Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

A Public Reply to the New York Times (IV)

Saturday, 31 december 2011 | New York Times
Sirs, One key point that is overlooked in your otherwise informative article on Spain's economic difficulties (As Spain Acts to Cut Deficit, Regional Debts Add to Woe, December 30, 2011) is that Spain is not a federal State. Under the country's fiscal arrangement taxes are collected by the central government, which will keep part of the proceeds for itself and distribute the rest among the regions to pay for the services that have been devolved. There is no correspondence between what the regions get to spend and the wealth they have generated. [+]

Recommended article on the New York Times: "A Catalan Christmas"

Sunday, 18 december 2011 | New York Times
We recommend Lisa Abend's article on the New York Times: "A Catalan Christmas" (click here to read the article and here to see 22 great photos) As Ms. Abend's say, "Like so many things in life — soccer, sex, pigs’ feet with snails — Christmas is better in Barcelona". The conclusion is obvious: come to Barcelona! By the way, among all Ms. Abend's great articles, we would like to recommend "Southern Europe's Immigration Test", published in Time Magazine, explaining how Catalonia integrates immigrant children and how they learn Catalan. [+]

The Japanese press on the Catalan case - El cas català a la premsa japonesa

Friday, 16 december 2011 | The Mainichi Daily News
The Japanese press on the Catalan case We bring to your attention an article that was recently published in a major Japanese newspaper (link here), Mainichi Shimbun, focusing on the difficult relations between Spain and the Basque and Catalan peoples. As regards Catalonia, the article refers to the growing support for independence, which is quickly becoming the most favored option in opinion polls. Also mentioned is the unfair and extremely harmful fiscal treatment by the Spanish government. [+]

スペイン:自治州、独立運動に変化

Friday, 16 december 2011 | The Mainichi Daily News
(Article recomanat publicat al The Mainichi Daily News - link aquí) スペイン:自治州、独立運動に変化 スペインのバスク、カタルーニャ両地方で、自治を巡る静かな変化が起きている。バスク自治州では、長年暴力で独立を訴えてきた「バスク祖国と自由(ETA)」が武装活動の停止を宣言するなど穏健化の動きを見せる一方、関連政党が国会、地方議会で勢力を伸ばし、「暴力から政治へ」の動きが顕著だ。また、バルセロナを州都とするカタルーニャ自治州では、経済危機の影響もあり独立支持者が急増している。【スペイン北部・サンセバスチャン市などで宮川裕章】 ◇バスク、ETAが穏健化 暴力から政治活動へ 「ここ数年で彼ら(ETA)は変わった。テロのない安心感から、観光客も増えた」。フランス国境に近いバスク自治州サンセバスチャン市の旧市街にある軽飲食店で、店員のゴンザレスさん(42)は笑顔を見せる。近所の店では95年、地方議員がETAに射殺される事件も起きている。 だが今年5月の地方議会選挙で、非合法化されたETAの政治部門バタスナの元メンバーが加わった政党連合ビルデュから市長が誕生。20日の下院選挙(定数350)でも、ビルデュの国政版にあたる政党連合アマイウルが初参加にかかわらず7議席を獲得した。「もう暴力で独立を求める時代じゃない。誰もが分かっている」。ゴンザレスさんは言う。 バスクの完全独立を目指すETAによるテロ犠牲者は、この40年間で800人を超える。だがETAは10月20日に「武装活動の最終的な停止」を宣言。ゴンザレスさんは「若者たちがETAに参加しなくなった。時代の流れだ」と話す。 バタスナ元メンバーとともに政党連合アマイウルを組む穏健独立派政党エウスコ・アルカルタスナ(EA)のウリサル総書記は「(旧バタスナのメンバーは)個人的に政党連合に参加しており、暴力を放棄したメンバーだから協力できる。今、アマイウルはETAと無関係だ」と話す。 だがサンセバスチャンから約20キロの町サラウスでアマイウルの政治集会を訪ねると、その実像はウリサル氏の言葉とはやや違い、アマイウルとETAの関係は今なお根強いことをうかがわせた。 集会の冒頭、壇上に上がった男性は、テロ事件などで収監されているETAメンバーらの帰還を願う歌を歌い始めた。約180人の参加者が大きな手拍子を送る。そこはETAの集会そのものに見えた。 サンセバスチャン市の旧市街で兄を殺害され、今は別の町に移り住んだオルドニエスさん(51)は「ETAは穏健化したのではなく、生き残り策として政界進出の道を選んだだけだ。むしろ彼らが堂々と政治の舞台に出て、支持者を増やしているのは納得できない」と話す。 ◇カタルーニャ、支持派急増 経済危機で不公平感 一方、バスク同様に独自の文化、言語を持つカタルーニャ自治州では、住民の中に独立を肯定する意見が強まっている。比較的豊かな地方だけに、税収入が他地域に回されることに不満が高まっているようだ。 州都バルセロナは人口160万人のスペイン第2の都市。10日には、市庁舎などが建ち並ぶ旧市街脇を、カタルーニャ語のプラカードを手に、自治州政府に「緊縮財政反対」を訴える約100人のデモ隊が進んだ。 病院や教育機関の経費、人員削減。経済危機の波がカタルーニャにも押し寄せているのだ。 地下鉄では乗客の会話、車内の行き先表示、アナウンスはすべてがカタルーニャ語。住民はカタルーニャ語で義務教育を受け、「第二言語」としてスペイン語を習うだけに、住民に「カタルーニャ人」としての意識は強い。 こうした意識に最近、欧州を席巻する経済危機が加わり、住民の「独立心」に火が付いた。10月の世論調査で州民の独立支持は41%(不支持23%)と経済危機前の07年の32%(同51%)から大きく伸びた。政治社会研究院のマルセット教授は、「経済危機と、他州との経済的不公平感が背景になっている」と語る。 バスク自治州は、地元で徴収した税を地元で使えるが、カタルーニャ自治州は、国への納税分が国からの地方交付税を上回り、収支幅は全17州で3番目に大きい。豊かな州の税収を貧しい州に回すことについては、州間格差の是正という点からの評価もあるが、ここにきての経済危機によって、「背に腹は代えられない」的反応が生まれているようだ。 カタルーニャの文化を保護する活動を続ける団体「オムニウム」代表のカザルスさん(66)は、「これまで経済先進地域のカタルーニャはスペインの他の地域より多く税金を払い、他地域の発展に貢献してきた。でももうそんな余裕は私たちにない。ETAのような暴力活動のあるバスク自治州で自治権拡大が進み、一方の私たちの声はいつまでたっても世界に届かないのは大きな矛盾です」と嘆いた。 ============== ■ことば ◇バスク地方 スペイン北部のバスク、ナバーラ両自治州と仏南西部にわたる地域を指し、両自治州の人口は計約280万人。非西欧系のバスク語を持ち、豊富な鉱物資源で国内有数の重工業地帯として発展した。バスク自治州の1人当たり国内総生産(GDP)3万1300ユーロはマドリード州をしのぎ全国平均を約3割上回る。ETAはフランコ独裁政権下の1959年に発足。武装闘争で関係者約600人が収監されている。 毎日新聞 2011年12月1日 東京朝刊 [+]

Another (recommended) reply to The Economist (by Miquel Ros)

Sunday, 27 november 2011 | The Economist
Col·lectiu Emma has replied to The Economist article "Big mandate, tight spot" ("A Public Reply to The Economist (VII)"), but we also want to recommend Miquel Ros' reply. Dear Sir, I find it rich that your correspondent blames the "regions" for everything bad that is happening in the Spanish economy (“Big mandate, tight spot” 24th November). While we are still waiting for Mr.Rajoy to explain his economic programme (if he has any at all), Catalonia has been implementing a tough programme of fiscal austerity that has involved an across the board budget reduction of 10% (not even politically sensitive areas such as health and education have been spared). [+]

A Public Reply to The Economist (VII)

Sunday, 27 november 2011 | The Economist
When stating that "the new government in Madrid needs to claw back some powers from the regions" ("Big mandate, tight spot", November 26th 2011), your correspondent has taken a leaf out of the Spanish nationalists' book, overlooking in the process a very relevant point that The Economist itself had made only a few days before: "Transfers to Madrid from Catalonia [...] amount to 8-9% of the Catalan economy" ("Mañana is too late", November 19th 2011). [+]

Edward Hugh on the current Eurozone crisis potential implications for Catalonia

Thursday, 24 november 2011 | Barcelona International Network, Catalonia, General
Edward Hugh is a good friend of Col·lectiu Emma.  We strongly recommend an interview that the Barcelona International Network has made him about the causes of the current Eurozone crisis and its potential implications for Catalonia. You can find the interview by clicking here, here, here and here. We are reproducing here his opinions about Catalonia: 4.What specific effects are future developments likely to have on Catalonia? Given the substantial PP majority in the Spanish Parliament, do you see increasing political tension between a centralist nationalist government and a Catalan administration under increasing citizen pressure to exercise the right of self determination, or do you believe sufficient common ground will be found to make agreement and cooperation achievable to address the current economic issues? Well, as you probably know the situation here in Catalonia is very difficult. [+]

Launch of “What Catalans Want. Could Catalonia become Europe’s Next State?” in the UK

Friday, 11 november 2011 | What Catalans Want
(We want to extend to our friends the following invitation) This is an invitation for you to attend the launch in the UK of the book “What Catalans Want. Could Catalonia become Europe’s Next State?”. The launch will take place in the course of the 57th Anglo-Catalan Society Anual Conference which is to be held at Queen Mary’s, University of London, (Mucci’s room) on Friday 25th November at 19.45. The book will be presented by professor Montserrat Guibernau and ex-Catalan Government Delegate in the UK, Xavier Solano. [+]

The Father of the Spanish Constitution Jokes about Bombing Civilians

Wednesday, 2 november 2011 | CCN
(Press release from Cercle Català de Negocis, a business organization that defends Catalonia independence) “I do not know how many times it was necessary to bomb Barcelona. This time things will be solved without having to do so.” — Gregorio Peces-Barba “Freedom of speech cannot be invoked to protect offensiveness and disdain towards persons, territories, and communities.” — Catalan Bar Council Last Thursday, at the 10th Convention of Spanish National Bar in Cadiz, Gregorio Peces-Barba, one of the most prominent fathers of the Spanish Constitution, joked about bombing Barcelona in a reference to Catalonia's ongoing independence process. [+]

Recommended Conference: Building a New State (November 3rd, 2011)

Tuesday, 25 october 2011 | Sobirania i Justícia
We recommend the international conference organised by Sobirania i Justícia (Sovereignty and Justice) on the theme of "Building a New State", featuring prestigious professors, lawyers and economists from around the world. Guest speakers include Mr. Charles E. Ehrlich, international public law and development expert; Ms. Ana Stanic, principal of E&A Law, London; Mr. Patrick Dumberry, professor at Ottawa University; and Mr. Crles Boix, professor at Princeton University. The conference will seek answers to the following questions: What will happen the day after the independence of Catalonia? Will Catalonia be able to apply the decisions made by the International Court of Justice about Kosovo? What agreements will have to be negotiated with the Spanish government, and what issues would arise? How will the economic consequences of the separation be discussed? Will Catalonia undertake the international treaties signed by Spain? The conference will also attempt to shed some light on D-Day +1, the day after Catalonia's independence from Spain. [+]


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.

We aim to be recognized as a trustworthy source of information and ideas about Catalonia from a Catalan point of view.
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Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia