Thursday, November 17, 2011

Former Spanish Congress President Says Barcelona Bombing


Everything is so funny to Spanish politicians!. Spaniards laugh when they remember their bombings on the Catalans, or when they point out that Catalonia is just another conquered nation. It happened again, not at a friends' party, but during an official conference for Spanish lawyers a few days ago. The guest speaker was Gregorio Peces-Barba, one of the so-called ‘seven fathers of the Spanish Constitution.’ The constitution is considered a sacred text by Spanish extremist unionists. It clearly states that the Spanish armed forces have the right to kill the people of any territory wishing to secede from the Spanish union.
During that conference the Spanish constitution was shown to be a fiasco because Catalan and Basque interests are not well represented in it, what with their aspirations of becoming their own independent nations. Gregorio Peces-Barba, who used to be the president of the Spanish Congress, and member of the left-leaning PSOE (currently ruling Spain) did not agree. He said:
“I often like to fantasize jokingly about what would have happened had we incorporated Portugal instead of Catalonia to Spain. Perhaps it would have been a better deal for us."
He was referring to the 1640-1659 war when Portugal and Catalonia both fought against Castile to secede from Spain—rather, the Castilian empire. Castile was not able to fight on both fronts, which resulted in Portugal becoming independent. However, Spain decided to ally itself with the French in order to defeat Catalonia.
A group of Catalan lawyers that were attending the conference left the room right away after Peces-Barba's uttered these words. Upon witnessing this, Peces-Barba added: “Let those who wish to leave us leave." The public laughed and applauded the sarcastic humiliation of the Catalan lawyers.
After the Catalan lawyers had left, Peces-Barba went on with hate speech against Catalonia. Speaking about the possibility that Castile end up losing all of its last colonies (Catalonia, Galicia, Basque Country) Peces-Barba said:
”I believe that we'll be in a better position than in the past. I don't know how many times we had to bomb Barcelona in the past, but next time we'll be able to find a solution that does not involve bombing that city.
For many centuries now, that has been Spain's main concern regarding this issue, ever since Count-Duke Olivares had to confront the Portuguese and Catalan uprising. By the way, it seems to me that Catalans celebrate a defeat on their so called national day.
At that point in history a decision was made, namely, letting go of the Portuguese and retaining the Catalans. I always like to joke about this. What would have happened had we retained the Portuguese, but let the Catalans go? Perhaps it would have been a better deal for us. Well, that's all in the past now, we can't... anyway, it might've been a huge problem. We wouldn't have had Madrid vs. Barcelona soccer matches. Of course, that's always of the utmost importance."
And what if this wasn't possible? Then it’s clear that he thinks that Spain would have to bomb Barcelona all over again. His last sentence does neither appear in the conference's video transcript. nor is available on the organizers' web site, because it was removed. However, many news agencies, including EFE, vouch for the fact that he did say those words.
When a Catalan radio journalist asked Peces-Barba to explain himself, he answered it was just a joke. It is hard to believe that a lawyers' conference opening ceremony is the right place to be making jokes of this kind. The video can actually be watched by everyone, and it is not a joke. Perhaps, he should joke about the German bombings on London. Or he could suggest the bombing of Mecca to resolve the middle-eastern conflict. Or perhaps he could joke about the bombs that killed many people in Madrid on the 2004 terrorist attacks.
When pressed on this point, Peces-Barba said that it's not the same when bombs are against the Catalans, as when they are against Spaniards. “Come on, man, it is not the same thing!” He was referring to the Spanish Civil War bombings of Gernika and Barcelona.


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