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  #121  
Old 26.09.2017, 20:52
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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Dear posters, my apologies....

And now this isn't just about Catalan independence only. It's about freedom of speech. It's about the right to VOTE, whatever the outcome. We would embrace a majority of NO as we would rejoice a majority of Yes. We would as always negotiate in terms of justice and equality, not as a subjugated people. Is this undemocratic? Since when a democratic VOTE where EVERYONE can have their say in a civilized manner is undemocratic?
You have my sympathy regarding the wish to have the freedom to vote. As I said before, living in Switzerland and enjoying direct democracy makes hard to understand certain attitudes, sometimes. I can not understand why governments try to silence others when they need to express themselves about such basic things like the sense of belonging or the share of resources. Sure law and rules must be respected, but law and politics are here to serve people and their societies and not the other way around.

Must say I also agree with some other posters that said you are a sensitive passionate person about this cause. Even if we 'suffered' your long posts, I feel your pain and am sorry, and really hope that all this mess will be a trigger for catalan and spanish people to start a dialogue.
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  #122  
Old 27.09.2017, 00:26
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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  #123  
Old 27.09.2017, 07:14
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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Thank you.
Visca Catalunya!
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  #124  
Old 27.09.2017, 09:29
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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I swear nobody pays me a cent to air my opinion. I am no Catalan government nothing.
Please do not get offended by this. It is just that, as member of several forums, one can notice that, in 95% of the cases, when somebody joins a forum and starts firing messages only about a particular topic, especially when this person is not part of the core spectrum of the targeted population by the forum (people living in Switzerland in this case), one can have valid reasons to be suspicious.

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How wrong I was, to expect mature debate here. How wrong I was, to expect mature debate here.
It's a pity that you consider that a debate is not mature when other people disagree with you. We also have to put up with very aggressive messages saying that Spain is a fascist country, with repression and lack of democracy. These are not nice messages to read on EF. On the contrary, I do not see this level of disrespect towards Catalonia. I hear people referring to the pro-independent people as Catalan supremacists, for instance, but I refuse to use this tone in this forum.

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I merely am just an old lady nearing retirement who suffered Franco's dictatorship in the flesh and who thought she was in a democracy now.
I am sorry that you had to have to suffer Franco's dictatorship. Many people had to in the rest of Spain as well and they can see the difference between those times and the democracy that they enjoy now. And they are not the only ones: from the article by El País shared before:
Freedom House awards Spain with the highest score for political and civil rights: 95/100, the same score as, for example, Germany. The Economist awards Spain an 8.3 out of 10 on its democracy index, which places the country between France (7.92) and Germany (8.6). The Polity IV Project, which measures authoritarianism and the progress of democracy, has placed Spain with the maximum score for democracy (10) since 1982.


Saying that there is no democracy in Spain or that there is a state of emergency is just propaganda. In a mature conversation, I would expect propaganda to be out of bounds but, in the era of post-truth politics, this has proven to be a very successful method to reach the goals.

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Suffice it to say that it is false that we get most of our revenue: Cases AENA, Health service, Education..
This is called solidarity, the richest regions do not keep everything. That's why it is surprising that the Catalan left wing is using this argument for the secession. But, is this a reason to leave? Would you accept that Barcelona secedes from Catalonia for the money? And then Pedralbes and Avinguda de la Bonanova from Barcelona? Where is the limit to the lack of solidarity?

What about the case of Val d'Aran? Why is the law of the referendum not considering the case of counties who do not adhere to independence, like it was in the case of Canada, that the Catalan government is mentioning so often? Would Val d'Aran have the right to remain in Spain? There are so many open questions... Again, implementation remains an issue.

In any case, please go to Extremadura or Almería and check how the infrastructures look like there. In Catalonia you have 3 airports, your four provinces have high speed train... look around in other provinces who do not have any nationalist representation in the Spanish Parlament to bargain every 4 years and you will maybe realize that your situation is not that bad.

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It's untrue that we refuse Spansih schools - oh but bilingual schools are not acceptable to some extreme right Spanish nationalists who despise minority languages.
I apologize in advance in case I missed something but, who said anything about schools here? You have bilingual schools where most of the courses are conducted in Catalan. OK, did anyone here complain about it? Are you suggesting that anyone here belongs to extreme right groups?

This is just a proof of the autonomy that you enjoy. I invite you to cross the border and check how many people in the French Catalonia speak Catalan. Not many, right? It looks that, after all, Spain is not so repressive.

In any case, as I said before, I lived 2 years in Catalonia and I was very surprised to hear people from Gerona telling me that they learnt Spanish only at University and, at school, they only studied "the" 4 provinces (note: Spain has 50 provinces and 2 autonomous towns and a Catalan friend of mine only knew about 4 of them, or so he claimed with proud, proud of his ignorance). Of course, the high level of autonomy has been very useful during the last 40 years to use the education as a weapon to foster nationalism.

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BTW, as for corruption. like any other politicos, we have a regrettable share of corrupt persons, but not more than the Spanish.
I already shared a link showing that there is more corruption in Catalonia. But, to me, this is not about who is more corrupt, it is just about admitting that this cannot be a reason for independence, considering that you are not better off in Catalonia that you would be in any other region for this matter.

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Oh and as for the glorious ranking of the Spanish repression, with the death toll being second to that of Pol Pot's dictatorship at a global level.... Or the arrests and searches carried out without a proper warrant. Or the disrespect of Spanish leaders about EU resolutions and requests.
???
Is what happened 80 years ago in a dictatorship a reason to leave now? Sorry, but I don't get your point. Is it just about criticizing Spain all over the place?

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I resent being equated to Otegi.
You have not being personally equated to Otegi and I apologize if my message could lead to a misunderstanding. What I meant is that, considering what he did in the past, it is shameful and contradictory that many people rooting for independence are welcoming him to support their peaceful fight.

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It's about the right to VOTE, whatever the outcome. We would embrace a majority of NO as we would rejoice a majority of Yes. We would as always negotiate in terms of justice and equality, not as a subjugated people. Is this undemocratic? Since when a democratic VOTE where EVERYONE can have their say in a civilized manner is undemocratic?
But you have to vote within some framework. It is democratic only if it respects the rest of the people from Spain and it is implemented respecting the law. For this (to be legal), a previous referendum in Spain is needed. In case the result of the democratic referendum in Spain was NO and, therefore, no democratic referendum in Catalonia or any other region was allowed, would you embrace this result and accept that people have democratically said that no individual binding referendum in Catalonia can be held? In a smaller scale, the same issue is happening in Catalonia with Val d'Aran and some pro-referendum politicians are against a referendum in this county for their secession.

An this is valid for any law (like the Estatut). What Catalans fail to understand is that they are part of a country, with agreements not only with the central government, but also with other 16 regions, that are supposed to be equal to Catalonia (and most of them wish they were treated as Catalonia). If someone wants to implement a law (whatever law, a referendum, the Estatut, charging a 100€ fee to anyone coming by car from other region) they need to do it within the legal framework and, if they want to change it, it has to be done without being detrimental to other regions and in agreement with them. To pass a law that has some points going against the current law approved by all the sovereign people or their representatives or that might be detrimental to other citizens in any way, they have to negotiate it first. And, if they cannot convince people from Albacete to vote for it, they should accept it, as grown up people. Same as Spain cannot implement laws that go against EU regulations and, if they do, these can be rejected in European courts.

In any case, considering that the Law of the referendum was approved without consensus and half of the Catalan Parlament does not recognize it as valid and, therefore, they will not vote, how on Earth is the result going to be NO? The only debate now is about having or not the referendum, not about what to vote.
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  #125  
Old 27.09.2017, 10:31
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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It's a pity that you consider that a debate is not mature when other people disagree with you. We also have to put up with very aggressive messages saying that Spain is a fascist country, with repression and lack of democracy. These are not nice messages to read on EF. On the contrary, I do not see this level of disrespect towards Catalonia. I hear people referring to the pro-independent people as Catalan supremacists, for instance, but I refuse to use this tone in this forum.
I guess it's easy to use one's history against one. Spain,like Britain, once had a vast empire and the repurcussions of that (both positive and negative) are still visible today. And as Brits we know that sometimes we get blamed for things we genuinely did wrong, but talking about the past can also be a lazy excuse and some people blame colonial history for the incompetence of their own leaders. As an outsider, it's not always easy to tell the two apart. I guess Spain has a similar problem.

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I am sorry that you had to have to suffer Franco's dictatorship. Many people had to in the rest of Spain as well and they can see the difference between those times and the democracy that they enjoy now. And they are not the only ones: from the article by El País shared before:
Freedom House awards Spain with the highest score for political and civil rights: 95/100, the same score as, for example, Germany. The Economist awards Spain an 8.3 out of 10 on its democracy index, which places the country between France (7.92) and Germany (8.6). The Polity IV Project, which measures authoritarianism and the progress of democracy, has placed Spain with the maximum score for democracy (10) since 1982.
Not sure that Germany is a model of free speech any more, at least not since Heiko Maas has been in charge of blocking websites. The list of banned webistes in Germany is growing faster than those of Turkey and Russia combined. Being more free than Germany is no longer difficult nowadays.

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This is called solidarity, the richest regions do not keep everything. That's why it is surprising that the Catalan left wing is using this argument for the secession. But, is this a reason to leave? Would you accept that Barcelona secedes from Catalonia for the money? And then Pedralbes and Avinguda de la Bonanova from Barcelona? Where is the limit to the lack of solidarity?
Sovereign nations can and do provide financial support to poorer countries. I think wanting to control the purse strings does not necessarily mean solidarity is dead.

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In any case, please go to Extremadura or Almería and check how the infrastructures look like there. In Catalonia you have 3 airports, your four provinces have high speed train... look around in other provinces who do not have any nationalist representation in the Spanish Parlament to bargain every 4 years and you will maybe realize that your situation is not that bad.
The metro of Madrid is much nicer and more modern that of Barcelona though. This is something viistors see almost immediately on arrival. I haven't admittedly flown from Barcelona for a couple of years but when I was there last the airport train departed from a grubby Franco era tin shed that was a long walk from the main terminals, and the train was covered in graffiti. In Madrid the metro actually enters the terminal building.I think that reflects a different type of spending. It seems rather counter intuitive to think Barcelona is actually richer than Madrid.

I've also been to many smaller towns and villages in Spain when money was obviously being spent on projects that made little sense. Roads to nowhere. Buildings being refurbished only to let them rot again as nobody could think of a use for them. So money being spent for the sake of spending money. I can understand that seeing that winds the Catalans up.


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In any case, as I said before, I lived 2 years in Catalonia and I was very surprised to hear people from Gerona telling me that they learnt Spanish only at University and, at school, they only studied "the" 4 provinces (note: Spain has 50 provinces and 2 autonomous towns and a Catalan friend of mine only knew about 4 of them, or so he claimed with proud, proud of his ignorance). Of course, the high level of autonomy has been very useful during the last 40 years to use the education as a weapon to foster nationalism.
I don't know where you are from, but often being part of the majority you don't appreciate how minorities live or function. Catalonia is far from being alone or unique in this regard. I know an ethnic Hungarian family from Slovakia. Their village is just abot 100% ethnic Hungarian and they don't speak any other languages there. They tell me they didn't learn Slovakian until they went to university and they are actually quite angry that there isn't a university in Slovakia that offers courses in Hungarian. They don't want to go to Hungary to study because they say for them it's a foreign country. They feel Slovakian, not Hungarian, but still want to defend their language. As an outsider these things are not always easy to understand. And Slovakia is far smaller than Spain. You will find examples like this from all over Europe.


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???
Is what happened 80 years ago in a dictatorship a reason to leave now? Sorry, but I don't get your point. Is it just about criticizing Spain all over the place?
This is easy to say if you're not the one who had it happen to you. Franco is not ancient history. Many laws and many institutions that he created still survive.
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  #126  
Old 27.09.2017, 11:28
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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I guess it's easy to use one's history against one. Spain,like Britain, once had a vast empire and the repurcussions of that (both positive and negative) are still visible today. And as Brits we know that sometimes we get blamed for things we genuinely did wrong, but talking about the past can also be a lazy excuse and some people blame colonial history for the incompetence of their own leaders. As an outsider, it's not always easy to tell the two apart. I guess Spain has a similar problem.
But it is being said that Spain is fascist and kind of a dictatorship now. This is the problem with the messages I am reading. The history is long and Spain has been many things, including a dictatorship, but it is not anymore.

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Not sure that Germany is a model of free speech any more, at least not since Heiko Maas has been in charge of blocking websites. The list of banned webistes in Germany is growing faster than those of Turkey and Russia combined. Being more free than Germany is no longer difficult nowadays.
They point is that Spain is widely regarded as a democratic country and I just copied several sources stating that. I don't think that this is less valid because of Heiko Mass.

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The metro of Madrid is much nicer and more modern that of Barcelona though. This is something viistors see almost immediately on arrival. I haven't admittedly flown from Barcelona for a couple of years but when I was there last the airport train departed from a grubby Franco era tin shed that was a long walk from the main terminals, and the train was covered in graffiti. In Madrid the metro actually enters the terminal building.I think that reflects a different type of spending. It seems rather counter intuitive to think Barcelona is actually richer than Madrid.

I've also been to many smaller towns and villages in Spain when money was obviously being spent on projects that made little sense. Roads to nowhere. Buildings being refurbished only to let them rot again as nobody could think of a use for them. So money being spent for the sake of spending money. I can understand that seeing that winds the Catalans up.
Well, it is counter intuitive because Madrid is actually richer than Barcelona, so if it looks richer, it makes sense. And Madrid is the region that lose more money because of the solidarity to other regions. There are more companies, more people, more economic activity, it is easier to move there than to Barcelona... You have not chosen the best example here The fact that the metro is cleaner might also mean that it is newer. The metro in Madrid compares very well to that of Paris (I have lived in these 3 cities). But this is because the one in Paris is older. Still the one in Paris is more efficient and charming, in my opinion.

Money has being spent on projects that made little sense everywhere, including Catalonia. In this, as in corruption, Catalans look very Spanish. As I mentioned before, they have 3 airports (the one in Lerida was a famous example of an almost empty airport) and all their provinces have connections by high-speed train. Do they need so many connections while the whole of Galicia, Almería or Extremadura have nothing? Well, Galicia at least has an airport and Alvia (but not AVE).

We are discussing impressions here anyway. If they feel that they want to contribute less to the national budget, the Spanish government has opened this door already, so they are welcome to go and negotiate.

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I don't know where you are from, but often being part of the majority you don't appreciate how minorities live or function. Catalonia is far from being alone or unique in this regard. I know an ethnic Hungarian family from Slovakia. Their village is just abot 100% ethnic Hungarian and they don't speak any other languages there. They tell me they didn't learn Slovakian until they went to university and they are actually quite angry that there isn't a university in Slovakia that offers courses in Hungarian. They don't want to go to Hungary to study because they say for them it's a foreign country. And Slovakia is far smaller than Spain. You will find examples like this from all over Europe.
Well, we don't really talk about ethnicity in Spain. Besides, Catalonia is far from being like Hungarians in Slovakia. Catalans are bilingual, they go to school in Catalan or to bilingual schools and they can go to University in Catalan. Actually my friend went to University in Barcelona so he did not need to learn Spanish to go to University. But the rest of the Catalans I know speak both languages fluently (usually Catalan more fluently in the countryside and Spanish more fluently in the cities). The two main Catalan newspapers are written in Spanish (not the case of TV or radio, but they get and watch the Spanish one as well). When I went on Erasmus, the Catalans (including nationalists) were always going out with the rest of the Spaniards... There is no problem of integration between Catalans and people from other regions. Catalans have no problem going to work to Madrid as I have seen in many examples and, if anything, people from other regions are recommended or obliged (depending on the job) to learn Catalan if they move to Catalonia, but this is totally normal and my friends who moved there did not complain about it. It is much more painful (and enriching) learning German when you move to Switzerland

As per my background I am from one of the 5 least populated regions of Spain and clearly the worst connected to the rest of the country (within the Peninsula) but it is true that I am of the monolingual majority, so as to say. I lived in 4 Spanish regions, so I can get a grasp of most of them. I think I did not convey my message clearly: Moont was arguing something about the schools being bilingual and I just pointed out that I do not have a problem with that. And, as she mentioned the repression, I stated as a counter argument that thanks to the high degree of autonomy that Catalonia enjoys, they could keep their language (that is not the case in the French side) and the school program is so different from the rest of Spain, that in the particular case of a friend of mine, he only learnt about 4 provinces instead of 50, which is not beneficial to the student in my opinion.

Last edited by etsius; 27.09.2017 at 11:42.
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  #127  
Old 27.09.2017, 12:13
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

Sorry, I missed this part:
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This is easy to say if you're not the one who had it happen to you. Franco is not ancient history. Many laws and many institutions that he created still survive.
Well, she referred to Franco and to things that happened 500 years ago if I got it right and also said that, in spite of that, she became pro-independence just recently. So, yes, it is very easy for me to say that Spain has moved on, nobody wants to be in those times again and this is not a reason to create the unbearable tension that we have to live with everyday now.

I don't know what kind of impression you got from Spain when you were there, apart from getting to know the ugly metro in Barna but I don't think we live under Franco's shadow and, if we did, this would've just strengthened my knowledge about those times and reinforced my argument in the previous paragraph
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  #128  
Old 27.09.2017, 13:59
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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Sorry, I missed this part:


Well, she referred to Franco and to things that happened 500 years ago if I got it right and also said that, in spite of that, she became pro-independence just recently. So, yes, it is very easy for me to say that Spain has moved on, nobody wants to be in those times again and this is not a reason to create the unbearable tension that we have to live with everyday now.

I don't know what kind of impression you got from Spain when you were there, apart from getting to know the ugly metro in Barna but I don't think we live under Franco's shadow and, if we did, this would've just strengthened my knowledge about those times and reinforced my argument in the previous paragraph
I have seen much more of Spain than Barcelona and have talked to many people and have many friends there. and yes, quite often when discussing politics or society people will tell me, yes, actually this is something to do with the Franco period and nobody has changed it yet so we still have that. The shadow of Franco is quite strong if you look in the right places. Of course people and times have moved on but there are still signs of latent polarization. People flying Republican flags from their balconies for example. It shows there are still people who think there are old scores in the past that they don't want to forget about. Even young people do that. I know a guy who lives in a little village in the mountains in the inland part of Valencia and in the village there are two shops. In one they speak Valencian and in the other they speak Castillian. And about half the villagers shop in only one shop and half in the other, and some of them would never go into the other shop. And when Real Madrid play against Barca on TV you don't need to be a genius to guess who is shouting for which team. My friend says it goes back to the civil war and that the grandparents of one lot were pro Franco and the other lot were anti and they accuse one another of terrible things. Of course nobody would say that or admit it if you ask them straight, but he says if you live there long enough and observe and listen that's the picture. Maybe in the big cities people have moved on and have other problems and only laugh about that. But not everybody is in a big city.
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  #129  
Old 27.09.2017, 14:57
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

I was definitely not raised in one of the big cities and my grandma lives in a town of 1200 inhabitants, so I will not laugh at the problems of people in small towns, but I agree 100% in the polarization. 200%. This is something that can be traced back not only to the Civil War, but to the 19th century or even before. Still, we (well, not me at the moment) live in a different country now and examples such as the republican flags on the balcony is something that you can see, indeed, but rarely, even if many many people have a republican sentiment of course, so I would not take this examples as the general rule. Catalonia is not going to solve the problem of polarization by separating from Spain anyway.

A bit off-topic, this reminds me of how shocked I was the first time I visited Santander (next to the Basque country) because there was a huge Spanish flag in every corner, as a reaction to all the basques who go there on holidays in Summer, I was told. In Spain, unlike in France, and as a result of this long lasting polarization, many people are reluctant to use these kind of symbols and thus my surprise.
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  #130  
Old 27.09.2017, 15:17
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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The list of banned webistes in Germany is growing faster than those of Turkey and Russia combined. Being more free than Germany is no longer difficult nowadays.
at least they still have porn in Germany...Turkey would be a much calmer place if Erdogan didn't ban porn websites, people would have been more 'relaxed'
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  #131  
Old 27.09.2017, 18:37
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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The metro of Madrid is much nicer and more modern that of Barcelona though. This is something viistors see almost immediately on arrival. I haven't admittedly flown from Barcelona for a couple of years but when I was there last the airport train departed from a grubby Franco era tin shed that was a long walk from the main terminals, and the train was covered in graffiti. In Madrid the metro actually enters the terminal building.I think that reflects a different type of spending. It seems rather counter intuitive to think Barcelona is actually richer than Madrid.
I may be wrong, but as far as I know the main investor for Metro de Madrid was the regional government, not the central one. So I guess that if someone wants to complain about the underground in Barcelona, they should address the catalan government.

The same goes for schools; Moont claimed that the health and education systems in Catalonia were among the best years ago, but that is no longer the case. These two areas have been competence of the regional government for decades, so again it is not the central government you can blame for it if they have degraded.

But it is much easier to blame "Madrid" for everything rather than ask the regional leaders for accountability. In the meantime they can top their private bank accounts in Switzerland and Andorra while people are distracted by the independence claims.

Finally, I have read several claims that Spains refuses to negotiate a referendum because Catalonia it is one of the richest regions in Spain. Catalonia is certainly rich and its independence would hit Spain hard. But if Extremadura, one of the poorest regions, were asking for independence the answer would be the same; the inmense majority of the Spanish population would simply not look at the financial side of it, because it is not a matter of financial interest.
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  #132  
Old 28.09.2017, 11:38
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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Finally, I have read several claims that Spains refuses to negotiate a referendum because Catalonia it is one of the richest regions in Spain. Catalonia is certainly rich and its independence would hit Spain hard. But if Extremadura, one of the poorest regions, were asking for independence the answer would be the same; the inmense majority of the Spanish population would simply not look at the financial side of it, because it is not a matter of financial interest.
Then it is a matter of what kind of interest? Language, ethnicity, pride, what then? I understand that the Spanish administrative system entails plenty of local autonomy (unlike many super-centralised countries in Europe), so what's more to be had if you are a poor(er) region and can't survive decently without help from the "centre"?
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Old 28.09.2017, 14:08
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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Then it is a matter of what kind of interest? Language, ethnicity, pride, what then? I understand that the Spanish administrative system entails plenty of local autonomy (unlike many super-centralised countries in Europe), so what's more to be had if you are a poor(er) region and can't survive decently without help from the "centre"?
From Extremadura? Jamón.

And 3 locations of Games of Thrones (it is a very good place for a gastronomic a touristic weekend).
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Old 28.09.2017, 21:36
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

UN human rights office about the catalan referendum next sunday

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/P...22176&LangID=E
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  #135  
Old 28.09.2017, 22:22
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vot

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UN human rights office about the catalan referendum next sunday

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/P...22176&LangID=E
Btw just 2 experts that are not part of the UN staff and to a certain extent lie.

For example, following Constitutional Court mandate, authorities have searched print houses, seized referendum material and certain websites have been blocked, however political meetings have NOT been stopped.

I disagree with the way this has been managed but THERE is freedom of speech and assembly in Spain.
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Old 28.09.2017, 22:35
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

http://www.francesoir.fr/actualites-...e-en-catalogne

https://rsf.org/en/news/rsf-publishe...edia-catalonia

Here some additional insights on unjustified pressure, and "cyber-hooliganism" to media from both parties.

I realize it is easy to have romantic view of this conflict but that is in my opinion very far from reality.
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Old 28.09.2017, 22:38
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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I can not understand why governments try to silence others when they need to express themselves about such basic things like the sense of belonging or the share of resources. Sure law and rules must be respected, but law and politics are here to serve people and their societies and not the other way around.
Yes, laws are here to serve people. Laws and constitutions are here to protect people from others, including people in the power who can try to use their power in an abusive manner. I agree with you: no Constitution has been provided to us by God as a set of rules that must be obeyed and never questioned (although they were approved by the people). This is something that some people forget to mention. That's why the Constitution can be changed and, in this case, to allow a referendum for the independence of a region, this can be done through a referendum in the whole country, allowing the sovereign people to vote.

In the case of Catalonia, that is not a colony, where democratic elections can be held and where no minorities are being repressed or isolated, the referendum next Sunday is the opposite of democratic. Why? There are a few reasons: for the sake of simplicity and because this is likely to be the truth, let's assume that the majority of people in Spain think (or even vote in a referendum) that no individual regions can hold these kind of referendum, for whatever reason you may or may not agree with. This is the democratic result of people's will (it was 39 years ago, something reflected in the Constitution).

When you lose a vote, it is very undemocratic not to accept the result and, instead, to go and look for a subset of people (Subgroup #1 from now on) where your idea has a majority so that you can have the same vote again and your idea wins. This means that you are a bad loser and don't respect other's opinion, decisions and majority.

This is more so when Subgroup #1 is not a compact subgroup with a clear majority of people cheering for your idea (like Hungarians in Slovakia in amogles' example maybe?), but rather a mix of different people with different ideas where, being optimistic, your majority is closer to 51%. This would be the case of Catalonia.

It is even more so when you try to force half of the population of your region to change their citizenship against their will and, as I said before, against the will of the sovereign people of the whole country (including Subgroup #1) and without even a qualified majority in Subgroup #1.

And even more so (I am going philosophical here) when you do not accept that other subgroups (individual counties, Subgroup #2) within Subgroup #1 can do the same and organize their own referendums when they disagree with whatever the majority in Subgroup #1 decides. This is important because, when you claim that you have the right to create subgroups to have a majority when you do not have it in the original group (Group #0), you are justifying the creation of subgroups ad infinitum, being the limit only the individual person. This is obviously not practical and, when reaching the limit, the individual person, it leads to the invalidity of any law, given that everyone has the right to declare itself as a subgroup with the right to disagree against any decision taken by any majority in any subgroup. Chaos and anarchy.

Last edited by etsius; 28.09.2017 at 22:56.
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Old 28.09.2017, 22:49
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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A bit off-topic, this reminds me of how shocked I was the first time I visited Santander (next to the Basque country) because there was a huge Spanish flag in every corner, as a reaction to all the basques who go there on holidays in Summer, I was told. In Spain, unlike in France, and as a result of this long lasting polarization, many people are reluctant to use these kind of symbols and thus my surprise.
Well, I am a Catalan from Santander (yes, that is possible) and I can tell you that was not in reaction to the Basque neighbours but just because part of the city has been traditionally quite nationalist. I respect all democratic flags but dont like any of them. If I see more than 20 flags in a demonstration I run away, no matter if the flags are Spanish, Catalan, Italian, French or German...
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Old 28.09.2017, 23:23
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vot

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Btw just 2 experts that are not part of the UN staff and to a certain extent lie.
mmm if you extract that sentence and put it that way it seems that because they are not UN staff it is a negative trait and you link it to the conclusion that they lie to a certain extent. Actually, the whole paragraph from where you extracted that sentence reads quite different, the fact of not being part of the staff is placed as a positive trait for the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights System:

"The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity"
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Old 28.09.2017, 23:36
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Re: Catalan independence referendum vote

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Yes, laws are here to serve people. Laws and constitutions are here to protect people from others, including people in the power who can try to use their power in an abusive manner. I agree with you: no Constitution has been provided to us by God as a set of rules that must be obeyed and never questioned (although they were approved by the people). This is something that some people forget to mention. That's why the Constitution can be changed and, in this case, to allow a referendum for the independence of a region, this can be done through a referendum in the whole country, allowing the sovereign people to vote.

In the case of Catalonia, that is not a colony, where democratic elections can be held and where no minorities are being repressed or isolated, the referendum next Sunday is the opposite of democratic. Why? There are a few reasons: for the sake of simplicity and because this is likely to be the truth, let's assume that the majority of people in Spain think (or even vote in a referendum) that no individual regions can hold these kind of referendum, for whatever reason you may or may not agree with. This is the democratic result of people's will (it was 39 years ago, something reflected in the Constitution).

When you lose a vote, it is very undemocratic not to accept the result and, instead, to go and look for a subset of people (Subgroup #1 from now on) where your idea has a majority so that you can have the same vote again and your idea wins. This means that you are a bad loser and don't respect other's opinion, decisions and majority.

This is more so when Subgroup #1 is not a compact subgroup with a clear majority of people cheering for your idea (like Hungarians in Slovakia in amogles' example maybe?), but rather a mix of different people with different ideas where, being optimistic, your majority is closer to 51%. This would be the case of Catalonia.

It is even more so when you try to force half of the population of your region to change their citizenship against their will and, as I said before, against the will of the sovereign people of the whole country (including Subgroup #1) and without even a qualified majority in Subgroup #1.

And even more so (I am going philosophical here) when you do not accept that other subgroups (individual counties, Subgroup #2) within Subgroup #1 can do the same and organize their own referendums when they disagree with whatever the majority in Subgroup #1 decides. This is important because, when you claim that you have the right to create subgroups to have a majority when you do not have it in the original group (Group #0), you are justifying the creation of subgroups ad infinitum, being the limit only the individual person. This is obviously not practical and, when reaching the limit, the individual person, it leads to the invalidity of any law, given that everyone has the right to declare itself as a subgroup with the right to disagree against any decision taken by any majority in any subgroup. Chaos and anarchy.
I can not enter this discussion, the arguments are too granular, too complex. That discussion is never ending, as we have seen from the posts on one or the other side of the discussion and my point is, rather that putting full forces on prohibiting independence -with the long tail of reasons- or on forcing independence -with the long tail of reasons- the energy should be put in opening a dialogue in which people -from all affected sides- can have voice. That is not happening, me thinks.
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