Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

1. Human Towers for Democracy 

Many in Catalonia see 2014 as a historic year. Profoundly symbolic –Barcelona fell to Spain’s Philip V troops in 11 September 1714 – and in a social and political context favourable to a self-determination referendum, many initiatives search to put the independence debate on the agenda, both domestic and international.

Òmnium Cultural, one of Catalonia’s biggest civic associations –with a long track record of Catalan language and culture promotion– has announced the campaign “Catalans Want to Vote – Human Towers for Democracy“. It is a crowdfunded campaign which aims at simultaneously building the traditional Catalan human towers (Castellers) in 7 European capitals in a message to the world:

Catalans Want to Vote – Human Towers for Democracy
On 8th June, at 12 midday (Catalan time, GMT+1), 10 groups are going to build human towers simultaneously at important locations in 7 European capitals, sharing the same message, telling people loud and clear that the Catalans want to decide their future on 9th November, 2014: Catalans want to vote!

Not only are the Human Towers one of the cultural events with the most repercussion internationally, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, they also symbolize what Catalan men and women are yearning for at this historic moment in time: we group together, make the most of diversity and thanks to the combined effort of everyone involved, we manage to touch the sky. – Òmnium Cultural

2. From Barcelona to the World

Barcelona is undoubtedly one of Southern Europe’s cultural and economic centres. But what will happen in the event of secession? The Financial Times asked its mayor, Xavier Trias:

Interview: Mayor says it is time to change the relationship with Spain
“Mr Trias brushes aside concerns the push for independence could hurt Barcelona, for example by making foreign investors think twice about putting their money into a city that could form part of a break¬away state. “I go all over the world looking for investors and I don’t meet anyone who is worried. When I go to Madrid everyone talks about this. But when I go to Davos to talk to investors, no one asks me about this . . . People just tell me this city is a marvel,” he says.” – Financial Times

3. Quebec And Catalonia, the differences

There is a public perception [Al Jazeera – Europe’s Fragmented Future] that separatist movements are emerging across the West: Scotland, Catalonia, and Flanders all represent a new wave of self-determination processes within the so-called developed world. But are they all the same? Administrative Law Professor Iñaki Lasagabaster compared today Catalonia and Quebec in an op-ed:

Quebec and Catalonia, some differences –  [in Spanish] “The real difference between Quebec and Catalonia is that Canadian authorities, including its Supreme Court, consider and treat Quebec as a nation, confirming the obligation to negotiate if the Quebecois people wish so. It is publicly known that this does not happen in Catalonia, as Spanish public authorities defend an interested interpretation of legality which denies the principle of democratic legitimacy, that is, the will of the Catalan people.” – Noticias de Gipuzkoa