Thursday, 14 February 2008

Declarations of independence

They are a far cry from the young radical Catalans whose hunger for self-determination leads to the unfurling of provocative banners at football matches or the burning of the monarch's image in public squares. Yet a section of the Catalan population, politicised, well-educated and not always so young, is just as passionate about independence for Catalonia, despite being foreign-born. Instead of Manresa, Lleida or Reus, these supporters of independence hail from such distant places as the Americas or Africa.
Since the transition to democracy in the mid-70s, successive Catalan governments have consistently sponsored a political philosophy that reaches out to embrace non-Catalan born citizens. The policy of basing the so-called 'Catalan differential' on linguistic and cultural integration rather than along ethnic lines has had mixed results. Many migrant families from other parts of Spain, for example, have maintained their affection for their non-Catalan origins, and in certain parts of the country Spanish is virtually a lingua franca. Yet, there are those born on distant shores who have not only embraced Catalan language and culture but actively support an independent Catalonia. (Full story in printed edition).


John Woodward (Barcelona),  19 February 2008 at 11:56  

I'm a foreigner too, and every day seems clearer to me that the only way for Catalonia is independence. As we saw this week at Balcans, every people in the world has the unalienable right to self-determination. Kosovo is the last exemple, Scotland, Catalonia and the Basque Country will follow soon. Empires are so old-fashioned!