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26 de febr. 2019

Interesting twitter reflections by Engel

An English translation of an interesting twitter thread by Engel. A valuable outsider's view of the relationship between Catalonia and Spain. I hope the author does not mind.
Click here, if need be, to read the whole post


By Engel

20 July 2018

Reflections of a German who empathizes with the Catalans and Catalonia, a great people and a wonderful country. Please forgive my insufficient Catalan, but I hope you will be indulgent with me. Thank you so much!

I have monitored the relationship between Catalonia and Spain for 30 years. For a long time I had the feeling that aspiring to independence was something folkloric. I didn’t take this desire for an independent state seriously. I was wrong.

Here there was always talk about infinite Catalan autonomy, although I never had the impression that the relationship between Catalonia and Spain was between equals. It was seen from a distance that autonomy had nothing to do with the autonomy of the Länder in Germany, for example.

But I thought the Catalans had accepted the situation. Until June 28 2010: On that day, Spain and the Constitutional Court broke with Catalonia. That day it became clear to me that Catalonia would never be an interlocutor of the same category and Spain does not want a federal state.

In large parts of the Spanish population, the word 'nation' linked to Catalonia causes nausea and anger that makes them lose their heads. Seen from the outside, it is something that cannot be explained. Hatred of everything that can be tied to Catalonia is omnipresent and awful.

On June 26 2010, the PP with its catalanophobia and the Constitutional Court were very wrong. It was the first red line they crossed. The second was on October 1, for me the biggest mistake Spain has made in recent years, revealing its darkest face.

As early as September 2017 the Spanish state violated fundamental rights with a straight face. It violated its sacrosanct constitution that it always tries to respect. On October 1 it became clear that Spain is capable of doing anything - I repeat: anything - for 'indissoluble unity', at whatever the cost.

On October 1, despite Spain’s dirty tactics, the referendum was held, and for this we have to admire the Catalans. The democratic will and perseverance of the Catalans are exemplary in the EU. They showed that no-one, not even a State, can hold back a firm people.

For me, on October 1 was: It didn’t matter if your party was ERC, JxCat, CUP or another party. People also voted against independence and there was no problem. The Catalan people only had the strong will to vote. And – being as stubborn as it is – it managed!

By the way in which 155 was applied, by the judicialization of politics and with the witch-hunt of Catalan politicians, Spain again showed that it does not respect fundamental rights or its own Constitution, but only articles 2 and 8 of it.

Unfortunately, in the last few days we have seen squabbling between the pro-independence parties. I do not know the secret reasons for this guerrilla war, nor am I interested. But I know one thing: this is not about parties! Seeing the attitude of Spain in recent months, this is about survival!

The rebirth, or rather, the strengthening of Francoism in Spain and the implicit or explicit agreement of all parties in Madrid with neofrancoism should be a warning shot for the pro-independence parties. Hatred of the Catalans is immense and the thirst for revenge is insatiable.

Spain has never broken with the Franco regime. The 'transition' together with the Spanish Constitution is a total failure. They do not want to understand that this a country with various nations. The legacy of Franco, 'indissoluble unity', is what counts. Spanish nationalism prevents the modernization of society.

As a foreigner it is not for me to give advice. I'm nobody, but I'm sure, if the Catalans stop pulling the same rope, they will lose. If the pro-independence parties do not do what the Catalan people want, they are mistaken and the Spanish state will win.

Now is the time to go together and be supportive. Forget the parties. I repeat again: Now it is a matter of the Catalan people surviving. If you continue together as you did on October 1, you cannot be stopped. If you fight between yourselves, the Republic will continue to be a dream for the coming generations.

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