Catalonia, Europe, 2018, 21st century. Tradition has it that every December we take a look back at the year that is about to end. To start with, it’s been a year with politicians in prison and in exile, just for letting people vote. Voting is a democratic right, or is it?
Apparently, the right to vote, a right recognised by the United Nations, is seen as such in Scotland and Quebec, but not in Spain. The Catalan people wanted a referendum like these countries, but obviously Spain is not the UK or Canada. 2018 will sadly go down in history as a year in which politicians were forced into prison and exile, just for having political ideas different from those of the Madrid government. They are in this situation for respecting the will of the people and their political mandate from the people who voted for them.
2018 will be remembered as a year of repression, which saw the fall of the Rajoy government, only to be substituted by a socialist one that turns a blind eye to the crisis in Catalonia, refuses dialogue, and has demonstrated great institutional cynicism, as if ignoring a problem means it will go away. All this with the tacit agreement of the European Union, which is supposed to defend the democratic rights, freedoms and wellbeing of its citizens. In 2018, we also sadly saw how people like the rapper Valtònyc had to seek refuge in exile after being sentenced to three years in prison for lyrics criticising the Spanish crown. Needless to say, the Sex Pistols’ lyrics in God Save the Queen would have been unthinkable in today’s Spain. And the list could go on and on...
Catalonia, Europe, 21st century: we saw a people dressed in yellow, taking to the streets every day calling for democracy, freedom of speech and dialogue... So what’s your wish for Christmas and the New Year? I bet you can guess what mine is.