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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Debunking some separatist myths about Catalonia

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Separatist leader Lluís Companys (born 1882) was first sentenced to 30 years in prison on June 6th, 1935 for staging a coup d’état against the Second Spanish Republic by proclaiming a Catalonian State on October 6th, 1934, which lasted for only ten hours.

Jailed for rebellion, but later reinstated in office after the Popular Front’s victory in the rigged elections hold on February 6th, 1936, Companys was executed on October 15th, 1940 for violent crimes ordered or condoned by him during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).

During his mandate more than 8,000 people were killed and about 7,000 religious buildings attacked and/or destroyed. As Companys himself enjoys a martyr status, it’s time to debunk some of the myths about his home region spread by his followers.

The propaganda of the separatists fundamentally questions the historical affiliation of Catalonia to Spain, although Tarragona was the first capital of Roman Hispania and Barcelona the first residence of the Visigoths in Iberia. The War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14) wasn’t fought at all about a secession of Catalonia.

Catalans played a decisive role in the Reconquista which liberated Spain from Moorish rule, the conquest of the American continent and the rapid modernization that started in the late 1950s and created a huge new middle class.

When Generalissimo Francisco Franco died in November 1975, 45% of all Spanish highways were located in Catalonia, although allegedly it had always been disadvantaged under his administration.

Furthermore, the often heard comparison with the British is misleading, since in 1707 the parliaments of two independent kingdoms, Scotland and England, had each voted for a “Great Britain”.

Catalonia, however, was never a separate entity. In the 21st century, former states don’t automatically have a right to secession. The United Nations envisage self-determination only for former colonies or territories under foreign rule.

A separate language doesn’t legitimize this goal either, because in Europe only Iceland is monolingual. Due to the many autonomy rights granted by the Spanish Constitution adopted in 1978 and approved by over 90 % of Catalonians enabled to vote, it can’t be considered anti-Catalonian at all.

The argument that Catalonia is deprived of the fruits of its hard work by a greedy, authoritarian Spanish State is often based on number games. The region of Madrid proportionally contributes twice as much to the central budget.

Should Catalonia really be detached from the rest of Spain, it is very unlikely to remain in the European Union and would have to overcome enormous economic obstacles.

The process of forced identity building in northeastern Spain increasingly takes on authoritarian characteristics. This became especially evident during the illegal referendum on independence in Catalonia hold on October 1st, 2017 by the regional authorities.

An election brought about by an obvious breach of the law can never be democratically legitimized. Not even in Catalonia, were apparently too many radicals think that they deserve certain privileges rooted in a faked version of history!

P.D: Companys death sentence will now be declared null and void due to the new Orwellian Law of Democratic Memory recently announced by the current Spanish government formed by Socialists and Communists.

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