Wednesday, September 18, 2019
context and clues

My family, the colonisers of Catalonia

My grandparents arrived to the outskirts of Barcelona by train, carrying with them two toddlers, a baby and whatever humble luggage they managed to...

The Popular Party and Spanish Nationalism’s Core Values.

Popular Party founder, Manuel Fraga, was himself a high-ranking member of the Falange for many years. Over time the Falange was replaced by the National Movement, and all officials of the Francoist state swore on its principles, the first of which stated “Spain is a unity of destiny in the universal. Service to the greatness, unity and liberty of the nation is the sacred duty and collective endeavour of all Spaniards”. This obsession with Spanish unity, which has been carried into contemporary Spain by the Popular Party and the 1978 constitution, is key to understanding the evolution of the Catalan crisis. Francoist core values survived Franco’s death.

How Spain got its 1978 Constitution

The constitution was negotiated on the basis of the system put in place by the 1976 Political System Reform Law -prior to any elections-, and representation resulting from the 1977 elections (in addition to 20% of senators designated by the King). The congress and senate that were elected assembled a committee of seven men to draft the constitutional text: four of them from the Francoist establishment, one from the Socialist Party, one from the Communist Party and one from the Catalan conservative nationalists.

A Brief History of Catalan Statehood and Nationhood

Catalan culture and a sense of belonging with a strong political component have developed and struggled to survive over the centuries, often being driven underground in the face of violent suppression by a far more powerful Spanish nationalism. These grievances are a key component of Catalan sense of nationhood, as is language. Catalonia today constitutes a densely articulated economic, political, social and cultural world of its own, which is closely intertwined with, but also distinct from, (the rest of) Spain.