“Spain plunders Catalonia not only to overcome the crisis, but for a living.”

 (An adaptation of the article written by Víctor Alexandre and published in El Singular June 19th 2012)

Relevant members of PP* and PSOE** alternately keep enlightening our media with “illustrative” declarations about the independence of Catalonia; which is only a clear sign that both politic parties are really getting nervous since the Catalan national awareness is unstoppable and can effectively result into the constitution of a new Catalan state. And I say “illustrative”, since both parties preach exactly the same, defining themselves as the two main Spanish national parties with identical interests and objectives. Let’s check it out:

  • April 7th 20212. Maria de los Llanos de Luna, delegate of the Spanish government in Catalonia, from PP: “Independence would only cause Catalonia to become poorer. Now it is one of the richer regions of Spain but alone it could become one of the poorest states of Europe”.
Mª Llanos de Luna Tobarra, delegate of the Spanish government in Catalonia
  • May 21st 2012. Pepe Navarro, first secretary of PSOE in Catalonia: ”Catalonia alone would be a smaller and poorer country. If we close to the world, we will never solve the problems”.
  • June 12th 2012, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, president of PP in Catalonia: “The Catalan balance of trade would suffer a shortfall without Spain. Catalonia cannot get out of the crisis without Spain, and Spain cannot make it without Catalonia”.

Every month, it is one or the other party taking the lead against Catalonia’s independence. Now it is the turn of Laia Bonet and Rocío Martínez-Sampere, spokesman and secretary of economics respectively at PSOE in Catalonia. They keep repeating the same lies time after time, hoping unwary citizens will bite the hook. This is what happens when you live at the expense of the dependence of your country from another state: you have no other choice but lying day after day, so dependence is preserved the longer the better. They are like a dishonest restaurant chef, that fearful of losing his job, he does not only hide that the owner forces him to cook with left-overs, he even convinces clients that the dishes are delicious and cooked with the best ingredients;  but when the truth pops out sooner than later, the accomplice chef will have no place to hide.

Therefore, I recommend Mrs. Llanos de Luna, Mr. Navarro and Mrs. Sánchez-Camacho to be careful with what they say to the media, because they should be aware these atrocities they declare now are recorded and will be reproduced in an immediate future as a proof they would ridicule themselves only to preserve their official “chairs”.  These horrible declarations will cause as much hilarity as the statements of Mr. Adolfo Suárez when he was president in Spain after Franco, and who declared that the Catalan language was so poor nobody could use it for teaching nuclear physics. Today, all subjects without exception are successfully learned in Catalan language in all our schools and universities. (In addition, our students have already proven they are, in average, better prepared for the international labor market than most of the Spanish students. However, the Spanish government is now threatening to force Catalan institutions teaching all subjects in Spanish, like in Franco times, when our language was forbidden. )

Part of an exhibition, Remembering Repression and Resistance, in Barcelona summer of 2010. The installation shows a photograph of Franco’s last visit to Barcelona in 1970; his motorcade is leaving the central space outside the cathedral.

On the other hand, we should remark here that there is a significant difference between how Spain is systematically plundering Catalonia and the Catalan balance of trade with the Spanish market. To plunder, according to the dictionary, it is indeed to steal, it involves robbery. However, the balance of trade is free and voluntary. In other words, Spain is looting Catalonia regularly, but Spain is not obliged to buy our products. Yet, since the Spanish consumers publicly display a transverse and extreme phobia against everything that is Catalan, most of our companies are forced to hide the Catalan origin in their product labels to avoid systematical rejection. This means that if Spanish people buy Catalan products it is not because they are Catalan, but because they are good. However, the Spanish market only represents a third of all Catalan exports, since our products are exported worldwide too. Catalan people should not be at all concerned about the potential Spanish boycott; it is obvious that they will practice a boycott during the first months of our independence, but it should be weak and as ineffective as the rejection of Catalan cava*** by Spanish consumers some years ago.

Moreover, it is absolutely ridicule to believe that Catalonia would not boycott Spain in return: of course we will! And it will be a boycott of such proportions that the Spanish companies, seeing their benefits decrease, will beg their government to come to terms with Catalonia in order to stop it.

Lastly, I would like to point out, – in regards to the sentence of Mrs. Sánchez-Camacho: “Catalonia cannot get out of the crisis without Spain, and Spain cannot make it without Catalonia”,-  that only the second part of this sentence is true. This is the drama of Spain: they plunder Catalonia not only to overcome the crisis, but they do it for a living. Unfortunately, the Spanish economy is actually based in plundering countries like Catalonia for more than 300 years, and they need to do it in order to maintain their life standard high, to sustain their archaic judicial system, to finance their mammoth works, like building completely useless train-lines, roads and airports. However, they do like taking credit for the Catalan cultural patrimony, as well as for talented scientists, artists and athletes born Catalan, while Spain does not allow us to participate in international competitions with our Catalan selections.

Catalonia does not need Spain to get out of the crisis, but all the contrary: Catalonia needs to get rid of Spain if we want to survive and overcome the current recession.

*PP : Partit Popular: Spanish national conservative party, whose founding members are ex-Franco followers.

**PSOE: Partit Socialista Obrer Espanyol, Spanish Socialist Working class party.

***Cava: similar to Champagne, but the grape variety has exclusive origin denominated from Catalonia.  Some years ago, there was a campaign against Catalan cava, and Spanish consumers boycott the product for some time; however their boycott resulted into a relevant increase of international exports for companies like Codorniu and Freixenet.