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The failure of Spain as a project

Although Nico Krisch's excellent response to Dr. Weiler ( http://www.ejiltalk.org/catalonias-indepence-a-reply-to-joseph-weiler/ ) makes this contribution rather redundant, I would like to respond to an anonymous (why, for Heaven's sake? What are you frightened of?) writer above, "P.L.Q." who says that "It is too often forgotten that the Spanish civil war was not a war between regions but a war between ideologies, where Spaniards of all regions were slaughtered by their neighbors". Was it not indeed BOTH? Was not the Spanish right viscerally against Catalan, Basque and Galician autonomy in the 1930's? Wasn't it a rightwing leader, José Calvo Sotelo, that said "Antes roja que rota", shortly being cruelly assassinated, the event that sparked off the army uprising 4 or 5 days later) against the, wait for it, leftist Spanish government?

If I may parahprase Berta Badia's comment that "That’s what the true spirit of European integration should be about", it is sad to have to acknowledge that the "true spirit of Spanish integration" has consistently and unfortunately been to try and legitimize the annexation to Castile (following the 1714 defeat) of Catalonia, and similar processes of colonization of other territories that had previously shared the monarch with Castile, but not much else (not currency, tariffs, legislation, institutions, civil law, or in some cases language, etc.).

The 1854 school map of Spain is particularly illuminating: http://mapas.owje.com/img/Mapa-Politico-de-Espana-1854-4049.jpg . Here you can see Catalonia and the whole of the former kingdom of Aragon described as "España incorporada o asimilada".

The failure of Spain as a project has been not to get rid of this ultimate aim. Prejudice and stereotypes continue to portray the Catalans as deviants, as "bad" Spaniards. Franco didn't invent anything: he was just rather more ruthless than those before him and, as we can see, some of those who have succeeded him. The level of threats being hurled daily at the Catalan people are simply not acceptable in 21st century Europe, I mean it. If the English (or Belgian, or Canadian) head of the Transplants organisation said it would be "difficult" to supply organs for transplants to a seceding territory, I doubt they would last five minutes in their job. But Catalan-bashing is a tolerated sport in Spain's still antiquated discourse.

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