ON JULY 28th Catalonia’s regional parliament outlawed bullfighting. It is a bit like a German state banning wurst or a French region condemning those pesky berets.
As is the way in fiercely independent Catalonia, the debate over bullfighting became caught up in regional politics. Many Catalans are concerned less about animal welfare than they are about rejecting the bull as a symbol of Spain and distancing Catalonia from Spaniards’ habit of referring to the corrida as the “national fiesta”.
One local newspaper reported that several nationalist parliamentarians had decided to back the ban as “revenge” for a recent decision by Spain’s constitutional court to strike down parts of Catalonia’s autonomy charter, approved by Catalans in a referendum four years ago. Never mind that bullfighting, although in decline in this part of Spain, was once an important part of local culture, or that plenty of Catalans find other ways of tormenting bulls at village fiestas.
Catalans are getting a taste for outlawing whatever irks them. The bar on bullfighting follows a decision by many Catalan towns and cities to ban the Islamic face-covering veil in municipal buildings. Parties are competing to come up with French-style proposals for taking burqa bans further, even though the garment is rarely seen on Catalan streets.
This spasm of intolerance has been incited by campaigns for elections to the Catalan parliament, which are due in late autumn. Many Catalans are tired of the uneasy three-way coalition of socialists, greens and separatists that has governed the region since 2003. Polls predict victory for the business-friendly Convergence and Union coalition (CiU), which preaches greater autonomy for Catalonia but not independence. By providing CiU with a mandate to press for reforms at national level, the return of the nationalists may be good for Spain’s economy, but the impact on Catalonia itself is more difficult to predict. Reaffirming the region’s Catalan identity, and use of the Catalan language, will still be priorities. The politicians are worried, but at least the bulls can sleep easier.
Adéu a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalan AnalystDesprés de 13 anys d'escriure en aquest bloc pràcticament sense interrumpció, avui el dono per clausurat. Això no vol dir que m'hagi jubilat de la xarxa, sinó que he passat el relleu a un altra bloc que segueix la mateixa línia del Nihil Obstat. Es tracta del bloc The Catalan Analyst i del compte de Twitter del mateix nom: @CatalanAnalyst Us recomano que els seguiu.
Moltes gràcies a tots per haver-me seguit amb tanta fidelitat durant tots aquests anys.
divendres, 30 de juliol de 2010
Catalunya, la terra de la prohibició
Publicado por NO a les 12:11 p. m.