dimarts, 23 de novembre de 2010

Catalonia, amb una mica de Mishima

Resulta que me n’he assabentat que hi ha eleccions a Catalunya aquesta setmana i voldria fer un parell d’apunts sobre el tema. Això si, sempre en la meva mateixa línea irreverent i no-objectiu com sempre. Primer, però, haurem de fer 4 ratlles en anglès sobre Catalunya pels no-catalans. Si dic alguna cosa no correcte, ja m’avisareu ...
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Elections for the Catalan Parliament will be held next Sunday. Tomorrow I will write a post summarising my views on the different parties who hope to gain seats in these elections, but first the recent history of Catalonia in 3 seconds ...

Catalonia is a nation, one of the three or four which make up the Spanish State (known to us as Spain). With the re-introduction of democracy after Franco in the late 1970s, Spain drew up a new Constitution and new Statutes defining the powers and rights of Catalonia within the Spanish State. Many of the rights “awarded” to Catalonia have never been fully developed and the last 30 years have seen a constant tug-of-war between Madrid and Catalonia, with Madrid holding all the aces, such as the Constitutional High Courts. Catalonia has traditionally always been, together with the Basque country, the economic power house of the state. As such, it is a net loser economically when we see the money going to Madrid (in taxes), compared to that coming back (in investments). A loser to the tune of 20,000 million Euros per year. I am all for socialism and solidarity but there has to be a rational limit to this. Nowadays, other regions in the Spanish state have much better social services and/or public infrastructures, yet still this huge amount of money is siphoned out of Catalonia to subsidise them.
To top it all, how we invest the money which does come back to Catalonia is restricted as Madrid retains control of many of the important aspects of political life.

On a cultural, national, level, the Catalans are a nation, taking in anyone who lives here irrespective of their birthplace. The Catalan nationality – it seems to me – is more of a thing you can choose to accept and be a part of for its positive outlook, than only being limited to genetic factors. Hard work, progressive, serious, but fun-loving, the Catalans are – in general – more modern thinking than other areas in the Spanish state. One of the main features of Catalonia, the Catalan language, the most important cultural connection we share, is also under threat from Madrid and the Spanish government.

Madrid promised to let the Catalans draw up a new Statute, with more powers and rights, in 2004. This was then passed in the Catalan Parliament, and in a public referendum. It was then drastically cut back in the Spanish Parliament, before seeing some of the most significant parts being wiped out by the Constitutional Courts. This led to a protest of over one million Catalans on the streets of Barcelona back in July. And this is the situation we are in, coming up to elections ...

Googling I am sure more info can be found, or if anyone has any specific questions I’ll take them after a short break for music.... Something Catalan, I like these:

Mishima, amb Miquel a l’acces 14




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