Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Alba gu brath!!

Article publicat avui, 17 de setembre, un dia abans del referendum per la independència d'Escòcia.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Diada 2014

It started early in the morning, getting three T-shirts ready: one to wear, one last’s year yellow and this year new red, and packing a couple of sandwiches and a bottle of water in a small backpack. And then fetching a flag. This year a double one: the “estelada” plus the Tarragona banner, yellow with four wavy red stripes, as Tarragona is “Catalonia on the sea”.
Sometime after 9am, I joined a bunch of citizens in a gathering at one of Tarragona plazas. By 10am some 200plus started to march towards the city hall at the sound of a band of Catalan bagpipes (called “sacs de gemecs”, bags of laments, for their peculiar wailing sound) and a “batucada”, a quite noisy drums and cymbals band, brazilian style, nowadays very popular amongst youngsters in Catalonia.
At the city hall we gathered some 2800 people with “estelada” flags, and 58 representatives of different associations and organizations presented the mayor a signed document of their compromise with Catalonia’s “Right to Decide”, right to vote.  That’s been done in all of the 960 municipalities  of Catalonia.
After some speeches and chants and the final singing of the Catalan national anthem, the gathering peacefully dissolved itself, many people moving to another plaza, where the “castells”, those peculiar Catalan human castles, staged a show.

(Foto: The Tarragona flag flying over the mayor’s head was mine)

Around noon I took a train to Barcelona. I was to meet there my brothers, who had left earlier by car.
When I reached Barcelona-Passeig de Gracia station, around lunch time, the streets were taken by hundreds of people dressed in yellow or red T-shirts.

We went to a restaurant for lunch, absolutely packed full with a very noisy crowd of demonstrators.
I treated myself to fried vegetables (like vegetable chips) and “cap-i-pota”, a popular Barcelona delicacy of pork head and feet, stewed over a long time with a very saucy gravy. (No matter what the recipe may suggest, it is a very low cholesterol meal, as the vegetables are fried in olive oil and the cap-i-pota has hardly any fat).

After coffee, we walked to Gran Via, one of the two sides of the “V” to be staged in Barcelona. It took us close to one hour to walk from the GranVia-Passeig de Gracia crossing to Entença street, some 13 blocks away (1.2 miles), one whole hour before the set time for the demonstration, 17.14h (to remember the year 1714, of the fall of Barcelona, 300 years ago to the day).

I just saw what I saw, but I’d bet there were way more than one million people in Barcelona avenues. They shouted, chanted, sing and had fun. Right after the set hour, the “castellers” raised the pillars of honour.

(Foto: 6 tier pillars by the “Colla Jove”, lavander shirt, and “Xiquets”, striped shirt)

Not one single incident recorded. This is a very resolute, determined, and peaceful people. Make no mistake: they want to be independent from Spain.

Hear, hear, oh! World



Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Un 11 de setembre pacific, multitudinari i definitiu

Article publicat a DiariMes el 9 de setembre


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Agost, el mes d'August

Fa 2.000 anys que morí Octavi Cèsar August, primer emperador de Roma, que va viure més de dos anys a Tarraco, comferint a la ciutat, capital de la Hispania Citerior, la capitalitat de l'imperi. D'August ens queda el record cada vuitè mes del calendari. ( A DiariMés. edició del 21 d'agost 2014


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Gone with the wind

Article publicat a DiariMés avui, 5 d'agost, 2014. I sota la traducció a l'anglés.

English translation:

Gone with the wind

"The revolution devours its own children”. The sentence was attributed to Maximillien Robespierre, as he was way to the guillotine to be beheaded in 1794. However, the phrase is attributed in origin to the Girondist Pierre Victurnien Vergniaud. Among other reasons because Robespierre had tremendous jaw injury and could not speak.

What is currently happening in Catalonia is not (yet), by any stretch of the imagination, a real revolution. Indeed, however, it is a period of great change. And the changes are also of some protagonists of the political scene. Within weeks we have seen disappear from the stage of politics in this corner of Europe, through the side door of the scenario, the head of the state, the opposition leader in the state and also his counterpart and party colleague in Catalonia, and the man who has been president of the Generalitat for nearly a quarter century. A superficial analysis can attempt to determine that each case is different, and possibly individually the result of various circumstances, distant or out of its time.
The head of state, King of Spain, abdicated. This may seem an initiative, shall we say, "sovereign". By his own regal will. But forced by situations and circumstances that include a personal history hardly justifiable, when it became evident his adventures elephant hunter in the company of a woman who was not his. His ageing and health problems, though evident, have been denied by the crown. The precipitation that has surrounded the abdication, with a special law passed in haste, followed by protection of impunity also validated in a hurry, points clearly to a political decision and, surely, imposed.
The leaders of the thus far majority opposition party, the PSOE and its version the Socialist Party of Catalonia, had quit in quick succession because the lack of support among their own followers. The landmark may well have been the results of the disastrous European elections.
Jordi Pujol, the great leader, now retired, of the conservative coalition that has governed Catalonia over 23 years, immolated himself revealing fiscal irregularities involving his family, but in magnitudes yet to clarify that question seriously his personal and political integrity.
But, from my personal point of view, these events all recognize the coincidence in time with the progress of the process for the independence in Catalonia. The abdication of the king could have prepared better, more quietly and with a sound legal support. It was the prospect of a period of uncertainty next autumn, which has put fear that simply could not be carried out, lacking the parliamentary majority necessary to pull it out.
The Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba political life could be well finished after the electoral defeat in May 25th. He lingered on but only to support the hasty decisions of "the state", which may not be supported by his successor. Pere Navarro was blown in the wind by the separatist faction of his own party, split in half, or perhaps more than half.
If were it not by extraordinary pressure of the independence movement, is more than possible that Jordi Pujol had continued concealed by their coreligionists and not really pursued by the central government tax people.
Those who insist that Catalonia's independence is impossible, certainly around last Christmas also would considered impossible for the Bourbon king, Jordi Pujol, Rubalcaba and Pere Navarro would not be around by the end of the first half of the year. Not that they were impediments to the process, alas! there are others, but the dynamics of the events directly caused by the independence movement, have blown them aside. And we will see many others before the end of the year.



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Amb la independència, els politics seran els mateixos?

Publicat a DiariMés el 29 de juliol, com a contribució al Tertúlia que l'ANC-Tarragonés celebra el 30 de juliol a la tarda, com a part de l'activitat del progarma ESTEM PREPARATS, per a un nou estat.



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

La herencia de Jordi Pujol

Algunos chorizos se comen con "pa amb tomaquet"...
Pero hay más cera de la que ahora se incendia.
Que JP confiese una herencia de su padre no declarada, en la misma linea que Emilio Botín y JC de Borbón, viene de la época en que la inseguridad en que vivíamos todos permitía a los ricos esconder dinero en el extranjero sin demasiada vergüenza.
Recuerdo el chiste del período entreguerras:
Cuando el rey de Inglaterra estaba preocupado por la actividad de los nazis y la posible invasión de la Gran Bretaña, pidió consejo a un industrial catalán. Éste le dijo: "Majestat, jo posaria el Canadá a nom de la dona", ...pondría el Canadá a nombre de mi mujer, en uso del derecho civil catalán del régimen de separación de bienes, ...i uns dinerets a Andorra ... y unos dinerillos en Andorra.
Recuerdo que cuando, en época de Franco pillaron al alcalde de Tarragona y unos concejales en un lío clásico de malversación de fondos públicos y especulación inmobiliaria, se dieron a la fuga pero al alcalde lo cogió la Guardia Civil en la Seo d'Urgell, de camino a Andorra. El concejal, que había salido antes, cruzó la frontera y vivió en el exilio hasta poco antes de morir, ya anciano. El alcalde se tiró 6 años en la cárcel.
(La chapuza era tan mayúscula que incluso en el corrupto régimen del franquismo no pudieron taparla: compraban terrenos rústicos a los payeses para luego revenderlos después de recalificar la zona como polígono industrial. Sucedió que, como eran unos chorizos pobres, pagaron con cheques de la caja del mismo ayuntamiento, supuestamente para devolverlos cuando se cerrasen las ventas. Los pillaron enmedio.)
Se podría afirmar que la práctica totalidad de los empresarios medios catalanes tenían cuentas en Andorra. Y eso desde tiempo inmemorial. Lo de "Espanya ens roba" se compensaba con un "En Andorra te guardan la pela" porque, a ver, ¿quien iba a pagar impuestos a un estado fascista?.
Pero una vez hecho el caminito, se ha hecho difícil renunciar a prácticas antiguas. Por cierto, los empresarios vascos hacían (hacen) lo mismo: una parte para pagar el Impuesto Revolucionario de ETA, y otra para si vienen malos tiempos.
La fórmula más común (y modesta) es comprar una segunda residencia en una zona de esqui...por gente que en su vida soñaron en ponerse unos esquies por edad o forma física. Perdió algo de vigencia durante el boom de la inmobiliaria en España. Pero no son raros los apartamentos de medio pelo en La Massana repletos de objetos de lujo y mobiliario carísimo, y una caja de seguridad potente para la panoja, prudentemente cambiada a dólares o libras esterlinas. La llegada del euro ( y los billetes de 500) evitó estos otros cambalaches.
Cuando volví a vivir en Cataluña, mediados los años 80, alguien ya me dijo que el hijo mayor de JP, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, era un pájaro de cuidado. En 30 años no ha podido mejorar.
Lo que parece que ahora se evidencia tiene que ver con la herencia del abuelo Florenci Pujol, al menos en parte. Más me parece que con ello el padre (JP) asume una responsabilidad de dineros que han traficado los hijos, de procedencia poco clara y de buen seguro fiscalmente opaca, que son los que van a tener que dar cuenta al fisco y a la justicia. Mi impresión es que Jordi Pujol ha sacrificado su reputación para encubrir a una familia que ha utilizado la proximidad del poder para sus negocios.
La gestualidad de Convergència es que eso va por ahí, y que ahí se pare. Otra cosa puede ser que el lío incluya la opaca financiación del propio partido. Pero CDC ya ha tenido líos, los de Prenafeta, secretario de CDC y Maciá Alavedra, ex-conseller de Economía, perseguidos por Grazón en el 2009, y el más reciente del Palau de la Música que tiene la sede de CDC embargada para pagar fianzas. Si CDC tuviese más dinero, se hubiese salido más fácilmente del lio del Palau.