Catalan National Assembly activists inform Barcelona Airport passengers what is behind the EULEN strike

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

Based on El Nacional/Albert Acín information with Sergi Alcàzar photo and CNM editing

Yesterday (7th August) Catalan National Assembly members staged a spectacular action at Barcelona’s El Prat airport where for days long EULEN security staff go-slow strikes have prevented normal activity at the busiest period of the year.

The amazing fact about these strikes -that activists explained to thousands of passengers via pamflets- is that Barcelona is the only airport affected by the strikes although Eulen (a company with an excellent relatonship wit the Spanish government) controls dozens of airports throughout Span where security staff receive the same poor wages. A factor that, given that Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia where an independence Referendum is to be held on October 1st, has led many to suspect that the strikes are inspired by the Spanish government in an attempt to destabilize the Catalan government. Stranger tales have turned out to be true.

The ANC action consisted in handing out leaflets to passengers –many of whom forced to queue for over three hours to pass through security checks– and explaining the singularity of the problem. “This is what happens in Catalonia” was the key phrase to the event while passengers were told about the Catalan indy Process and the urgent need the Catalan people have to recover independence and regain control over their own infrastructures if travel and transport are to be efficient once again.

With explicit criticism of the Spanish government, with accusations of nepotism and centralism, the Catalan National Assembly wanted to denounce the handling of the strike by AENA (that runs the Spanish airport) and the Ministry of Development. A management that they consider “opaque” and “defficient” and which has only come round to consider decisive action two weeks into the crisis, which has given the airport, and indeed tourism in Catalonia, a bad name in the international media. Is this what Madrid was after?

The secretary of communication of the ANC, Enric Planes, headed the protest. Calling for the “YES” option in the October Referendum to put an end to this kind of problem, he spoke of the “negligent management” of the strike by the Rajoy executive: “They govern us in a discriminatory way that we do not deserve”, he insisted.

Planes said that what is intended is to inform all users of the airport of the situation that Catalonia is going though. “We have come here peacefully to explain what the problem is to all the people who are suffering it.”

Members of the ANC took advantage of their protest before the control queue to distribute leaflets in which a photograph of the long queues to the airport appears accompanied by the text, in Catalan, Spanish and English: “Maybe now you understand why many Catalans will vote YES.”

Rajoy accuses the Catalans

The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, yesterday caused stupefaction with a public statement to the effect that it was the Catalan government that was to blame for the strikes. It is a well-known fact that the Catalan government is deprived of any form of direct intervention at Barcelona Airport since it is AENA and the Spanish goverment that have exclusive rights and powers over airport management.

As Oriol Amat, Junts pel Si MP and University professor remembered in a tweet yesterday (7th), Barcelona airport generated €339M profits for AENA in 2014, half the profits this agency makes for all of Spain.

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