Saturday, January 19, 2008

European Union and democracy

Europe is about to see some inner changes. Last year we saw how scottish Alex Salmond drew a plan for independence from the UK, and we could also hear about big trouble in Belgium. But these are not the only countries where political challenges are being developed. This blog offers a point of view on the way to an own state for the Catalan Countries, and Spain has still another hot spot: the Basque Lands.

Lehendakari Ibarretxe was in Barcelona last thursday the 17th. The Pro-Right-To-Decide Plattform, the Souveraignity and Progress Plattform and the Center for Souveraignity Studies shared the struggle and the success on asking him for a conference where we had the chance to know about his plans. Ibarretxe has resolved that the basque society will speak for themselves next october the 25th. He's not to be conditioned by ETA's violence, but neither will he be by president Zapatero or whoever rules the Spanish government from march on.

The European Union has a new challenge in Spain. The usual principle is to respect every member's internal business, but the lack of democracy in Spain should make the difference. Ibarretxe does not want to declare independence. He just wants to ask people whatever they want to be. But Spain does not allow a democratic referendum. That's the way it is. As simple as true. Is Europe to allow such a constraint from Spain? Is Europe going to allow this injustice just on the basis of what Spanish Constitution says?

The European Union should face that there's a political problem in several points of the Union and that several state members are involved. The United Kingdom does not seem to be decided to impose anything against people's will. Neither should do Belgium. But be careful about Spain, because democracy seems to be secondary there. The right to decide, self-determination, is a right every european citizen has. Inhibition would be a mistake.

On these videos you can see how Ibarretxe was welcomed in Barcelona in the beginning and at the end of his speech, and also how kindly he tried to say a few words in Catalan, a language forbidden in Spanish Parliament.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Facebook faces Catalan Countries

Everybody knows what Facebook is. Well, almost everybody does. Every day more and more people log in and make friends, share applications, causes, and so on. Facebook is to be the Internet event in 2008. This could be specially the case for the Catalan Countries. On December the 18th I wrote about a new cause in Facebook for the independence of the Catalan Countries. Not even a month has passed and catalan presence in the net has increased considerably.

The paradox is that we have to log in from a Network, that means we have to choose the country we write from. Obviously, we'd like to choose Catalonia or Catalan Countries, but we can't because this is not a programmed option. That is way some catalans say they write from Andorra, which may be true but most often is'nt. So if we have a close look at what catalans are doing in Facebook, a reality stands out: we aim at a Catalan network, an own network, independent from Spain. Is that possible? Does Facebook really need to only consign the internationally and legally recognized countries? Can our .cat domain help?

Let's see: the group "How many catalans are there in Facebook" has 1.377 members. The group "We want a Catalan Network" has 1.241 members. Not much; I know. But what do statistics show about the current evolution. Isn't it true that catalans are perpetrating a massive arrival at Facebook? And what are we doing when we are already inside? Consider this: in its first month, the catalan secessionist cause for an own state has reached more than 400 members. That's something, isn't it?