Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

March Books 15) What's Up With Catalonia?, translated and edited by Liz Castro

Catalonia, our country, is a nation. A nation that, in order to maintain its identity and to move forward, needs tools of state. This nation has existed for many centuries. It has its own identity, culture, and language, and its own institutions. Catalonia wants to follow, and indeed must be allowed to follow, its own path.
(Artur Mas i Gavarro, President of Catalonia, in the Prologue)
This is a digestible book of 35 essays about Catalonia, all written at the end of last year, which is being widely distributed by sympathisers of the Catalan cause. The two key grievances which come up again and again are the question of fiscal imbalance, where Catalonia feels that it is subsidising the manifestly unsuccessful policies of the central Spanish state, over which is has little say and for which it gets little in return; and the language issue - using Catalan in public could get you arrested not very long ago, and Madrid does little to reassure Catalan concerns on this point. There are two pieces about Europe, a snapshot of Brussels opinion by a leading MEP, and a brief but powerful piece by my old mate Edward Hugh on the political economics (or the economic politics) of Catalonia's drive for independence. We will hear more on this subject in the coming months.
Tags: bookblog 2013, world: catalonia, world: spain

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