CATENGESP


CATCHWORDS

(22/03/2008)

Aquest article no estÓ tradu´t al catalÓ; es mostra la seva versiˇ en anglŔs

On a possible nightmare scenario.

CATALONIA TODAY ľ SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE NINETY-TWO

Last Friday a friend told me how he and three other Catalans had been asked to leave a restaurant in Valladolid for linguistic reasons: 'Si quereis hablar en catalßn, mejor que lo haceis en otro sitio' were the manager's exact words. It was no coincidence that this little contretemps took place in 2004, the year when the negotiation process for the new Catalan Statute of Autonomy got into its stride, thus spurring certain Spanish journalists - notably those working for El Mundo newspaper and the bishop-financed COPE radio station - to feed outrageous pork pies to their audiences, in their eagerness to block said Statute by portraying the Catalans as a treacherous, grasping, alien people. From then on, reported cases of Catalan-baiting have increased over the years: in 2005, a Barcelona taxi driver had to leave Saragossa in a hurry before his yellow and black cab was stoned; in 2006, a teenage girl was physically threatened on the Madrid metro for speaking in Catalan to a friend, and so on and so forth.
In a recent book on the post-Bosnian-war Hague trials, Croatian novelist Slavenka Drakulic stresses the importance of the odium built up for a decade before the conflict by the Croatian and Serbian media. Without it, she states categorically, there would have been no fighting, let alone the countless rapes, tortures and murders that went with it. Using Drakulic's calculations as a rule of thumb and taking 2004 as our starting point, we have just six more years of anti-Catalan spin to go before venomous words turn into deeds ditto, and the first tanks start to rumble down the Diagonal. The fateful annum? That for which several groups in the Catalan parliament have already proposed a referendum for independence: 2014.


- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programaciˇ: Nac -