joancotxà.bloc.cat

Altre lloc Blocat | Xarxa de blocs catalans

Archive for juny, 2006

Barcelona de dia / de nit

Us recomano que visiteu el web del Concurs fotogràfic Fotoweb BCN 2006. Hi ha fotografies tant o més maques que la que acabo de penjar al bloc.

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de blog.com a bloc.cat

El naixament del domini .cat i el fet que el servei de blocs en català, bloc.cat, s’ha redenominat com a bloc.cat, em semblen els dos millors motius per canviar de servidor i adoptar el domini .cat també pel meu bloc. Per tant, des d’aquest moment he bolcat l’escàs contingut de l’antic joancotxa.blog.com cap a la nova adreça: joancotxa.bloc.cat.

Amb tota probabilitat, això no significa que a partir d’ara el nou bloc serà més actiu del que ho va ser l’anterior… perquè com ja havia dit en alguna ocasió, a mi el que més m’agrada de tota aquesta història és remenar per les entranyes del web més que escriure sobre qüestions que d’altres expressen millor. Per aquest motiu, és possible que continui amb la meva política de penjar articles que he trobat per alguna banda o m’han fet arribar que consideri interessants, com ja he fet ultimament.

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sobre l’Estatut

Com que em vaig haver de preparar unes paraules per la presentació de l’Acte sobre l’Estatut que vam fer a l’Ateneu de Celrà el dimecres, 14 de juny, això em va obligar a rumiar sobre el meu posicionament de cara el referèndum sobre l’Estatut. Un cop ordenades les quatre idees, he decidit penjar-les al blog, més que res per arxivar-les a algun lloc.

En primer lloc us vull donar la benvinguda a tots i agrair-vos la vostra presència aquí a l’Ateneu per venir a escoltar els arguments d’Esquerra Republicana per demanar el vot negatiu en aquest Referèndum sobre l’Estatut. I vull insistir especialment a agrair-vos a tots els que heu vingut perquè després d’aquests darrers dos anys de sentir a parlar dia rere dia sobre l’Estatut, qui més qui menys ja està cansat d’aquest debat.

Aquí segurament s’hauria de fer una primera crítica a la classe política d’aquest país perquè tant preocupant com el resultat final del procés de reforma de l’Estatut és que després de 27 anys de vigència de l’Estatut del 79 no s’hagi aconseguit engrescar la ciutadania en un procés d’una importància cabdal per la vida quotidiana de tots els ciutadans.

Segurament, aquest sentiment generalitzat de cansament només té una excepció que és el període que va entre el 30 de setembre i el 2 de novembre de 2005. És a dir, entre el dia que el Parlament va aprovar la proposta d’Estatut i el dia que Artur Mas, Manuela de Madre i Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira van defensar la proposta catalana al Congrés dels Diputats.

Durant aquelles setmanes, es va respirar un clima d’unitat, de consens, d’ambicions compartides i de canvi de règim que molts no havíem conegut mai i que als d’una certa edat els va recordar el clima que es respirava durant la Transició.

Tot i això, en poques setmanes la divisió i el càlcul partidista es van imposar a la unitat de les forces polítiques catalanes, les retallades es van imposar a l’ambició i la incomprensió i la rancúnia de l’Espanya més rància es van imposar a la proposta raonable cap a un sistema federal asimètric que reconeixia per primer cop la plurinacionalitat de l’Estat.

El desenllaç de la història tots el coneixeu i ara ens trobem, 30 mesos després d’haver iniciat un procés llarg i dur, amb un text, l’Estatut de la Moncloa, que no dóna resposta a les necessitats i als reptes de la Catalunya del segle XXI, que eternitza el dèficit fiscal, que no resol l’etern litigi de l’encaix de Catalunya a Espanya i que, en canvi, suposa una hipoteca per les aspiracions futures de Catalunya.

L’epíleg d’aquesta història és el Referèndum que es celebrarà diumenge que ve. Queden, per tant, tres dies per reflexionar sobre els avenços i els retrocessos que representa el Nou Estatut i sobre les conseqüències polítiques que tindrà un resultat o un altre.

Per analitzar a fons tots els aspectes del nou Estatut i per tal de conèixer els arguments d’Esquerra per votar-hi en contra, la gent d’Esquerra de Celrà hem convidat a dues dones que han seguit el procés de molt a prop; Cristina Alsina i Maria Mercè Roca. Crec que després de les seves intervencions queda ben clar que els catalans i les catalanes no podem hipotecar les aspiracions futures del nostre país legitimant aquest Estatut. Perquè el “SÍ” és el vot de la resignació, de la claudicació, de la renúncia, de la frustració…

Des del meu punt de vista, crec que és hora que des del catalanisme polític diem “NO” per primera vegada a la història. I crec que aquesta actitud no és un cas aïllat sinó que representa un canvi generacional en la manera d’entendre la política catalana i les relacions de Catalunya amb l’Estat. I és que som molts els ciutadans nascuts l’any 1979, hereus del pacte de la Transició, que òbviament no vam votar l’Estatut de Sau i que no ens fa por votar ara “NO” a un text que representa alguns avenços però que els objectius fonamentals pels quals es va iniciar tot el procés no s’han assolit de cap manera. Precisament, perquè no volem cometre els mateixos errors que el 1979 en un moment en que res justifica les nostres renúncies. Perquè ara ni sortim d’una dictadura, ni hi ha soroll de sabres, ni la democràcia està en risc, ni l’autogovern que tenim està qüestionat.

En tot cas, segur que tots vosaltres arribareu a les vostres pròpies conclusions i de fet això és tot el que preteníem amb aquest acte. Des d’Esquerra el que hem volgut és apropar el debat i la reflexió sobre l’Estatut a tots els celranencs i celranenques, perquè creiem que el deure dels partits polítics davant d’un referèndum és donar als ciutadans la màxima informació per tal que puguin adoptar una decisió raonada i responsable.

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Next step

A continuació adjunto un article pulbicat al setmanari escocès Holyrood sobre el procés de redacció i aprovació del nou Estatut d’Autonomia de Catalunya.

Jacq Kelly talks to the President of the Catalan Parliament about where devolution goes next.

It’s a nation that still simmers at the memory of having its government usurped by a colonising regime in the 18th century; that battled to get it back while fighting to retain its own language, customs and culture and that, only recently in its history, saw democracy restored. Some of its citizens want to see a national team to represent the national interest in all sporting events and, more to the point, want its status as a nation, rather than a region, consolidated in law – something that not only crops up regularly in debate but has, especially in recent times, dominated it.
A fast-forward to Scotland in ten years’ time? We’ll have to wait and see. But it’s the reality of contemporary Catalan politics, the past year of which has been explosive. A Spanish general has been placed under house arrest and expelled from the army for threatening military action should Catalan independence proceed too far; Spanish right-wing opponents of further autonomy for the region have held a boycott against Catalan goods; and the coalition government that had initially been united over the resolution to amend the Estatut has disintegrated over the final draft that will finally appear before the electorate in a referendum.

Of course that’s just one tiny slice of Catalan life in a snapshot. Barcelona, the capital of the region and home of the Catalan parliament, means many things to many people. To visitors and residents alike it can mean tapas, cava, paella and enjoying the beach situated in the heart of the new neighbourhood around the Olympic Village. It means a monument on every corner, a consistent and dry heat throughout most of the year, and a never-ending stream of bars and restaurants to be enjoyed at almost any time of the day or night, although Barcelonans have a habit of emerging from their homes well after ten in the evening. Gaudi’s work is in evidence around the city and its wide, tree-lined streets makes it as distinctive as any in Europe. The Catalan desire to get things done today rather than tomorrow is evident not only in its fast-changing landscapes and neighbourhoods but in its own parliament, where modernity in the ways of working stands in stark contrast to the workings of its Spanish counterpart, in a way similar to how our Parliament in Scotland compares with Westminster.

The city is also symbolic as the heart, soul and fighting spirit of Catalan politics. The struggle against Castilian rule and the subsequent oppression by Franco have left a mark on the Catalan character – something that some Scottish Nationalists might compare to their views about Scotland’s relationship with the English.

There are a number of uncanny parallels between the Scottish and Catalan political situations and those have led to the forging of what is acknowledged to be a special relationship between Scotland and Catalonia. Senior Catalan officials have made several visits to Holyrood since the Scottish Parliament was established and it is accepted that, in general, Scots and Spaniards have a good relationship. The relationship between the two institutions has been resoundingly welcomed. Ernest Benach i Pascual, currently the President of the Catalan parliament, says that he was “very positively impressed” during his visit to Holyrood, “not least because the Scottish Parliament is a national parliament like we are and there’s a sort of complicity between those two institutions. It’s not usual to find that kind of relationship within the European framework.” Former presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament Sir David Steel welcomed his opposite number, Joan Rigol, to Holyrood in 2001, noting at the time that throughout the devolution process, “strong links were developed with Catalonia, particularly in terms of learning from their experience as a prominent European sub-state”.

The only caveat, for some people, seems to be that there are relationships to be made with other regions of Spain that economically and culturally might make for a more natural link. The ‘Celtic Corner’ of Galicia and Asturias – where bagpipes are just one of the things they have in common with Scotland – is mooted by one official as another part of Spain that could make for an interesting partnership.

Catalonia formally re-established its own parliament in 1979 after the Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia was passed in a referendum, four years after General Franco’s death. The first elections to the newly established parliament took place in March 1980 and parliament held its first session on 10 April that same year.

In the same way that there are calls from a growing number of interested parties in Scotland to re-open the Scotland Act, there have also been constant demands to revisit the Estatut and give greater autonomy for the region as well as tie up certain financial matters that many Catalans believe work to their disadvantage. While Jack McConnell may have only just got around to the idea of a debate on more powers, suggesting in a session of First Minister’s Questions two weeks ago that the Executive might even consider holding that debate during their chamber time, things have made a lot more progress in Catalonia. The process has been messy though. Despite an initial 90 per cent consensus in the Catalan parliament, collaboration between the CiU Party and the PSOE party once the changes got to the Spanish parliament in Madrid saw the initial contents watered down to a point where the text was no longer acceptable to the Catalan ERC party – a pro-independence member of the coalition – which refused to give its backing to the revised version and which was, as a consequence, removed from the Catalan government.

Benach seems unfazed by it despite the fact that on the day we meet in the Catalan parliament, the place is buzzing owing to significant changes in the Cabinet, the expulsion of his party from the coalition government, and early elections looming as a result of the fall-out. And he has no time for worrying about things he considers as insignificant as the boycott against Catalan goods.

“If you think we are in the 21st century and in an absolutely globalised world so a boycott is absurd and makes no sense whatsoever really. As a matter of fact it is not adequate to a country that is progressive and wants to be progressive and modern. It was also part of the strategy of parties in which Catalonia was used as an instrument of animosity between several parties in Spain. It is so absurd – let’s talk about a boycott of Scottish whisky because it’s Scottish! You know – there’s no sense in it.”

There may be no sense in a boycott and the fact that cava sales enjoyed one of their best ever last year would seem to bear that out. But the sight of slogans outside supermarkets urging shoppers to take their custom to outlets stocking only non-Catalan goods left many Catalans stunned. The politics behind the boycott was a fierce reaction against proposed changes to the Catalan Estatut – the piece of legislation that would have delivered major changes in the Catalan relationship with the rest of Spain.

The text still needs to be ratified in a referendum this month, with the ERC opposing the text as it stands. Benach’s feeling is that the initial text, agreed in Barcelona, was the better way forward. “The final Estatut is not the one that had been passed by the parliament of Catalonia. I have the feeling that we have made a step forward. It is obvious that this Estatut we have before us in the referendum is better than the one we have now, but I have a strong feeling that if we had preserved our unanimity then the Estatut would have gone further.”

Benach insists that his party will be giving its backing to the Estatut once it is passed. “Once it has been approved it has been passed by the parliament and this is the legality that we have to respect really. A part that has a sense of legality has to apply it and to acknowledge it of course.” But he was driven into politics for two key reasons, and there’s a sense that they haven’t yet been satisfied. He wants to work towards a “better world” and a “more just society with a more social sense of justice – a world in which equal opportunities become a reality with all that this actually means these days. Rights for the workers, rights for the Third World. On the other hand, the dream of a free nation.” Much of that, he says, was borne out of the fact that in his youth he strongly opposed fascism in his country. “When I was a very young boy of 14 or 15 I fought against Franco’s regime because I was aware that Catalonia was my nation, my country and Franco-ism means many things such as fascism. Since then I evolved as a person and went into politics and this became more concrete.”

Whether or not he will see independence in his lifetime, perhaps as a natural consequence of increasing federalism in Spain, is something he refuses to be drawn on. That, he says, is a “complex” issue. But there is no doubt what he, and his ERC colleagues, would like to see for Catalonia. “Politically of course I am in favour of what I believe. Any political idea can only become a reality if it is backed by a majority of course. We are talking all the time about democracy and peace. This is the system in which we move around – not another one. So one has to be quite clear about what is the will of the people of Catalonia. In this background everything that moves around peace, democracy and freedom is quite legitimate.”

Whether Scotland will have its own debate along similar lines remains to be seen.

Enllaç amb l’article de Holyrood

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Calls for freedom make the jigsaw of Europe more complicated than ever

Aquest és un article publicat al diari The Times sobre el naixament de nous estats a Europa.

By Jeremy Page and Richard Beeston, Diplomatic Editor
MOST people would struggle to point out Pridnestrovskaya Moldavskaya Respublika on a map, let alone pronounce it.
Those who can, know it as a hotbed of smuggling, the site of a vast Soviet-era weapons dump, or perhaps the home of Sheriff Tiraspol football club.

But this tiny sliver of land, known in English as Transdniestr, is the latest European enclave to make a bid for independence following Montenegro’s decision to declare statehood last month.

Igor Smirnov, Transdniestr’s “President”, has announced that its 550,000 people will vote in a referendum in September on whether to seek formal independence from Moldova.

“The recent example of Montenegro proves that a referendum is becoming a norm for solving conflicts,”, said Mr Smirnov, 64, a former metalworker.

In the unlikely event that Transdniestr wins independence, it would become Europe’s 19th new country since the collapse of communism in 1989, and the fragmentation goes on.

From the Basques of Spain to Turkey’s Kurds, there are minorities who yearn for a country of their own, and Montenegro’s example has kindled hopes that even tiny enclaves in Europe’s forgotten corners can still become viable states.

The fear is that declarations of independence by mini-states could spark fresh instability in already unstable regions.

In the Balkans, Montenegro’s independence drive is likely to be followed by Kosovo, a predominantly ethnic Albanian province of Serbia. That could spark fresh moves by the ethnic Serb Republika Srpska to break away from Bosnia, and Herceg-Bosna’s Croats to join Croatia.

In the Caucasus, Russia is still struggling to contain the separatist rebellion in Chechnya. Georgia is split by breakaway regions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. There is still no resolution to Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed enclave in Azerbaijan that is controlled by Armenia.

Not even Western Europe is immune. Nationalists in Northern Ireland still seek a united Ireland. Scotland is in theory closer to independence that at any time since the Act of Union with England 300 years ago. Separatist movements are active in the Basque country, Corsica, Sardinia and Italy.

As for Europe’s newest would-be state, Transdniestr broke away from Moldova in 1990 and the two sides fought a war in 1992 that left more than 1,500 people dead. Although never recognised internationally, it has close ties to Russia, which helped the ethnic Russians in the war and has maintained 1,500 troops there.

Officially, they are there to keep the peace and guard a stockpile of 40,000 tonnes of weapons stored there in case of a Nato invasion. In reality, this remains Moscow’s westernmost strategic outpost — a bulwark against the expanding EU and Nato. It is also a haven for money-laundering, smuggling and illegal weapons sales.

Mr Smirnov runs it as a personal fiefdom, financed by local oligarchs and propped up by nostalgia for the Soviet Union. It has its own currency based on the old Soviet rouble, uses the old Soviet Moldovan flag, and stages annual Soviet-style military parades. Police wear uniforms bearing the hammer and sickle.

There is no direct telephone link to Moldova and no mobile network. Shop windows display tawdry goods from the 1970s and 1980s. The only redeeming feature is Moldova’s only FIFA-approved football stadium, which is home to the country’s top football club, Sheriff Tiraspol.

Peace talks, mediated by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, have stalled over Transdniestr’s refusal to accept autonomy within a Moldovan state. Russia has backed the referendum.

Karel De Gucht, the Belgian Foreign Minister and OSCE chairman, has said that there is no legal basis for a referendum and urged both sides to return to the negotiating table.

enllaç amb l’article http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-2207534.html

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