Link to FT Article: http://tinyurl.com/o5sltyg “Catalan business takes a nervous look at independence” By Tobias Buck in Barcelona
The effect of nationalistic rhetoric is already visible. Catalonia has captured only one third of the foreign investment that Madrid has during 2013. It is not only businesses in Catalonia that are nervous, it is foreign investors that are looking at Catalonia and wondering what is going on. The most painful aspect I find in this whole sad story is that it is politicians that have lit the fire, and politicians are fuelling it. About 50% of the population in Catalonia has Spanish, not Catalan as their mother tongue. Less than half the population went to the poles to vote the last Catalan “Estatut”, which the Catalan leadership proclaimed as something Catalans were desperate for. Of the 49% that voted, 74% said yes. Of course this means that in effect only a meagre 36% of the population even care. If we applied the „I´m richer than the region next door and therefore you´re robbing me of my rightly earned wealth“ principle to every country in Europe I´m sure we could at least triple the number of countries in the EU, in which case it would stop being a union and become even more of a disaster zone than it already is. If Mr. Mas and his cadre of self-absorbed nationalists actually focused on working WITH the central government to solve the REAL problems people have: jobs, health, pensions, corruption, etc., things would look very different. But instead they prefer to spend money on promoting Catalonia, instead of spending it on the salaries of public services, fining shop owners for using only Spanish, forcing Spanish to less than a secondary language in the public school system, and blatantly ignoring rulings from the supreme court. The central government is far from perfect and they have plenty to fix too. But at the end of the day, if Spain, one of the oldest countries in Europe, cannot remain united, what hope is there for the European Union? How are we going to remain or increase our strength as an economic block in the world when we focus on the petty 5% that makes us different, instead of exploiting the 95% we have in common? It´s time to wake up, stop this nonsense, and be practical.