Sunday, December 19, 2004

There's not too much that's a big deal to write about. The Tripartite (Socialist-Communist-Cataloony) government has been in charge of the Catalan Generalitat for one full year now and La Vanguardia has an extensive writeup. My feeling is that the Tripartite has failed, mostly because they've done nothing useful on the positive side and, on the negative side, the Cataloonies have managed to piss off the rest of Spain.

Agreed, the rest of Spain should not respond to Carod's infantile provocations with anything but ridicule. But Carod should not go around provoking people all the time, either. And what Carod has managed to do is anger regular normal Spanish people as well as the radical nationalist Spains-in-the-Ass. The stupidest thing he said, after putting his foot firmly in his mouth with his denunciation of the city of Madrid's Olympics bid, was "All I did was say in public what a lot of Catalans really think but don't say." Several local Cataloony jerks, especially those who write in the Avui, actually publicly agreed with Carod and wrote articles on the theme "What should we do, be hypocrites and not tell the truth?"

Well, guys, when the truth is you just plain hate the rest of Spain except for the ETA, with whom you held a secret meeting, that's a damned ugly truth. Maybe you would be better off being hypocritical and at least pretending not to be bigoted and biased. Other people might like you more that way. And if you pretend not to be a bunch of prejudiced racists, who knows, the practice of mouthing insincerities might eventually catch on to such a degree that you'll start to believe them.

Note: I am, of course, speaking to the Cataloonies here, not to the moderate Catalan nationalists.

Says Josep Piqué in La Vangua,

We must tell the citizens that our problems are serious and complex, that simplism and frivolity are not valid. we must be serious and rigorous.

And we must accept our responsibility. We can't say that Madrid has better transport infrastructures and oppose the "fourth freeway belt" (an outer loop around the Barcelona metropolitan area). Or complain that the high-speed train is not in service yet, but impede the necessary electric line. We want a radial transport plan, but do nothing to accomplish it, like the fourth belt or serious improvement of our connections with Valencia. "Madrid" is not responsible for any of this. We are doing things badly here in Catalonia, in our government. A government that centers its energy on resolving--daily!--its internal contradictions, and barely governs: how many laws have been passed in the Parliament? What positive measure of the Government can the citizens remember? They remember, however, the tax increases and the imposition of new fees as the very first change.

Besides this, there is their strange policy of making friends everywhere. One day, denying a drop of water to the Murcians because they'll just waste it, telling the Valencians what they should call the language they speak, calling the Basques insolidarious (because they get to keep all their tax money and Catalonia doesn't), telling Andalusia what it should do, and then recommending that the Catalans not drink Rioja wine in order to support the consumption of Catalan wine, and, to top it off, asking the Catalans not to support Madrid's candidacy for the 2012 Olympic Games. This is a series of absurdities.

Let's hope the New Year is better, and that this one ends as soon as possible.

Says Enric Juliana in La Vanguardia,

Everyone should realize this: we've made fools of ourselves with the Madrid 2012 affair and the cava boycott. The stereotype of the Catalan frightened when he sees his interests endangered has appeared again this Christmas. "Goodbye, Spain," say those who brag and boast when there are no consequences to fear. These days it's been obvious again that the Catalan economy is strongly rooted in the Spanish market, although less exclusively than a hundred years ago. The manufacturing and agricultural-food industries, the major services, high finances, and the unions are "autonomists" or "federalists". (That means they either like the system as it is or they would like to see a federal Spain. They oppose an independent Catalonia. -JC) The sectors that clamor for a "goodbye and see-you-later" either live off the budget or the local-scale service economy. Their dialectic is bubbly, excited, and even juvenile, but when industry sneezes, run for it! The bugler Patufet (imagine Gomer Pyle in a barretina) is sounding the retreat, as he is regarding the European referendum, just a few months ago the imagined scene of an epic, daring, audacious, and definitive battle. Tremble, Brussels!

Today's Vanguardia also contains an article on how the poor exploited Eskimos may not survive all the terrible global warning tragedies that aren't going to happen. It includes this sentence: "The Arctic indigenous people depend on the polar bear, the seals, the penguins, and other species, not only for their food supply but also as elements of their cultural identity." You spot the mistake.

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