El Pais

Barça is not Catalonia
El país (in english)

There is a certain kind of Brit who loves Spain and is captivated by Spanish soccer. But having more than enough entertainment with the porcine predicaments of their prime minister and such like, they don’t normally demonstrate the least bit of interest in Spanish or Catalan politics. Suddenly, though, learning through the media that Catalonia is flirting with independence, and that the famous clásico match between Barcelona and Real Madrid could disappear, has left them disconcerted. They want to know more. So in an attempt to clear up doubts and encourage understanding between nations we here today offer a guide, in Q&A format, for those Britons and other foreigners perplexed about the current Spanish political scene.

Q. So, just like in soccer then. But if they’re crazy about jamón from Extremadura and Huelva, why don’t the Catalans want cities as beautiful as Trujillo, Córdoba, Seville, Granada and Segovia to remain part of their cultural heritage?

A. Because they don’t travel to these places. They don’t value them and they hate giving them money from their taxes. Nationalism obstructs the mental channels that reason flows along. That goes for Spanish nationalism, too.

Q. Is there Spanish nationalism?

A. Yes. Nationalism is competitive, paranoid and classifies the human beings of the rival identity as if they were insects. Which is why you hear people in Madrid or Cádiz say that “the Catalans” are all one way, and people in Barcelona or Girona say “the Madrileños” are all another. Nationalism is defined more by antagonism towards the other than the love that one feels for one’s homeland. One example: a fervent Barça fan is happier when Real Madrid loses than when their own team wins.

Sans le savoir, un journal espagnol commentant la situation en Catalogne résume parfaitement bien ce qui se passe ici…

On aborde les thèmes de l’élection fédérale (paranoïa entourant les réfugiés syriens et le niqab), on parle de l’obsession du PQ (charte et nationalisme) et on commente même la situation du hockey au Québec (la haine maladive du Canadien)…