Monday, 13 February 2006

Madrid Against Spain

This is an article extracted from the Raco Català, a Catalan news and participation portal.
Madrid Against Spain

Madrid has risen up in arms against the Spain of the Autonomies. How matters have changed, not in 25 years but in a century! When Angel Guimera won the elections to the Ateneu Barcelones in 1895, he spoke Catalan in public for the first time, provoking a scandal among the anti-Catalan members of the Ateneu. Anti-Catalanism, so much alive in Madrid and Valencia, has practically disappeared from Catalonia. Only a handful of reconverted Marxists, the most poisonous Jimenez Losantos who foams his daily racism from Cope radio in Madrid. Francesc de Carreras has the freedom of the Anti-Catalan press in Barcelona, but he keeps failing in his repeated attempts to create a pro Madrid party in Catalonia. Joan Maragall, secretary of the winning list, warned: "I will not read any Madrid paper nor any paper inspired in its outlook by Madrid. It is not necessary to read them, so insubstantial and ridiculous are they in their stereotypes the Madrid and pro Madrid press. The day Catalonia frees itself from the Madrid press (and the local press done in the same style) our intellectual independence will be complete and the rest does not matter because we shall be part of Europe."

Now that we are part of Europe, the civilised world looks with growing alarm at Madrid anti-Catalanism with its threats of a new coup d'Etat and the wild racism which is destroying in a few months all the good credit gained since the death of Franco. The PP has fallen to 4% in the Barcelona poll, the only Catalan region where they hold representation and will be eliminated by the 5% barrier. The fall into disrepute of the PP extends to the world at large which sees a neofascist party with a liberalism as fake as the one promoted by the Goebbels of the regime, Fraga Iribarne, founder of the PP. It is not just Jose Maria Aznar's moustache which looks like the Great Dictator, but the racism promoted by the PP, with yellow paint on Catalan stores in Madrid, boycott of Catalan products and support for a coup d'Etat. Lawyer Joan de Gispert says: "Once a week I travel to Valencia where I explain that Catalonia has suffered dozens of dead through huge Eta bombs without ever boycotting the Basques." Whereas the PP chiefs of Madrid and Valencia boycott us not because of terrorism but for the crime of freedom of speech. Freixenet has sold this Christmas 800,000 cava bottles less in the "National Zone", more than compensated by growth in Catalonia and the world. Shameful! Like the PP mayor of Salamanca Julian Lanzarote qualifying the papers stolen at gunpoint and being returned to Catalonia as "a plunder by blood and fire." Plunder of whom? Blood and fire to whom? A townsman from Salamanca murmured: "They are taking them abroad, I cry in shame."

The grandfather of Catalan president Pasqual Maragall couldn't be more outspoken: "The Flamenco Madrid insolence are backward steps of a decrepit race. Spanish thought is dead. Spain has no significance nor efficiency in the general movement of ideas in the civilised world. Madrid has realised that Catalonia has awoken with an European, living, spontaneous and young intellectual movement. Long Live Spain means that Spain should live, that its peoples arise and move forward, speak out and act for themselves, govern themselves and the country. Spain is not a holdall patriotism covering up all sorts of weakness and greed. They are the separatists. How can Spain move forward? Not dragging along through provincial byways with strongmen frozen like until now by the ties of uniformity which is against its nature, nor through the emptiness of aged parties nor in the corrupt air of a closed centralism. Instead it must progress open to the four winds of the seas surrounding Spain, in the freedom of its peoples. What will you do? Raise the army against us, against Spain?" Catalonia is recovering its place in the world, and the Salamanca papers, against the Spain of the PP.

Josep C. Vergés, 12.2.06

Links: (Original article in Catalan and English)

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