Spain is rushing headlong into its worst constitutional crisis since the Civil War. And if Barcelona has its way, it will cause a crisis across the EU that makes Brexit look like an irrelevance. Madrid has shown itself to be incompetent and opportunistic in refusing to listen to the nationalists demands. Although this has distracted attention away from allegations of corruption levied at the very heart of the ruling PP party, Mariano Rajoy has only Continue reading Spain is in the midst of its worst crisis since the civil war
In three months time Catalunya will run a referendum upon independence- that Madrid has ruled illegal. Tough, says the generalitat it’s going ahead anyway. Trouble is, El País newspaper today reports that no private company wants to help organise the referendum. Conspiracy theorists are muttering about how los madrileños have been leaning on the private sector….. Only two companies bid for the public tender to supply the urns and voting booths – and both bids Continue reading Nobody wants to carry out the Catalan referendum
The Catalan Govern warned today that unilateral independence is their only way forwards after Rajoy closed off any chance of negotiating a referendum. Mariano said that the whole referendum debate was a bluff by Puigdemont (President of Catalunya) and that no doubt he was really planning to call regional elections and increase his minority government. He -or rather his VP Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría (for Rajoy never talks directly to the press if it can Continue reading Barcelona says unilateral independence the only way forwards
There’s a reason PM Rajoy doesn’t do more interviews – he’s crap at them. He went on Onda Cero’s “Más de Uno” national radio show today to talk about this weeks Catalan elections, which the nationalist parties are turning into a referendum. Rajoy told presenter Carlos Alsina that “if the nationalists win, everyone in Catalonia will lose their Spanish and European nationalities”. No they won’t, said Carlos. And why not? Asked Rajoy in a puzzled Continue reading Rajoy loses it on national radio and is rather publicly humiliated
Catalonia has leaked the news that the nationalists are already drawing up a new Constitution in the event that the region breaks away from Spain. The main nationalist parties agreed some months ago to ask 10 of the regions most respected scholars, jurists and intellectuals to drawup a draft Constitution – and they have already agreed on the first 60 articles. Santiago Vidal, senior Judge at the Barcelona Provincial Courts, admitted to El Mundo that Continue reading Catalonia already secretly working on a new Constitution
Back in the heyday of 2001, the Balearic Isles government passed a law saying that all shop signs and notices had to be in Catalan, with Castillano (Spanish) an optional second. Fines for failing to comply with the linguistic Nazi police in their endeavours carried fines of between €1,501 to €60,000. President Bauzá says this is all a load of bureaucratic nonsense, and has said he will remove all this linguistic stuff in the forthcoming Continue reading Balearic Isles drops “all signs to be in Catalan” law
Today I learnt a new word, a caring funny word for the next generation of Catalans who (everyone expects) will be the first of the “true nation” of Catalonia: Catalufos It’s a mix of Pitufos (the Smurfs – remember them? They’re still big in Spain) and Catalans. Geddit? Later: I’m told this was actually an insult in “days gone by” (the 90’s) used against the nationalists in Catalonia. Nowadays Catalan Mothers call their babies Catalufos Continue reading Oh, aquells graciós catalans benjamins!
An online ad for help in passing your national police exams got me thinking, after I noticed that the ad offered a free English exam to help you pass. Surely you don’t need to know English to be a policeman in Spain, do you? So I looked up the requirements this year (here) and, much to my surprise, the exams include a voluntary English or French test. If you pass (it’s said to be equivalent Continue reading Learn English to be a national policeman!
Following on from yesterdays rant about if you want to sell in Spain, speak Castellano and not your regional dialect, it’s a little ironic that today’s El Mundo is reporting that Seville born footballer Sergio Ramos is in trouble for sarcastically asking a Catalan reporter “you want it in Andaluz?” The team was in Salamanca for yesterdays game against Lithuania when a Catalan reporter at the press conference stood up and had a long chat Continue reading Footballer talks to Catalan reporter in Andaluz and causes a storm
I’m getting a little annoyed by people contacting me – a Brit living in Andalucia- and talking Catalan or Gallego to me. Remember, these are cold callers who are contacting me out of the blue to try to sell my company their wares. The other day, a woman rang me and talked to me in, apparantly, French. “Pardon” sez I, drawing on my boyhood trip to a rather revolting Paris, “je ne parlez pas français. Continue reading If you want to sell in Spain, learn Spanish (and I ain’t talking to the Brits here)