dilluns, 25 de març de 2013

Oblivious - Aztec Camera #Catalonia_Scotland

Parlant de Catalunya, gràcies a Liz Castro, s'ha publicat un llibre excel·lent amb una diversitat d'articles molt interessants sobre el tema de la má de "experts" en la materia - i tot això en anglès, amb l'objectiu d'arribara llà on hem d'arribar. De fet amb els diners que han recol·lectat (amb el sistema Verkami) han enviat copies del llibre a biblioteques, periodistes, i politics internacionals a més a més de les copies que s'han enviat als contactes dels col·laboradors!
En fi, per intentar ajudar a entendre, he copiat una pagina de l'article de Xavier Solana comparant Catalunya i Escocia. 
La cançó d'avui - pos, alguna cosa d'Escocia.
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Recently there has been a great book published, What's up with Catalonia. Thanks to the editor Liz Castro, 33 fascinating articles on different aspects of the "Catalan question" by a selection of experts, has been published in English - and copies have been sent around the world, to libraries, journalists, politicians, and contacts of the people who have donated money to make this project happen! Here's just a short extract, from an article by Xavier Solano, but hopefully by comparing the Catalans with the Scottish case it will help people understand a little better What is up with Catalonia!
"...Scotland and Catalonia have many things in common. Both are small nations that currently form part of European Union member states. Both lost their sovereignty at the beginning of the 18th century, Scotland in 1707 and Catalonia in 1714. Three hundred years later, a significant portion of both the Catalan and Scottish people believe that it no longer makes sense to remain within their respective states. The current situation no longer offers them sufficient benefits. Indeed, many believe that Scotland and Catalonia miss out on opportunities every day because they are not independent, and they do not have complete freedom to make decisions about their own affairs.
It turns out that there are more and more people who believe that it is time to become a grown-up nation, a people responsible for its own actions with all the associated consequences, just like the other approximately 200 countries in the world. There are many who believe that the Catalonia and Scotland of the future should have only two capitals, Brussels and their own, and that those decisions that are not made in Brussels should be taken in Barcelona or Edinburgh because, at the end of the day, independence is nothing more than having the freedom to make your own decisions and manage your own resources.
However, there are also important differences between Scotland and Catalonia. For instance, Scotland is considered a “nation” by the Government of the United Kingdom and the Scots are deemed to have the right to decide the future of Scotland. Its parliament is respected and trusted by the British Parliament of Westminster, which never legislates on matters that have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The budgets of the Scottish Parliament and Government are calculated through a transparent formula, the public
revenue and expenditure reports are published regularly and the Scottish Parliament has full powers over the main policy areas such as education, health, or justice, to name just a few. Scotland also has official national teams competing internationally.
Catalonia has none of these. The Spanish government and parliament, unlike the British authorities with Scotland, have repeatedly refused to give such treatment and recognition to Catalonia.
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... Another thing that perhaps few people know is that Catalonia is a very old nation. For example, our current President, Mr. Artur Mas, is the 129th president of the Generalitat of Catalonia. To put this into context, allow me to compare this with the United States, whose current president, Barack Obama, is the 44th leader of that great nation. There are not many countries in the world that can claim that their first president was named in 1359. Obviously, the times have changed but the Catalans’ sense of self-determination and sovereignty remain strong.
This desire for self-government is something we share with all of the nation-states in the world and also with those nations that, like Scotland, are pursuing independence. Scotland and the United Kingdom make a good analogy for explaining Catalonia and Spain to the world. If we look closely, we see that the United Kingdom and Spain have a fair number of things in common, for example, both were formed as unified states at the beginning of the 18th century and both are comprised of multiple nations.
Britain, for example, is formed of English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish. It’s interesting to see that the English—who were and still are the largest and most important nation in the United Kingdom—never renounced their own nationality in order to become British. In Spain, the story is quite different. The Castilians, who were the largest of the nations that constituted the Spanish State, after conquering the other Iberian nations and abolishing their laws, languages, and constitutions, established a process of castilianization of the new unified Spain. In the end, they divvied up their own nation, Castile, and converted it into Spanish regions. They eventually stopped thinking of Castile as a nation and considered only Spain instead. The English, on the other hand, have always kept their own identity, which has facilitated maintaining a relatively healthy relationship with their neighbors. In contrast, Spain has been trying to implement an aggressive program of “Spanishization” or castilianization of the Catalans, Basques, Galicians, and all other non-Castilians.
For that reason, the proposal of making Scotland an independent state from the United Kingdom has not raised such visceral hackles among the English, who understand it to be a Scottish affair. The English realize that an independent Scotland might fragment the United Kingdom but that its own nation, England, would remain intact. In Spain, the reaction is quite different. Since the Castilians are now only Spanish, they believe that an independent Catalonia would break up their nation. Therefore, the Spanish Government and Parliament have actively moved against any sort of recognition of the national identity of Catalonia even though it is well known that Catalonia was a nation well before Spain was created and, obviously, long before Castile was divided up.
The Spanish case is paradoxical. On the one hand it is a democratic country that belongs to the European Union of the 21st century. On the other, it is a state that, in contrast with the United Kingdom and Scotland, or Canada and Québec, has yet to recognize the status of “nationhood” for Catalonia, even though such status was passed by 90 per cent of the Members of the Catalan Parliament and ratified in a referendum by the Catalan people in 2006.
In fact, we can even go further. In contrast with Canada, and in the United Kingdom in particular—where each and every one of the Prime Ministers from Margaret Thatcher to David Cameron, including Tony Blair, have always recognized the right of the Scots to decide if they want Scotland to become an independent state—the Spanish government refuses to recognize this right to the Catalans, the Basques, or anyone else who asks for it. Actually, the Spanish government has already announced that if the Catalan President goes ahead with the referendum in 2014, he will have to face the courts."
And to finish, a song from Scotland:

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