Freedom for Catalonia!


Catalans in the World!

11th September 2012 at Barcelona, Catalonia. Dear International community…

Last week, I visited my hometown, Barcelona, to be able to attend to the demonstration that ANC (Assamblea Nacional Catalana- Catalan National Assembly) organized to claim for the independence of my country, Catalonia. By 6 o’clock, almost 2 million people populated the streets of Barcelona city center while tourist stopped taking pictures of Casa Batlló and La Pedrera to photograph the crowd wearing our dearest flag.

Don’t you realize now our country is crying for freedom? How come I find so many people over the world who are openly supporting Kosovo’s freedom or understand that Scottish are not British, but they keep asking me what is the difference between being Spanish and being Catalan?  And for those Europeans who are becoming concerned about the economic situation of the Spanish estate, would not you prefer that Catalonia would pay directly to Europe?

If you understood that imperialism and colonialism stopped long ago and nations like the United Stated of America, Canada, Iceland, Finland, Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, and many others, could become free and independent to the eyes of the world, why not Catalonia? Why today I still hear, but Catalonia is Spain…?? IT IS NOT. We have been a nation for more than 1000 years and we want our independence back, especially now in a moment of history when the people of the world are more ready to understand, when even most of the Spanish people are seeing how their corrupted politicians miss-manage their country and the countries of others… Did you know that our education and healthcare system are also started to worsen due to the cut of governmental subventions, which were mostly directed to pay salaries? More than 3000 teachers were fired last month. More than 50 hospitals won’t be able to pay salaries from January 2013. Or did you know that before 1714 the Kingdom of Aragon and Catalonia was considered a country worldwide composed by Catalunya, Aragó, Roselló, Provença, València, Castelló, Andorra, Mallorca, Menorca, Eïvissa, Sardenya, Sicília…??

In the last century,  the international community agreed to sign the Declaration of Human Rights and founded organizations like United Nations and European Community. And Spain is member of both of them, despite their constitution contains clauses which are invalidated by important principles the members of those organizations needed to commit to. Like for example, as UNO members, Spain must recognize the right of every nation for self-determination. But no nation has ever become independent from Spain without war…Not until now, because we, Catalan people, want to be free through a democratic process.

For the last 300 years, this is the first time Catalonia can go to the streets shouting loud for independence without fear of the Spanish sending the army or the police against us. We have gone through several wars, various absolutist kings, a couple of dictators, and a tough cold war against our culture, values and language, while we have been economically plundered. This is enough! We want to decide for ourselves! We want to be free!

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Catalonia: the future is another country

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InTransit Newsletters: directly in English!

It seems like a new problem, but it isn’t. It is actually an issue
that has never been properly resolved between Catalonia and
the Spanish State: the fi scal defi cit. The enormous difference
between what Catalonia pays the central government and what
Catalonia receives in return has been a common thread throughout
history. There are many incidents that offer convincing proof of this
imbalance all the way up to the present.
For example, in 1843 Lo Verdader Català (‘The True Catalan’) was
launched: a magazine dedicated to denouncing Catalonia’s economic
problems. The cover of the fi rst issue shows a disheartened Catalan
and the following caption: “On the ground the Catalan observes his
industry, commerce, and agriculture with sadness.” The magazine
went bankrupt almost immediately due to a lack of funding and
because the founders came under signifi cant pressure. It wasn’t
until the beginning of the 20th century that the economist Guillem
Graell became the fi rst person to carry out a careful study of the uneven fi scal balances and… he felt a chill when he saw how much
discrimination Catalonia suffered from. The arrival of the Second Republic didn’t solve anything either. And paradoxically, in the middle
of Franco’s dictatorship in 1961, a young economist, Ernest Lluch (future Minister of the Socialist Government of Felipe González) asked
himself: “does Catalonia exploit Spain?” The answer he found was that although 25% of Spain’s tax revenues came from Catalonia, only
45% of the Catalans’ contributions were returned to Catalonia, thus making it impossible for the Catalans to fund adequate economic and
social services. In 1967, the fi rst exact fi gure of the fi scal defi cit is supplied by Ramon Trias Fargas (future Finance Minister of the fi rst
democratic Generalitat of Catalan President Jordi Pujol): 15 billion pesetas.
The Spain that sails into democracy disembarks with the economic and social formula ‘café para todos’ (‘coffee for all’). It is an unequal,
imbalanced, model that waters down autonomies like Catalonia. The result is that today Catalans suffer a fi scal defi cit that has reached
18 billion euros, some 2,400 euros per person each year. What does this mean?


(InTransit Newsletters; Issue 4, summer 2010)

Catalonia will only be fully understood abroad if it becomes independent from Spain

Matthew Tree: “Catalonia will only be fully understood abroad if it becomes independent from Spain”.

(Matthew Tree’s book is available in English via online shops with the title ‘Barcelona, Catalonia: A View from the Inside’.)

An article published 1st of April 2011 at Catalan News Agency
Authors: Maria Fernández Noguera / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Barcelona (CNA).- ‘How to explain this country to foreigners?’ This is the question that you ask yourself after reading Matthew Trees’ latest book and is also the book’s title in Catalan. This English writer arrived in Catalonia 26 years ago and ended up settling down in what he describes as “one of the most complicated corners of the European continent”. This does not mean that Tree hates Catalonia or considers it an impossible place to live or do business in; quite the contrary. In fact, Tree loves living in Catalonia and is in fact very critical not with Catalonia itself but with the Spanish State in general and its attitude towards Catalonia in particular. According to Tree, “Madrid moves the goal posts every time the match doesn’t go as expected”, which means every time Catalonia questions or does something that displeases Spain’s establishment and Spanish nationalism. “This is an insult to collective intelligence” affirms Tree. In fact, he predicts “from an objective observation and not from a nationalist point of view” that “in five years time, Catalonia will have become an independent nation” if Madrid is to continue with the same attitude and does not introduce a radical change. This English writer reached this conclusion due to the large quantity of people that he believes is “fed up” with the Spanish Government’s treatment towards Catalonia, a quantity that in his words “has been growing” in the last years. Tree also denounces a generalized attitude to overshadow Catalonia’s political reality and culture, an attitude he has experienced himself on several occasions in Madrid and abroad, for instance at a conference he hosted in the London School of Economics. All these factors make him reach the conclusion that “Catalonia will only be fully understood abroad if it becomes independent from Spain”, as stateless nations do not have a place in most people’s mindsets.

9 Catalan companies will be in Silicon Valley on 2011!

The Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona , together with Barcelona Activa and other institutions, has initiated a program to help Catalan ICT companies to increase their abroad presence, and become more competitive internationally.
Starting this January, 9 Catalan ICT companies –among which we find Spenta, Nice People at Work, Linqia, Fluendo, Apesoft, Urbiotica, Justinmind, Inbenta and Mubiquo– will settle down in the prestigious center for at least six months with no cost. They have all been chosen, among 30 selected companies, by Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce, Barcelona Activa and a network of experts in Plug&Play. “From 2008, several experts in Plug&Play, together with Venture Capital Enterprises visit Barcelona twice a year to look for technological companies that could be interesting for Plug&Play Techcenter. This year, 30 ICT companies were detected. After analyzing their business model, the markets they operate in and, above all, the type of technology they develop, we chose nine”, declared Mr.Lluch, responsible for this program at the Chamber of Commerce of Bacelona.
The Catalan capital must be proud of having achieved such an important milestone in the ICT business, by having the first institution present at Plug & Play Techcenter. As a result of this experience, other countries like Austria, Canada, Singapore, Egypt or Finland have followed this model that pursuits that all chosen companies have the best conditions to expand their businesses in the United States.

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