Wednesday, July 19, 2006

One of the Guardian's bloggers has a post on a story by El Mundo saying that one-third of Spaniards "still back Franco." The story actually says that 30% of Spaniards feel that the July 18 coup attempt "was justified." Half of PP voters agree, as do, surprisingly, 18% of PSOE voters, and, get this, 13% of Communist voters.

What you need to read is the extensive list of comments (scroll down on the Guardian's page). Not surprisingly, nearly all of them are anti-Franco, which is more than fair enough, but the number of comments idealizing the Second Republic shows that the leftists lost all the battles except that of propaganda. Also, I was shocked at the number of comments by English-speakers, some of whom say they live in Spain, that showed utter contempt for it. Check these out:

Spanish authorities act as if there is no law if they want. There are corruptions one after another. This is not yet a "so-called democratic conutry."

The hatred and obsessive intolerance exhibited by many Spaniards towards Catalonia and the Basque Country, and to anyone of even mildly progressive opinion is, I believe, unknown in Northern Europe.

Spain is a pathetic nation thanks to Franco's 40 years. Everything has to be thought out by others, nobody will accept responsibilty, shops still have only one person taking the money, you as a customer have no rights and so on.

...perhaps close to half of "Spaniards" look fondly on the "good old days" of slaughter via the Nazi and Fascist war machines. Probably not a country I would want to be part of...

The saddest thing about the Spanish is that they point blank cannot open their minds.

We leave for France next year, beaurocratic it may be but not totally corrupt like Spain. In many ways I will be sad to leave but can see that with the fattest and most unfit population in Europe it can only be a matter of time before their health system collapses along with everything else.

I can assure you that the Spanish have some way to go to match the tolerance of the Irish or the British.

...seeing a significant number of Spaniards' aggressive attitudes towards people of opposite criterium in lieu of simply trying to discuss the matter in a civil and mild mannered way is befitting of a manner typical of the intolerance shown to all those who refused to agree with the totalitarian principles of the victors of the SCW.

Spain, of course, is much more complex than any of these commenters seem to understand.

Personal comment: A few Spanish readers have accused me of being contemptuous of Spain in the past. I plead not guilty; I have constructively criticized (i.e. not just complained but suggested changes) many things about Spain over the last four years, but I've never said anything like these commenters.

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