martes, 24 de octubre de 2017

Dealing with the enemy

As things are coming to a head these days, few people still believe the outside world will step in to help Catalunya and save Europe, as the emotional plea in the viral running video has it. The European Union seem to have given their dear friend Mariano Rajoy a green light to do as he pleases. What pleases Mr Rajoy, unfortunately, does not please most of the people living here. As the latest rumours have it, Catalunya will first lose its government, its radio and tv stations, a number of its newspapers, its police force and its educational system. All these will either be discarded of or replaced with a Rajoy-friendly variety. One can assume the highest functionaries in all these organisations will be replaced immediately, after which the great witch hunt can commence. Anybody suspected of anti-Rajoy sympathies, to be established through people's voting behaviour, online activities, newspaper subscriptions and attendance of independence manifestations, will lose their job. If their function is considered vital to propping up administration and authority, they will be substituted by Rajoy-loving Catalans or better still by some highly qualified unemployed (we've got lots of them, thanks to Mr Rajoy's economic policies) from Madrid. Jobs that are not considered necessary will simply disappear. As the social system in Spain has virtually gone extinct, all these people will have to rely on an allowance of 450 euros a month, with finding new work a hard task. I imagine they will be earmarked for exclusion from anything they were trained for, leaving them to vie for low-paid service jobs or seek their fortune outside of Spain. After the government related jobs, positions in Rajoy-friendly Spanish companies will be scrutinized. Rajoy-unfriendly companies will be run into ruin. Finally, foreign companies will be approached to do their share. These are expected to either comply or leave the region altogether. The results of this purge will be devastating. In a modern city like Barcelona with its reliance on a third sector economy, hundreds of thousands of office workers will be out of work. Considering that many of them have mortgages, they may want to run from their debts, forced to leave the Union and end up in South-America or perhaps Russia. As I wrote before, in the industry such an approach will not be quite as easy considering the specialized skills of many operators, but over time it should be possible to get rid of the vast majority of all those who have ever shown any sympathy for the cause of a free, liberal Catalunya. Anybody who thinks this is an exaggeration, hasn’t seen the bloodlust in the government’s eyes. One can imagine how millions of people who suddenly feel the ground under their feet give way, may choose to change sides and quickly plea their love for king and Rajoy. Already, one hears stories of old friends and colleagues preparing to do just that.

Catalan language and culture will be completely eradicated. Just like in the good old days of general Franco, it will be forbidden to sing, speaks, write and listen to Catalan. Theatres, bookshops and publishing houses will be closed down, subsidies to anything Catalan immediately stopped, and organisations prohibited. At the same time, the vilest image of Spain, its obsession with king and unity in a country, a small continent in fact, which is as diverse as any nation I have come across in Europe, will be incessantly pushed in our faces. We don't need to be reminded that Mr Rajoy and his clique, which includes the justice system, the media, banks and main national companies and anybody with the right name to belong, are a bunch of crooked, miserable fascists in the spitting image of their great hero. We know already, we have experienced their wrath more than enough and they haven't even started yet. We couldn't believe it for a long while, though the people with stories from the last time had warned us. It's coming again, they said. They had survived Aznar, but they immediately sensed that Rajoy was the raw deal. We only realised when the claims by the growing independence movement turned out to be somewhat correct, when we ourselves were starting to suffer. The state of our infrastructure became painful to the eye. Now it is here. I guess we have no other option than to declare independence and go out in style. We want to make it very clear that it's Mr Rajoy who is solely responsible for this gigantic tragedy. He has stepped on our rights and he has abused his powers to start an economic war against Catalunya and he now uses our reaction as an excuse to take us out. All this goes back to 2006 and after that 2010, infamous dates in the recent cohabitation of Catalunya and Madrid.

Mr Rajoy is a criminal. The same, whose party is involved in hundreds of corruption cases, he not exempt, who has clearly stolen last year's parliamentary elections from Podemos, an outrage not even the purple ones themselves dare to raise their voices over, who has in all these years refused to address the Catalan people even once, people who are supposed to belong to Spain yet have no say in their own future and are subject to all and any kind of abuse as to the abuser's liking, behaviour which gets rewarded more often than punished. This man is now ready to commit a horrendous crime, with the open consent of the European Commission and our main business partners. We thought we were hip, the city of Barcelona, and we were doing pretty well against the odds, helped by the love of many foreigners who came to spend some of their money on us. Being an independent city in the twenty-first century requires public relations and we tried to be good at it. But now that the consequences of our uppity behaviour come raining down on us, we realize we are the first main European city to be taken out. A hurricane can't do the job, as we usually have good weather, so they resort to old style violence. If nobody comes to our rescue, Barcelona will be gone by Monday, if not Friday night. Dear visitors of ours, companies who have found a good business climate here, your time is running out. If you want to come back to the city you know, you'd better start raising your voices.

I can't see how this will remain restricted to Catalunya. If all goes well, they may want to get at Euskadi and deal with the new self-esteem in Valencia, after which not even treacherous Andalucía will be safe. The destruction of Spain's autonomous system and the creation of an autarkic centralism will be Mariano Rajoy Brey's ultimate crime, going directly against his holy constitution he claims to use as an excuse for his actions, a document which was written in 1978 when the left was just coming out of illegality and had no idea how to handle the old regime which was still firmly in the saddle (dixit Vicenç Navarro, professor of political sciences in Barcelona and Boston). This constitution needs urgent renewal, yet Mr Rajoy has always held it against us while he himself was and is its greatest violator. I believe it's high time Mr Rajoy gets brought to justice for his many misdeeds. Meanwhile, I support my desperate neighbours in their final fight. We may still escape and as long as they're not here we enjoy our peace, but it's all getting pretty tight. I must say I'm not used to this. I come from a well-run country where regional differences are sufficiently dealt with to keep everybody happy. Maybe my former countrymen are just lucky they have their big city cut up in three, with the smallest part ruling quietly over the company. Here, they have never forgiven us our success and the arrogance that came with it. We felt better, yes, we were glad we didn't have to live in Madrid, with its stupid palaces and no beach. And when Madrid didn't get the Olympics where they had put us on the map back in '92, we gleed. Not nice, I admit, but it's the poor showing of a powerless people who need such pyrrhic victories to feel good every once in a while. Not the greatest crime of the century, I would suggest, not worth annihilation either.

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