Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Effective Catalonia

The below is an article by Josep Vergés, it was published in the Catalan web portal, Racó Català. I agree wholeheartedly with his views. Sadly, independent voices like him are silenced in the Spanish-controlled, pro-unionist Catalan media.

Effective Catalonia
Enterprise is risk, but without entrepreneurs a country does not advance. Catalonia progresses, not through politicians profiting from the money of others, but from thousands of businessmen risking their own money. Some businesses go very well and others not because it is the law of life to grow and decline. This dynamism, not natural resources which we not possess nor our own State which we also do not have, gives us our wealth and strength.

In Madrid the word risk does not exist, because behind everything they always have the State: behind Iberia the gift of Terminal IV in Madrid or behind Endesa, the former PP electricity monopoly, which prefers to be in German than Catalan hands, as though Berlin were closer and more easily influenced than Barcelona. The Madrid entrepreneur lives off politics and bureaucracy. The Barcelona-Madrid shuttle has tried unsuccessfully to integrate Catalans in the Madrid economics because Catalans are viewed as suspiciously in Madrid as Jews were in Berlin when this was the capital of fascism. Catalan politicians -some to enrich themselves and if not ask Duran Lleida or José Montilla why both are multimillionaires if they have never worked- have copied the Madrid model. We have public companies like TV3, and staying in the same branch, private like Avui enormous loss makers, but certainly 100% servile. But Catalonia grows not through political pork barrel, but through entrepreneurs taking risks.

Josep Jane Sola is a typical Catalan entrepreneur who founded his own dynamic bank, finally victim of a stock exchange crisis. He is also a well known economist, for many years president of the Catalan Economics Society, part of the Institute of Catalan Studies, where I was secretary until 2005 when Jose Montilla imposed Mr. X of GAL State terrorism, Narcis Serra, as president of socialist Caixa Catalunya which sponsors our Catalan Economics Prize. “Effective Economics” (Milenio, 2006) is the massive homage in two volumes, 1,466 pages and 116 contributors, which we economists dedicate to him. Dr. Jane shows me the front cover of himself as a young mountaineer and says that mountains teach about living: “The measured effort, the calculated risk, to reach the summit and, above all, to know how to get back.” In his dedication he writes: “The best secretary-collaborator I have ever had and what constant support and farseeing and unbreakable loyalty.” The Festschrift is promoted by Fabia Estape, of Port Bou by the way as his stormy mind shows, Juan Velarde Fuertes, Josep Vilarasau of la Caixa, and Jesus Timoteo, editor of the book with his son Oscar Jane. Populariser of economics and of the popular participation in the economy, he follows the observation by John Maynard Keynes: “What changes the world are not interest rates but ideas.” The effective economy is what makes the world go round.

His model of an effective man is the inventor of the peseta Laurea Figuerola, born in the county of Anoia, in Calaf, and he in Igualada. He imposed the Catalan peseta eliminating the chaos of 97 Spanish coins. On the centenary of his death, February 28th 2003, we presented his book in homage. Apart from the peseta, he reformed foreign trade, freed education from the Church and even gave back Citadel Park from the military to Barcelona, something which present day politicians have still failed to do with Montjuic Castle, the other symbol of Franco-Spanish repression of Catalan freedoms. There is nothing that last longer than the provisional. A provisional, and liberal, government installed the provisional, and liberalising, peseta which lasted for 133 years. What is never provisional is proper work. What will remain of 23 years of Jordi Pujol, incapable of getting anything permanent for Catalonia? History will look more kindly on Josep Tarradellas, who found the way to force Madrid to break with the fascist past by restoring the Catalan government. He was a provisional president, in exile and after his return, but what remains is the return to legality, like what remains is the initiative of liberal entrepreneurs who reach the peak for an effective Catalonia.Josep C. Vergés27.8.06


Wednesday, 23 August 2006

Spain's institutional hatred against all things Catalan

The link above is from the Catalan newspaper Avui. I am sorry I don’t have a full translation in English but you can always try a Catalan-English e-translation in Translendium or a Catalan-Spanish e-translation in Softcatalà.

The article explains how the Speaker of the Spanish Parliament and its Registry department systematically refuse to accept any letter or documents written in Catalan or Basque. However, they are happy to accept and translate official documents in other languages like French or English.

Amazingly, the European parliament accepts correspondence written in Catalan. Yet, this is not possible in the so-called “plural” state of Spain.

Once again, irrefutable proof of the institutional hatred the Catalan nation has to suffer at the hands of Spain. How can anyone harbour any hopes of living in a multinational, multilingual Spain (like a Switzerland of the Mediterranean) when Spain's higher institutions of government, regardless of who is in power, have a systematic policy of persecution and obliteration of our language and culture?

Spain will never change. They want to exterminate any traces of national identity left in Catalonia as they have almost done in the rest of the Catalan-speaking areas, likeValencia or the Balearics. They are following the lead of France, whose successive governments have almost succeeded in eliminating the Catalan language in the counties north of the border.
We are next in Spain's policy of cultural genocide.

Will we ever have the guts to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’?

Post published in the Racó Català:

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

The Bottom Line

Nowadays, with the Middle East conflict in full swing again, one is overwhelmed by the scale of the horror unfolding in the region.

In the past, I had a lot of sympathy for the Palestinian people. Not any more I am afraid.

There is a fundamental difference between the Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims and the Israelis/Jews: the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) does not deliberately target civilians. Hamas and Hezbollah, on the other hand, do target Israeli civilians.

Muslim terrorists (whether Hamas, Hezbollah or Al-Qaida), train children to be suicide bombers, would-be martyrs of their cause. They even have set-up "Martyr schools" for that purpose.
The Israelis/Jews do not send suicide bombers to blow themselves up in a packed restaurant.

The Islamic terrorists are hell bent on destroying the Western world and anyone who is not a Muslim.
The Jews just want to be left alone in peace. They are the only true democracy in the region, and the only nation in the Middle East where women (whether Jew or Muslim) have equal rights.

More importantly, from a self-defence perspective if nothing else, the Jews will never send suicide bombers to the West to kill as many innocent civilians as possible.
The Islamist fanatics send commandos trained to cause as many civilian casualties as possible: New York, Madrid, London, Bali, Egypt, Mumbai, the list is endless.

That’s the bottom line: a group of people will not hesitate to kill me, to kill you, if given the chance. That’s why I could not care less anymore.