Monday, August 21, 2017
Politics and terror
The first priority when a terrorist attack takes place in your city is to mourn the victims. But of course big terrorist attacks have political implications which in a democracy must be analyzed. The Guardian has today a very interesting editorial about the events in Barcelona last week. One paradox the British newspaper has paid attention to is that "On Sunday morning the king and queen led the mourners at a service in La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s cathedral, which, perhaps paradoxically in the circumstances, was conceived by Antoni Gaudí as a paeon to faith and nationalism." The service was exclusively Catholic: I wonder if a majority or perhaps any of the victims was a Catholic. The Guardian also says that "behind the solidarity, Spain’s national cohesion faces more stresses than in most European countries. At least eight of the terrorists appear to have grown up in one small town, Ripoll. Their horrified families are blaming Abdelbaki Es Satty, the imam of one of the town’s mosques, for radicalising their sons. Yet this is a region that is uncomfortably familiar with conflicts of identity. Catalonia’s president, Carles Puigdemont, attended the Sunday service with the king and queen, but it was a rare joint appearance with the monarchs for the republican politician, who is the architect of the unofficial referendum on independence that is scheduled to take place in less than six weeks’ time. Madrid continues to insist the plebiscite is illegal and that it will do everything it can to stop it happening. The last Catalan president who organised a similar referendum has been banned from public office for two years." Meanwhile the English edition of El País says that "An attack of this magnitude should be a wake up call for Catalan politicians, including the regional government, parliament and pro-independence movements, which have made the independence fantasy the sole issue on Catalonia’s political agenda over the last few years. It’s time to ditch the democratic nonsense, the flagrant law-breaking, the games, the tactics and political opportunism. It’s time that those governing us start working for our real interests. The fight against terrorism requires complete coordination and a concerted effort among the various authorities and security forces. And this kind of collaboration can only be achieved if there is absolute trust between the various layers of government and state bodies. So we appeal to the Catalan regional government and politicians in the region to work on a real agenda that will address the real problems affecting the people of Catalonia." I couldn't agree more.