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Showing posts from October, 2017

The Self Declared Republic of Catalonia

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Today as many of you have probably read, Catalonia declared independence from Spain. Obviously the how's and whys have been better reported by professionals so I won't waste time in repeating the story, it's been told already.

I've been living in Spain and Catalonia specifically for the last 3 and half years and I've had a good chance to familiarise myself with many of the arguments, opinions and actions of both parties. Unfortunately, this doesn't leave me with a lot of confidence in a sensible outcome.

Madrid has proven itself time and time again to be utterly tone deaf without a hint of diplomacy. I wonder if this has something to do with the brash fairly outspoken nature of Spanish culture, which even in it's linguistic choices favours a relatively blunt unconsidered way of approaching an issue. However, I've been surprised by the fact a leader of a G20 country such as Rajoy, could not see that while remaining firm it is possible to use softer lang…

We Need Better Leaders

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After witnessing a disruptive but overall peaceful and fairly well tempered General Strike in Catalonia (well from my office outside of Barcelona) I've just seen all the catharsis lost by a completely inflammatory and unhelpful speech by King Felipe VI of Spain, the head of state and then another announcement from Carles Puigdemont that an Independence announcement is imminent.

Without mentioning anything of the ludicrous police brutality, which is sadly becoming a theme from the Spanish government, the King made claims that Catalonia had "scorned" Spain with its actions and talked about their contempt of the law in the country with bluster such as "inadmissable disloyalty," which is discourse that belongs in another century quite frankly. To only portray a very biased side to it as this is just bizarre and clumsy by today's communication standards.

Now I don't disagree that the referendum was invalid but the bigger picture is that it didn't really…

Chaos in Catalonia

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It's fair to say we are living through strange times and days don't come much stranger than today.

At time of writing the news is reporting somewhere in the region of 770 injured people across Catalonia after being attacked by armed riot police, whilst participating in the referendum for independence from Spain.

It is a sad day in many ways as what started broadly as a protest against an austerity government and endemic corruption has descended into a constitutional crisis that has blown up spectacularly. It must be said that both sides have been stubborn and unable to form a dialogue to help serve everyone (with pro and anti-independence opinion being pretty split down the middle) but

In what was an utterly tone deaf response to the threat of secession from Spain, the Madrid government led by Mariano Rajoy effectively threw petrol onto a small bin fire by allowing national police in riot gear to seize ballot boxes in polling stations across Catalonia leading to images and vi…