Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Friday, 14 september 2012 | New York Times

English

Recommended article "Catalonia Presses Spain on Autonomy Even as Financial Crisis Simmers" in the New York Times

We want to recommended the article "Catalonia Presses Spain on Autonomy Even as Financial Crisis Simmers" published in the New York Times.

Some excerpts:

Xavier Carbonell, the chief executive of Palex, a medical device supplier, might not seem to be a businessman willing to risk a political confrontation between his home region, Catalonia, and the central government in Madrid. Multimedia

After all, Palex, based in Barcelona, receives about 90 percent of its $150 million of annual revenue from customers in the rest of Spain.

Yet on Tuesday Mr. Carbonell joined hundreds of thousands of fellow Catalans in central Barcelona demanding Catalonia’s independence from the rest of Spain — even though that demand could make Catalonia vulnerable to retaliatory measures, possibly even a Madrid-led popular boycott of Catalan goods. But Mr. Carbonell said such “short-term risks” were secondary to more fundamental economic and political principles. 
(...) Even if the concept of Catalan independence remains ill defined, Josep Ramoneda, a Catalan philosopher and writer, suggested that it was in fact “the only real political project in Spain at this moment.”

“In a crisis,’ he added, “people need to hold on to some positive vision of the future and not just worry every morning about how high the debt risk premium is.”

(...) In some respects, Catalonia has continued to outperform the nation as a whole. Against a national unemployment rate of 24.6 percent, Catalan joblessness is marginally better, at just below 22 percent. And many Catalans have concluded that their recovery prospects would be enhanced by loosening or breaking ties with the rest of recession-plagued Spain.

“Until the crisis, many people here saw the advantages of being part of a dynamic Spanish economy, but now all we see is a falling economy run by Madrid politicians who are making it worse,” said Salvador García Ruiz, one of the founders of Collectiu Emma, an association promoting Catalan interests. While he acknowledged that Catalan politicians had also overspent and in some cases were caught up in corruption scandals, “at least they are our own, and a people should have full power to give its politicians a fail or a pass.”


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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Col·lectiu Emma is a network of Catalans and non-Catalans living in different countries who have made it their job to track and review news reports about Catalonia in the international media. Our goal is to ensure that the world's public opinion gets a fair picture of the country's reality today and in history.

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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia