Oct 18 2013

A Bandwagon with a Purpose: The independence of Catalonia

By Mireia Borrell-Porta

The recent events in Catalonia have sparked an intense and often constructive discussion imagesCADQK95Won the reasons that underpin Catalonia’s claim for independence, and Europe’s need to seriously discuss the need to regulate ‘internal enlargement’. Yet, the complexity of the situation has sometimes given way to inaccurate interpretations of what is happening and, especially, of why a majority of Catalans have gradually embraced the option of independence to the detriment of other options that were more popular some years ago.  Last week Jose Javier Olivas posted an article on the LSE Blog Euro Crisis in the Press which provides, in my view, one of these inaccurate interpretations that nurture the increasing lack of commonality of ideas, preferences and values that nations such as the Spanish one are expected to have (see Alesina and Reich, 2013).

Are Catalans not for redistribution?

One of the reasons for independence that has attracted most of the media attention refers to fiscal redistribution. Catalans, it has been argued, simply believe that too much money is taken out of their pockets to assist other parts of Spain. However, the latter reflects a deep misunderstanding on the ills of the Spanish redistribution system. Solidarity is a concept to which ascribing an exact figure is an arduous task and everyone would agree that zero per cent is too little. But here is where the consensus ends. The fiscal imbalance – i.e. the difference between what Catalonia contributes through taxes to the central state and what it receives back with transfers and services – is around eight per cent of the GDP in 2009[1] (see p.57). Is this too much redistribution, as many Catalans claim? This is a normative question, and as such, difficult to answer. Therefore, one interesting and, arguably, reasonable way to answer this question is to carry out an international comparison. Economics research shows (see an example here and here (p.12-22) that the fiscal imbalance that Catalonia suffers from the rest of Spain is unparalleled in other regions of the developed world.

Another interesting and rather common way to answer the question is to evaluate whether a region pays its taxes according to its level of wealth and receives public services in line with its expenditure needs. If we follow that route, we find that Catalonia, excluding capital agglomerations (e.g., London), has an unprecedented fiscal imbalance. Several studies pinpoint to two main reasons to explain the existing fiscal imbalance:

First, there is a substantial gap between the percentage of decentralized expenditure and the income in the hands of the Autonomous Communities. This is a recurrent problem in decentralized and federal countries, which, according to fiscal federalism theories, can be solved via equalization transfers. In the Spanish case, however, these transfer mechanisms are part of the problem rather than a solution. After activating them, the Autonomous Communities with an initial higher fiscal capacity end up with fewer resources than other Autonomous Communities with an initial lower fiscal capacity (see Table below).

table

Source: BOSCH, Núria. “La financiación autonómica: presente y futuro”. Papeles de economía española, 2012, núm. 133

Secondly, this situation is worsened by the investment criterion in place for the distribution of infrastructure and public spending. The existing literature (see for instance BOSCH, Núria, ESPASA, Marta i SOLÉ-OLLÉ, Albert. The political economy of inter-regional fiscal flows. Cheltenham: Edwar Elgar Publishing, 2010) identifies three criteria to determine regional redistribution: efficiency, redistribution and equity. The empirical evidence for the Spanish case, however, suggests that other political criteria, such as the willingness to connect the political capital to the rest of Spain has prevailed, especially in funding roads and railways. Comparisons between Catalonia and other regions in Flanders and Northern Italy are delusionary. Catalans have shown a commitment to redistribution, they are just not  going to be taken for a ride.

Heterogeneity as a threat

It is important not to forget, other non-economic issues have also played a very relevant part in the height of the independence movement. Jose Javier’s article suggests that the movement is ‘a cause to honor history and difference’, which insinuates that two important reasons why Catalans want to be independent are its differential traits compared to the rest of Spain and its distinct history.  Once again, this is, I believe, a misperception of the reality. It is not the intensity of the differential traits that worry Catalans and drive them to claim an own state, but rather the widespread belief that there is a historical threat to the Catalan language– laying at the heart of  Catalan culture – which has persisted until today. Although it is clear that Catalans do not face persecution for speaking Catalan, Catalan still does not have the status of an official EU language (in contrast to Gaelic, spoken only in some areas of Ireland or French in Canada) . The recently passed Education Bill has not helped the unionist cause either. In its intervention in the Spanish Parliament, the Education: the Minister recently declared his intention to “Hispanicize” Catalonia and its schools through a new education law. This was an unfortunate statement given the oppression that the Catalan language suffered not so long ago with the dictatorships of Primo de Rivera and Franco. The statement was accompanied by a new education law which threatened to end the Catalan status as a medium of instruction in school and demanding the language to be ranked behind English in the curriculum. The Catalan compulsory education system uses Catalan as a medium of instruction for all subjects taught. This language –immersion used in the education system has been widely recognized at an international level as a system that enhances social cohesion and avoids discrimination by reason of language (here, p.140) (and in turn guarantees an above average proficiency of Spanish). Given that most media is in Spanish, Catalan citizens are as a matter of fact bilingual. The law, which also aimed at institutionalizing religion and centralizing education, was received with enormous outrage by Catalan politicians and citizens alike and sparked large protests in Catalonia. It has been described by some as ‘ideology cloaked as technocratic reform’.

Although history is not irrelevant, that claim it is used by Catalans to demand a new state is again far from real. The historical contextualization of certain demands is only a frame to provide an account of the trajectory of Catalonia so far[2]. Yet, to properly understand the pro-independence movement, one needs to understand first what it is not. It is not a movement grounded on anti-redistribution, but rather on claims that fiscal redistribution is arbitrary. It is neither a movement based on historical premises. And last and not least, rather than a rejection of a multicultural state it is a last resort when the Spanish state rejects its multicultural status.

In sum, Catalan independentism seems instead a movement born out of frustration as explained in other LSE posts. The latter rocketed after the Constitutional Court ruling in 2010 abolished several key passages of the new Catalan statute of autonomy as a result of a fairly specific interpretation of the 1978 Spanish Constitution.

Today, an overwhelming majority of Catalans (71% in the latest poll CEO) want to hold a referendum to attain their ’quiet revolution’. As Sociologist Manuel Castells puts it: “The unthinkable is possible. Independence, a majority sentiment the day it exists, it is possible, despite the constitutional pundits”. Highly reputed constitutionalists have come up with five legal ways within Spanish law to authorize a referendum. So far, the Spanish government has refused discussion on absolutely all of them. Loyalty in plurinational democracies requires ‘voice’ and the possibility of ‘exit’. Currently, both have been denied to Catalans by the Spanish state.


[1] Different methods of calculation lead to different fiscal deficit figures. For an overview of the different methods and the controversies arising, see here.

[2] As a side note, I find puzzling Jose Javier’s attempt to reinterpret history as well, by claiming that ‘Catalonia has always been part of Spain’. This was obviously not the case before the unification of the Crowns of Aragon and Castille, but I understand that the author refers to the period after the unification. But even after the unification the two crowns remained separate countries to a large extent, preserving their own laws, language, government and currency

Mireia Borrell-Porta holds a BSc in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra and a MSc in European Political Economy from LSE. She is currently a third  year PhD student of Political Economy at the European Institute at the LSE.

Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of the Euro Crisis in the Press blog, nor of the London School of Economics.

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42 Responses to A Bandwagon with a Purpose: The independence of Catalonia

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  9. Stuart Medina says:

    José Javier, don’t even try: there is no point in discussing an emotional issue. Catalans have become so engrossed with their own obsession that it is impossible to enter into any sort of rational discussion with them. My only hope is that eventually the disaster that Catalan independence would represent might make them think twice. To begin with, Caixa Bank and Banc de Sabadell would immediately go bankrupt. I have my accounts in one of those banks and I would not hesitate to close them a week before Catalonia became independent, if only because I don’t want to see my money trapped in an institution destined to fail.

    • Roberto says:

      Oh yes, your money will be so determinant,in making a bank fall! Typical pretentious Spanish talk!

    • Josep says:

      Regions, land, people living in them, culture, industry and many other things will continue living on or dissapear or evolve whether YOU put their money on them or not, since money is just money and it flows. A country is more than that, like it or not. Life can’t fail, it may just take a different path.

      Anytime you take a political position it’s a wise choice to step into the shoes of another instead of tossing void threats.

    • Javier says:

      Please, Stuart, PLEASE, do not say “Catalans” when you mean some Catalans. There are many of us who do not share the lies that are permanently being fed to us through the public and the subsidized Catalan press and education system. Give us some credit. All this is so sad, it’s breaking my heart.

  10. Michel says:

    About “fiscal balances”, the difference between monetary flow system and benefit system is very big. The differences are tax imputation, neutralization, and cost of services. The last is an example of why this fiscal balances are completely false. Example, in your own document of the Generalitat:
    Foreign affairs Ministry: 864 millions in 2009.
    a).benefit system: criteria”segons població” Catalonia 18% of that, 155 millions are given by catalans and come back as services.
    b) Monetary flow system , criteria”Imputació directa, diverses comunitats
    autònomes segons % despesa”territorialitzada a Catalunya”. Come back to Catalonia: 1 million of euros.
    If the Generalitat writes that , from 155 millions paid by catalans only come back to Catalonia 1 miliion because some building in Barcelona, and not all as services… this a blattant lie, because catalan get their money back as services.
    . With the army the same.18% of 8.1332 millions pay catalans as population, which is 133000 millions of euros( and get back them as defense, as all spaniards) but the Generalitat writes only 332 millions ( from direct investment of the Army in Catalonia). The “robbery” of this balance is the difference, 1.000 millions of euros.
    With this system, the “robbery ” must be always huge , of course.

  11. Michel says:

    As for the inmersion system as “widely recognized at an international level”,it is simply not true…. the document itself that the writer quotes says:  ”214. The second periodical report mentions the bilingual system or “linguistic conjunction” system and the Comittee of Experts understands that this is the system prevailing at all levels of education, including pre-school. ” So, they believe that in catalan school there is bilingual or conjunction education system, that teaches also in castilian as in catalan. But this is obviously not true, the system prohibites teaching IN castilian.
    The documents also says: “218.(…) The Charter does not demand compulsory education in Catalan for all pupils,only that it shall be made available so that pupils will receive education IN Catalan if parents so wish.”
    Again this is not true and the document wants o believe it. But the important is that the Charter does not support any kind of immersion. This is related with the fact that in any part of Europe where 2 languages are spoken in the street, in the school both languages are spoken ( i.e. Ireland, Irish/English). None says that the bilingual-conjuction system is bad, on the contrary, they expect that this is the real system in Catalonia.I fact rich people in Catalonia, like children of politicians ( Mas, Montilla, Laporta…etc) study in private schools where castilian is a 33% of lessons and avoid inmersion . And nothing happens.

  12. Michel says:

    As for the inmersion system as “widely recognized at an international level”,it is simply not true…. the document itself that the writer quotes says:  ”214. The second periodical report mentions the bilingual system or “linguistic conjunction” system and the Comittee of Experts understands that this is the system prevailing at all levels of education, including pre-school. ” So, they believe that in catalan school there is bilingual or conjunction education system, that teaches also in castilian as in catalan. But this is obviously not true, the system prohibites teaching IN castilian.
    The documents also says: “218.(…) The Charter does not demand compulsory education in Catalan for all pupils,only that it shall be made available so that pupils will receive education IN Catalan if parents so wish.”
    Again this is not true and the document wants o believe it. But the important is that the Charter does not support any kind of immersion. This is related with the fact that in any part of Europe where 2 languages are spoken in the street, in the school both languages are spoken ( i.e. Ireland, Irish/English). None says that the bilingual-conjuction system is bad, on the contrary, they expect that this is the real system in Catalonia.I fact rich people in Catalonia, like children of politicians ( Mas, Montilla, Laporta…etc) study in private schools where castilian is a 33% of lessons and avoid inversion . And nothing happens.

  13. Michel says:

    Catalans were, during Convention and Napoleon’s War, strongly supporters of the Spanish King and the Crown. All documents show very strong spanish feelings. An example, the Soneto catalá : “…Vallespir, Rosselló, la França entera, del valor espanyol lo excès admire: (…) que lo cel es qui vol que torne a Espanya lo Rosselló, Navarra y la Cerdanya.” Jacint Verdaguer composed a soneto about the “fatherland Spain” in that war of 1808…Even the heroine of the siege of Zaragoza was the Catalan “Agustina de Aragón”.Antonio de Campmany i Montpalau composed many of the most sung hymns and compositions for Spain in the war…, but of course, he does not exist for the present Generalitat, that hides these facts.
    In the Cortes de Cádiz, there were 17 catalan Members , and the President of the Cortes was one of them, Ramon Lazaro de Dou i Bassols, taking all of them part in the building of a liberal central modern State. No records exist about any demand of a catalan Nation or State there. The catalan historian Marcelo Capdeferro, for example, as the catalan Jaume Vicens Vives, wrote about how catalan members of the Cortes took part in all new administrative design: civil governors, Provinces, Code unification, Diputaciones, and so on…but all this is hid by official History in Catalonia.

    • Roberto says:

      Nobody denies there were Catalans defending Spain again France! What it is a fact is that Catalonia was part of France, and hence the narrative of SPanish nationalism of a sort of eternal Spain is untrue,…

      • Michel says:

        Yes, all Spain was invaded by France, so?…

        As it has been told previously, part of France, according to this , was part of Germany in the Second World War. t was the part of France near Germany. Was the “Free France ” in the south more French? What has it to do with pretending to be a separate country?

  14. Paulina says:

    Oh dear, Andy, do you actually read the articles you comment on?

    • Andy Ellis says:

      Yes I do. Given your contributions on this and other threads I’d be more concerned to try and justify your own poor understanding of the issues and background; it fits in fairly well with Jose’s laughably shallow analysis.

  15. Jose Javier Olivas says:

    Dear Mireia,
    Thank you very much for the response to my article and for the constructive tone.
    Let me make a few comments to your article as well and in defence of my “inaccurate interpretation”:
    1-The argument you make in the first section of your article actually validates my claim: one of the main arguments of independentists is “the excessive solidarity within Spain” (quote my article). This is precisely what you say here when you suggest that there is too much redistribution. In my article I don’t deny the fact that Catalonia (together with Madrid and Balearic Islands) are net contributors and that thank to Catalans the poorest regions in Spain are gradually closing the gap in terms of infrastructures and economic development. I claim in my article “most Spaniards would be in favour of renegotiating the autonomous communities fiscal and redistribution model.” (I am one of those). So if the problem is excessive redistribution the solution could be to decrease redistribution. However by claiming that the solution is secession you are implicitly looking for a “no redistribution” situation with the rest of Spain. This is why the “fiscal imbalances argument” is clearly an anti-redistribution argument.

    2-I believe there are fiscal imbalances; the citizens living in Catalonia pay more taxes than those transferred from the Spanish central government to the regional government Generalitat. Nonetheless the magnitude of the imbalance you refer to is not agreed. The study that you (and most pro-independence supporters) cite is written by Prof. Nuria Bosch who is far from being a neutral observer. This study has been discredited due to its questionable methodology and partial selection of data. The fiscal imbalance exists but it is not of the magnitude indicated by Bosch. The results of her study are not surprising since Nuria Bosch is contributing to the pro-independence campaign. For instance she was commissioned to prove the economic viability of an independent Catalonia by the Fundacio CatDem (see link below). This foundation is the think tank of the nationalist party Convergencia Democratica. Fundacio CatDem was previously called Fundacio Trias Fargas and was implicated in the illegal funding of the now pro-independence Convergencia Democratica.
    http://www.catdem.org/es/notices/2012/07/viabilitat-de-catalunya-com-a-estat-analisi-de-la-hisenda-publica-6768.php

    3-I am happy to see that not all independentists justify their cause based on history and difference. I wish more of them would focus in the current context and potential (mutual?) benefits. However, the historical revisionism for the sake of eliminating a common history from the books and portraying a continuous struggle between Catalans and the rest of Spaniards has reached unprecedented levels (e.g. the invention of the “Catalano-Aragonese Confederation”, reinterpretation of the succession war in the eighteen century as a war between Castilians and Catalans, the omission of the wide support that Franco had in Catalonia or the fact that most victims of Francoist repression were from Extremadura and Andalucia).Just need to see Amy’s comment below or those under my article to see how blatant the attempts of manipulation of history are by many of those supporting independence. Quote Amy “Needless to remind that Spain as a nation state is a creation of the XIX century. In fact, during the Napeoleonic occupation of Spain, Catalonia was annexed to France. In other words, the idea of a Spanish Catalonia is an invention of Spanish nationalism” (readers can judge)

    4-You say in your footnote: “I find puzzling Jose Javier’s attempt to reinterpret history as well, by claiming that ‘Catalonia has always been part of Spain’. This was obviously not the case before the unification of the Crowns of Aragon and Castille”.

    I agree for an obvious reasons; before the unification of the two Crowns Spain did not exist. So your statement is redundant. Could you specify a bit more what is questionable about my brief account on the history of the peninsula? In my article I said “The current territory of Catalonia has been always part of other larger political units in the Peninsula.” and I insist “Except during the period of the ‘Reaper’s War’ (1640-1659) when supported by France it became de facto independent, Catalonia has always been part of Spain”.

    5-You claim the oppression or threat over the Catalan language to be the fundamental reason for pro-independence.”Although it is clear that Catalans do not face persecution for speaking Catalan, Catalan still does not have the status of an official EU language (in contrast to Gaelic, spoken only in some areas of Ireland or French in Canada)”. I don’t find very convincing your justification here. Catalan has not been oppressed but positively discriminated over the last 30 years to the extent that in the system of public education in Catalonia Spanish is only taught as a foreign language and all courses are conducted in Catalan. Gaelic supporters would like to have that for their language. There are many radio stations, TVs and newspapers in Catalan, the language of the Catalan administration is Catalan, all signs in roads and streets are only in Catalan, public funding prioritise cultural manifestations in catalan, etc. So comparatively speaking Catalan is arguably the best protected regional language in Europe.
    You claim that the new education minister is threatening the Catalan language because he wants to allow families to choose if they want their children studying in Spanish or Catalan. Well I am not going to defend him but this is obviously no the reason why the pro-independence campaign is so high in intensity now.
    From my point of view if you want the Catalan language to be stronger rather than for independence you should be campaigning for introducing Catalan language as an official language in the rest of Spain. Rather that removing Spanish language from road signs in Catalonia and gradually from schools Catalans should be fighting for including Catalan in road signs and schools in the rest of Spain (most people would prefer this over independence)

    6-In your article you reject some of the reasons I believe underpin the secession movement in Catalonia:
    You say independentists are not against redistribution
    You say that “differential traits compared to the rest of Spain and its distinct history within Spain” are not important reasons
    You acknowledge that today Catalan language is not oppressed

    Could you directly explain what justifies an extremely risky process such as the secession of Catalonia from the rest of Spain?
    If “frustration” is the ultimate justification for secession (as you suggest in your conclusions) I can already predict that the secession movement will not succeed. It is very difficult to claim international endorsement for a cause that is almost completely grounded on sentiments and the personal perceptions of a few (or many) rather than on concrete facts and well defined policies. Rationality needs to come back to the political agenda. Hearts are very important but let the brains guide them.

    Thanks again for your contribution and sorry for the length of the comment.

    • Anselm says:

      1. Unfortunately Jose, your opinion counts very little in Spain. Redistribution cannot just be reduced that easily.
      2. The Spanish Institute of Fiscal Studies provides almost the same figures as Nuria Bosch, so although you always seem to discredit people by its political affiliation as not being neutral ( although you fail to admit that you are of course the least neutral of all).
      3. That Catalonia was administered by France under the Napeoleonic occupation is an empirical fact, please if show evidence otherwise.
      5. You clearly ignore the attempts of Catalan MP’s to use Catalan in the Spanish parliament, there is no good will to make Catalan official,…
      6. I disagree completely, the international community will have to confirm that we have tried all other possible alternatives to secession, so frustration is precisely what would justify secession,…

      • Jose Javier Olivas says:

        Did you know that Napoleon invaded most of Spain? Not only Catalonia. He made his brother King of Spain. Anyway this is the first time I see an independentist to use the Napoleonic invasions to show that Catalonia was not Spanish. The imagination has no limits.
        As for the fiscal deficit I am sure you are well aware of the enormous discrepancies in the studies by different economists. I do not doubt of the ability of Nuria Bosch but I believe that when you work for a movement like this you lose neutrality and when facing methodological and data selection choices you may well opt for those that are the most favourable for your political position. Anyway this is a discussion of degree and not of nature. I think redistribution is crucial in modern societies but I can understand that some people have different political views. I think redistribution should be negotiated but I don’t see that this “fiscal imbalance” result of a formula which was approved by the Generalitat (among other political actors) not so long time ago is not a solid base to claim the secession of a territory.

        Frustration justifies secession is a big claim. Is this a kind of collective tantrum then?
        i think independentists need to articulate better their arguments if they want to persuade the international community or the rest of Spain.

        • Anselm says:

          The fact that Catalonia was part of France during the napoleonic invasion proves that you assertion of ‘Catalonia always being Spanish is not true’. Accept it when you lost the argument please! Be honest for once!

          Your point on Nuria Bosch reflects that you actually know very little about what you talk about. Most of her research is done together with Spanish academics of the university of Zaragoza which are not liable of being independetists at all.

          Convincing the international community that Catalans have tried literally ALL what was legally possible to break a deal is the right way to then put forward a secessionist claim. The ‘opting out’ alternative should always be there as a last resort option.

          • Jose Javier Olivas says:

            Right, your argument about the french occupation of Catalonia (and most of Spain) is like saying that Paris stopped being France during the German occupation and the Vichy regime. The justifications for independence are becoming more and more excentric. Someone should compile them.

          • juanjo says:

            Catalonia would then compare to Alsace under the occupation, …Napoleon did not want the rest of Spain in France for a reason.

          • Jose Javier Olivas says:

            Dear Juanjo,
            It does not matter what Napoleon may have thought or wanted (we will never know), it is irrelevant for any pro-secession claim nowadays. Moreover Catalans fought fiercely against the Napoleonic armies (for instance the very important battle of Molins del Rey).
            What you say about the Alsace could be applied to any region in France under German direct administration during WWII. Nord, Pas de Calais, Normandy, Bretagne, Vendee, Gironde, etc. It does not provide any legitimacy for secession for any of those regions.

          • Anselm says:

            Jose Javier,

            You don’t get it! If Napoleon occupied Spain, but separated Catalonia that was ruled as a French department, then Catalonia was not ruled by Spain. Whether you or any of your mates agree or not is totally irrelevant,…Alsace would be a good example because it was annexed to Germany. It is an empirical fact that proves that the claim that Catalonia has been always Spain is wrong. I accept it was am invasion etc etc

          • Jose Javier Olivas says:

            Dear Anselm, during WWII Hitler occupied Paris, Bretagne, Nord, Pas de Calais, Gironde, etc. and separated them from the rest of France (under the Vichy regime). Do you realise that it is exactly the same case and that it does not provide any reasonable claim for the secession of any of the regions above?

          • Anselm says:

            Hitlert did not incorporate the to Germany, they remained in France, so legally were just part of,occupied France,…but anyhow, it’s absurd to think of a modern nation before the French Revolution,…thee is so much literature to ground sic a claim that seems evident!

    • Jefemano says:

      Jose, very Wise Words… However, you will never get anywhere or reason with any one whose mind has been poisoned and bombarded with anti Spanish propaganda since childhood and for that reason most nationalists Radical do not know any better, to the point that most of them nowadays actually are totally convinced that their adulterated and bastardised history that they have been learning at their own Catalan Schools since early 80’s its actually the true facts. Sad but True…

    • Jefemano says:

      Jose, very Wise Words… However, you will never get anywhere or reason with any one whose mind has been poisoned and bombarded with anti Spanish propaganda since childhood and for that reason most nationalists Radical do not know any better, to the point that most of them nowadays actually are totally convinced that their adulterated and bastardised history that they have been learning at their own Catalan Schools since early 80′s its actually the true facts. Sad but True…

    • Jefemano says:

      Dear Amy you are very confused and erroneous about your own Region’s own history, it could be that you and some of you are from a paralleled universe, because your version of the history of Catalonia and Spain bears little or no resemblance with the truth as its recorded on the numerous archives of the period. (and not necessarily written by the oppressors and or winners)

  16. Amy says:

    The claim that Catalonia has always been part of Spain is absurd. Needless to remind that Spain as a nation state is a creation of the XIX century. In fact, during the Napeoleonic occupation of Spain, Catalonia was annexed to France. In other words, the idea of a Spanish Catalonia is an invention of Spanish nationalism,…countries come and go. All looks like in a a year from now, Catalonia will have declared independence.

    • Jefemano says:

      Dear Amy, for your info its incorrect and absurd to label the incumbent people of a Nation ” Nationalist”, that term is applicable to a group of people from certain part of a the nation who does no wish to belong to that nation in its present form, like the People Socialist Party headed by Adolph Hitler in Germany during the 30 & 40s..

      • Amy says:

        “It is easy to forget the contention inherent in nationalism when one is ensconced in a state whose territorial and cultural parameters have been subjected to extensive normalization and seem beyond revision, where challenging nationalist movements have been marginalized in the political process, and where a “banal” nationalism has become embedded in everyday discourse in ways that are no longer recognizable. As de Certeu noted, we travel to foreign lands to see better that which we are no longer capable of seeing in ourselves” (Beissinger, 2002, p.21)

      • Roberto says:

        Hitler used the German state, and the Spanish use the Spanish state,…if you read Hobsbawm, you will know that there is no nationalism without a state,..catalanism is a quintessential example of a counter nationalist movement, …of course. A characteristic of nationalists is that they confuse their ideas of that of the incumbent nation,..

  17. Andy Ellis says:

    A cogent and compelling rejoinder to Jose Javier’s earlier hatchet job. I agree with you that his treatment of the historical background was particularly puzzling; whether it reflected lack of adequate research, or an attempt to “re-imagine” the past to suit his flawed view of the present is hard to tell!

    • Jefemano says:

      Cataluña fue un reino, la Casa de Barcelona se anexionó Aragón en 1137, y el «rey de Cataluña» Jaime I el Conquistador creó los «Países Catalanes». Son algunas de las perlas que salpican el particular relato de la historia que difunde la Generalitat de forma oficial a través de su portal de internet, tanto con textos como con diversos vídeos.

      En su afán por hacer valer un pretendido carácter histórico de «nación» y de «estado» catalán, la web de la Generalitat se explaya en un relato en el que vapulea la realidad y llega a afirmar que adquirió la soberanía del Reino de Aragón en 1137. Una suerte de supuesta «anexión» -en los rótulos de uno de sus vídeos utiliza expresamente este término- que choca con la verdad histórica y con lo que reflejan los archivos regios de la Edad Media, en los que nunca aparece Cataluña como reino, sino únicamente como Condado de Barcelona.to be continued…

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