Geoffrey Fox

Reflections & Inquiries

The grinch that wants to steal Catalonia


We’re enjoying this season in our little apartment in Madrid — sunny days, museums and all the shows this great city has to offer. And we’re watching with a mix of amusement and dismay the ridiculous clowning of the “independentistas” in Cataluña/Catalunya and especially the tourist “refugees” in Belgium. Dismay that so many people can still be gulled by those mendacious and self-interested clowns.

As a result of many decades of subtle and unsubtle propaganda, coupled with the obtuseness of the central government in Madrid, they have convinced nearly half the voters that they are an oppressed, colonized people deprived of freedom by the Spanish constitution and laws. When in fact it has been that constitution and those laws that have guaranteed them their freedoms and permitted them to organize their parties, win seats in both the regional and national parliaments, and become the second-most prosperous zone of Spain — all of which they’d be sure to lose if they should really break away and become a “republic” overwhelmed by debt, outside the protections of that Spanish constitution and the European Union, and run by the xenophobic oligarchs who have got them into this mess. They lost the popular vote this week, but because of the skewed distribution of electoral districts won a bare majority of seats in the “parlament”.

Independence is not going to happen. It’s clear that a majority of people in Cataluña don’t want it and that the region couldn’t afford it, not just because businesses have been abandoning the region but also because the notorious corruption and inefficiency of the main pro-independence party (famous for its “3%” kickback) would bring the economy crashing down. We are very sorry for our Catalan friends, many of them now divided from other family members and lifelong friends by this stupid and totally unnecessary dispute. Well, I’ve already written about the issues and the errors on both sides in my blogs and, like most people in Spain, am really tired of hearing of it, the shouting from both sides, neither willing even to listen to the other. It has become a religious dispute, shi’ites v. sunnis, nurtured by myths.