This week’s highlights on Catalonia’s process to independence
February 15th USA ambassador in Spain Mr Solomont said last week his country will remain neutral to the Catalan independence process[ca]. Considering the pressure that the Spanish diplomacy must be exerting against Catalonia’s independence process this is great news. Their neutrality means a respect towards the democratic process. Thanks Mr Solomont. Mr Solomont also announced that now that he speaks Spanish he will start learning Catalan.
February 16 ERC’s leader Junqueras gave Mas’ government a warning. If there is no referendum in 2014 they’ll drop their support to the Government [ca].
February 16th Catalonia is the only Autonomous Community where no single student has yet received their scholarships funds [ca]. While Spanish students continue to receive these funds, even though with some delays. The Spanish Education Minister, Mr Wert, is well known for his declarations of wanting to “hispanicize” Catalan students.
February 18 Spain increases its budget for spies by 11% from last year to 19.8 million euros [ca]. Unlike education or healthcare Spain doesn’t want to reduce “intelligence” budget.
Feb 18th A Court forces the Valencian Government to open a line of education in Catalan at the school Rei en Jaume in Xirivella [ca]. There are 200.000 students in the Valencian Country who, even though they have requested it and it is their right, can’t study in Catalan because the Valencian government refuses to open lines in Catalan.
Feb 18th Catalan TV reports an increase of activity of Spanish spies in Catalonia since March 2012 precisely when the 1st Catalan National Assembly was constituted. It also revealed the location of the Spanish intelligence services HQ in Barcelona, Avinguda Diagonal 666, a military building. The Spanish State is increasing its resources destined to spying activities to disrupt the Catalan process to independence. Links here, here [ca] and here [ca].
Feb 18th Catalan blogger and activist Marc Belzunces denounces the racism experienced trying to speak in Catalan to the Spanish Tax Revenue Services [ca]. The public servants either hang up or rudely demand the caller to speak in Spanish.
Feb 19th a case of spying between catalan politicians is unveiled. The spying was done by detective agency “Metodo 3”. Catalan PP leader Camacho could be involved in it [ca]. “Metodo 3” is also suspected to have links with the Spanish secret services. The investigations will be led by the Spanish police instead of the Catalan police in a maneouvre that is seen by many to keep the Spanish spying activities information away from the Catalan Government.
Feb 20th Geoff Cowling, former UK general consul in Spain supports an independence referendum in Catalonia for democratic reasons and advises the Catalan government increase its diplomatic efforts. Thanks Mr Cowling!