January 2012

Scotland: a region of Spain

Madrid sees the map of stateless nations as a hall of mirrors about to shatter. The most recent expression of this has been triggered by the sovereignty aspirations of the Scottish government, led by Alex Salmond, nationalist leader and First Minister. Salmond wants a referendum on this issue in 2014. According to The Independent, Spanish diplomats have already informed their British counterparts that, if Scotland gained independence, Spain would veto its accession to the European Union. The reason for this is no secret: avoiding internal contagion, preventing Catalans and Basques from following suit and rooting …  

Categories Articles, Politics

The distortion of Fraga

I once devoted a book to questioning the official account of Spain’s transition to democracy. In the book (Els assassins de Franco, “Franco’s Assassins”) I wrote about some of the key characters of such turbulent times. I analysed a figure like Manuel Fraga and others like the Communist leaderSantiago Carrillo as parallel lives (an exercise which I would recommend to anyone for it is highly enlightening). There are more kindred spirits in the world than one might think and some seemingly opposed ideologies are rather similar when we examine their biographies through a microscope. Carrillo …  

Categories Articles, Politics

The French, the Turks and genocide

The French National Assembly has given the green light to a bill which will make it illegal to deny the Armenian genocide. This initiative has caused a significant diplomatic row between Paris and Ankara. Although this decision still needs to be approved by the French Senate, it is widely acknowledged that it will be given the thumbs-up. Turkey’s leaders, headed by Prime Minister Erdogan, have hit the roof and have counter-attacked referring to another page of France’s history: its role in Algeria. According to Erdogan, “the Algerians were burnt en masse in ovens”. The Turks …  

Categories Articles, Politics