Dialogue IV (in Barcelona). For whom did the bells toll?


We were still in the cafe of carrer Petritxol. Before returning to our hotel we asked for another cup of hot chocolate. I reproduce our last conversation:

Voltaire: Do you think that Mr. Barroso is in the wrong way about Catalonia and Europe itself?
Lord Chesterfield: Of course, monsieur, when what is at stake is the right to vote of a part of the European citizenry, the issue ceases to be an internal issue of the member state because democracy is a fundamental principle of the European Union, which must defend the rights of all of its citizens. So Mr Barroso isn’t in the right way, is him?
Mme. du Châtelet: What is more, do you remember the dialectical exchange between the president of the European Commission and Professor Xavier Sala-i-Martin about the possibility of an independent Catalonia was admited into the EU. It took place on last the January 23th in Davos.
Voltaire: Indeed! You can find the exactly words on the professor’s blog. These are some excerpts: “Croatia and Serbia have achieved independence through bloody wars, with many crimes against humanity that are being tried by the tribunal in The Hague. […] Catalans are calling for a referendum to decide whether to remain in Spain or choose to go another way. In the midst of this process you [Mr Barroso] said that if the Catalans vote in favor of independence, they will be automatically outside Europe. I have nothing against the people of the Balkans but I ask you: Is that democratic Europe of which you are so proud of a Europe that welcomes the incorporation of countries that achieved independence through bloody wars but threatens with expulsion those seeking the same result through a vote?”
Lord Chesterfield: Yes. And what is more, he added: “It is true that all countries that have achieved independence violently become part of the United Nations normally. But that should not be a source of pride but of shame, not only for the EU but for all mankind. Is it not time that we, as free and democratic human beings, begin to refusee borders drawn with blood and violence and accept those drawn with the votes of citizens? […] I think that, as in so many occasions throughout history, this process should be led by Europe. That could be one of the foundations on which the new revival of Europe is founded.”
Châtelet: These comment was due to the erroneos account of some Madrid newspaper’s article provided of the exchange. Can you beleave that most of the newspapers of that town are reproducing lies about the Catalan way?
Lord Chesterfield: Oui madame, you can if you know that Spanish government do not accept the riscs of being a democracy. The party in the power is taking a dangerous way to extreme right. In some way, it looks like a return to times of Franco. Whilst Catalonia claims freedom, Spanish State choses the way of intolerance, unthinkable in Western democracies. Who will win?
Voltaire: Democracy, of course
Châtelet: I agree, monsieur!

We paid the bill and walked out into the beatifull street, located in the heard of the Gothic Quarter. We do apreciate to walk back through those narrow and lightful streets of the old Barcelona. Nearby, on Las Ramblas, that river full of humanity, it was late afternoon. The bells of Bethlehem talled above us.

Later, in the hotel, we thought about all these things. What did future hold for Catalonia and Spain? For whom did the bells toll?

Madame du Châtelet

Lord Chesterfield



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