaterally”.

        If the majority of Catalans are convinced that they are better off without Spain (me included), the least to expect would be to have the democratic right to be asked, that is to say, to vote.

        As well as Spain, the Canadian Constitution does not foresee any legal mechanisms to enable one part of the State to become independent. The magistrates nevertheless considered that the will of the people was more important that the law itself and granted the right to vote. Québec has, in fact, celebrated two referendums so far and will soon celebrate a third one. That is what democracy and common sense is about. The only actual situation that I can think of whereby a text is given more importance than the will of the people and is perpetually enforced is the Sharia…

        Arguably, most European States are not keen to recognize newly created states because of the precedent created, which in terms can encourage other regions to pursue identical goals. I do not see, however, any reason why the States are to be bound eternally… Norwegians decided that they did not want to be Swedish any more, in 1905. The same occurred with Iceland, and more recently with Slovakia, Slovenia, the Baltic Countries and so on. For us Catalans, European interdependency means to be at the back of the Spanish row on infrastructure expenditure, among many other things ranging from culture, language, education to ressources in general…

        We are being constantly said that we will no longer be part of the EU. While it is the European Counsel and not the Commission who is the competent body to raise such a statement, the issue might as well be resolved politically and Spain has a strong dependency on Catalonia, given its geographical situation (not to mention the Vask Country, which has not yet raised the voice, yet). But even if Catalonia is to be separated from the EU it is by all means worth the uncertainty, as far as I am concerned.

        • Let my reply with yesterday’s entry in my blog. I’m sorry, it’s in Spanish and I have no time to translate it: http://cataloniawatch.blogspot.com.es/2013/09/la-opinion-unica-en-vivo-y-en-directo.html

          Let me add that it is a lie (see the original Rac1 radio piece) that Mr Vaubel is personal advisor of Merkel. In fact, he has personally campaigned against her.

          Vaubel has no clue what he is talking about, and his democratic credentials are more than dubious. There’s quite some in the German press about him. And while he is right that it will ultimately be the member states of the EU who decide, let me add in unison, about new applications, the Commission is surely competent to speak about the basic rules that underlie any such decision.

          The first statement you quote is utterly ridiculous. It deserves no further attention.

    • I agree with your fundamental point Tom, and in fact my great-grandparents did exactly that when the Irish people unilaterally declared their independence from the UK. A people does have the right to determine its own governance, but nobody is going to give it to them, they have to struggle for it in some way.

      But the problem which Candide is pointing out is a real one – what is the Catalan people? You need to define clearly what people you’re talking about before you talk about self-determination. Many Catalanists do indeed delight in muddying the water here, chucking into the Catalan basket people from Sardinia, France and other sections of Spain.
      It certainly looks like territorial racially-based pan-nationalism and though I don’t agree with Candide’s assessment that it’s a dangerous phenomenon, it is disgusting and underhanded. And it’s one reason why I stopped collaborating with them, the dishonesty and double-dealing really is too much to handle.

      BTW don’t make the mistake of assuming Candide is ignorant of Catalonia. Though I disagree often with him, I respect his deep understanding of Catalan language, culture and politics. Whatever his problems are with the Catalanists, they are not driven by the kind of brutal ignorance that prevails in most of Spain.

      • Murph, can we agree not to speak of a racial divide, but of an ethnic one? I do think that would be more precise.

      • I think Mr Bosch has had enough time to come up with a reply. So let me get back into the fray.

        Murph, irredentism has enough historical precedents to be worrying, and territorial claims have often enough led to war. It is that serious, and that is why territorial integrity is one of the most basic principles of the UN. Even though I don’t think that Mr Bosch will take up arms to fulfil his claims, the mere fact that he -and basically all Catalan separatist organisations- happily put themselves outside of such a well-established principle makes me shiver.

        So what else don’t they get? Do they understand the principles of democracy? Obviously not! See those municipalities for independence I have mentioned before.

        Would they adhere to any law or treaty they don’t like? Are they fit to join the UN or the EU? I don’t think so.

        You use the word “dangerous”, this is where I see the danger. The danger is not an independent Catalonia per se, or independence in principle. It is these present leaders of that separatist movement who are unwilling or unable to recognise and respect very simple things that make up human civilisation. They live in a parallel universe that is bend on colliding with ours.

        Instead of offering a positive alternative to all the things that are indeed wrong in Spain, they offer an even bigger mess. This is the danger, and the first to suffer it are those Catalans who want independence and are being misled to a degree that, as I said before, they might be unable to achieve their goals. Because these leaders, and their attitudes, are ruining it for them.

        • Candide, as a Spanish supporter your perspective is unaccurate. The only “leaders of that separtist movement”, as you mention is the people of Catalonia, who marched in Barcelona on the 11th of September. There are some politician who joined the Catalan people, and some other politician who denied our right to be what we want to be (Catalan) and want to force us to be what we do not want to be (Spanish).

        • What a load of bull. So you are saying that it is Catalonia who has to find a way to stay friends with the same guys who are stealing from you €16bn of Catalan tax money— and that YEARLY; the same guys who find it offensive that some Spanish citizens may speak a language other than Spanish; they guys who think from Mexico to Argentina it is all the same one and only glorious language, but if you cross the water from Barcelona to Palma it is another planet; the same guys who happily hand out diplomas to Franco’s volunteer unit in Hitler’s Werhmacht?

          Despite all your hollow and sophisticated rhetoric, Mr Candide, let me tell you, YOU REALLY DON’T GET IT DO YOU?

  5. Dear Alan,
    The independence movement is something more than a mere economic issue, first of all. So if you have not even a little love or care for catalan culture the sentence “what is in it for me” might make some sense. In any case, if you want we can focus on money too.
    What’s in it for you:
    A smaller community is easier to manage, the mechanisms of democracy have a chance to work better because there are not so many “macro-structures” and they are closer to people’s knowledge.
    2. In the same way, democratic participation, and therefore control, is bound to increase as all those people who usually don’t vote in autonomic elections or the one who don’t in the general will start voting at the same time, thus keeping a “closer” watch on politics.
    3. New institutions are a great opportunity for change. Rebuild means build anew and thus there is the possibility to better build. If you are up to it, of course. Improvement always comes with a lot of effort.
    Why don’t you join the “Procés Constituent” from Teresa Forcades? Might an answer for you.
    With kind regards,
    Joana from Switzerland

    • Hi Anna: What exactly is my level of love or care for Catalan culture? I think it’s about the same as everybody else. I speak Catalan, I have a Catalan wife and two Catalan kids. My favourite thing is hiking through the Catalan countryside. Col.lectui Emma recommend my articles sometimes. That enough for you? Have I established that I don’t hate you now?

      So the question is – What’s in it for me (and all the other normal people) as a Catalan citizen? As opposed to what’s in it for the corrupt political class, who obviously would gain a lot from a full independence process which they can carefully model on the Spanish state, with political control over the judiciary and all their fraud networks immune from investigation and prosecution.

      Re smaller communities being more democratic: have you ever heard of the phrase Banana Republic? With Cas Pallerols, Cas Palau, ITV and the long list of other scandals I think we’re only about two millimetres away from a Butifarra Republic. The transparent and democratic society we wish for won’t evolve from that by electoral magic and an indefinite “closer watch”. It has to be put in place before independence is even in motion.

      In summary: accountability first, independence second. Nothing would persuade me to support a Catalan state under the present leadership because I simply have no confidence that they want a democratic state.

      Re Forcades: Nuns and priests shouldn’t be in politics. That’s just Third World. Not even in my benighted homeland of Ireland do people in religious orders enter politics. For obvious reasons. If she wants to be in politics she should leave the church.

      • Dear Alan,

        My name is Joana.
        I never meant to say you hate catalans. Just that, it is not the same for you when you hear that the minister of education wants to “españolizar” the catalan kids than for many people of Catalonia. Otherwise, it is impossible that you wonder “what is in it for you”. The answer for me its obvious: self-respect is in it.

        But back to the democracy and corruption issue: change is difficult. Change for a 40 million people is almost impossible. Change for a 7 million community might happen with the work, effort and “il.lusió” of that people. There is chance. Take Iceland as an example.

        In any case, I’d rather be have to deal with the local oligarcs than having to take care of all the thieves in Spain.

        There are not many oportunities to achieve something like the independence of Catalonia in history. Very little that it happens while one is alive. And you plan to let this train pass by you because, as in any other land, there are thieves amongst the power elites. I don’t see neither the point or the relation. Seriously.

        I also don’t understand why nuns should not be in politics. Me myself I am an engineer and I am affiliated to a party and it never crossed my mind that one thing is related to the other. If I told my boss that I collaborate with a party and he kicks me out for that, that would really piss me off. I thing it’s even illegal. I don’t like miss Forcades weither, but that’s besides the point. I clearly don’t see how you relate things.

        Anyway.

        Visca Catalunya Lliure!

        Regards,
        Joana

  6. Alfred,
    why don’t you tell the world Catalonia has its own language?? If Catalans don’t explain that they are like, say, Portugal, everybody will think that they want independence just to get more money and this will not find solidarity anywhere in the international community. Everybody has to know that Catalans don’t speak Spanish, the world has to know that Catalans speak an ancient language called Catalan, if they have to feel that Catalan independence is a natural thing, and Catalan political parties don’t explain this fact satisfactorily. It’s an strategic thing.

  7. Candide,

    I’ll try to settle the Catalonia vs Catalan Countries discussion. It seems to me is a very simple question, in spite of all the fuss you seem to make out of it.

    Every other region outside Catalonia will be welcomed to join the Catalan state if they wish so. This wish could be acknowledged either by the oligarcs governing them or by referendum. Note that probably the Spanish oligarcs won’t allow them to vote on it, but they’ll find a way if they wish to change state.

    Oviously we would like them to decide positivelly, as we feel we share the same culture. This is what probably confuses you all the time. We do have the catalan countries in our imaginary and we will explain to them our point of view. But this has nothing to do with taking this decision _for_ them, we _do_ know it’s up to them.

    Is this topic settled or you have other doubts _regarding this topic_?

    • The “if they wish so” is a subterfuge after Mr Bosch put them all in the same borders and labelling that territory simply “Catalonia”.

      I’d suggest to think of the reactions this provokes in the rest of Spain and in France; and, as a precedent, in the rest of the EU and the world. Maybe this will lead to understand the importance of the principle of territorial integrity.

      Some opinion polls in Catalonia have shown that under the assumption that an independent Catalonia would not be part of the EU, support for independence drops sharply. This is one of the ways how this ill-conceived and quite unnecessary Greater Catalonia dream can come back to haunt the Catalans.

      There is only one possible solution: it has to be abandoned.

      • You rise a good point about “how it looks for the rest of the EU”. Luckily for us, I don’t think you pan-catalanic vision is widespread nor in Catalonia nor in Europe. Probably this dirty strategy only worked in the Valencian Country, unfortunately for them.

        You can’t help it, you have to mix up arguments, that way the discussion can’t prospere in a constructive and “searching for the truth” way. Although I wouldn’t consider you a troll, this is rather a troll approach.

        That said, I respond to the part of your comment that regards the topic we were discussing.

        I already explained that it is in the imaginary of part of the catalan movement that of a united catalan spoken regions, but it’s very false that there’s the prentention of imposing that reunion. It’s just not true and, actually, the problem goes the other way around, that usually the catalans forget about the other comunities that are also suffering the problems of spanish nationalism and centralism.

        I believe Mr. Bosch staff did label the map in a misleading way indeed, but it’s a fallacy to derive from there that there’s a hidden agenda of imposing any region to be part of the catalan state because of that. One thing is to welcome it and the other one to impose it.

        That’s actually what spanish government is doing.

        So let’s keep developing this argument. It is ok for you to force a self-sufficent community to be part of a state, either catalan or spanish?

        Please, think about it and answer, please keep an open mind. I believe I understand your concerns, but don’t worry, the independence will go pretty flawlessly if the unity of market remains untouched, there’s where the power is, and we’re not changing those “frontiers”.

        • Mr Bosch’s staff? What, let’s blame some hapless intern? Well, the same “misleading” map of Catalonia we find in this spot for the…wait for it….Catalan elections last November:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAbDHpUdTZo&list=UU7fP1CW2g7JizC6Q3U9j-4A&index=3

          We also find it here, remember the poster?
          http://iberosphere.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/poster-consulta.jpg

          For those who do not remember it: the “consulta” or referendum it announces was only conducted in Catalonia proper. Each and every separatist organisation stood behind it. Mr Bosch was one of its spokespersons. This actually earned him his political career in ERC.

          Not to speak of the manifestos and programs of basically every Catalan separatist organisation, and most recently a declaration adopted already by some 200 municipalities in which they declare themselves “free and sovereign Catalan territory”*: I think our hapless intern is pretty busy.

          *[…] the new Catalan State shall have among its objectives to accomplish the political reunification of the Catalan Lands”

          • I’ve politely checked your links. None of them labels the catalan-spoken territories as catalonia, which is what I found misleading and I agreed with you.

            *[…] the new Catalan State shall have among its objectives to accomplish the political reunification of the Catalan Lands” — you assume violence, we assume democracy.

          • btw, you haven’t answered or counter-argumented my question. Do you acknowledge the contradictions in denouncing one imposition while defending the other?

            Again, why can’t people vote? Let the balearic and valencians vote, and the catalans, too. If you wan’t even the spanish people can have a vote on their own, maybe both referendums have the same outcome and everybody is happy 🙂

          • Please, quimnuss, please…

            The video shows the Catalan Countries formed by little figures at 0:19 while the caption speaks of a “Catalan Republic”, being this a spot for the Catalan elections.

            The poster was used for a referendum that took place only in Catalonia proper, which is why people usually assumed it was about Catalonia proper, indeed in spite of the evidence this poster presented, among other things. It’s the same as with Mr Bosch, you actually never know what “Catalonia” they speak of, and I have demanded clarity. Which he refuses to provide.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_independence_referendums,_2009%E2%80%9311

            Yes, both items are not as blatantly clear as Mr Bosch’s video, but they go more than halfway to it, and all the evidence points at the same thing: Catalan separatism ultimately wants a Greater Catalonia. And this is the problem.

            I do not assume violence, indeed I have stated so. The question one has to ask is what do Spain and France have to assume. Principles are principles for a good reason. Don’t adhere to them, fine, forget getting independence recognised. The law also forbids DUI, not because everybody does it, but to prevent everybody from doing it. You are taught that you must not drive drunk at a moment when you’re still sober, just in case you don’t stay that way. Nobody at driving school actually accuses you of being drunk. Have you now understood how the law works?

            Again I say, you are using subterfuges. Please, let’s be serious. This is not shiny happy people holding hands. This is politics. You might not know what that means, but Mr Bosch better do.

            Before any vote takes place, I’d like to know what it is about with utter clarity. I demand that there by no muddling and confusing. This refers to the territory and the question asked as much as to the argument for the legitimacy of the vote. If legitimacy is sought, as Mr Bosch does in this article, in the right of self-determination, then the vote should take place in all of what Mr Bosch’s party and all other separatists call the “Catalan Nation”, and not only in Catalonia proper, as they do now.

            Now I’ve really gone to some lengths to explain to you what are supposed to be no-brainers. I certainly have not made the effort in order to convince you personally, but for the sake of the reader at large: this just serves to shed light on how far removed from reality Catalan separatism is. And the warning that if it goes on muddling in this fashion it will not earn you many friends abroad.

          • I understand your confusion, if understanding Catalonia is difficult, the Països Catalans it’s harder indeed. A Catalan republic does not exist, so it could have the shape it’s inhabitants would like it to have. That’s the magic and positivism about it, that is a country yet to be defined. So you won’t have an answer to what that is because its inhabitants have to define it (a topic that was pointed out before).

            Do you finally understand the difference? You posed the question several times, I still don’t understand what confuses you. Catalonia the community and a legal one, Països catalans, the regions where catalan is spoken and an imaginary one. The first will vote and decide soon thanks to it’s legal structure recognition, the second will vote as soon as it is legally possible if the question arises.

            From your previous text I understood you support the consultation of the people _if and only if_ the question is clear. I agree with you, although I don’t think it’s possible in a representative democracy, which is based on confrontation. However, here it is: At this time, only the Catalonia region is clearly willing to become independent, so the consultation will be held there, as its inhabitants want, and will refer to that one territory. It’s difficult to make a widespread vote as you suggest due to Spanish legislation, but I encourage you ask for it, to Spain representatives, which are the ones that has to allow it. Unfortunatelly, the catalan representatives do not represent the other regions, so they can’t talk for them.

            To sum up, I presume the question will be something similar to the Scottish one:

            Should Catalonia be an independent country?

            and Catalonia refers to the community, as opposed to the Països Catalans etc. We willl know the exact wording in about a month, but I hope you’ve cleared your doubts.

            In the other regions there isn’t such a will at present, so there won’t be a consultation. Well, now that i think of it I don’t really know, you should ask somebody that lives there and gets a grasp of their social construct, probably in a year of two they will, as Spain goes further into the economical and political collapse (have you seen the latest polls on the vot intention? Amazing how the 2 major spanish parties crumble!).

            You said you don’t assume violence, welcome!, do you assume democracy? Direct, in this case. Since you asked, that’s what Spain representatives will have to assume, and should have, morally speaking. As you pointed out when talking about the valencian country, it’s immoral to force a territory to be part of another against its inhabitants will, and undemocratic. Do we at least agree on that?

          • Valencia and the Balearic Islands are as much an Autonomous Community as is Catalonia, so the vote could be held there with the same justification you are giving for Catalonia, “legal structure recognition”.

            But actually you don’t want that. You split the “Catalan Nation” the most convenient way to get at least one part independent –first.

            But then international law kicks in, which is the issue I have brought up. Really…. is there something in the water that Catalan nationalists just can’t play by the rules, but have to make up their own ones as they go along?

            Democracy? Yes! And it means that you use all legal means before you go all self-determination. And this, dear sir, is not happening. No delegation has been set up to discuss the matter with Madrid, no policy at all is in place to convince Spain in any way. Instead, existing structures within Catalonia are used, not for the sake of giving the people a voice and a vote, but to predetermine the outcome of such a vote. Other, new structures are set up with the same aim, e.g. the Advisory Council for the National Transition.

            Catalan nationalists want neither rules nor do they want democracy. They simply want to have things their way. I’m sorry, but My Way was just a song…

          • Great! I do want everybody to vote too, and it’s up to that everyone to do so. I’m glad we agree. The Spanish goverment and legislation disagrees, you should ask them (not us) why the balearic islands can’t vote (or the catalans, for that matter).

            You’re allowed to vote no, you realize that right?

            You still didn’t answer nor comment on my question. Do you acknowledge the contradictions in denouncing the imposition of being part of Catalan Countries while defending the imposition of being part of Spain? I don’t know if we agree on that or not. What’s wrong on letting people vote? I say let’s them express their will. At least to know wether we have to keep discussing or not. I repeat, maybe we all agree.

            So let me summarize, we agree that the catalan independentist movement is non-violent.
            As democrats, we agree that everybody should be allowed to vote anything.
            And we agree on the self-determination right.

            Ah, did you understand the difference between catalan countries and Catalonia? You didn’t answer to that question either. If we keep changing subject it’s impossible to reach a consensus nor knowing in what fundamental points we do disagree.

          • We don’t agree on anything, quimnuss.

          • What? You don’t agree with the three points I mentioned? Now I’m confused and you’re contradicting yourself even more…

            I find it hard to believe that you actually think the catalan movement is violent, that the people should not have the right to vote and that you don’t acknowledge the self-determination right… I believe we do share that framework.

            Anyway, you don’t seem to have any interest on diplomacy, after all the things you said and I didn’t get an answer to the very original question… I wonder what motivated such an approach.

            btw… I tried to go point by point in order to avoid confusing the “readers”, being constructive, and so on but let’s open the bar here: I’ll comment on something that you said that i did not understand. How can an unilateral declaration of independence (UNI) be illegal and at the same time be declared legal in 2008 by the international court of justice (ICJ) of UN… according to international law. I’m not a lawyer but… there it is another contradiction.

            Another interesting topic is how many states have become independent throught history? It’s usually holiday on that day. So let’s do it and let the juries decide.

            And is the law _intrinsically_ democratic?

            Indeed, there’s conflict between the law and democracy. And there are more to come worldwide as states and economies collapse. The people will ask for one thing and the oligarchic elites will say otherwise, probably winding the law that they themselves passed. The law or the democracy… indeed, it’s a though question. Those are interesting times. Have a good day, and good luck 🙂

          • I’m sorry, where did I say anything about a unilateral declaration of independence?

          • Nowhere. I was refering to your references to international law.

          • Really sorry, quimnuss. I have made my points. I cannot be teaching you by ways of this medium.

        • You didn’t answer your student’s questions, what do you expect?

          • Sempre passa el mateix, quan algú es queda sense arguments canvia de tema intentan distreure l’atenció i creant confussió o simplement abandona la discussió. Un cop es veuen arraconats per les seves propies paruales i s’empotren sense remei contra la logica més aplastant, s’implement s’evaporen. Felicitats quim per la teva argumentació.

          • Thanks, Enric, for your kind words. Let me translate them:

            “It’s always the same, when someone is left without arguments they change the subject trying to distract attention and creating confusion or they simply leave the debate. Once they see themselves cornered by their own words and have irremediably been stopped short by the most overwhelming logic, they simply evaporate. Congratulations, quim, for your argumentation.”

          • Thanks Enric, and thanks and congratulations to Candide for translating the message without acritude,

            I don’t conceive the debate as a “fight” between two oppenents, although is difficult to avoid such an outcome due to our current social structure. But moreover, I don’t believe it has been an argumentation, I didn’t feel any will for common research of the truth, nor dialectic problemization, instead it was rather close to two monologues. It’s really difficult to discuss with such a crispation, that many fears, all the taboos.

            Probably Candide is not used at being listened to by detractors and people of good faith, and I might have failed to reach that standard sometimes.

            So I’d like to point out interesting points that Candide exposes.

            1. The idea of Catalan Countries (that ERC names) as an _imposition_ or catalan irredentism.

            Although I haven’t detected an importance presence of this current within the independentist movements, it’s important to be aware of it and think about it. Understanding how the idea of Catalan Countries is perceived from the other catalan-speaking regions outside the _principat_ and Europe is important. We might want to execute this reunion within freedom and self-determination, but other people might not understand it like this, so we might have to be clear about this to Candide and so on.

            2. Although I didn’t understand if he conceives the other catalan-speakers as part of the catalan nation or not, he points out this argumentation: “The self-determination of the nations” is for the nations, so it should include all the catalan nation in order to be accurate with the International Law (That is Valencian Country, Balearic Islands, and so on).

            I believe it’s a valid point, and a point that for example the CUP pointed out too. I would adhere to it but the problem is that, politically (and legally?), it’s just not feasible because the Spanish government does not really recognize the self-determination right, nor the catalan nation, so it’s foolish to think it’s even close to feasible politically. Which is what I don’t like, because I suspect he probably knows that. He claims we don’t do it because we know what the outcome would be, which is just weird because if trying to talk the Spanish Government into a self-determination referendum in Catalonia is difficult (impossible probably), imagine a self-determination referendum across regions of other communities and states! And that would also mean that the International Community would have to define who is part of the catalan nation, which does not seem trivial at all, in my honest opinion.

            But I think this argument is just a way of complicating things to stalk the process, and since I believe it’s unclear that his point is legally rellevant, let’s vote and let the International Court decide. It would seem obvious to me that if they were to declare it illegal due to what Candide pointed out, we would automatically vote again including all the catalan-speaking regions, which is fine for me. Once we define a federal state, I don’t see why they would like to remain within Spain, I’m not afraid of letting the people decide.

            In short, let’s say that the consensus is that at least all the people that reside in Catalonia are part of the Catalan nation, and let’s vote.

            I might slipped any other points, but I don’t think so: I tried to grasp the essence of it. I only intended to discuss the first one to avoid creating an uncomprensible and unconstructive debate. I think I failed on that goal.

            To conclude, only the second argument tackles the right to decide, which is the point we’re currently at. I know it’s very difficult for the (democratic) people (that most def would vote for dependence) to continue arguing against the right to decide, I sincerely believe they should accept it and start defending the “no” instead of the “shut up”.

          • Sorry, quimnuss, for being tight-lipped and even abrasive, there are simply so many basics I’d have to bring up to reply to your earlier comments that any thorough reply to them would have the size of a book.

            So I’ll make some simple statements. I, personally, would like to see the people’s opinion consulted re independence. Yet I also think that those who do not want a referendum do have some valid points. The tendency to call anybody who disagrees (actually, anybody who does not agree a 100%) a “traitor” or an “enemy” does not go down well with me. You did not use these words, but they are being used a lot in Catalonia.

            I have demanded clarity on the matter, I don’t think that this is asking too much. Dear Mr Bosch -and so many others- please do define Catalonia, and define the Catalan nation. Clearly. Once and for all!

            Thirdly, by the very standards of the Catalan Declaration of Sovereignty, such a vote should take place under circumstances that are indeed “scrupulously democratic”. I do not see this happening. The Government of Catalonia is preparing this referendum, it has received a popular mandate to do so, but it is not creating the necessary conditions of a free and fair vote.

            Let me mention several observations to explain this opinion. Public TV3 reports very one-sidedly, to name just the most recent documentary Hola Europa!, which even known Catalan nationalist activists have called a propaganda piece (some of them defending it because “we are at war”). And the two other points mentioned before: municipal governments should not interfere in the decision making process of the citizens, and the Advisory Council for the National Transition, which was explicitly set up to prepare the grounds for the referendum, should not work one-sidedly for the outcome the Catalan Government most favours. This constitutes undue interference contrary to any democratic electoral law.

            Yes, the citizens have the right to decide on anything of their concern, but no, they cannot do this outside of any framework, bound by no principles, and in utter disrespect for their compatriots and the outside world.

            Certainly, the PP-Government in Madrid is, in one word, despicable. Certainly, Spain is an incomplete democracy, as are all. Certainly, History is a burden sometimes too heavy to carry. But then again, Catalan separatists do want to offer a positive alternative, don’t they?

  8. Holy shit! This Candide bloke is a PROFESSIONAL Catalonia hater! He’s just everywhere! Do you have a grant from the CNI to write silly stuff about us or are you just insomniac?

  9. Alan Candide (or is it Candide Murphy ?) Guy(s), all this pissing into each other’s pockets can only mean one thing, and you just make it sooooo obvious. Who’s the ventriloquist and who’s the dummy ? Give us a break !

  10. To Alan&Candide

    After 300 years under spanish absolutist monarquies and many dictatures Catalans want to practice democracy again, and spanish state does not allow a referendum.
    Let the catalans Vote!!!

  11. Dear all; thank you for such an eloquent discussion so far. We should keep it this way.

    While I don’t necessarily agree with Alan Murphy’s essential point, there is something he mentions that I believe the Catalan independent state should keep in mind—that is, of course, the issue of corruption, which unfortunately has become a primary source of concern. My point is that the independence process should intrinsically develop with a renegotiation of social paradigms as well. In other words, “independence” without a serious critique of certain financial/social mechanisms—which, as of today, influence negatively the lives of many Catalans on a daily basis—is worthless. I personally believe that not only is this political process a chance for Catalans to separate from the unapologetically neofascist Spanish institutions, but also to especially create the basis for a non-neoliberal state that attempts to reconsider the consequences of such brutal capitalism.

    Nevertheless, the main issue here at the moment has to do with the fact that the Spanish government is completely opposed to starting an intelligent discussion between both sides. On the other hand, from a Catalan perspective, is there anything to “discuss” with a government that allows its delegates to publically show support for the División Azul? I’m also going to remind you that the Spanish government has recently created a budget of 280,000€ in order to renovate Franco’s grave, amidst the extremely negative consequences of the financial crisis. Is this really a priority considering the current 27% unemployment rate?

    Finally, I would also like to mention that, at the end of the day, all of these issues need to be solved democratically: that is, allowing citizens who reside in Catalonia to vote according to what they believe is best for this territory.

    Sincerely,
    -Joan

  12. Not going to answer anyone in particular,i’m just going to draw some ideas, concepts and personal facts.

    1) I have not the name my fathers would like to give me. A spanish register functionary decided it was so catalan so he changes it at his own. Neither one ofmy brothers has.

    2) I’ve studied along my whole life in catalan schools, just as my brothers, and we are perfectly bilingual. What’s more, we are more able in spanish language (as the most in Catalunya) that the most of the people ( politicians included) in the rest of Spain. Despite this, spanish goverment is closely to aprove laws than ban the use of catalan as educational language if only a person in the class requires it.

    3) The spanish security forces in Catalunya had verbaly threatened catalan citizens because of speaking in catalan.

    This list could never end, but as you see, i’ve mentioned no economic issue. That’s because ther’s not only economic orogin of this situation, but continuous attack to catalan our ideology, culture, tradition, language, historical references, way of life..

    So they try to reduce it to economics because that’s the way to maintain the rest of agressions out of sight.

  13. Mr. Murphy,
    Brief comment: IF (and only if) it IS a butifarra republic (which I will be the first… well maybe the second to reject, after you), at the very least it’ll be OUR butifarra republic and not the Madrid oligarchy’s ‘cocido monarchy’. A the very least, give us a chance to prove ourselves worthy of your approval!

  14. Hi all,

    I just want to help you with the problem about what a Catalan really is. I can understand that it may seem as it was an expansionist thing and we may easily think about nazis and all that scary stuff.

    But relating the Catalan beings (one as an institution and the other as a “peoples”) to the expansionist nacionalism is bothing but a matter of lacking knowledge. It’s not a crime not having the knowledge of what Catalan might mean, but it can be dangerous (for us, because we’re very weak, we have been prosecuted for centuries only for stating we’re Catalan and so we speak Catalan) to go here and there talking about taking us into account as a dirty expansionist idea.

    I come from Minorca and it’s important to make clear that we all are going to suffer a lot without the support of Barcelona. Not to say that everywhere in the Catalan spoken area everybody were considerated Catapans both by themselves and by others.

    It would be a great idea for those who lack knowledge to ask or to study it before relating the Catalan struggle to any kind of expansionism. As an example of the feel of being Catalan and the prosecution related to it, you can read the “Resposta al missatge dels catalans” which was signed by rellevant people from Majorca before Spanish Civil War, including Emili Darder, the last Palma republican Major, executed by the Nacional faction. The list of supporters was used to prosecute “traitors to the Spanish nation”.

    Taking us into account while talking about the whole Catalan People is not a matter of expansionism but a duty. However, it’s only from the Spanish side that we are forced an prevented. There’s not a Catalan imposture from Barcelona, but we really need them.
    In fact, anyone coming to Minorca will notice that we really are Catalan people although many of us just don’t know. Just like if some generations of English people from Humpshire were educated to think they weren’t English. It’s a matter of fascist and catalanophobic prosecution, a matter of Spanish expansionism.

    Sorry for the bad English and for the bad explanation: I’m a bit tired and using a phone, but I had to express myself because the support of Barcelona is essential for the future of my little land, Minorca, as a part of the Catalan People.

  15. One inch to the ground

    Ep nois! Visca Catalunya independenta i bon dia a tots!

  16. The world does not support you racist catalan ego maniacs. You may be able to fool your over spending blame others people but not us. You will never take the land of the arogonesses. You are free to leave our country anytime you wish.

  17. At the risk of all you fundamentalists – both those with Catalan names and those with English sounding names, whose original grievances I can only guess at but which seem to have been transferred to these shores to be played out,yet again – at the risk of you all blowing a gasket, hissing and baring of fangs, I’d like to contribute my tuppence halfpenny worth.
    You’ll want to know my pedigree, my affections, my level of empathy (all used as part of disqualifying arguments above) I’ve lived in Catalunya for more than 30 years. Over this time I’ve seen enough to convince me that the Catalan nationalist movement is a disappointing, intoxicating, surreal step back to the 19th century, which should have been nipped in the bud (i.e. introduced to adult reality ) a long time ago.Of course, need I say it?, I do not include all Catalans in this scorn. Because most Catalans still do not belong to “the Cause”, even after 30 years of indoctrination. I have very good friends and people I love here. I have brought up children here. As for empathy, I think I have a normal dose of that. However, understanding why a (eg) serial killer kills (childhood abuse, trauma etc) is not the same as agreeing that he should continue killing. This was not a very good example, as the Catalans have not suffered any more abuse than other parts of Spain ( under Franco or before), and other individuals from the rest of Spain.
    What’s more, since the transition, they have had a rather privileged position.
    Let’s just park our feelings, close the bibles, and look at it from the point of view of logic for a sec. Since democracy, and because of the electoral system, the Catalan regional Gov. have held the key to the central Government, almost 100% of the time! (the few times they haven’t, it’s been more than likely they would next time round so they had the same power) In this way, they were able to get almost everything they asked for and the result is one of the most decentralized states in the world.(Spain) Taking this into account, how is it possible that “Spain” has been robbing Catalunya? Are the Catalan politicians so stupid or inept that they didn’t notice? It quite simply doesn’t make sense.
    Just as the other fallacy they like to trot out to justify the discrimination of the 60% of Catalans who have Spanish as their mother tongue. That the children in Catalan schools, with 2 hours a week of Spanish (if they’re lucky, in Spanish) have a higher level of Spanish than the rest of the children in Spain, who do all their schooling in Spanish.! Maybe, unlike the Catalan politicians, they are all geniuses. Reason is against it, I’m afraid. (ps. there has been no external testing to support this either) The linguistic imposition in Catalan schools is a system that exists nowhere else in the world. Perhaps because it’s manifestly unjust.
    What kind of Democracy allows for the control of all the local press, through direct subsidies and advertising, by the Government? This is a parody of Democracy and one of the most important reasons why I’m against the euphemistic “right to decide”. The general population, who don’t have a huge interest in political ideology – have never been taught critical thinking in a rather poor, generally speaking, education system (that, in any case has been an instrument of nationalist indoctrination for the past 25 years at least), this general population has not had access to un biased information. They are bombarded with nationalist propaganda. They see their Cat. Gov. blithely breaking the Law, boasting about breaking the Law, and getting away with it. How can they make a reasoned choice? In normal conditions, with normal access to information and respect for the rules, there should be no problem with a referendum. Unfortunately, these conditions would virtually annul the nationalist point of view by showing it up for what it is, so they won’t allow it. Just as they won’t allow even one school in Spanish (let alone 50-50 education!) as they would be inundated with the real will of the Catalan people.
    The central Governments of Spain – both the Socialists and the PP – have allowed them to get away with this, have in fact sacrificed the people of Catalunya , in order to maintain their power base. They are both despicable for this reason.

    • Blimey ! For someone who’s supposed to be rather “unbiased” you certainly show a great deal of bias. It seems that, sadly, you may have made the wrong choice 30 years ago when you decided to move to Catalunya, as you sound kind of depressed or even frustrated about your catalan experience. Commiserations. Perhaps when Catalunya attains independence you’ll feel better and more cheerful. After all, why resist the inevitable ?

  18. AZ: Catalan was a language in risk of extinction due to its vulnerable position after the Franco times. An enormous effort has been put by the catalan people in recovering. The system of linguistic immersion has been the most important pilar for it. It has, by the way, been declared as “good practice” by the UNESCO. Catalonia’s own language is catalan. Spanish is not an endangered language. I totally don’t understand your point. It is a very retorted argument. It’s like saying that the sons of Ticino families in Zürich are discriminated because they can’t go to school in italian. It makes absolutely no sense at all. If they want to live in Zürich, their children will learn math in Swiss-German and they can still have their italian class. Where is the problem? In a truly multi-cultural state there is absolutely no problem regarding this situation. A colonial minded state may have different views.

    You say you have been living 30 years in Catalonia but you probably never went to school there. If you had, you would have learned more about sociolinguistics, which is something that catalan schools add to the syllabus in order to make catalan population aware of the delicacy and special treatment that a language such as Catalan diserves. We learn about diglossia, bilinguism in societies as opposed to bilinguism in people. I recomend you to read about this, so you can better understand our points.

    If you feel your children are discrimated in Catalonia because public school is in Catalan there is something you don’t really understand. I hope your ignorance of sociolinguistic theories is remediable with some reading. Maybe it isn’t, as I am inclined to believe your reasoning is intentionally perverse. But please try.

    Candide: Why is it a problem for you that there are catalans in Balearic Islands and P. Valencià and we don’t want to abandon them? ERC never intended to conquer no land, they have a federation of parties and they will wellcome any initiave coming from the people in these areas to join the independence movement. But this is all democracy? Where do you see the problem? Why are you poisoning purposedly this discussion?

    Spaniards often acuse Catalans of victimism, but as you all can see in this discussion, we start a positive speech (thanks Bosch) and soon enough we get the hienas attacking and destroying so we need to defend ourselves. And we spend too much time defending ourselves from absurdities. When we don’t have to defend ourselves anymore, we will be able to build real DEMOCRACY and not the joke that Spain is. We can’t wait.

    Cheers,

    Joana

    • I’m glad you care for the Catalans in the Balearic Islands and Valencia, Joana. I therefore conclude that you would like to see *all Catalans* vote in any referendum on independence.

      • I’d love that they do, when they want to. It is not in the place of ERC in the Principat to call for that. The other federations within ERC take their own decisions. As others have told you already in this thread, the Principat is not imposing its pace or its demands to the rest. They will do what they see fit when they see fit. Not all the communities are the same, or want the same. The important thing is to keep the cultural exchange and support to language no matter the frontiers (within Spain or even Catalonia-Spain when that happens).
        We wouldn’t be the first state sharing interchange programs with their neighbors!

        • I’d find it logical that before demanding a referendum you should define both its subject and its object. The object is still unclear, because we still don’t know what “Catalonia” is being referred to, as Mr Bosch, who has offered two different definitions, refuses to clarify this point.

          The subject is still unclear, too. You call “Catalans” also the inhabitants of other territories than Catalonia. And you demand that Catalans should vote. Ergo also the Catalans in those other territories should vote, especially if the principle of self-determination applies.

          There are other ways of defining a people, a nation, or what we should then call a demos, not as well-accepted but I’d say equally valid for this debate. Then please make that definition for the Catalan case and do tell what right you call on to demand the referendum on independence.

          It’s a bit tedious, but I simply have to again ask for clarity. And I’m not asking you, a citizen, as much as Mr Bosch, for the obvious reason. I.e. that it is his duty to explain his policy. He should not leave the defence of his positions to whatever citizen comes along to read (the comments to) his article.

          • Bosch does not have all the answers because, contrary to what you try to suggest, he is not a dictator, therefore he can’t talk for all the Catalans as if he was the encarnation of them all.
            Since we are still in the process of working for this referendum, for building this new state, there are things still to be defined.
            And it is the Catalans who will have to define them, not Bosch, nor you.

          • I’m asking Mr Bosch to define *his very own* position, i.e. that of his party. That’s what he’s paid for.

            I’m baffled that you as a voter do not demand the same.

    • Hi Joana, why argue with the hyenas as you called them ? Arguing with the devil never got anyone anywhere. Trying to reason with deliberately unreasonable people is an exercise in futility. I know that their callous lies and deceptions are hurtful but since you believe that their reasoning is intentionally perverse you should realise that you’ll never convince them just as they’ll never convince you. It’s the good willed people of the world who need to know the truth, and folk like Alfred Bosch are doing just that, much to the chagrin of the bad guys who’ll squeal, lie and wrongfully accuse him and everybody else who shares his genuineness. But as they say in french, c’est la vie ! Salut.

      • Would you please refrain from calling me a hyena? And would you kindly prove me intentionally wrong before calling me a liar?

        Thank you.

        • I never called you a hyena, excuse me for my poor ortography, btw.

          • Let’s be clear about this. And for the sake of clarity I will quote you, Joana: “as you all can see in this discussion, we start a positive speech (thanks Bosch) and soon enough we get the hienas attacking”.

            If you have not called me a hyena, then you have called someone else in “in this discussion” one, and that would be either Murph, or carles or AZ, because that’s the only ones who also have shown disagreement with Mr Bosch’s article and/or policy in general.

            So I’ll ask the obvious: please do not call *anybody* a hyena.

      • Jordan, I am not trying to convince them, but this is a public board, it scares me to think that anyone can read this and think bad of us, because these two are sour at someone. I don’t understand all this bitterness. Catalans don’t want to (and will not) hurt anyone. What is the reason for all this?

        • Joana, I’m with you. I don’t understand their bitterness and resentment either. But, I don’t think it’s 2 or 3 people being aggressive against what Catalans want (that sounds like a good title for a book !), I reckon it’s just one person playing silly buggers. It’s the old trick of mirrors and lenses, ventriloquists and dummies. As Maxwell Smart would say, it’s the second time I’ve fallen for it this week ! But seriously, I think most people can see through him, because at the end of the day, the more he argues against a nation’s right to decide its own destiny the democratic way, ie via a Referendum, the weaker his arguments become. I’m sure democracy will prevail and the catalan people will have their day at the polls. After that, it all depends on the final numbers, as it should be. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that democracy wins !

          • See, this is my main problem with debating in Spain: there is the unholy tendency to insist on errors, disqualifications and even insults, even when clearly called upon and asked to not resort to such ways. That unsavoury tendency of doing things “por cojones”, and hardly ever make amends.

            In this light it gets quite odd when those who so behave say “it scares me to think that anyone can read this and think bad of us”

            Er… yeah…. So what about not calling people hyenas? Or dummies? Or buggers? Or an agent of the CNI? Or “racist catalan ego maniacs”? What about not questioning whether or not someone has enough “love or care for catalan culture” when they happen to disagree ever so slightly?

            Seriously, you can do better.

            But back to the issue, Jordan: how do you define that “nation”, and which again is the “right” you mention? I’m happy to keep asking, and I’m happy to keep insisting that the author of this article should be the first to reply.

          • Oh, and…. Please don’t refer to my words incorrectly. I am not against a referendum on independence, as I have already said a few days ago, on May 24.

            I do certainly insist on it being conducted democratically. Should I not?

          • Candide, how wrong can you be. If you’re not familiar with the common expression “to play silly buggers”, I’d suggest you look it up. Likewise, reference to “ventriloquists and dummies” is only meant to hint that one person is doing all the talking. Maybe you ? With all due respect, there’s been no disrespect. Having clarified the bleeding obvious, you may now consider dropping your unbecoming attempt at playing the helpless victim. Now, are you really, really asking how does one define a nation and its right to decide its own destiny ? Because if that’s the case, we’re back to square one, as you haven’t understood the basics of Mr Bosch’s article. If he reads this I’m sure he’ll be throwing up his hands in despair. Of course most people would agree with you that a Referendum on Independence MUST be conducted democratically ! How else ? Just like the Scottish one perhaps. So, just let it be !

          • Naw, I’m far from being helpless. See, I reply to you with all my might, and I again am asking you to please amend your disparaging ways, instead of insisting on them.

            As to the issue, I reckon that Mr Bosch in this article defines the nation as within the borders of Catalonia proper, which is in contrast to another definition, also offered by his party:
            http://www.esquerra.cat/partit/projecte-politic/projecte-ppcc

            “The Catalan Lands are, at present, one of many stateless nations…”

            We’re not back to square one, we’ve never left it. From the very start I have asked such contradictions to be resolved. I have asked for clarity. None has been offered. Mr Bosch refuses to reply. So maybe he takes his hands down and gets the keyboard working.

            As to democracy, I have offered some reasons why I doubt that the present “Catalan process” for a referendum offers the necessary free and fair conditions. I think the last time was on May 24. We can discuss them if you want.

          • Candide, this just ain’t getting us nowhere. I reckon you should try giving Mr Bosch a ring and ask him personally to give you all the answers you seek. Unless of course you prefer to remain incognito (which wouldn’t be terribly fair since he at least puts his name to his thinking). Other than that, I don’t know what further suggestions I could offer. Good luck.

  19. Joana,
    I was already living in Catalunya “after Franco”, in fact, just after Franco, and your “risk of extinction” is an enormous exaggeration. It wasn’t taught in all the schools (in fact there were schools in Franco’s times where the vehicular language was only Catalan! A lot more tolerance than you will find today.) but it was spoken without any problems.
    We have moved on in the world Joana. Languages don’t have rights – people do.
    Spanish is not under threat, but people’s rights to speak it, and to learn it at a level which will enable them to function and compete outside of “the village” , is under threat in Catalunya. (I think that you will find that the continuation of the “good practice” you were citing is…as long as it isn’t obligatory.Which it is.) I also remember a EU report of the 90’s, I think, on racism. Their findings were that the 2 areas of concern in Spain were the Gypsies and the Spanish speaking children of Catalunya. Since then things have not improved for the Spanish speaking children of Catalunya – or for the Catalan speaking children of Catalunya who don’t want to be confined to Catalunya. Contrary to nationalist propaganda you don’t become competent in a language from osmosis. Lastly Joana, since linguistics is my field, your condescending remarks about socio-linguistics (social engineering to the rest of us) are laughable. And I did smile.

    • Smile ? Joana spoke about hyenas. Hyenas don’t smile, they laugh … ha ha ha

      • Oh Jordan, that is a really low comment. Weren’t you claiming membership in the “good guys” in a later post? Calling someone a particularly disagreeable type of animal is not nice. But I guess it’s consistent with claiming to be “removed” (ie objective thus reasonable) when your subsequent posts show you to be anything but.
        I’m so happy you’ve shown your true colours for the world to see!

        • Gee, you guys really get up early. Now now, the hyena metaphor wasn’t my doing. Besides, calling hyenas “a particularly disagreeable type of animal” isn’t very nice either. I’m sure our good friends at the RSPCA might even regard this comment as discriminatory, or racists or something of the sort. Also, I never claimed membership of any good guys club or similar. I only said I was rooting for the good guys to win. Oh well, it’s all for good fun and for the whole world to see and enjoy.

          • Oh I agree!! Racism is hugely enjoyable to see! We’re having the time of our lives here! Right?
            “Oh well, it’s all for good fun and for the whole world to see and enjoy”
            (I quoted you here just so the “whole world” could get the measure of your superficiality) You’ve done it again Magoo!

          • Superficiality is a good word that I’m certain you’re very familiar with. Racism is another one, but it’s too overrated and over used these days. Catalanophobia is a word that no doubt tickles your fancy, whilst hyenophobia (that’s a new one) seems to also fall in the same category, since you confess to finding hyenas (and maybe also catalans ?) particularly disagreeable. Look ’em all up !

    • Then why is Switzerland not acused of racism when kids from Ticino families that live in Zurich can’t have school in italian or kids from Zurich who live in Geneve can’t have school in Swiss-German? If you can’t tell me, I can: there is a very important difference between Switzerland and Spain. Switzerland has accepted itself as a multi-cultural society whereas Spain…well, Spain is just different.

      • You do know that Swiss law does not apply in… well, anywhere else but Switzerland, right?

        If you want Spanish law to change, I recommend this be done… well, the legal way.

        Please note that Spain is constitutionally a multi-cultural state. And it is also de facto so, or does Catalonia not exist as an Autonomous Community? Do we not speak Catalan here?

        Please do note that the courts have only made one demand re classroom language: that Spanish not be excluded as such in Catalonia. At the same time, they have paid due respect for the need to give preference to Catalan in order to counter past injustices, leaving all details of how to implement this simple guideline demand where they belong, the (Catalan) legislator.

        You might disagree much with present policies of the Spanish government (and so do I), but we all should not disagree that the rule of law is of intrinsic value in a democracy.

        • Respect and negotiation are also an intrinsic values in democracy, but that does not seem to apply when it comes to Catalonia.
          I don’t know what you mean by “we do speak Catalan here”. If you mean that Catalan has a “normal” situation, then I disagree. We speak Catalan because that’s what we do, but we also want normality: school, labeling, cinema, administration, every single thing that Spanish language speakers have for granted in Burgos or German speakers in Germany, and we have to fight so hard for in Catalonia.
          We are tired of this extra effort for everything.
          We want sovereignty.
          It is not so hard to understand, frankly.

          • I have not seen much negotiation *on either side*, so I criticise both Madrid and Barcelona.

            Please note that there is only one official language in Burgos. There are two (with Aranese three) in Catalonia. And please note that Germany is another very different case, as it has to first of all give a boost to regional languages, something that in Spain has started some time ago.

            Yes, we’re talking about sovereignty here, let’s stick to the issue. I just felt compelled to correct some of your misconceptions, because they are very current in Catalonia; and in a debate for an international audience they needed a reply.

          • “We”?? 35% of Catalans have Catalan as their Mother tongue.
            (just a little reminder of what must be a nasty fact for you)
            The catalans who have Spanish as their mother tongue – the majority – don’t, of course, want “normality”. They’re perfectly happy to not be able to educate their children in their mother tongue, to not be able to educate their children in even 50/50 catalan/spanish. Perfectly content, of course. And they’re delighted about the possibility of receiving a hefty fine if they put a sign up in their private businesses, in Spanish. (while those poor people who put up signs in English, French Chinese etc. get nothing!) Yes, it’s a wonderful world here! “We” certainly deserve a prize!

          • AZ, actually, regardless of you indirectly telling otherwise, they are perfectly happy/do not mind about the immersion system, check your stadistics sources again. Only 5 students requested it, while 127000 asked for it in Valencia.

            Please, read also the UNESCO opinion on an education system that does not discriminate students by tongue, as well as the European Parliament report ‘Multilingualism: an asset for Europe and a shared commitment’, voted on March 24th 2009.

            I encourage you to take Joana’s advice and at least read a little bit of sociolinguistics because your claims are political, they have no linguistic sense. It’s difficult to have an educated discussion about the matter. Suggestion: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Carlos_Moreno_Cabrera check youtube

            In addition, you should check what is multi-culturalism on other multi-cultural states across Europe, Spain is an outlier in so many aspects. If you take multi-culturalism seriously, you make languages spoken by more than 10% of the state official, otherwise you’re just pretending. Check: https://www.plataforma-llengua.cat/media/assets/1581/comparativa_oficialitat_i_llengua__febrerr_2010_DEF.pdf

            Also, read about Spanish and Catalan legislation regarding signs, it’s illegal in Spain to not sign your business in Spanish. It’s illegal in Catalonia to not sign your business in Spanish _and_ Catalan. Actually, the great majority of the sanctions were issued because they didn’t use the Spanish.

            Please, let’s have an educated discussion, AZ. Read/listen each suggestion and comment. Please, please, please, don’t ignore the information I’m giving you.

          • Qumnuss. If any of what you say were true it might be worthy of reply. (the last time they were asked, in a survey some years ago -I’m sorry I don’t remember the year -something like 70% of Catalans said they would prefer a bilingual education for their children. Aside from the fact that nobody in their right minds would expect anything else – of course they love being discriminated against! That’s logical to you is it? What next? A pleasurable whipping? ) I could go on…and on..but as I said your arguments are based on untruths – and psychological Projection, “an education..that does not discriminate students by tongue”!! That is what you think you have here is it? How well you define yourselves in your obligatory immersion in Catalan/ exclusion of Spanish! Please try not to insult the intelligence as well.

          • I said it before and I’ll say it again … Trying to reason with deliberately unreasonable people is an exercise in futility. Quimnuss, let that be a lesson to you.

          • AZ, who conducted the survey? What metodology was it used? Was the sample representative? Was the question clear? Were the people able to conduct an informed decision? Was the decision binding?

          • Just to show you, AZ, I’ve searched for your fonts. Your numbers are based on Siguán 1999, page 66 and you got them wrong. It’s the 70% of the interviewed _that didn’t know catalan_ that asked for a bilingual education. For the population at large, 92% of the interviewed prefered an education where catalan was predominant (page 65).

            Although Siguán 1999 performed an uninformed, unbinding opinion, of a sample of 1000 people (approx), I believe every decision has to be informed (turthful) to be valid but since you trust it enough to reference to it… At least get your references right.

            In my honest opinion, to be certain we should either conduct a referendum (ohwait, that’s illegal and undemocratic in Spain (and Europe, according to Greece)) or trust the “experts” that I linked before (and that I suspect you haven’t read), or both.

            Please, try to be objective and not driven off by your feelings. If you are true to yourself, this new data will probably be a shock for your world model and convictions. So I’m guessing the best thing to do in this discussion is to follow Jordan’s advice, and don’t argue any further. Both because you have to think about it and you still have to read the studies I’ve sent you. Btw, I find it disrespectful to wind off unchecked or misunderstood data as well as ignore other people’s fonts in the debate. I’ve read yours, now at least read mine.

          • This is the survey:
            http://www.cis.es/cis/export/sites/default/-Archivos/Marginales/2280_2299/2298/e229800.html

            The question AZ referred to is no. 29, it is not limited to any part of those surveyed. Neither is question 32, which is also interesting here.

          • So, you’re saying that if there’s a majority of people asking for bilingual education the government should accept it and implement it?

          • In a representative democracy such issues usually go though a public debate, with the parties taking sides and people voting for the parties. So there’s usually not a direct link between what the people want and what the government does that I could answer here with a clear “yes”.

          • AZ, what do you think?

          • First, Candide, thank you for finding that survey.
            Quimmus. What I think is that you just tried to trick us all, again, with some incorrect info. You then tried to divert attention to whether or not people’s desires should be legislated on, to cover up your little slip. I think that, with a little prodding, you and Joana and Jordan have ended up displaying your true colours, and that’s to the good.
            The end really does not justify the means. If what you want is an independent state, then lying, manipulating, coercing, fining, forcing people to toe your line, while flagrantly breaking the Law (a Law voted for by Catalans too, overwhelmingly) is not the way. Toxic methods leads to a toxic state led by toxic people.
            Now I see in your methods a desperation fueled by the awareness that you would not be able to achieve your goal by any other means, as you still don’t have popular consensus behind you even in Cat.
            One’s response to frustration is a sign of maturity and sociability – or lack of it, as is the case here. All of this, the civilizing process in society has been worked out,and generally accepted, long ago! How dare you think you can turn the clock back for all of us!
            You know I watched a little of Alfred Bosch’s ink blot video about the Sagrada Familia church. The tone was impeccable. Smiling, congenial pastor guiding the silly, or naive, foreign sheep to his revelation. I say ink blot because Alfred looked at the Sagrada Familia and saw…..Angelina Jolie, his mother-in-law, a dragon…? No, he saw the symbols of the Catalan Independence movement The flag. Well, why not? The trouble for me came when he then tried to pass it off as real. Even presenting it as a little secret for the nationalistically initiated, admitting that this information would not be verifiable by looking anywhere else, no guide or reference book would corroborate it. Myth-making. We know the real power of myths. Quite irksome, but he is conscious of what he’s doing. I wonder about you lot.

          • AZ, I’ll grant you this … apart from being full of it you also possess an incredible (but machiavellian) imagination coupled with the ability to turn the truth around 180 degrees. Toxicity is what your evil lies and nasty propaganda spreads in places like this and everywhere else you and your cohorts ( camouflaged as Candide or other names ) see any attempt by Catalans to explain to the world the REAL situation their nation is in, and the deplorable treatment they receive from the Spanish government and others. You guys will be out of a job when Catalonia separates from Spain … oh well there’s always the dole !

          • O Jordan, go look it up, pleeeeease

          • AZ don’t tell me to go. Go yourself … you may even like it.

          • Huh? The data I found is this: http://www.espaciologopedico.com/articulos/articulos2.php?Id_articulo=427 which can be found on the book and author I mentioned. If you don’t provide your sources and fonts, how come you blame me for getting the wrong ones? And moreover you think it’s on purpose? Waho… you’re truly blinded by hate…

            Check the data I found, I believe it’s actually compatible with the one from the CIS Candide found, don’t you think? At least it is more complete. I couldn’t get ahold of the full book on-line unfortunatelly.

            But you’re the one giving credit to this polls, I’m always reluctant to give them credit for the reasons I exposed before. Which brings me to the same point I think you yourself noticed too, you take out the stats when the support your convictions (catalan as the only education language 27.5% (2009)) and ignore them when they don’t (dependence support 27% (2013)²). You should have to be fair.

            And what do you think of the other studies I sent you? Do you still think Spain Government believes Spain is multicultural?

            (funny how the stats are equal)
            ² CEO latest stats http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_independence#Referendum_on_Catalonia.27s_independence official here: http://premsa.gencat.cat/pres_fsvp/docs/2013/02/21/10/47/7f6d7ac7-09f6-4b12-a676-2ee95a051b10.pdf

          • Jordan

            apple

          • Strudel or pie ?

  20. Jordan, I searched high and low for the word you quoted (“unbiased”) in my post, and have been unable to locate it anywhere. I guess it was a sort of twisted Projection on your part. After all, anyone who claims to see that the Emperor has no clothes would have to be, at the very least, biased. Right?
    But you’re right on one thing, I have often regretted choosing to come and live in Catalunya. I would never have believed it possible, though, that I would be a witness to such degradation of values and principles that I had hitherto taken for granted. I’m sure, one day, that future Catalans looking back on these decades will feel ashamed of the collective suspension of reason (provoked by nationalist intoxication) which has allowed this to happen.
    But no, I don’t think independence will happen -with or without a referendum. You don’t have the numbers – by a long way -to win a referendum. I think it’s been a case of premature ejaculation on the part of the Nationalists. They needed at least another 30 years to successfully indoctrinate sufficient numbers to win a referendum. I understand their hurry, however. The sword of Justice (in the cases of Cat. Gov. corruption) was hanging over them, and the Catalan people were soon going to find out exactly who had been robbing them…
    So you see, I don’t need to …lie back and enjoy it …as you so delicately suggested. It will run its course, and disappear with an (embarrassed) Puff!

  21. AZ, Candide, or whoever. You seem to be “projecting” too when you address me as “YOU don’t have the numbers”, as if I were part of some independence movement. In fact I’m well removed from this issue, but find it interesting. Unlike you however, my money’s on Catalunya becoming a new State. As they say in the classics … time’ll tell ! Meanwhile I do intend to seat back and enjoy it.Kerplunk !

  22. Correction, Jordan. I found the un-biased word. – though not as a biographical detail ( i.e. pedigree, affections, suitable level of empathy, which is understood as biography in nationalist circles) – but in the paragraph about the press not providing un- biased info to the population. Very hard to refute that I’m afraid – unless you’re going to deny that the Generalitat subsidies all the local press?! And TV3 produces programmes which are presented as Reports – or Documentaries – and duly report the nationalist point of view. Full stop.

  23. Jordan,
    If you are so “well removed” from this issue, and consider it as a kind of horse race…I’d like to ask you, do you consider the Form before you bet on your horse, or make your choice based on some sort of affinity for the name, superstition about, the number, aesthetic reasons etc.?
    The very fact that you choose to participate in this discussion does not exactly provide supporting evidence for your removed status. Allow me to doubt it.

    • ps You don’t understand “projection”. Look it up.

      • pps, you don’t understand “common sense”. Look it up.

        • STILL haven’t looked it up, have you??!
          (maybe you should go back to watching football, it’s where your frame of mind will be most at home – your team will ,or should, always win, never commits a foul (unless provoked, and then they’ve got ba..s!) And if, by chance, the other side wins, well, they cheated, were brutal, had the ref on their side…just like cowboy movies. You’ll have fun).

  24. AZ, let me put it this way … it’s like watching your typical western movie about the crook despotic landowner (Spain) who also owns the town and the sheriff and desperately covets the last remaining small ranch in the county (Catalonia) but its owners don’t want to sell off. As usual the villains get up to all kinds of subterfuges, deception and other bad staff in their efforts to subdue the weak. Most people want the good guys (the small ranch owners) to win, and so do I. And I’ve got an ample supply of popcorn and Guinness, so I can wait till “The End” appears. Meanwhile you can doubt as much as you like.

  25. Jordan, your well- removed-ness is evident. You put your money on whatever horse most closely resembles parables (David and Goliath) and/or their modern form, movies, in all their black and white, goodies and baddies splendour – don’t you wish real life were so so clear, clean and indisputable? My father once having been a big punter, I can only suggest you study The Form – unless you’ve got money to throw away, you’ve got more chances of backing the “right” horse… I rest my case.

    • Joana with her hyenas, you with your horses … is this another episode of animal farm or what ? Are you sure your initials shouldn’t be G.O. ? Anyway, may The Form, or The Force or good old George Orwell (or even Candide) be with you, as you and your case take a rest.

  26. Tant uns com altres (separatistes i Unionistes) teniu una capacitat d’expressió escrita simplement brillant. El meu més profund respecte i admiració a tots vosaltres per la manera en que domineu el llenguatge i el feu servir per defensar el vostre pensament. Dit això, trobo a faltar en aquest debat una voluntat sincera i honesta d’entesa entre ambdues parts i sobretot, trobo a faltar una capacitat d’autocrítica mínima que faci justicia a la brillantesa de les ments dels que escriviu en aquest foro.

  27. The Catalonia Today magazine article for June…

    CATVIAN

    Given that 80% of elected politicians in the Catalan parliament (and two thirds of the population that pays their fees) want to hold a referendum on the independence question and that 55% of Catalans have already said in surveys that they want a state of their own and given that the best-selling novels and essays on Catalonia’s Book Day (April 23rd) were all pro-independence and that Catalan Public Television’s documentary recommending independence (broadcast on May 7th) was the most watched programme in Catalonia, you’d have thought that the Spanish government and its affiliated media would finally be taking the on-going process towards Catalan home rule a mite seriously. Not a bit of it. On the contrary, they are in an even more jocular mood than usual. For instance, the Spanish state delegate in Catalonia, Ms Llanos de Luna, declared last May that people in the 200 towns and villages which have officially proclaimed themselves ‘free of Spain’ must have ‘had a few drinks’ to indulge in ‘such a joke’. And the Aragonese government declared that from now on the Catalan spoken in Aragonese territory (of which the late, great Catalan-language author Jesús Moncada was a native son) isn’t Catalan at all, but must now be called LAPAO, an acronym for Aragonese Language Belonging to the Eastern Zone. And Madrid’s local public TV station broadcast a ‘report’ on Catalonia, in which images of Stalin and Hitler were morphed into those of Catalan president Mas and left-wing pro-independence leader Junqueras. And a citizen who recently petitioned Brussels in Catalan received a reply from a high-ranking Spanish official there…written in Latvian. And the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal has now said it needs five months to decide whether a non-legally-binding pro-sovereignty statement by the Catalan parliament is legal (or not). Why such infinite jest? The secret, it would appear, is that behind the scenes, the ideologically fuelled Spanish diplomatic corps is on unionist overdrive. For example, last month a Catalan professor on loan to the University of Georgetown (USA) was promptly removed from her post by the Spanish government after she’d defended the Catalans’ right to vote on self-determination. And recently a Scottish MP – whose name I am not at liberty to disclose – assured me that Spain has told the Scots that it won’t veto the re-entry of an independent Scotland into the EU on one condition: that the Scottish government does not so much as mention, much less defend, the Catalan cause. So at home, apparently, the Spanish powers that be can ridicule us – or worse – until kingdom come. Precisely because abroad, mum is their last word on the subject.

  28. Quite an enlightening article. I looked up Catalonia Today and found a website promoting what appears to be a magazine by that name. However I’ve been unable to find the article in question, presumably by a Matthew Tree according to Candide, as only paid subscribers are allowed to browse this publication. Pity. However, since Candide is privy to so much information it follows that he must be a subscriber already. I’m thinking about forking out the annual fees, but first I’d like to ask Candide whether he thinks it’s worthwhile subscribing to Catalonia Today and if he enjoys reading its contents ? A penny for your thoughts Candide.

    • Many articles of Catalonia Today and others end up republished on other sites. The trick is to take the first sentence and google it.

      I’m not a subscriber. I don’t think it’s worth the money, this mag doesn’t seem to say anything new. Same with this article, which rehashes a line of argumentation that already feels like old chewing gum: lots of anecdotical evidence about grievances, with a spin. No analysis.

      There’s really no way around reading the local daily press.

      • I see. Well, if that’s all there is to your thoughts, they’re not worth the penny either. I’ll have to ask someone else. Maybe Andrew ?
        PS. I would’ve thought that at least one analysis of this article is rather clear. The Spanish government is up to no good ! (Again)

        • Thank you for your kind words.

          • You’re more than welcome Candide. I’m sure the publishers of Catalonia Today and Mr Tree also appreciate your fine comments about them. All things nice …

          • Are you now criticising the opinion you have asked me for? Gosh, I really never learn.

          • Golly gee ! Far be it from me to criticise your priceless opinion (whether sound or otherwise) … but I’m still not going to give you the penny, sorry.

          • You and other fellow Cataloonies have absolutely no civility. Do you have to go public with it, well aware that you will be mistaken for Catalans?

          • Talk about the pot calling the kettle black ! Many people in the world can give lectures on civility, Candide, but you certainly AIN’T one of them. Your renown contempt for the Catalan identity on this and other forums speaks loudly about “what you’re made of”. Your dedication to “the cause” is immeasurable.
            PS Thanks for the “loony” reference. I notice that your friends at C’s also call “nacionalists” (with a “c”) loonies. How cultured !!!
            PSS Please give my regards to AZ (how’s that for an act of civility!)
            That’s all folks.

  29. Don’t take it personally Candide. We’ve seen from previous posts what our Jordan is made of. Yes, you made the grave mistake of not saying what he wanted to hear…and he simply will have to have the last word…even though it’s nonsense – but never mind. (it’s probably best to ignore him although he is a nuisance)
    On something more interesting. Has anyone seen the latest spin – “Espanya contra Catalunya”. ? Delirious Desperation!

  30. I live in barcelona (for 4 years) and the catalan independence thing is ridiculous. the economy is terrible in spain – the entire country should be focusing on that instead of independence. newspapers every day in barcelona have something about it, forget about it !

  31. Might I simply quote UK PM David Cameron: “I don’t believe that, in the end, that [it’s right to] try to ignore these questions of nationality, independence, identity. I think it’s right to make your argument, take them on and then you let the people decide … that’s the way I want to do things in the United Kingdom.”

    He went on to say he wouldn’t presume to tell the Spanish how to go about the issue, but there it stands, “let the people decide”, summed up in one word: Democracy. Everyone (even the Spanish government), all of us here too (whether you say so or not), knows who we are talking about when we consider the Catalan people (those included in the electoral role of the autonomous region of Catalonia) and whether they should be allowed to decide, democratically, on their self-determined political future, i.e. whether to remain in the Spanish State or to form their own. It’s that simple and, of course, that complicated.

    But the core issue is DEMOCRACY.

    • If things were just that simple… Only a few days ago Carme Forcadell, the president of the very influential Catalan National Assembly, spoke of the Catalan Lands as “the whole nation” on Catalan public TV.

      So based on what should only people in Catalonia vote? Can we get clarity, please.

      • You know very (damn) well who is going to vote in a referendum (if the Spanish govt ever allows it, lacking democratic principle of Cameron): those included in the electoral roll of the autonomous region of Catalonia. Forget about anything else. One thing is the political entity of Catalonia, another is the lands where the language, know to linguists as Catalan, to others as Valencian, Baleá or LAPAO, is spoken.

        • I’d love to forget, but it’s impossible. As I have pointed our repeatedly above, it is Mr Bosch who defines as “Catalonia” all those territories. And it is Mrs Forcadell who defines them as “the whole ]Catalan] nation”. And they are not alone.

          So they make it really hard to forget.

          Again: why should only part of the Catalan nation vote?

  32. In reply to your question: again, it’s an issue of DEMOCRACY. The citizens of the autonomous region of Catalonia, a recognised and clearly defined political unit within Spain, have demanded they be allowed to exercise their right to vote on their fate, on whether to continue as they are or to articulate their own state. None of the other regions have done so.

    • That’s quite a simplistic view of democracy. The same democracy has given itself laws which for this very reason have to be respected. Spain has its own Constitution, so to quote Mr Cameron is quite a bit misleading if we don’t adapt his view to the local circumstances.

      I personally think they should vote, and if there is a strong majority for independence negotiations with Madrid should start. I also think, and for the very same reason, that if there is any significant compact territory in Catalonia that does not vote for independence it certainly stays in Spain.

      By the way, I don’t know why you shout “democracy”. The Catalan government has not even formally presented its plan.

      And then there is the quite large problem of some public Catalan admin being so wildly biased that a democratic vote at this very moment would not be possible.

  33. Since we’re all so interested in the so-called Catalan Lands, it might be useful to refer to their historical precedent: the Crown of Aragon. As I’m sure you are all aware, the Crown of Aragon functioned as a sort of confederacy of kingdoms. There was a principality of Catalonia, a Kingdom of Valencia and a Kingdom of Majorca. Yes, they all spoke Catalan, but they were also *largely* independent of one another, as their titles would indicate. This leads me to personally reject the idea of a Catalan-Land-wide referendum in favor of each area carrying on as it sees fit. If Catalonia decides to secede, great. If the islands want to join in, fine, but it’s their call, not the Catalans.

    As a result, I share Mr Bosch’s desire for independence (despite the considerable suspicions I have regarding corruption in the Catalan government), but I do not agree with lumping Valencia and the islands in with us simply because of linguistic reasons. I don’t see the logic behind “one language, one country.”

    • So Greyscale doesn’t see the logic behind “one language, one country.” Clever lad. Yet some people saw decades ago the concept of ‘one people one nation’, or ‘ Ein Volk, Ein Reich ‘, in its original German…

      • And by the way, compare and contrast the slogan used by plataforma Som Escola ‘One school, one language, one country’ with the original ‘Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer ‘ Soo democratic. They truly are more evolved beings than those illiterate, thievin’ Spaniards.

  34. Good day, Sr. Bosch. I am from the Philippines and I clearly feel for the situation of the general Catalan people who aspire for a more just governance.

    The same situation can be analyzed throughout many countries, particularly the poorly-managed heterogeneous ones, around the world, whether expanded out of colonial thrusts or recently emancipated from the annexation of the former. In my country, millions of Filipinos still see that Philippine nationalism is the most sacrosanct concept ever conceived other than religious beliefs. Contrary to such, the Filipino identity has been only existent and force-fed across generations who did not know any better for more or less 120 years. The Philippines that we know of today was never a contiguous polity, but can be realized as patches of territorial leftovers after the Castillian Crown paved the way for American intervention. Sadly, historiographers and educators throughout the recent decades were able to conceal this reality (or unknowingly do) through overly-romanticized yet distorted explanations of our statehood in our educational system and mass media. In reality, our nationS, (representing our diverse ethnic groups) are threatened by propagandist machinations led by centralist forces who have near-ethnic-cleansing tendencies. Their primary motive, of course, is to preserve this “Filipino” statehood (or more like ‘nationhood’ as what they always clamor) using vague, illogical rationales. This is very sad that our languages, historical realities and cultural footprints have been and are still being smeared in the process when in fact our separate ethnic consciousness have been intact for over the past 600 to 700 years as far as the oldest historical records are concerned.

    Secession may not be the most feasible path for many of our ethnic nations as many of our kind see this 115-year old state to be the keeper of their destiny more than the identity their ancestors have held and developed for over 6 to 7 centuries. Another concern is that if people may see secession to be an option, the economic and political stability of our respective regions would be at risk when the Philippines as a whole has not even reached this goal.

    The Catalan people of the early 21st century are fortunate to be living in an era where economic viability, cultural integrity and political will is not only existent but thriving within the very nation they have fought for so many centuries. I am hopeful that our respective peoples in the Philippines would also reach this form of renaissance, an ethnic empowerment, in the near future so that we would also realize that we can choose our destiny among us who can understand us: whether to see that our strength within our ethnic groups can be a contribution to the whole Philippines or that it is time for us to trail-blaze on our own.

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