Concerning the last 1 of October in Catalonia

The following text is circulating through the social networks and I would like to echo all what it says, in the interest of truth and transparency.

SOM-CATALUNYA-SOMOS-ESPAÑA.-UN-SOLO-CORAZONTo all my international friends:

“This weekend I realised that some of my international friends are confused by what’s happening in Spain with Catalonia. I hope this helps:

– Spain is a western democracy and its Catalan citizens vote frequently. In fact, between European, national, regional and municipal elections they have voted 6 times in the last five years.

– In the last regional election, the parties in favour of secession. decided to join forces around a single issue –independence- and not only failed to win a majority of the vote, but also they lost votes relative to the prior election. Polls, even those paid by the separatists, show support for independence is a minority and in decline.

– Catalonia is not “oppressed”. It is one of the most prosperous regions in Spain and its citizens enjoy a high standard of living and one of the highest degrees of self-rule of any region in Europe.

– The party that traditionally ran the regional government of Catalonia has, for the last 30 years, used public money to promote a separatist agenda through education and local media and has illegally funded itself with a corrupt scheme where contractors had to pay bribes of at least 3% of any public work.

– The region of Catalonia has never existed as an independent political entity and was part or the Kingdom of Aragon, which merged dynastically with the Kingdom of Castile in 1492 to create the Spain we know today. There is no “union”, as in the UK. Catalonia is to Spain what Rousillon is to France or Cornwall to England.

– Spain is a parliamentary democracy, with a constitution that can be amended. A vote on territorial secession would require such amendment and the support of a qualified majority of Spaniards.

– Not a single country or international organisation (with the exception of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela) has supported this movement.

So why the fuss?

As the economy improves and support for independence wanes, the separatists are afraid of “missing the train” and, breaking the Spanish and regional laws, have embarked on a campaign to present the central government as “evil” for not allowing a regional referendum which does not comply with the Constitution (overwhelmingly approved throughout Spain, including Catalonia). This noise also conveniently masks regional corruption scandals and sets up separatists as victims for the next regional election.”

The Group at the Grand Café (1938) by Georges Simenon (tr. Stephen Trussel)

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Ceux du Grand-Café was first published –in a pre-original edition– in the weekly Police-Film/Police-Roman magazine, no. 16 of August 12, 1938. The story was written in Neuilly during the winter of 1937-1938 or in Porquerolles in March 1938, and was published in book form for the first time in 1967 in Œuvres Complètes, Éditions Rencontre, Gilbert Sigaux, ed., Lausanne, 1967-73. The English translation from the French by Stephen Trussel, The Group at the Grand Café in 2000 is available in the link below.

ceuxSynopsis: Winter begins early at Meung-sur-Loire where Maigret is ‘savouring’ his retirement. Not knowing what to do with himself, as soon as the night falls, Madame Maigret suggest him to go to the Grand Café, the place of meeting for the elite of the city, to play cards, and soon he becomes one of the regulars. One evening, after the game, the news come that the butcher, another one of the regulars, has been found killed shortly after telling everyone that he was going to take a large amount of money to the notary, for safekeeping. ‘His van was found at the edge of the road, with a burst tire. As for him, he had a bullet in the chest’. To everyone’s surprise, Maigret refuses to act, despite a lot of people beg him to intervene. Three years later Maigret will explain his wife his reasons for not having done so. 

My take: Another interesting short story that I have very much enjoyed. And a superb example of Georges Simenon’s talent as writer and storyteller.

My rating: A (I loved it)

About the author: Georges Simenon is one of the most addictive and bestselling European authors of the 20th Century. His work consists of 391 titles, and he is best known as the creator of the fictional detective series consisting of 75 books featuring Inspector Maigret, translated into more than 50 languages and sold in more than 50 countries. There are over 800 million Simenon books sold worldwide and he is the most translated French speaking author of the 20th century and the second most translated author of all time in Italy after Shakespeare.

Ceux du Grand Café 

Maigret of the Month: November, 2011

Read The Group at the Grand-Café here.

Los del Grand-Café, de Georges Simenon

Sinopsis: El invierno comienza temprano en Meung-sur-Loire, donde Maigret está “saboreando” su jubilación. No sabiendo qué hacer consigo mismo, tan pronto como cae la noche, Madame Maigret le sugiere que vaya al Grand Café, el lugar de encuentro de la élite de la ciudad, para jugar a las cartas, y pronto se convierte en uno de los asiduos. Una noche, después de la partida, llega la noticia de que el carnicero, otro de los habituales, ha sido encontrado muerto poco después de decirle a todos que iba a llevar una gran cantidad de dinero al notario, para su custodia. “Su camioneta fue encontrada al borde de la carretera, con una rueda reventada. En cuanto a él, tenía una bala en el pecho.”  Para sorpresa de todos, Maigret se niega a actuar, a pesar de que mucha gente le pide que intervenga. Tres años más tarde Maigret explicará a su esposa sus razones para no haberlo hecho.

Mi opinión: Otro interesante relato que he disfrutado mucho. Y un fantástico ejemplo del talento de Georges Simenon como escritor y narrador.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: Georges Simenon es uno de los autores europeos más adictivos y superventas del siglo XX. Su obra consta de 391 títulos, y es más conocido por ser el creador de la serie de novelas de detectives que consta de 75 libros protagonizadas por el Comisario Maigret, traducidos a más de 50 idiomas y vendidas en más de 50 países. Hay más de 800 millones de libros Simenon vendidos en todo el mundo y es el autor de habla francesa más traducido del siglo 20 y el segundo autor más traducido de todos los tiempos en Italia después de Shakespeare.

Let us not be deceived

In the course of today the Government of Catalonia has carried out a revolt against Spain and our Constitution. The people of Catalonia were called to participate in an illegal referendum without the minimum of guarantees. It was illegal in accordance with our laws and, as such, corroborated by our judicial authorities. Our law enforcement agencies, la Policía Nacional y la Guardia Civil, acted at all times following the orders issued by the judicial authority as in any country governed by the rule of law. I do hope that once and for all we can put an end to this farce and that those responsible are brought to justice. I hope my friends all around the world will not allow themselves to be fooled.

Read more in Spanish: Ante la farsa del referéndum, cumplimiento de la ley

In the picture below a guardia civil persuades a demonstrator not to use his son as human shield.


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