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11 de des. 2016

Forcadell On Trial

Catalan News Monitor, December 12, 2016.
http://catalanmonitor.com/2016/12/12/forcadell-on-trial/

On December 6th fifteen Members of the UK Parliament put to the House of Commons an early day motion deploring the way Spain is treating the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Carme Forcadell. In October 2016 the public prosecutor was advised by the Constitutional Court "to take the necessary criminal action, as they see fit", on grounds of contempt of court, for defying its ban on the outcome of an ad hoc committee being debated by the House. The chief prosecutor, Consuelo Madrigal, was looking forward to this: she had already stated in September that she was ready to prosecute Forcadell.

18 de set. 2016

The history of Spain, from the earliest ages of which we have any authentic records, to the return of Ferdinand VII in 1814.

By Frances Thurtle (1890)
https://books.google.es/books?id=-GAUAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA349&lpg=PA349&dq=duke+of+popoli&source=bl&ots=GkOfN-y7Rg&sig=97EGwqVT_CQ1MigHrhXVyCongoc&hl=ca&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiX7tWm7pbPAhWC1xQKHdxIB0MQ6AEIUzAI#v=onepage&q=Catalans&f=false 

Book 5, p. 355
The emperor, who had rejected these overtures for a general peace; and Philip, who had refused to sign the treaty from the absurd wish of erecting a principality for the princess Ursino, were, at length, willing to contribute to a general pacification, and of the 6th of March, A.D. 1714, the former consented to sign the Treaty of Rastadt, and the latter, much about the same time, agreed to ratify the articles of the treaty of Utrecht.

13 de set. 2016

References to the Catalans in "The History of England. Volume 4". By Rev. N. Tindal. 1745


p. 380
...are likewise ordered to use their endeavours to induce the Catalans to join with them in their undertakings; and, to animate that people to prosecute their liberty with more vigour, they are impowered to assure them of the Queen's support, and to promise them, in the Queen's name, that she will ….


Report to the Committee of Secrecy Papers concerning the Catalans. R. Walpole

from the Committee of Secrecy,
Appointed by Order of the House of Commons
to examine Several Books and Papers laid before the House, relating to the late Negotiations of Peace and Commerce, & c.

Reported on the Ninth of June, 1715

By the RIGHT HONOURABLE
ROBERT WALPOLE, Esq.;
CHAIRMAN of the Said COMMITTEE


19 de jul. 2016

Vic

"Catalanofòbia a la comissaria de la policia a Vic: ‘Estàs obligada a parlar en espanyol!’

"Montserrat Puig Cotado denuncia a VilaWeb el mal tracte rebut a la comissaria de la policia espanyola quan ha anat a renovar-se el passaport"

"LO 4/2015
Artículo 37. Infracciones leves.
Son infracciones leves...
4. Las faltas de respeto y consideración cuyo destinatario sea un miembro de las Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad en el ejercicio de sus funciones de protección de la seguridad, cuando estas conductas no sean constitutivas de infracción penal."

Resulta, doncs, que si et negues a obeir un policia quan es nega a reconèixer un dret fonamental recollit a l'article 3.2 de la CE, perquè li surt dels pebrots, et poden denunciar? Oi més quan aquell policia no està "protegint la seguretat" sinó atenent el públic que sol·licita un simple passaport! A quants ciutadans obliga aquest funcionari, cada dia, a renunciar als seus drets?
Oi més quan la llei empara el ciutadà en l'ús de totes les llengües, allà on són oficials. Si no, que vol dir "oficial"?
Tal com s'explica a l'article, això és un nou exemple de pura vexació, humiliació, xuleria, abús de poder. Un motiu més per considerar-nos separats.





5 de jul. 2016

Discurs de Narcís Roca i Farreras

La Vanguardia. Edición del lunes, 26 julio 1886, página 4

http://hemeroteca.lavanguardia.com/preview/1886/07/26/pagina-4/34706525/pdf.html?search=roca


Crónica
   Una hora antes de la anunciada para dar comienzo, en el teatro de Novedades, al anunciado meeting, se veían todas las localidades y galerías del teatro llenas por completo por el público, entre el que dominaba el elemento obrero.
   Los señores Arús, Carbó, Guimerà, Giró, Llopis y Ruiz, que se presentaron en el escenario a las diez y cuarto, ocuparon la mesa presidencial. 
   El señor Arús dió comienzo al acto explicando la causa que había motivado la convocatorio, diciendo además, que confiaba en que los allí reunidos aplaudirían la conducta obsrvada por el "Centre Català", que opinaba que los diputados y senadores catalanes, no habían cumplido con su deber no retirándose de la Cámara.
    Usaron luego de la palabra los señores Guasch, jefe de los federales de Reus, el señor Roca y Galés, el señor Blanch, que leyó una carta del señor Fiter en la cual éste excusaba su alta de asistencia, y el señor director de Las Circunstancias de Reus.
   Después, el señor Blanch procedió á la lectura de un trabajo del señor Narciso Roca, quien por falta de salud y de voz, se vé imposibilitado de verificarlo. Dicho escrito resalta por sus ideas separatistas. Dice que solo dentro de la autonomía regional puede haber derechos y libertad. Pide libertad y trabajo porque pobres y esclavos no puede ser. Considera como salvadora para España la política regional, contra la autoridad tiránica del Estado; que si Gibraltar es de los ingleses, Cataluña sea de los catalanes.

   Al llegar aquí, los bravos y palmadas sofocan la voz del lector y del presidente. Se inicia una discusión en una parte del público, originándose un tumulto y confusión indescriptibles, subiendo de punto al levantarse el delegado del Gobernador civil á conferenciar con el presidente, señor Arús. Muchos concurrentes se ponen de pié, algunos toman la puerta; varios señores del escenario tratan de dominar el tumulto, resultando inútiles los exfuerzos en este sentido.  

   Por último, el señor delegado consiente en que continúe la lectura final del discurso y renace la calma....

  



Altres dies:

1 d'agost de 1886, p. 10:
http://hemeroteca.lavanguardia.com/preview/1881/06/10/pagina-10/34669587/pdf.html?search=separatismo
Nosotros que antes que catalanes somos españoles, no podemos sin verdade- ro disgusto, oir los descabellados planes de esos regeneradores que de seguro no se han tomado el trabajo de meditar hasta dónde podría conducirnos ese torpe separatismo tan decantado...

3 d'agost de 1886, p. 6:
http://hemeroteca.lavanguardia.com/preview/1881/06/10/pagina-6/34669607/pdf.html?search=separatismo
... Porque de otro modo no se explica que el Correo Catalán se disguste porque se desentierren cuentos viejos, cuando nuestro hermano en Cristo solo encuentra buenas las antiguallas. Las inconveniencias de esos cuatro soñadores que quieren llevarnos á un separatismo estúpido...
 
19 de setembre de 1886, p. 8:


http://hemeroteca.lavanguardia.com/preview/1881/06/10/pagina-8/34686839/pdf.html?search=separatismo
... el apoyo de los demás, van á dividirse pronto, ya que la procesión anda por dentro. Se quedarán sin el santo y sin la limosna. Con razón exclama La Publicidad:«—¿Qué es el separatismo? —Una verdadera olla de grillos.


12 de novembre de 1886, p. 7 
http://hemeroteca.lavanguardia.com/preview/1881/06/10/pagina-7/34706546/pdf.html?search=separatismo
Estos tales, que odian a España por carácter y temperamento, son los que nos traen todas las cuestiones con las demás provincias. ¡Qué español puede impasible oir decir á un pelagatos, abrogándose la representación de la región más poblada y trabajadora de España, que es preciso conservar buenas relaciones diplomáticas con los españoles y con los franceses!...
 
5 de desembre de 1886, p. 4:
http://hemeroteca.lavanguardia.com/preview/1881/06/10/pagina-4/34674763/pdf.html?search=separatismo 
...para comprender que el separatismo sería la ruina de las regiones, por- que no es lo mismo pedir descentralización y moralidad administrativa que las gollerías que piden los irlandeses del «Centre». Y continúa diciendo: «Nuestro regionalismo catalanista no obedece...

4 de jul. 2016

The (painful) birth of a nation

The Catalans' independence process is in an anguishing quandary. The ruling proindy coalition has its road map, but since the crisis caused by the decision of the radical proindy coalition CUP (perhaps unwittingly: not all factions are versed in parliamentary procedures) to block the budget bill, it is nuclear whether the road map is still valid.
In September president Carles Puigdemont will put a motion of confidence to the chamber to see whether the proindy camp still consists of the 72/135 outright majority it won at the 27 September election, which just failed in its attempt to show the world that over half of the electorate regarded it as a plebiscite and opted for independence.
The CUP will have to do some hard thinking before then. It needs to realise that most of the voters of its ten MPs (up from their previous three) feel disgusted by their behaviour since the elections. They were enthusiastically voted in by voters who were and are proindy (yet neither Marxists nor Anarchists) to ensure the independence process would not be stalled or dragged out by the more moderate coalition now in power. That dream began to crumble when the seemingly endless talks to reach a stable post-27S parliamentary agreement only came to fruition at the last minute thanks to the decision of president Mas to step aside. And the fream was finally shattered when the CUP voted alongside the Unionist (or Federalist) opposition to oust the 2016 budget bill (and in the process drastically cutting any hope of being able to draw on new resources to increase social spending).

Should the CUP not support the president in September, it would probably have to face a new election at which it could well be wiped off the parliamentary map. Can it put its ideological considerations to one side, at least until Catalonia has become an independent state? Like others have admitted having to do at recent elections, it will need to block its nose with a clothes peg. 

In the meantime there is a passionate grasdroots debate on the whys and wherefores of the steps to be made up to independence: the road map. Given the utter and complete refusal of the main Spanish parties to regard the Catalans as a people, and therefore to contemplate their right of self-determination, the next steps will have to be unilateral. Every single step up to now has been challenged by central government. Even a poll organised (9 November 2014) in the framework of a Catalan law which specifically excludes referendums, and could therefore not be binding (and which the Constitutional Court rushed to rule contrary to the Constitution!), had to be held without access to the electoral roll (which was refused) and has led to four Catalan politicians being taken to court! 

So it is clear that a (binding) referendum cannot be called until after Catalonia becomes independent. It is also clear that Spain will not allow this step, so an institutional collision is inevitable and massive (guided) disobedience essential for this aim to be achieved. 

This means that a formal parliamentary declaration of independence is the only viable option.

At this time there is frenzied activity in delegations of the Catalan national assembly  across the country. Are members to ratify the secretariat's proposal that the ANC should push for a change in the Government's road map, given the fragility of the relationship between the three pareties seeking independence.


Scathing criticisms of the way the Partido Popular has tried to manage the Catalaan "problem" over the past ten or fifteen years (such as this one, in a non-Catalan newspaper) help explain its decline in electoral support in Catalonia.

A referendum campaign would lead us into the repetition of a bunch of fearmongering claims (similar to those that Scotland went through), and dire threats (punishing civil servants for using the census; or recentralisation, for instance), though some are bubbles that have already been burst: that Catalans would "automatically" lose their EU citizenship, that Catalans would lose their pensions, that there would be a massive GDP collapse because of a Spanish boycott of Catalan products... 

The international front is crucial for the success of the Catalan enterprise, in terms not so much of actual (explicit or implicit) support for the process as such, but rather of the endorsement of the declaration (or proclamation, which the White Paper states will occur separately) of independence and, therefore, of the recognition of Catalonia as a sovereign State like Slovakia, Latvia or  Montenegro. This is why the extremely poor status of Spain in Europe (as poignantly highlighted in articles by Molina - in English - and Mangas, for instance) is such a significant factor right now. 


Further reading:

"After bottoming out: a new European policy for Spain". Ignacio Molina. ARI 8/2013 (Translated from Spanish) - 29/4/2013.
http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/web/rielcano_en/contenido?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/elcano/elcano_in/zonas_in/spanishforeignpolicy/ari8-2013-molina-politica-europea-spain

"España en la UE: luces y sombras". Araceli Mangas Martín. El País, 8 June 2015. http://www.elmundo.es/opinion/2015/06/08/5574714922601dc7448b4575.html

"Los catalanes hacen cosas" y otras históricas ocurrencias del PP de Rajoy. Luz Sanchis / Fátima Caballero. El Diario, 29 August 2015. http://www.eldiario.es/politica/esquizofrenia-PP-Cataluna_0_424858072.html

30 de juny 2016

'Better to have a corrupt [Spain] than a broken one'

 Update (January 2017):  The final document of "RAUCIP 2017: Recent Advances in Undermining Catalonia's Independence Process. 1st International Conference" (Madrid Dec 28, 2016 - Jan 7, 2017) (website) is now available in PDF formatp. 5–30. 


English transation of an article, "Antes corrupta que rota", by Ferran Sáez Mateu, published in Ara on June 28 2016, at 19:28. 


Let me start with a worn cliché: life is strange. Very strange. When the daily newspaper Público began to explain an alleged conspiracy between the [Spanish interior] minister Fernández Díaz and the director of the Anti-fraud Office to discredit Catalan politicians with false data, many thought, "The PP are going to take a hammering!". It turns out, however, that on those same dates, 48 ​​hours before the Spanish elections, the prospects for the PP began to improve. Everyone attributed it to Brexit. In fact, on Sunday night I heard this strange theory a dozen times but the truth is that none of those that held to it were able to credibly explain that relationship, probably because it does not exist. I mean, it is rather unlikely that a man in Carrión de los Condes or a woman in La Almunia de Doña Godina who intended to vote Pablo Iglesias suddenly chose to vote for Rajoy as a result of something that happened in the UK. 

However, other things - more important to most Spaniards - happened before Sunday. Two patriots, Sr. Fernández Díaz and Sr. Daniel Alfonso, had risked their careers and - and, depending on how things eventually work out, other things as well - to defend the indissoluble unity of Spain. "I am Spanish above all", said Alfonso. The first part of the sentence is very respectable; note, however, the addition: "above all". Does that "above all" refer to the existing laws? Sr. Carrión de los Condes or Sra. La Almunia de Doña Godina, on hearing this, realized clearly that the only way to erect a barrier to hold back Catalan independence was to once again vote for the testicular PP, with the stink of a sol y sombra liquor mix and a toothpick behind one's ear. Even those who had moved over to vote for Ciudadanos thought better, which is why the number of votes gained by the PP and lost by Rivera's party are almost exactly, even grotesquely, the same. Iglesias [Podemos] lost steam for the same reason: even after having clarified the issue of the [Catalan] referendum, his potential voters changed their minds.  

For the time being Spain is a country that pats the back of people that claim to have destroyed the Catalan public health system 

The big loser was Pablo Iglesias, despite having retained his MPs. The PSOE's results [Socialists] also fit in with the explanation that we have given: voting for them meant risking Podemos being allowed into the government, or even to lead it. The cases of Andalusia and Extremadura, which are the communities that would be most affected by the independence of Catalonia, are especially significant. Despite the leftist singsong of their leaders, especially Susana Díaz, southern Spain has voted for the moth-eaten, rotten right (in the case of Extremadura, with 40% of votes). 'Better to have a corrupt [Spain] than a broken one...' 

The direct conclusion is as follows: in the present circumstances, Spain cannot be reformed. Maybe in a generation or two, this might be possible, but for the time being Spain is a country that pats the back of people that claim to have destroyed the Catalan public health system. But there is one other conclusion. It is an indirect or secondary one, but it is not banal: as long as Spain fails to resolve its territorial issue, each and every one of its policy initiatives will de conditioned. Without the Catalan question on the table, Spain on Sunday would not have voted for the PP. It would have made no sense, for a host of reasons. As long as the whole of the political agenda is engrossed in this subject no long-term project is conceivable.  

Without the Catalan question on the table, Spain on Sunday would not have voted for the PP. It would have made no sense, for a host of reasons 

There can be no future without first deciding who it is going to affect, and who not. Whether wrongly or not, the Scots took a decision with the approval of the rest of the British, and the British have just taken another very risky - and surely incorrect - path, but in any case it stems from a legitimate collective decision. In Spain such things not even considered, usually on account of temerous inertia related to the absence of a true democratic tradition. 

The PP and the other groups have taken this all in. The message is tough: the best way of solving problems is to prevent political dialogue and to play possum; the exhaustion of the adversary does the rest. From a Catalan perspective, the message is even tougher, for this leaves no other option than expeditious, unilateral decisions. I say it is tougher because, when all is said and done, this would have consequences that, in all probability, not everyone is willing to face. Moreover, things are clear in Spain, while here we continue to fuss over (especially anti-systemic) aesthetics.

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29 de juny 2016

Bloomsday 2016, Barcelona

Two Catalan translations of James Joyce's Ulysses (extract)

Yes because he never did a thing like that before as ask to get his breakfast in bed with a couple of eggs since the City Arms hotel when he used to be pretending to be laid up with a sick voice doing his highness to be made interesting to that old faggot Mrs Riordan that he thought he had a great leg of and she never left us a farthing for all masses for herself and her soul greatest miser ever was actually afraid to lay out 4d for her methylated spirit telling me all her ailments she had too much old chat in her about politics and earthquakes and the end of the world let us have a bit of fun first God help the world if all the women were her sort down on bathing-suits and low-necks of course nobody wanted her to wear them I suppose she was pious because no man would look at her twice I hope I’ll never be like her a wonder she didn’t want us to cover our faces but she was a well-educated woman certainly and her gabby talk about Mr Riordan here and Mr Riordan there I suppose he was glad to get shut of her and her dog smelling my fur and always edging to get up under my petticoats especially then still I like that in him polite to old women like that and waiters and beggars too he’s not proud out of nothing but not always if ever he got anything really serious the matter with him it’s much better for them to go into a hospital where everything is clean but I suppose I’d have to dring it into him for a month yes and then we’d have a hospital nurse next thing on the carpet have him staying there till they throw him out or a nun maybe like the smutty photo he has she’s as much a nun as I’m not yes because they’re so weak and puling when they’re sick they want a woman to get well if his nose bleeds you’d think it was O tragic [and that dyinglooking one off the south circular when he sprained his foot at the choir party at the sugarloaf Mountain...]

Catalan translation by Joaquim Mallafré (1980)

Sí perquè ell no havia fet mai una cosa com això de demanar que li portessin l’esmorzar al llit amb un parell d’ous des de l’hotel City Arms quan es feia el malmirrós amb una veu decaiguda tot un personatge per fer-se l’interessant amb aquell fardot de Mrs Riordan que es pensava que s’hi faria l’arròs i no ens va deixar ni cinc tot per a misses per a ella i la seva ànima més rància que s’hagi vist mai que quan s’havia de gastar 4 penics per l’esperit de cremar ja no sabia què li passava corda per a no acabar mai que si la política i els terratrèmols i la fi del món més val que ens ho agafem una mica bé mentrestant que Déu ens guardi si totes les dones fossin com ella contra els vestits de bany i els vestits escotats és clar que ningú no tenia gens d’interès que ella se’ls posés suposo que era una beata perquè cap home no se la devia haver mirat dues vegades espero no ser mai com ella ja és estrany que no ens fes tapar la cara i tot però era una dona ben educada això sí i tota la seva xerrameca que si Mr Riordan per aquí i que si Mr Riordan per allà suposo que estava content d’haver-se’n desempallegat i el seu gos ensumant-me les pells i sempre ficant-se’m per sota les faldilles especialment llavors encara que a mi m’agrada que sigui així amable amb les velles i els cambrers i els captaires i tot no és un pretensiós per no res però no sempre si mai es trobava en una és molt millor anar a l’hospital on ho tenen tot net però suposo que hauria d’estar un mes per a donar-li entenent sí i després de seguida tindríem una infermera de l’hospital en dansa s’estaria allí fins que el traguessin o una monja potser com la fotografia pornogràfica que té és tan monja com jo sí perquè són tan poca cosa i tan ploramiques quan estan malalts que necessiten una dona per a posar-se bons si els surt sang del nas diríeu que és oh una tragèdia i allò que semblava que es moria carretera South Circular enllà quan es va torçar el peu a la festa de la coral a la muntanya del pa de sucre...

Catalan translation by Michael Strubell (unpublished, 2016)

Sí perquè mai abans havia fet una cosa així com ara demanar que li pugessin l'esmorzar al llit amb un parell d'ous des del City Arms Hotel quan solia fer veure que estava fotut amb una veu de malalt amb les impostures per fer-se l'interessant amb aquella fòssil de Mrs. Riordan que es creia qui hi tenia un gran ascendent i ell mai no ens va deixar ni un ral tot per a misses per a ella i la seva ànima la garrepa més gran de la història li feia autèntica por gastar-se quatre penics per l'alcohol de farmàcia d'ella explicant-me totes les seves xacres deixava anar tots els vells tòpics de la política dels terratrèmols i la fi del món deixa'ns divertir-nos una mica primer que Déu s'apiadi del món si totes les dones fossin com ella fotent-se amb els banyadors i els escots és clar que ningú volia que ella se'ls posés suposo que era piadosa perquè cap home se la miraria dos cops espero no arribar a ser mai com ella és un miracle que no ens fes tapar-nos la cara però era una dona formada certament s'omplia la boca de Mr. Riordan d'això suposo que ell se'n va alegrar quan se'n va desfer i el gos d'ella vinga flairar el meu abric de pell i sempre insinuant-se per posar-se dret sota la meva faldilla sobretot llavors de tota manera m'agrada això d'ell sempre cortès amb les senyores grans m'agrada i els cambrers i els captaires també no és massa orgullós per a res però no sempre si mai es posés malalt de debò és molt millor que l'ingressin en un hospital on tot és polit però suposo que li hauria d'anar insistint durant un mes sí i llavors tindríem una infermera d'hospital i la disciplina i el farien quedar-s'hi fins que el fessin fora o potser una monja com la foto guarra que té ella té tant de monja com jo no sí perquè són tan dèbils i ploramiques quan estan malalts necessiten una dona per refer-se si sagna pel nas diries que era Oh tràgic i aquella mirada de moribund per sota de la variant del sud, quan es va tòrcer el peu a la festa de la coral a la sala Sugarloaf Mountain...

23 de maig 2016

Internationalpress

International press reactions to Spanish government ban on Catalan pro indy flag at Spanish Football cup final on Sunday, and judgement quashing ban. (selection)
* 21/05/16. Domstol tillåter "estelada"-flaggan. Aftonbladet.
* 21/05/16. Bandiera catalana vietata?. No, il giudice accoglie ricorso. La Gazzetta dello Sport.
* 20/05/16. Copa del Rey : Tebas revient sur l'interdiction des esteladas. FootEspagnol.fr.
* 20/05/16. Är en attack mot yttrandefriheten!”. Aftonbladet (Suècia).
* 20/05/16. Veto a bandeiras da Catalunha na final da Copa do Rei irrita Barcelona. Yahoo Esportes
* 20/05/16. Esteladas vietate in Coppa del Re, Barcellona furibondo: "No alla censura". Goal.com
* 20/05/16. Coupe du Roi : un drapeau catalan interdit, le Barça furieux. BFMTV.COM.
* 20/05/16. Barcelona kritik Madrid atas larangan bendera Catalan. Berita Harian (Malaísia)
* 20/05/16. Suporter Barcelona Dilarang Kibarkan Estelada di Final Copa del Rey. KOMPAS (Indonèsia).
* 20/05/16. Barcelona kecam larangan pengibaran bendera Catalonia. ANTARA (Indonèsia).
* 20/05/16. Barcelona hit out at Copa del Rey final ban on Catalonia's separatist flags. The Guardian.
* 20/05/16. FCバルセロナ、カタルーニャ独立旗の持ち込み禁止処分を非難. AFPBB News (Japó).
* 20/05/16. Censura a Cataluña. Olé (Argentina)
Other Sources :

17 de maig 2016

Economist


Language police1
In Barcelona, do it in Catalan—or pay the fine2
Secessionist Catalonia is cracking down on businesses that communicate only in Spanish
May 16th 2016 | BARCELONA
WHEN a government inspector walked into his estate agency in Barcelona, Angel Centeno knew he had it coming3. The severe-looking lady4 had no interest in buying a house. Instead, she waved5 a piece of paper and informed Mr Centeno he had been fined €1,000 ($1,130). The 66-year-old businessman had broken Catalonia’s most notorious6 consumer law: his company sign appeared only in Spanish.

Mr Centeno is not the only one to receive this unpleasant surprise7 from Catalonia’s regional government, the Generalitat. The consumer code’s requirement that businesses publish all public information “at least in Catalan” has been around8 for more than a decade9. Those who insist on writing signs, menus or catalogues only in Spanish can be fined anywhere from hundreds to thousands of euros, depending on company size or the quantity of untranslated language. Rafael Moreno, a furniture retailer who owes €1,260 worth of fines10, fears the government will seize the sum from his bank account. But replacing the three-metre Spanish logo at one of his shops with one in Catalan could cost him €18,000.

Civic groups and liberal opposition12 politicians are increasingly alarmed13. As the government’s desire to secede from Spain grows, so does its determination to enforce Catalan as the region’s only official language, says Francisco Caja, president of Convivencia Civica Catalana, an association which offers legal advice on linguistic issues. The multas linguisticas, as the fines are known in Spanish, are rising. In 2014, 57 businesses were fined a total of €51,300. In 2015 the number of businesses rose to 68, and the sum roughly trebled. So far this year nearly a hundred companies have been sanctioned.

Citizens can report language culprits anonymously, and many have proven eager. A few years ago a patriotic14 librarian, Roger Seuba, claimed to have denounced 5,000 companies. Business owners say other citizens take the law into their own hands, smashing shop windows or spray-painting their façades.

The Spanish and Catalan languages enjoy co-official status in the region. When reviewing Catalonia’s independence status in 2010, the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that imposing either language on private enterprises violates the constitution. Yet fines kept being imposed. In February 2016, Catalonia’s superior court of justice banned parts of another language protocol that obliged public servants to initiate and continue all conversations in Catalan. The Catalan government said it would ignore the decision.
Anti-secessionist opposition parties are trying to change the laws, but have been stymied by the nationalist coalition of the regional president, Carles Puigdemont. The regional branch of the conservative Popular Party says the language fines violate freedom of expression.15 In late April, a member of the European Parliament for Catalonia’s liberal Ciudadanos party16 said the law clashes with European regulations on language diversity.

Unsurprisingly, Montserrat Ribera, the director of Catalonia’s consumer agency, disagrees. Language fines enshrine the fundamental right of Catalan consumers to be served in their own tongue, she explains. And they are necessary to help preserve the language.17

Forcing businesses to translate every public communication into a local language18 with a few million speakers may widen its appeal for some. For others it has the opposite effect. Since he was fined, Mr Centeno, a Catalan born and bred, refuses to speak in his mother tongue19. He demands that all government documents sent to his mailbox be written in Spanish. “Son talibanes!” (“They are Talibans!”) he shouts, in Spanish. In Catalan it would be “Són talibans!”


1. What evidence do you offer for the existence of "language police"? Inspectors are actually general consumer agency officials: they can warn shopkeepers (always before they are fined) of non-compliance with a range of statutory obligations.
2. Do you know of any laws that do not laid down sanctions for non-compliance?

The reactionary Madrid press has gone to town with your coverage (home page headline") of this non-news item. 

3. "Had it coming" is about as slanted as you can get. Moreover, the legislation has been in place since 1993! Plus you're talking about a case that occurred when the Catalan presoident was a Socialist: over 5 years ago! Certainly not a "secessionist" government. 

5. What source justifies your claim that she waved a fine in the shop-keeper's face? Certainly not this one: http://www.abc.es/sociedad/abci-cerre-tienda-y-lucho-contra-multa-no-rotular-catalan-201604270739_noticia.html

6. If the 1993 law was so "notorious", fines for non-compliance should certainly not be an "unpleasant suprise". 

10. Sr. Moreno was fined in 2008 for not complying with the law and has not paid it in eight years. No way can the government of the day be termed a "secessionist" government. Source: Right-wing daily with a notorious ly agressive position regarding the right of the Catalans to decide their political future. http://www.larazon.es/local/cataluna/el-negocio-no-da-para-pagar-una-multa-de-1-280-euros-por-rotular-en-castellano-IP12482497#.Ttt11qV2fVOmGna 

11. That value judgement needs evidence to substantiate it. 

12. On what grounds are they labelled as "liberals"? They are basically Unionists (some would call them "Spanish nationalists") who have been waging this particular linguistic war (unthinkable in Flanders or Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland where similar legislation is unquiestioned) for years.  

13. Another value judgement with hysteric overtones that needs evidence to substantiate it. 

14. No more "patriotic" than those mentioned in much greater detail in the article that oppose the current legislation. Biassed reporting.

15. Here you are giving full, uncritical range to a Spanish nationalist party. 

16. Yet again, you allow a party founded solely to combat Catalonia's language legislation (in schools, in commerce, wherever) free reign, absolutely uncritically.  

17. In the whole of the article, is this the only space given to those that are simply applying legislation that has been in place since 1993? How unbalanced can you be?

18. Noone is being "forced". The law has been in place for 23 years! Since then all new signs can be made in Catalan (and any other languages the shop-keeper chooses) at no extra cost at all!

19. Where do you get that from? All I have found is a quote from him in which he is reported as deciding only to use Spanish in his communications with the Catalan administration (as he is in his perfect right to do!). http://www.abc.es/sociedad/abci-cerre-tienda-y-lucho-contra-multa-no-rotular-catalan-201604270739_noticia.html


26 de febr. 2016

Visita a Catalunya del nét de Terence MacSwiney, alcalde de Cork mort en vaga de fam el 1920

 

Coincidint amb els actes del Centenari de l’Easter Uprising (Aixecament de Pasqua) de 1916 que se celebren enguany a Irlanda, la Comissió de la Dignitat ha convidat el professor Cathal Brugha, nét de l’alcalde Cork Terence MacSwiney, a visitar Catalunya. La mort de Terence MacSwiney en vaga de fam, el mes d’octubre de 1920, va provocar una profunda onada de solidaritat i condol a Catalunya. Una d’aquestes mostres de condol va ser la gran manifestació celebrada a la Plaça de Catalunya de Barcelona en els dies posteriors a la seva mort. Es van produir protestes a diferents llocs del país, com a molts llocs del món. John Borgonovo, investigador post-doctoral de l’Escola d’Història del University College Cork, considera les produïdes a Catalunya les de més importància. La solidaritat catalana la van liderar entitats com el CADCI i la Unió Catalanista. Van fer arribar una nina de porcellana a la seva filla Máire, peça històrica que avui es conserva al Museu de Cork (vegeu fotos adjuntes). L’exemple d’Irlanda, introduïda inicialment per Josep Narcís Roca i Ferreras, va ser un referent per al nacionalisme català. I en especial per a Francesc Macià.


La visita del Sr. Cathal Brugha
 

* Dijous 3 de març, 21h – Assistirà a la Nit de la Memòria, un sopar organitzat per la Comissió de la Dignitat al Restaurant Núria de Canaletes. (Més info al telèfon 625370661 i mail  comunicació@comissiodeladignitat.cat )

* Divendres 4 de març (hora per concretar) – Recepció a càrrec de la M.H. Presidenta del Parlament de Catalunya.

* Divendres 4 de març, 12.30h – Ofrena floral al monument de Francesc Macià a la Plaça de Catalunya – i trobada amb la premsa. Telèfon de contacte 627412083 i mail

* Divendres 4 de març – Acte públic a la Universitat de Barcelona (acte a concretar).

 
També us podrien resultar interessants aquests escrits de Cathal Brugha sobre Ramon Llull:
 

 
Extract on Terence MacSwiney’s case: 

At the end of his court-martial on August 16th, 1920, Terence MacSwiney, the Lord Mayor of Cork, greeted his sentence of two years in jail by declaring: ‘I have decided the term of my imprisonment…I shall be free, alive or dead, within a month.’ Four days earlier, British troops had stormed the City Hall in Cork and arrested MacSwiney on charges of possessing an RIC cipher and documents likely to cause disaffection to his Majesty. He immediately began a hunger strike that sparked riots on the streets of Barcelona, caused workers to down tools on the New York waterfront, and prompted mass demonstrations from Buenos Aires to Boston. Enthralled by MacSwiney breaking all previous records for a prisoner going without food, the international press afforded the case so much coverage that Ireland’s War of Independence was suddenly parachuted onto the world stage, and King George V was considering over-ruling Prime Minister Lloyd George and enduring a constitutional crisis. As his wife, brothers and sisters kept daily vigil around his bed in Brixton Prison, watching his strength ebb away hour by hour, MacSwiney’s fast had Michael Collins preparing reprisal assassinations, Ho Chi Minh waxing lyrical about the Corkman’s bravery, and rumours abounding that he was being secretly fed via the communion wafer being given to him each day by his chaplain. It was one man’s courageous stand against the might of an empire.


Glossa en la mort de MacSwiney, per Ventura Gassol.
http://www.viasona.cat/grup/ramon-muntaner/canco-de-carrer/glossa-en-la-mort-de-mac-sweney