Thursday, June 21, 2012

Who cares about Gibraltar?

Catalan Bay, Gibraltar
Nowadays, it seems that one favorite strategy for governments at time of serious crisis is, instead of solving problems, to offer the press and public a distraction. If peppered with a huge dose of cheap patriotism, all the better.

We saw an example of this recently with the nationalisation of the Argentine branch of the Spanish oil company, Repsol. We saw it again when the Spanish government protested the visit of the UK’s Prince Edward to Gibraltar, which led to the cancelation of the visit of Queen Sofia to England to participate in Queen Elisabeth II’s jubilee celebrations. A great deal of Spanish pride emerged in the media, with the same old arguments against the British sovereignty over the Rock, and claims to do whatever is needed to see the red and yellow flag replacing the Union flag.

It is interesting to notice that the Catalan press didn’t join the party. In fact, Catalans have been linked to the British presence in Gibraltar since the very beginning. This picture of Catalan Bay is proof. The place has been called Catalan Bay ever since a battalion of 350 Catalans landed there to join the Anglo-Dutch army that seized Gibraltar in 1704. In that war, Catalonia lost its independence and became part of the Spanish kingdom, after the British crown failed to honor the Treaty of Genoa, which was supposed to guarantee enough support to keep Catalonia independent from Spain. However, the footprints of the old friendship between the Catalans and the British remained in the name of the fishing village of Catalan Bay.

And in the meantime, let’s hope our leaders ignore the distraction strategies and concentrate on what is really important, which is solving the problems we have today. After all, that’s why we vote for them, isn’t it?

Germà Capdevila



3 comentaris:

  • Jared Baglietto says:
    September 4, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    My ancestry revolves around Catalan Bay village's inhabitants and would like to know more about Catalan involvement in 1704 on the conquest of Gibraltar. We here have no evidence suggesting that Catalan Bay was named after any influence from Catalunya but I would like to research. Could you provide any historical sources? Thanks.

  • help Catalonia says:
    September 9, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    We'll find it, Jared. Let you know that next summer a Catalan troupe will be in Catalan Bay celebrations armed and dressed as in 1704.

  • Jared Baglietto says:
    September 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    That would be fantastic. Give me and Gibraltar the heads up when and if your decide to. I think it would be beneficial for Gibraltar to see some friendly Catalan faces next national day.

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