Spain: Deportation Case Casts Light on Push for Catalan Independence

On Thursday, Barcelona police arrested a Moroccan-born man and informed him that he was being deported from the country where he has legally lived and worked for the past 14 years. They say he is a spy. He denies it

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TONI ALBIR / EPA

Chairman of the Union of Islamic Cultural Centers of Catalonia, Noureddine Ziani, delivers a speech during the opening of a training course organized by New Catalans Foundation in Barcelona on May 14, 2013

Is he a spy or a sovereigntist? At approximately 7 p.m., Barcelona police arrested a Moroccan-born man named Noureddine Ziani and informed him that he was being deported from Spain, the country where he has legally lived and worked for the past 14 years. Citing a “threat to national security,” Spain’s Center for National Intelligence (CNI) made the request for expulsion on May 3; it was approved earlier today by the Spanish Interior Ministry. The CNI report specifies that Ziani has both collaborated with the intelligence service of a foreign government and has links to Islamist extremists. But Ziani’s supporters, who learned of his troubles earlier this week, suspect that the real motivation for his deportation lies a lot closer to home: for the past year, the 45-year-old businessman and religious leader has worked as liaison to the Muslim community for an organization that promotes independence for the semiautonomous region of Catalonia from Spain.

Whichever allegation proves to be true, Ziani’s case offers an intriguing view of the gathering storm over Catalan independence. Although Catalans have long held a distinct cultural and historical identity from Spaniards, political conflict with the central state came to a head in the fall of 2012, when the regional government responded to intensifying conflicts over issues like taxes and language by initiating a process that it says will lead to a referendum on independence. Although such a vote is illegal under the Spanish constitution, many believe if the Catalans gain enough moral support for a referendum, Spain will be forced to permit it. Which is exactly where Ziani comes in.

(MORE: Is Marrakech’s Westernized Female Mayor a Real Figure for Change?)

Ziani is director of the Catalan-Moroccan outreach program at the New Catalans Foundation. Created in 2012 by Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (a political party included in the ruling Convergence and Union (CiU) coalition that is leading the push for a referendum), the foundation helps immigrants — including those from Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe — integrate into Catalan society. To that end, it offers language instruction and assistance with legal and social issues. But one of its main functions is to educate newcomers about the region’s push for independence. “We want new Catalans to understand the benefits of sovereignty,” says foundation director Àngel Colom. Together, he and Ziani have given talks on the subject at mosques throughout the region.

None of that is mentioned in the expulsion demand. “The person in question has, through his activities, favored the objectives of a foreign intelligence service working in Spanish territory against the interests of the Spanish state,” reads the warrant notifying Ziani that deportation proceedings had begun against him. Although the document does not name the foreign entity, other references make it clear that Ziani is being accused of collaborating with Moroccan intelligence. It also accuses him of working to spread “religiously extremist ideologies.” According to the warrant, the demand for expulsion comes after an investigation that began in the year 2000. A government spokesperson told TIME it was policy not to comment on an ongoing case.

Ziani denies the charges, and says although it is true that he attended meetings with Muslim leaders whose religious views were more extreme than his, these were always at the behest of municipal governments who had sought his help mediating local conflicts. “My entire career trajectory, everything I’ve worked for, has always been about the opposite of extremism. I’ve always worked for integration and social harmony,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday. His lawyer, Fátima Zohra Bouhya, says the CNI expulsion demand presents no evidence for its allegations. “If they want to affirm that Mr. Ziani works or collaborates with a foreign intelligence agency, they have to show it,” she says. “If they want to add that he disseminates radical Islam, they have to show that too. We can’t deny things we don’t know about. We can’t defend him against nonexistent evidence.”

(MORE: Did a French Spy Kill Muammar Gaddafi?)

Ziani may be mystified by the charges, but other supporters of independence are not. On Wednesday, Alfred Bosch, a member of parliament from the Catalan Republican Left Party (ERC), told Spanish television he saw “indications of a dirty war against Catalan sovereignty movement” in the Ziani case, and activist Abdelhaq Diyer started an online petition requesting that the deportation process be stopped and “the majority will of the people of Catalonia to decide their own future” be respected. At the New Catalans Foundation, Ziani’s boss Colom, who is also Secretary of Immigration for CiU, agrees. “I don’t think there’s any question that this is politically motivated. It’s not the first time that the Spanish government has gone after supporters of Catalan sovereignty.”

Colom was referring to an incident that occurred just before last fall’s snap regional elections, which were called to gauge support for pursuing a referendum. A draft of an anonymous police report mysteriously surfaced in the newspaper El Mundo, suggesting that Catalan president Artur Mas was being investigated for financial misdeeds (the accusations proved to be false though not before the Popular Party, which controls the Spanish government and fiercely opposes Catalan independence, called for Mas to sign a statement swearing he had no money hidden away in offshore accounts).

While Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz affirmed in a statement to the press on Wednesday that the pending expulsion “had nothing to do with [Ziani’s] activities in favor of independence,” the suggestion by proindependence activists that such a motivation may be in play underlines their growing awareness that the region’s sizable immigrant population could be a spoiler in any future decision. When Quebec held its last referendum on independence in 1995, 90% of the recently nationalized immigrants who voted opposed separating from Canada. That statistic weighs heavily on the minds of proindependence organizers in Catalonia, who know that people who have recently won Spanish nationality — 300,000 have done so in the past decade — may be loath to lose it.

According to Hermes Castro, even those who are not yet citizens may play an important role. Chief administrator of Fedelatina, a consortium of Latin American immigrant groups, he helps run an association that is not affiliated with any political party, although it receives a small subsidy from the regional government for its language and vocational training courses. “Latin Americans tend to be more politically active than Europeans — they turn up at rallies, they join parties,” Castro says. “And many of them have a certain affinity for independence. At first they may not understand what’s happening here, but then they say, ‘Oh, they want to break from Spain, just like we did 200 years ago.’ So for the political parties here, we’re starting to have a certain degree of relevance.”

(MORE: Harsh Sentence a Warning to Australia’s Youthful Muslim Zealots)

That relevance may help explain why Ramon Tremosa, member of the European Parliament for CiU, denounced the deportation demand before the European Commission on May 13 and asked it to look into whether Ziani’s human rights had been violated. “I don’t know Mr. Ziani, but I find it very strange that he would be deported for being a security threat,” says Tremosa. “There have been several imams and Muslim leaders in Catalonia who publicly reject Western values and threaten social harmony, and yet no one is deporting them. Ziani is fully Westernized and integrated into Catalan society, he goes around giving talks in favor of democratic values, and now he’s being expelled? I have a bad feeling about that.”

Tremosa also points out an apparent contradiction in the document: its allegation that Ziani works both for Moroccan intelligence and to promote Salafist ideas. “It seems very curious,” he says. “The Moroccan government is opposed to Salafism, it does everything it can to crack down on extremism. So how can he be doing both?”

Ziani’s lawyer was not informed of the arrest and has yet to see the expulsion edict. “I only learned what had happened after calling the police repeatedly,” she says. “They finally confirmed it as if they were doing me a favor.” Legally, the Spanish authorities are not obliged to notify her; in many deportation cases, the defendant’s lawyer only learns of the expulsion when the defendant is getting on the plane.

Even after receiving word of the expulsion request on May 3, Ziani continued to work on behalf of Moroccan immigrants in Catalonia. This week he helped launch a course designed to train imams living in the region in local practices and values. But yesterday he admitted that the case against him has shaken his faith in his adopted country. “Is it a crime for an immigrant to involve himself in Catalonia’s political process?” he asks. “Is it a crime for him to feel Catalan? If that’s democracy, I don’t want it.”

MORE: Catalonia Votes: Why the Region’s New Proindependence Majority Won’t Guarantee Separation From Spain
60 comments
tamas.heizler
tamas.heizler

I love both Spain and Catalonia (I learn Spanish), but in this issue I support Catalonia, because every nation have the right to have an own country. Catalonians have their own culture, their own language, their own view points. So I think in a democracy if more than 50% of people want independence then there'll be independence (so I think if they'll get more than 50%, then the Spanish government will let them to be independent). It's not an argument that Spanish Constitution says that Spain is indivisible because in this case the former Soviet states, the former Yugoslavian states and Slovakia wouldn't be able to get their independence. So I think if Croatia, Slovakia and Ukraine had the right for independence, then Catalonia has also.
So I think it's really possible that Catalonia will be the 29th EU country. And it's also possible that Catalonia will keep the Euro and also keep being in the Schengen zone. I mean it'd be absolutely nonsense to kick them out of the Euro zone and also out of Schengen zone for some 2 or 3 years, make them to print an own money and build border between Catalonia-France and Catalonia-Spain for this short time. So if Spain including Catalonia was eligible for the Euro zone and Schengen as well, then Catalonia, which is it's richest province now is also eligible to maintain it.

jonsmith12qw
jonsmith12qw

I live in barcelona (for 4 years) and the catalan independence thing is ridiculous.  the economy is terrible in spain - the entire country should be focusing on that instead of independence.  newspapers every day in barcelona have something about it, forget about it !

Carles
Carles

Please do no confuse the move of catalonian peolpe to recover their freedom whith a conspiration agains a State, (The Spanish state, that, by the way, probably is one of the best performing in: do not understanding their old attached territories-see all american nations-; do not maintaint its treaties and commitments; acting as oll fashioned aristocrats despising rationality; and so, and so...)

maresme.cat
maresme.cat

Antonio Bagala, 

Sure you feel welcomed every day in Catalonia.

And for sure you can live 24 hours a day in  spanish language (restaurants, cinema, newspapers, friends, shops...)

But you will  lift up in your social / professional status if you use / undestand catalan.

(by the way you 'll also be able to  have fun  watching "Polonia", "Crackovia" and other sarcastic catalan programms in TV3, which are hilarious ones  ,  making fun also about ourselves)




permafrost
permafrost

So funny that this can be considered a scandal or something anti-democratic. Tell the americans there's a moroccan guy acting against USA's unity. In any country a foreign person conspiring against the state will be deported if not judged and jailed, so what's wrong with this?

clara_bill
clara_bill

Spain is a profoundly antidemocratic country, with the conservative party in office now direct heirs to Franco's ruling leaders, and a silent opposition. We are sick of this subsidized country which is bleeding us dry. CATALONIA NEXT STATE IN EUROPE.

XReig
XReig

Catalonia, due to the will from the majority of its population, will be in 2014 a new state in Europe, much more democratic and modern than Spain's, which comes from a 36 year dictatorship that in some ways has never ended


maresme.cat
maresme.cat

let's build a brand new country.  democratic, pro european, honest, bussiness friendly, aware of the  diversity (val d'aran, delta de l'ebre).

the spanish nationalism is the past ;  the modernity of barcelona and catalonia is the future.

EnricX
EnricX

The Kingdom of Spain, inherited without a break from a Fascist dictator called Franco, is no longer a democratic state. These past days not only expelled Ziani, it has removed a Spanish citizen from an endowed Chair in Economics at Georgetown for publicly claiming that an independent Calatan State is economically viable; and has just payed homage to the Spanish volunteers that fought for HITLER in WWII, the Blue Division (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Division). More to come...

manel.sanchez.ruiz
manel.sanchez.ruiz

 “The person in question has, through his activities, favored the objectives of a foreign intelligence service working in Spanish territory against the interests of the Spanish state,”

 Believes  CNI  'Nous Catalans'  is an intelligence service ?, Believes CNI when somebody works for a catalan organization he is already working for a foreign country ? Believes CNI Spain is already so fragile : to integrate foreigners in catalan society threatens Spain existence ?
  Sorry for my prior  jokes, but beign serious:
    When a government (Spanish one) is unable to offer logical argumentations or made steps to reach an agreement with its own people - people who only demands to express its will in a vote - and is only able to deter it taking arbitrary and unjustified acts  - to expel somebody or to attack its schools or other acts of this kind - then it (Spanish government) loses the right  to rule this people.

SiraCapdevilaCugat
SiraCapdevilaCugat

Today is a very sad day in "Spain". I'm the first generation in my family that went to school in Catalan. Today Spain passed a law to change that. They want Catalan children to learn in Spanish and feel proud of "being Spanish". I'm sorry but my grandparents went through a war with Spain and lost and Catalan was banned for a very long time.  I can't imagine my daughters  going to school in another language. It is a very sad day.  They just can't make me feel Spanish. 

Spain is a failed state in all ways. SHAME ON SPAIN!



desdesota
desdesota

Indeed this is a new episode of the CNI (Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, the Spanish equivalent to the American CIA) interfering in the current Spanish-Catalan political conflict. And it's not going to be the last. The Spanish government is set on blowing apart the movement for the independence of Catalonia using the same methodology and resources used in the long lasting war against the Basque organization ETA. The main difference is ETA was (and perhaps still is underground) a violent-terrorist organization that caused more than 800 victims killed over the years.

The movement for independence in Catalonia is absolutely peaceful and respectful of democratic and legal procedures within international law. The monster rally this past 11 of September 2012 bought 1.6 million people to Barcelona streets that cheerfully marched chanting slogans without one single violent incident (actually there was no antiriot police in the vicinity either, a common provocative fact in many other massive gatherings, political or sport related that end up with violence).

The Catalan independence political leaders keep pushing for a dialog that would lead to a referendum on the independence, to star with. It would be after that referendum and depending of the results of the polls that independence may become a reality.

The reasons for the independence movement have been explained widely, and they differ little from the reasons for the independence of any other country in the world that wanted to be independent of some other major power: political freedom and economic self sufficiency (that is: whatever taxes are drawn remain and are administered in the country). And that under the umbrella of the European Union and everything it would entail of fiscal, defense and other policies.

The Spanish government dreads such a movement and will do anything in its power to impede its development, no holds barred. The CNI is one of the instruments. 

lluisgarmes
lluisgarmes

Spanish government seems to come back to the past when the Franco dictatorship was persecuting the catalans. In a supposed democracy this acts should be eliminated. You can not deport a person for his ideas!

JavierDvorskyGomez
JavierDvorskyGomez

SPAIN WAS ATTACKED BY ISLAMISTS YIHAD, NOW ISLAMIST YIHAD SUPPORTS CATALUÑA SECESSIONISM, WHAT KIND OF INFO IS THIS? DOES TIME SUPPORTS ISLAM OR SECESSION IN SPAIN?

antoniobagala
antoniobagala

@maresme.cat  

Dear maresme.cat, whoever you are, I enjoy this city in spanish language without any problem. As I said I love this city, this region and as well this country. I'll do my best to learn catalan, because I live here and people here speak catalan. But this is a political matter and there are different poit of views.

Carles
Carles

@permafrost What about a simple trial to give him a little bit ob human rights guarantee?

manel.sanchez.ruiz
manel.sanchez.ruiz

@permafrost He was accused to work at same time for Morrocan government and a terrorist group who want to overthrow Morrocan government. By itself is very strange, still more because Spanish goverment  does not offer evidences or proofs of guilt at all

  And, since when to have a public activity is conspiring ?
  And more, are Puerto Rican people favourable to its island indepence arrested and  expeled from the USA ?, of course they are not.

    With pass of time Spanish government acts are more more arbitrary and away from democracy.

antoniobagala
antoniobagala

@clara_billAre you sure? I have to leave as soon as possible then. I'm foreginer and I live in Catalonia; never I felt to live in an anti-democratic country. My catalan friends trying to force me to become an independist and pushng me to attend the September, 11th march are the only "anti-democratic" attitudes I experienced here. A little annoying, by the way.

antoniobagala
antoniobagala

@maresme.catTo a foreigner living here, Barcelona looks a little less modern and cosmopolitan than before and much more provincial. The discussion about the independence has blocked any other cultural debate. Sorry but any nationalism is the past and is also relative to the fascism. The catalan one included.

SiraCapdevilaCugat
SiraCapdevilaCugat

@EnricX I would only add: Spain has never really made a "transition" into democracy. Too much fear in the left. 

It is still the right wing, the army and the church that are ruling. This week a new law passed against avortion even if the fetus was in bad shape!! For goodness sake that is prehistoric.

SHAME ON SPAIN!



maresme.cat
maresme.cat

@lluisgarmes 

spain is pain,  spain is spam,   spain is a sinking ship, spain it's a has been  empire, spain has lost all the territories, spain is past.

let's vote in catalonia, let's be free and european!!!

dretsend
dretsend

@JavierDvorskyGomez Are you accussing Moroccan government of belonging to Al-Kaeda? It's clear you support the disintegration of Catalan culture being put into force by Spaniards, by attacking the use of our language in our schools, inventing new languages to separate Catalan-speaking peoples...You are afraid of democracy and free-will.

lluisgarmes
lluisgarmes

@JavierDvorskyGomez  Spanish people are always triyng to create confusion. Please let's the democracy goes on. What is the problem of doing a referendum if the majority of the population want it?

xavier
xavier

@JavierDvorskyGomez My dear Javier, do you belong to CNI, do you belong to the "spanish intelligence"  ( ..."spanish & intelligence", I can't stop laughing). If Mr. Ziani works or collaborates with Moroccan intelligence, he can't be a jihadist.  You don't even know to lie. I just remember when CNI (spanish intelligence, hahaha!!! sorry sorry, it is so funny) claimed that the terrorist on 11M train attacks in Madrid was ETA instead of islamic terrorism.  At that time, the spanish government didn't want to assume that it was because of the spanish collaboration in Iraq's war. At that time spanish government (and Spanish Intelligence) wanted blame on Basque Country terrorists to send again the army to Basque Country and Catalonia. Shame on you !!

permafrost
permafrost

@manel.sanchez.ruiz@permafrostAs far as I know Puerto Ricans are american citizens so they can not be deported. Aside, it is not that this guy was just 'favorable' to the independence of Catalonia, but he was actively working to commit an illegal act, because today, according to the Spanish constitution, the unilateral secession of Catalonia is an illegal act. And by the way, as long as Spain became EU member the EU accepted its constitution and legally recognized it.

permafrost
permafrost

Ironically, all these people claiming that Spain is not a democracy seem to deliberately ignore that apart from the Catalans (many of which do not support the independence) there is still 40 million Spaniards who also have an opinion on their country's destiny.

Guillembp
Guillembp

@antoniobagala @clara_bill Why should you want to leave? Is it not your country as well as the independentists? If catalonia is independent it will not "belong" to the independentists. It will still be the peoples'.

This is a recurring thought I encounter when talking to non-independentists. But as I'm sure you can see, it is this though that hosts the most anti-democratic feeling of all: A group of people taking over a country. Which is what Spain is doing with the Catalan. 

 How is everyone voting if they want to create a better and free country not democratic? Do you really think you will be repressed or expelled? Then again you would think that wouldn't you, after all that's what Spain has been doing for ages.

JavierDvorskyGomez
JavierDvorskyGomez

@antoniobagala @maresme.cat I am Spanish, really the question of "identity" ( to belong to some group of people, etc.) is relevant for everyone, but I am not obssesed with identity or nation. Living in many different sites has sown me that people differ, but nationalism is in some ways ( when it ´s going to the "limit")a potential danger for peaceful living. 

I regret to say that I have being feeling a kind of hate when some person from Cataluña, talking about these questions concerning Spain and Cataluña, and it really makes me fear of this kind of hate against me for being born in another place outside Cataluña and actually inside the Spain State, could be Madrid, Salamanca, Andalucía or Cantabria, Asturias, etc. 

I ask me again and again: When, why and who seeded this feeeling of hate against Spaina  and against Spanish people?

I know that these questions here will not get any reasonably , equilibrated answer, but I neeeded to tell them . 

If Catalonians want to separate from Spain ,ok ,fight for your ideals, but the way the fight works could be a negative point for your own dream of "freeing you of the demoniac Spain"

maresme.cat
maresme.cat

@antoniobagala @maresme.cat 


the catalan country is a welcoming one,  it's an inclusive land.

I wouldn't dare to say the same about the spanish/castillian nationalism.

You say bcn it's more provincial, are you sure?   (world mobile congress,  x-games,  luxury cruisers at the port, invited culture in Guadalajara book fair,  in Paris book fair, one of the first Erasmus destinations......!!!!)

SiraCapdevilaCugat
SiraCapdevilaCugat

@antoniobagala @maresme.catOK, let's change the word "nationalism" for "letting us be" what we are!!!

what do you think of that?. Do you want to be what you are? Would you like anyone wanting to change what you are? 

Not letting us vote??? SHAME ON SPAIN!


JavierDvorskyGomez
JavierDvorskyGomez

@Jordi @JavierDvorskyGomez congratulaqtions Jordi, you really have a perfect command of double language, and the use of ad hominem argumentation. Good way of reasoning, to accuse some people asking to the jornal a question and you simply call me nazi, of course a Spanish nazi....really to cry...or die of laughing.

 Maybe some day Cataluña will become an independent State, I really will be happy, and I just would want to see it without big violence or some kind of war, induced surely as all present days wars, not by citizens , nor from Spain nor Cataluña citizens...

A last comment: if Cataluña or País Vasco, or any other actually Spanish autonomic regions, become independent States, let ´s see how Germany or USA and other great conutries will act in trelation to the resulting little new "Luxemurgs"...but in this you as a Catalonian , will decide of course. I know all of the secessionist "argumemts"

manel.sanchez.ruiz
manel.sanchez.ruiz

@antoniobagala @manel.sanchez.ruiz @permafrost @SiraCapdevilaCugat I can not compare with Tyrol because I have not idea about it.

But I am enough old to had lived 1979's Autonomy. It was a pact enough good for most catalans.  Many catalans wanted a federation or be independents but they accepted to be only an autonomous region.

Main problem is spanish government never respected autonomy.  In 1981 dismanteled its financial system. 25% of governemnt powers never where transferred. Many powers already transferred where taken by spanish government. And many more violations.

I repeat, major problem with spain government is they break they own laws. Same they do not respect people when they expel them without probation. They act with full arbitrariness. Without any regard with what is wrttien in law.

Coming back to autonomy. With current system any decision taken by catalan parlament or government - adjusted to law, or not, does not matter - can be overruled by spain.  We can not set our own taxes nor collect them making us dependent on tranfers from spanish government - usually arbitrary -.

Now we have not an autonomy. An autonomy means in a few areas we can rule ourselves. This not happens now.


Is it  what happens in Italy and Alto Adige ?



berimbao
berimbao

@permafrost @SiraCapdevilaCugat @manel.sanchez.ruizsure, like americans settlers. They also could change the british constitution but they didn't. In Spain politians talk about changing the constitution every day but when it comes to something that benefits catalonia they treat constitution as something sacred

manel.sanchez.ruiz
manel.sanchez.ruiz

@permafrost @SiraCapdevilaCugat @manel.sanchez.ruiz There are 2 problems.

To change spanish constitution:

Fisrt, it depend on what you want to change. It could be necessary
1.- Aproved by 2/3 of Congreso to demand a change
2.- Aproved by 2/3 of Senaso  to demand a change
3.- Dissolution of both cameras and new Elections
4.- Aproved by 1/2 of Congreso to continue
5.- Aproved by 1/2 of Senado to continue
6.- Make changes
7.- Changes aproved by 2/3 of Congreso
8.- Changes aproved by 2/3 of Senado
9,-Referendum

Of course, if you want to write a constituion and make impossible to make change to it, copy spanish procedure.


Second problem is
While Kindom of Spain (constitutional name for the country which nobody use) is formed for 
people of several nations, cultures and languages over 50% are monocultural spanish. This makes  that catalans, basques, galicians, asturs or occitans are always a minority. How spanish lack any kind of respect for minorities or minoritary cultures they will never accept a change that could grant same rigths to catalans, basques, ... that they grant to themselves.

permafrost
permafrost

@SiraCapdevilaCugat @permafrost @manel.sanchez.ruiz The Constitution can be changed in a referendum by the spanish people or by the (for what I know) democratically elected parliament, and you, as a spaniard have the right to vote whatever you want. But apparently that 'freedom' you are claiming means denying the rest of the spaniards the right to vote a decision that concerns the whole country

SiraCapdevilaCugat
SiraCapdevilaCugat

@permafrost @manel.sanchez.ruiz First democracy, then adapt an old fashioned constitution that does not guarantee freedom and DOES NOT LET US VOTE. 

To me: it is illegal to say that it is illegal to vote. 

This is only happens in Spain. SHAME ON SPAIN!

manel.sanchez.ruiz
manel.sanchez.ruiz

@permafrost @manel.sanchez.ruiz You forget my main argument. In a country were democracy is respected this  should be backed by some probes. And second, he is not spanish citizen because he was expeled when he went to get  his spanish citinship. So, my comparison with Puerto Ricans is valid.

manel.sanchez.ruiz
manel.sanchez.ruiz

@permafrost Ask spanish about.
When spanish have to ask European Courts to defend his Human Rights because in Spain are violated on eviction (not allowed 
court protection) maybe not all 40 millions agree with you

maresme.cat
maresme.cat

@antoniobagala @manel.sanchez.ruiz @Guillembp @clara_bill 

Sure you feel welcomed every day in Catalonia.

And for sure you can live 24 hours a day in  spanish language (restaurants, cinema, newspapers, friends, shops...)

But you will  lift up in your social / professional status if you use / undestand catalan.

(by the way you 'll also be able to  have fun  watching "Polonia", "Crackovia" and other sarcastic catalan programms in TV3, which are hilarious ones  ,  making fun also about ourselves)

antoniobagala
antoniobagala

@manel.sanchez.ruiz @antoniobagala @Guillembp @clara_bill Yes, I can imagine it because I'm italian and Italy did the same. No regional identifications like before, only numbers and letters. At least some of the supposed prosecutions against catalans (like this related to the plates) are fantasy. Sorry to tell you.

clara_bill
clara_bill

@antoniobagala@Guillembp@clara_bill 

You don't see any debate: OK, this is one of the many sites created to debate how Catalonia should/should not be.

http://www.elclauer.cat/

The budget problems of the Catalan government are huge since, as I said before, one of the many problems -lack of respect for language and for culture, Spain is bleeding us dry to keep living in their subsidized economy. And the Catalan president is doing quite good in this context, I'd say.

In any case, what we are asking for is a REFEERENDUM (taboo word for Spain) so that people can say if they want to keep the status quo or they want to be independent. It should scandalize nobody with a democratic mind, and  but it does. Campaign in favour of reaining in Spain if that's what you want. But just let's ask people, that's the essence of democracy, isn't it?

antoniobagala
antoniobagala

@manel.sanchez.ruiz@antoniobagala@Guillembp@clara_billThanks to specify the political collocation of ERC. It's true I don't know its programs (excluding indipendence) very well, but I'm not yet allowed to vote, but I've appreciated their appeal against the prohibition of nudity in Barcelona.

Usually you have problems in any country of the world:

if you alter anyhow the plate of your car;

if you find an idiot policeman, considering that catalan is an official language.

I feel welcomed in Catalonia every day. I love to live here and I've choosen to live here, but, in my experience, usually you have problems with your catalan friends:

if you don't consider the indipendence the cure for all ills;

if you consider any nationalism dangerous and old (but you are ok if you only consider dangerous the spanish nationalism).

manel.sanchez.ruiz
manel.sanchez.ruiz

@antoniobagala @Guillembp @clara_bill 
Usualy in Spain you do not have problems unless :

You are fined to have a Republican flag http://www.larepublica.es/2012/08/el-gobierno-considera-que-la-bandera-republicana-en-un-estadio-es-una-provocacion/

Or you are arrested, fined and forbid to enter stadiums because you have a Catalan flag :
http://www.intereconomia.com/noticias-gaceta/cataluna/un-cule-multado-3001-euros-por-llevar-estelada-bernabeu-20120910

Or you are fined dueto have a 'CAT' (acronym for Catalonia) on your car http://www.europapress.es/sociedad/noticia-puig-si-guardia-civil-multa-cat-estara-derecho-20110809130642.html

Or you speak catalan, and then police expel you fro airport http://ecodiario.eleconomista.es/interstitial/volver/directm12/sociedad/noticias/4246949/09/12/La-policia-retiene-a-un-hombre-por-hablar-catalan.html

Or , sadly, many more

.....

In fact, you do not have problems while your ideas about Spain are these of the government.


manel.sanchez.ruiz
manel.sanchez.ruiz

@antoniobagala @Guillembp @clara_bill 

Antonio you are welcome to Catalonia. As every body is welcome. 


Anyway looks like you are not so much informed about catalans politics. Sorry, but to say ERC is socialist is laughly. In UK it should be considered a Leftist Liberal. Leftist in economics and liberal in individual rights.

antoniobagala
antoniobagala

@Guillembp @antoniobagala @clara_bill I don't want to leave. It was a joky answer to the statement that Spain is an anti-democratic country. I don't feel so. The question about the catalan independence is not very connected to the identity, the culture and the democracy ( I always support) but to the money and the taxes. Moreover I don't see any debate about how an independent Catalonia should be: conservative and corrupted (Palau de la Musica and ITV) like CiU or socialist like ERC? The obsession for the independence is covering everything: the scandals and the way mr. Mas is dealing with the budget problems of the Generalitat.

maresme.cat
maresme.cat

@JavierDvorskyGomez @antoniobagala @maresme.cat 

you ask why and who seeded this feeling of hate against  spanish people?"

I tell you :  that's the wrong question.  In Catalonia there isn't hate against spanish people,  but there's no more patience with spanish governments.

Why?   Ok,  read the history of the XXth century, honestly, and you will find out why.

The people in Catalonia , we don't fight against spanish people, but in favour of catalan people. For our dignity.  

manel.sanchez.ruiz
manel.sanchez.ruiz

@antoniobagala @SiraCapdevilaCugat @maresme.cat

Several notes about Spanihs constituion:

1.- While taking a cofee agreed Zapatero and Rajoy changed spanish constitution and was changed in a few days. While PP and PSOE repeat it is nearly impossible to change it when people wants to change it.

2,. First to violate spanish constitution is spanish PP and PSOE. Spain do not had the Century of Lights, French Revolution or Industrial Revolution so they still have a Absolutitst mentality : Law says what I want.
  Please, read article 92 of Spanish Constitution (About Referendums) and see how it is not forbidden. It needs to be aproved by King, Government and Court,. But it is not forbidden. More: subarticle 92.3 , after 35 years, still is pending to apply. 

  Do not trust spanish politics and check always what they say.

Spanish Contitution: http://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/NR/rdonlyres/79FF2885-8DFA-4348-8450-04610A9267F0/0/constitucion_ES.pdf

antoniobagala
antoniobagala

@SiraCapdevilaCugat@antoniobagala@maresme.catI agree totally with you that everyone deserve the right to be what he is. But I think also that the constitution is the fundament of any democracy, and that in any democracy the constitution can be amended by the people. The current constitution doesn't allow such referendum, so change it. If I'm not wrong it was approved by the 88% of the voters by referendum. It can always be changed by a majority, this is democracy.

maresme.cat
maresme.cat

@manel.sanchez.ruiz @JavierDvorskyGomez @Jordi 

People should read a bit of history.

The catalans are  fighting  for a new state that is not against our culture and our selfgouvernment . And the way we do is democratic, pacific, inclusive and transparent.

I like the way we try to achieve our goal. There's hope for a new country,  which has to be socially fair, politically free, culturally rich.

manel.sanchez.ruiz
manel.sanchez.ruiz

@JavierDvorskyGomez @Jordi 
Please Javier. Did you read article ? It is about somebody expeled for act at same time for morrocan goverment and for a terrorist group which want to overthrown morrocan goverment.  
If there was a probation no body will claim, but there were no probation at all.

Because catalans express how they do not like this behaviour you say:
- Islamist Yihad supports catalan independence.    !!??  
     Really ?, do you have any sources ?
- You want it without big violence. !!??.
    Of course !!, had been ever any kind of violence on the catalan side ? Why you wrote 'big violence' ?
- Catalonia is a little Luxembug !!??
   Catalan size, population or ecomony is comparable to Portugal, Denmark or Czech Republic. On average of members of the European Union.

   And then you get upset because somebody insults you after you insult catalans.

   Nobody have rights to insult you, neither  you have right to insult catalans.


   I think Jordi should apologize for his insult, after you retract your offensives and mistaken words against catalans.