Referendum in Catalonia

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Re: Referendum in Catalonia

Postby Sprocket » October 29th, 2017, 1:43 pm

This morning, on BBC1, Andrew Marr interviewed Antony Beevor, the historian, who is, apparently, an expert on the Spanish Civil War. He made the interesting and possibly relevant point that Sr Rajoy's ancestors were Francoists, while Sr Puigdemonts were Republicans.
The Catalonian independence movement is often, and I suppose inevitably, compared to the Scottish one, but there is at least one important difference: whereas Scotland is a relatively poor region of the UK, Catalonia is the richest region of Spain. It can thus be argued that at least some of the Catalan independence protestors are acting from selfish motives - they don't want their taxes subsidising poorer parts of Spain.
Brendan Behan once went on a lecture tour of Canada. On his arrival, a reporter asked him why he'd come to Canada. Behan replied "I saw an advert that said 'Drink Canada Dry', and I thought 'I'll try anything once!'"
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Re: Referendum in Catalonia

Postby GregB » October 30th, 2017, 9:00 am

Antony Beevor is an excellent military historian (I've read several of his books; eg. on Stalingrad, D-Day, the Battle of Berlin, etc.) but I wouldn't consider him to be an expert on the Spanish Civil War, though he has written a lengthy history of the conflict, 'The Battle For Spain', which I've read. There are other historians most of whose works are exclusively dedicated to the Civil War and related matters; (eg. Stanley Payne, Paul Preston, Hugh Thomas, etc.) When Beevor refers to Rajoy's forebears as Francoists, he's really just talking about his father, also called Mariano, who was born in 1921 and became a magistrate. No one prior to him or his own father could have been a Francoist as Francoism didn't exist until the 1930's. In fact, the PM's grandfather, Enrique Rajoy, was in favour of Galician autonomy and was removed from his job (also a magistrate) by the Francoist authorities. The family is from Galicia (the region in the extreme north-west of Spain), from which Franco hailed as well and which has produced various notable conservative politicians. Mariano Rajoy (the PM) has no record of any affiliation with or support of Franco or Francoism; he's fundamentally a conservative in the democratic parliamentary tradition and an upholder of Spanish territorial integrity.

The main objection by many Catalan separatists is not so much the use of their taxes to support the poorer parts of Spain (and many people here are the children or grandchildren of immigrant families from the rest of Spain) as the high rates of taxes which are drawn from Catalonia. That is, they believe they are paying too much to Madrid (as we might put it, they're being 'milked'), but that is something which could be resolved by renegotiating aspects of the autonomy statutes rather than by independence.
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- T.S.Eliot 'Four Quartets'.
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Re: Referendum in Catalonia

Postby Pondero » October 30th, 2017, 9:57 am

We saw a big demonstration in Barcelona on TV yesterday of thousands of people supporting Spanish unity. There was even a white terrier dog on a leash flying the Spanish flag. :D
Since the trouble began I have seen in the last few weeks ,three flags not two , all different.First a horizontally striped flag with a star in it , symbolizing Catalan independence, then the Spanish flag , three horizontal edge stripes with the crown and coat of arms on one side.
Then, yesterday there was a horizontally striped flag without the star. I think that symbolized a Catalonia which is United to Spain, but I am not sure.

EDIT.
The wife and I loved Spain when we were there last September.It was very hot. I remember we got lost in Madrid and walked a mile or two in the wrong direction away from the hotel past the railway station up the hill into suburban type rich looking houses until it dawned on us we were lost. A film arts student pointed out the direction to the station. Then once there we were lost again. An older gentleman on a bench tried to help us. Finally a woman police officer told us in impeccable English that she knew of our hotel and that it was just up the street on the right. She seemed very amused at the whole incident.
“ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action, and morals” (#407).
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Re: Referendum in Catalonia

Postby GregB » November 4th, 2017, 9:21 am

The situation here is getting worse, as those who have followed the news on TV or in the press will know. Several members of the dissolved Catalan regional government have been remanded in custody awaiting trial for rebellion, sedition and misappropriation of public funds and are in two prisons near Madrid. Meanwhile, the ex-PM (called 'president' here) of the Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, fled to Brussels last week with four of his ministers to avoid the same fate. Now, the judge in charge of the case has issued an international order to the Belgian authorities requiring the detention and extradition of Puigdemont and his ministers, although the legal process involved may take up to two months. The reaction here among the pro-independence sectors of the population has been one of extreme anger and protest demonstrations are being organised and a general strike called for one day next week. The situation is hotting up, then, and may have got worse by the time of the elections called for December 21st. At least there is no possibility of another civil war (see my concluding comment in my post of October 28th, 9.29 am, last one on the previous page.)

Just to respond to a comment by Pondero (see above) the flag with four horizontal red stripes without the star is the national flag of Catalonia, but not united to Spain. It has been flown on public buildings since autonomy was granted in 1978 but does not indicate independence (that's the one with the blue triangle containing a star.)
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- T.S.Eliot 'Four Quartets'.
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Re: Referendum in Catalonia

Postby Pondero » November 5th, 2017, 1:55 am

I notice that one of our two main national TV stations (CTV) is sympathetic to those in Catalonia who want to separate, which I don't think is correct.You can tell that by watching and listening to the views of those reporters they interview in Catalonia.Although the official position of our government is that separation is wrong.
“ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action, and morals” (#407).
Catechism of the Catholic Church.
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Re: Referendum in Catalonia

Postby GregB » November 5th, 2017, 8:57 am

Are those same stations sympathetic to Quebec separatism, Pondero? In any event, national TV stations should remain impartial and simply report the news objectively, at least foreign news.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
- T.S.Eliot 'Four Quartets'.
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Re: Referendum in Catalonia

Postby Pondero » November 5th, 2017, 10:37 am

GregB wrote:Are those same stations sympathetic to Quebec separatism, Pondero? In any event, national TV stations should remain impartial and simply report the news objectively, at least foreign news.


No, they were not the last time the topic arose. Quebec seperatism has been dead for years.
Fortunately, Canadian TV news is dying on the branch.People don't watch it as they prefer Netfix or some such outlet.
“ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action, and morals” (#407).
Catechism of the Catholic Church.
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Re: Referendum in Catalonia

Postby GregB » November 6th, 2017, 6:53 pm

I know Steve is a Guardian reader (and probably others here too) and apparently an article has appeared in it today by the ex-president of the ex-regional Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, who is now in Belgium avoiding Spanish law following his illegal declaration of independence. Most of what he says is self-justifying twaddle. Everything he and his associates have done over the last few weeks is illegal under the democratically established Spanish constitution, so his emotional appeals via the international media are basically hollow, relying on the scant knowledge of the reality here on the part of most EU members. To that extent, I'll be more than happy to answer any questions or points from members here in order to clarify the real situation.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
- T.S.Eliot 'Four Quartets'.
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Re: Referendum in Catalonia

Postby Pondero » December 22nd, 2017, 11:18 am

I notice this morning that the separatist party won 70 of the 135 seats in the Catalonia election.
What does this mean? :scratch:
“ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action, and morals” (#407).
Catechism of the Catholic Church.
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