dimarts, 15 de desembre de 2009

Anti-Spanish sentiment in Catalonia can run very high (NYT)

Published by New York Times:
Catalan Villages Vote for Independence
A smattering of villages and towns in rich, independence-minded Catalonia gave a lukewarm embrace to the idea of breaking away from Spain in a rare vote Sunday at the grassroots level.

Skeptics called the nonbinding vote an exercise in futility for the proud region centered around Barcelona, which boasts a distinct cultural identity and accounts for about one-fifth of Spain's economy but says it get does not get enough in return.
But an umbrella group of civic organizations behind the referendum saw it as a way to assert the distinct identity of what they regard as a country within a country and to pressure politicians in Madrid and Barcelona to pay more attention to them.
The vote was held in 167 pro-autonomy hamlets, villages and towns in Catalonia, home to about 7 million people.
In the end, with more than 90 percent of the votes counted -- people as young as 16 and immigrants were also allowed to take part -- 94 percent favored independence, and turnout was about 25 percent, according to Ana Arque, a spokeswoman for the referendum organizers.
A massive 'yes' vote had been widely expected because the referendum was staged in pro-independence towns. The turnout figure was about half that of a vote in 2006 on a statute that gave Catalonia broad new powers of self rule.
Organizers of Sunday's vote had set a goal of 40 percent turnout. Still, they played up the result as a success.
''The people of Catalonia have chosen to form an independent state,'' said Carles Mora, mayor of a small town that held a similar refendum back in September.
Catalonia, along with the Basque country, is a prime example of a region oppressed under the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, which made it a crime to speak in their regional languages in the interest of promoting Spain as a unified country run from Madrid.
Since Franco's death in 1975 and the restoration of democracy, Spain has gradually granted a large degree of self-rule to regions such as Catalonia.
Catalonia won even more self-rule in 2006 with the new autonomy charter, gaining control over judicial, infrastructure and other issues and an indirect proclamation of Catalonia being a nation.
But conservatives immediately challenged the charter, and Spain's highest court is now believed to be close to issuing a verdict that might strike down parts of it. Critically, it is said to oppose the idea of Catalonia being a nation.
Angst over this pending decision was a major reason for Sunday's vote. Organizers say they plan a similar one in Barcelona and other big cities early next year.
Anti-Spanish sentiment in Catalonia can run very high. Next week the regional parliament will debate a bill to ban bullfighting. That probably has as much to do with concern over cruelty to animals as it does with a pastime associated with traditional Spain.
Sunday's paper ballots were counted by the organizers themselves, with monitors from places such as Corsica, Quebec and Northern Ireland, which have their own independence movements.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Friday ''in all honesty, initiatives like this lead nowhere.''
School coach Maria Teresa Montserrat, 54, said Sunday she voted for independence as a way to assert the distinct identity that many Catalans feel. ''We are not better or worse than anybody else, we're just different,'' she said.
Beside her, townsfolk grilled ''butifarra'' sausages, a regional specialty, and drank white wine out of miniature wooden barrels.
Metal worker Enric Flores, 49, sheltered from the cold and rain under the stone arcade of a street market in the town of L'Arboc, population 5,000. Loudspeakers blared Motown songs in Catalan.
''Seen from the outside, life here looks very good, but we feel discriminated against,'' Flores said. Although the vote is nonbinding, ''the government in Madrid must take this referendum into account,'' he added.
Antonio Duran, 53, a traveling salesman, dismissed the whole thing as nonsense.
''Catalonia is an important region of Spain, but that's all,'' he said.

12 comentaris:

  1. That is very fascinating, You're an excessively skilled blogger. I've joined your feed and look ahead to looking for extra of
    your excellent post. Additionally, I've shared your website in

    my social networks!

    Also visit my website: http://www.ceta.eu

  2. Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you're using?

    I'm looking to start my own blog in the near future but
    I'm having a difficult time

    making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is

    because your layout seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something completely

    unique. P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I
    had to ask!

    Have a look at my site: jamalax.org

  3. Does your site have a contact page? I'm having a tough time locating it but, I'd like to

    shoot you an e-mail. I've got some creative ideas for your blog you

    might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

    my homepage :: dolores ortega carter

  4. magnificent submit, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector do not realize this.

    You must continue your writing. I'm sure, you have a great readers'

    base already!

    my homepage; spice canary islands

  5. I would like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this site. I

    am hoping the same high-grade site post from you in the upcoming also.

    Actually your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog

    now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a great

    example of it.

    Take a look at my website - nys employment taxes

  6. I precisely needed to thank

    you very much all over again. I'm not certain what I could possibly have tried in the absence of these creative ideas revealed by you on

    that question. It actually was a real


    issue for

    me personally, but taking a look at a new skilled way you dealt with that

    forced me to cry over gladness. I am grateful for this support and as well , hope that

    you find out what a

    great job you're putting in

    teaching people today through your web site. I am certain you have never got to know all of


    Stop by my web page - http://portal-nfa.ueuo.com/

  7. As a Newbie, I am continuously browsing online for articles that can

    benefit me. Thank you

    Here is my homepage: http://www.yousnapped.co.nz

  8. I have been examinating out some of your
    stories and i can

    state pretty nice stuff. I will

    definitely bookmark your blog.

    My web site: http://itdev.com.br/blog/view/110/golf-tours-in-spain

  9. Hi there I am so excited I found your web site, I really
    found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Aol for something

    else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to
    say thanks for a remarkable post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to

    browse it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also

    added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the great work.

    My website - wiki.mentalschnupfen.org

  10. fantastic publish, very informative. I

    ponder why the other experts of this sector do not understand this.

    You should continue your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers'

    base already!

    My blog post: benidorm square spain

  11. Thank you, I have just been looking for info about this topic for ages and yours
    is the greatest I have discovered till now. But, what about the

    bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

    Here is my blog http://dameunlike.com/index.php?do=/profile-33467/info/

  12. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are

    but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you
    are not already ;) Cheers!

    Here is my web-site :: http://gay.x10.mx/