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The other referendum

In Scotland, the Independence debate is in full swing, and it will carry on until the day that our votes are cast.

In Catalunya, a similar referendum will be held next year, albeit without the agreement of Spain’s central government. Nine months ago there was a great outpouring of nationalist sentiment, when fifteen percent of the Catalan population demonstrated in the streets of Barcelona, demanding a total split from Spain. Today, the independence flags are still flying, but there seems to be little discussion of the subject.

A L’Escala businessman friend of mine gave me an interesting insight a couple of weeks ago. ‘It’s all right asking for it,’ he said. ‘But how do me make it work? Where will the money come from? We need to think about that.’  That’s what the argument here is really about. The Catalans believe they are being ripped off  by Madrid; at its heart their grievance is financial. They might vote ‘Yes’, but only if the money is right. They won’t bet the house on sentiment.

I hope we’re above that in Scotland. My mind was made up forty years ago. Next year I’ll vote with my heart and soul, not with my wallet.

Categories: Politics
  1. Donald Bathgate
    June 2, 2013 at 4:28 am

    I don’t know enough about the reasons why Catalunya seeks full independence to comment on the Escala businessman’s opinion. However, it does seems to me that 15% the region’s population taking to the streets points to a groundswell that won’t be easily assuaged by just handouts, grants, benefits or whatever, of a monetary nature.
    As regards us of Alba, I hope (and believe) we are, too, above mere money. A word of warning though. There is a danger that if we let our hearts and souls tell us to vote “Yes”, anti-English feelings may be on the ooze upwards, It is, I feel, crucial for us to cast our vote not so much for what we don’t want but rather for what we do. And pace our national coyness on the subject, that should also encompass the monetary aspect.

    • June 2, 2013 at 8:46 am

      I agree, but I don’t believe xenophobia is an issue. It mustn’t become one either; many English people will have a vote in the referendum.

  2. Pat Wright
    June 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    you mean part time residents can vote in Catalunya-but then, again, in Scotland?

  3. June 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    I meant Scotland; I’m assuming that only parliamentary electors will be able to vote in the Catalan version.

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