A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘spain

[LINK] “Independent Catalonia Would Have Investment Grade: Study”

Bloomberg’s Esteban Duarte reports on a study claiming that an independent Catalonia would be quite financially sound, at least so long as it stayed in the Eurozone.

Catalonia would recover its investment-grade credit rating if it reached an agreement on independence from Spain, according to study to be presented today by an economists’ group from the region.

The region’s government would merit an A+ rating, Standard & Poor’s fifth-highest grade, if it was released from its obligations to the rest of Spain, according to the study carried out by Joan Elias Boada, a former economist at La Caixa, Spain’s third-largest lender, and Joan Maria Mateu, a former finance director for southern Europe at German industrial company Weidmuller GmbH & Co. KG. That’s seven steps higher than the region’s current junk rating of BB, and would put it on a par with Israel and Korea.

“The credit rating of an independent Catalonia, consolidated as a new European state and a member of the European Union, would be logically even better,” Elias Boada and Mateu wrote in the study for the Col·legi d’Economistes de Catalunya.

Catalan President Artur Mas this month called regional elections for Sept. 27 as he seeks a mandate to negotiate a split from Spain. The region transfers about 8.5 billion euros ($9.7 billion), or 4.35 percent of its gross domestic product, per year to the rest of Spain, as tax collection exceeds the public-sector expenditure, according to a July study for the Spanish Budget Ministry.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 29, 2015 at 11:39 pm

[LINK] “Spain’s Partido Popular’s snide attacks on Catalan”

I can’t think of a precise equivalent to the politically-inspired separation between the Catalan of Catalonia and the Catalan of adjacent Spanish regions, as described critically in Open Democracy by Alessio Colonnelli. I will content myself by noting that, in a free society, this distinction can survive only if its speakers want it to survive.

Catalan (or subsequently referred to as Catalan-Valencian) isn’t among the magic EU 24. On its official web page, the European Commission says it “maintains the policy that all EU citizens have the right to access all EU documents in the official language of the Commission, and should be able to write to the Commission and receive a response in their own language.”

The 11.5 million-strong Catalan-Valencian language is regarded as a regional language; its status is hence hierarchically inferior. That’s not the result of EU shortsightedness, but the upshot of manoeuvering from Madrid.

Bureaucracy and political meddling of the eye-for-an-eye type are the cause of this. The cultural, linguistic and editorial weight of Catalan-Valencian has been brushed aside. A crime against diversity.

Whilst Dublin pushed Irish Gaelic through Brussels’ mesh, Madrid has craftily resorted to a loophole to keep Catalan-Valencian away from the Continent’s linguistic centre-stage. The Spanish political establishment has asked for Catalan-Valencian not to be included – Spain mustn’t be internationally identified with any other languages other than Spanish.

[. . .]

Gaelic is something Ireland is proud of. Catalan-Valencian is something Spain would gladly do without, like an embarrassing relative, the awkward one you don’t want to be associated with. A bit like a skeleton in the proverbial closet.

Catalan and Valencian are one and as one, it deserves space on Spain’s international stage. That way you’d avoid the painful and hurtful case for secession. You’d stop talking about independence. You’d stop setting up bogus referendums with no constitutional value. You’d unblock the national discourse and start talking about very serious matters concerning the country as a whole.

Podemos has set a good example; it’s stretched a compassionate and friendly hand to the idea of the Països Catalans, the age-old, controversial concept of The Catalan Countries, brilliantly depicted by Joan Fuster in his 1962 seminal work – Nosaltres, els Valencians (Us, the Valencians) – on the topic of Valencian and Catalan being really the same linguistic expression of one community, of one culture.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 22, 2015 at 11:42 pm

[DM] “On recent post-colonial immigration to Africa”

I’ve a post up noting how people immigrate to Africa these days.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 13, 2015 at 4:59 am

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO rates the top ten buildings built in Toronto over the past fifteen years.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at some of Kepler’s candidate exo-Earths.
  • The Cranky Sociologists applaud Howard Becker, sociologist of deviance.
  • Joe. My. God. notes an Italian court’s recognition of the citizenship of a foreign-born child of a same-sex Italian couple.
  • Language Hat notes a site promoting the Aborigine language of Yugambeh.
  • Language Log studies the problems of translating art language from Chinese to English.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money celebrates Kirby Delauter.
  • Personal Reflections reflects on upcoming elections in Queensland.
  • Peter Rukavina shares a link tracking electricity production and consumption on Prince Edward Island.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog maps the origin of Russian soldiers killed in the fighting in Ukraine.
  • Spacing Toronto looks at how, one day in Toronto, one railroad bridge was swapped with another.
  • Towleroad notes how a Texan man still hasn’t been charged with the murder of a lesbian couple including his own daughter after almost a year, and looks at a hate crime in Russia.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the visit of El Sisi to a Coptic Christmas mass, the first time any Egyptian president made this visit.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russian policy towards Ukraine won’t change until Russia changes, reports certain statistics from the periphery of Russia, and looks at the role of Russian media in encouraging ethnic violence.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • D-Brief notes that American populations are much more genetically mixed than people would have it.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper examining how the Square Kilometre Array could be used to detect extraterrestrial intelligence, and to another paper noting that atmospheric freeze-out on tidally locked planets could be more common than previously thought.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at Chinese outsourcing and notes Russian discontent with the Ukrainian purchase of American nuclear fuel.
  • Far Outliers notes the inertia of post-war Bosnia.
  • Joe. My. God. shares Dan Savage’s call to prosecute the parents of Leelah Alcorn for driving her to suicide.
  • Language Hat notes a new argument that the language of the Tartessians of ancient Spain was actually Celtic.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes thinks that things are very bad for lawyers.
  • Marginal Revolution bets Greece will leave the Eurozone and notes French economist Thomas Piketty’s refusal of the French Legion of Honor.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes likens immigration and refugee restrictions to a Great Wall, unflatteringly.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla notes that 2015 will be a year when dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto finally get visited.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer argues that the Syrian government is coming to the end of its rope and notes Venezuela’s belated efforts to control air-based cocaine traficking by Mexican planes.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at the implications of a recent American court case finding against North Korea.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that an extended Putin government in Russia will make things worse, looks at the visibility of the Chuvash language in Chuvashia, and notes warnings by a Crimean Tatar leader that Russia should return Crimea to Ukraine else risk catastrophe.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi marks the ten-year anniversary of his Old Man’s War.

[NEWS] Some Wednesday links

  • Al Jazeera captures the mood of Tunisia on the eve of elections, looks at the sufferings of ISIS’ sex slaves, reports on Kenya’s harsh response to American criticism of anti-terrorism legislation, and notes that Florida surpasses New York as the United States’ third most populous state.
  • Bloomberg reports on the absence of well-heeled Russian customers visiting Dubai, North Korea having been found guilty of the kidnapping of a Korean-American pastor, describes a European Union response on Ukraine’s financial needs, examines the entanglement of BP with Russia’s sanctions-hit oil and gas industry, outlines Chinese interest in helping Russia for a price, describes geopolitical rivalries of companies bidding for a South African nuclear program, notes Lithuanian interest in the Euro as a way to protect that Baltic state from Russia, shares listings of wonderful Detroit homes on sale at low prices, suggests the low price of oil means economic retrenchment in the Gulf states, and describes how a globalized Filipino village came to specialize in child porn.
  • Bloomberg View suggests Russia’s economic future is parlous despite the recent stabilization of the ruble, criticizes Russian military aircraft confrontations with civilian aircraft, suggests Russia wants a deal, argues the collapse of Vermont’s single-payer healthcare program shows the path-dependency of America’s medical industry, argues Japan should surpass China as a lender to the US, and describes North Korea’s high price for its apparent Sony hack.
  • The Inter Press Service notes a high dropout rate from school for Afghan refugees, suggests political turmoil in Spain might lead to a moral regeneration, describes the negative impact of falling oil prices on fragile African economies, comments on Pakistan’s renewed use of the death penalty, and argues Cuban-American detente will help stabilize the Americas.
  • MacLean’s wonders why the National Archives are being made inaccessible to visitors, describes the toxic CBC environment that enabled Jian Ghomeshi, and visits Yazidis returning to liberated territories to find mass graves of their people.
  • Open Democracy looks at Russian support of Central Asian governments which kidnap their dissidents on Russian territory, examines official misogyny in Chechnya, looks at constitutional turmoil in the United Kingdom, and studies the nature of Russian support for European far-right groups.
  • Universe Today describes how a newly-discovered dwarf galaxy satellite of the Milky Way can help explain the universe, looks at evidence for a subsurface reservoir of water on Mars, and examines the idea of airship-borne exploration of Venus.
  • Wired thinks the withdrawal of Google News from Spain will do nothing to change the underlying dynamics of the mass media industry, and examines the fascinating dynamics of volcanism in history on Mars.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • blogTO notes the end of long-running Toronto literary journal Descant.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the Russian acquisition of another SSBN.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money links to a Los Angeles Times article examining child labour on Mexican farms.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper examining surnames in Catalonia for mobility.
  • Livejournaler moiraj mocks, with facts, the predictions of Canadian conservative journalist Diane Francis.
  • The New APPS Blog considers the biopolitics of inexpensive medical tests.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw started a discussion about the attractiveness or not of villains, even before the Sydney tragedy.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes how Mexico City made construction issues for its subway Line 12 into a net positive.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog debunks a myth about Russian premature mortality for the 1923 cohort that still tells of terrible things.
  • Strange Maps notes the significant problems of explorers trying to map northeastern, Arctic, Canada.
  • Torontoist notes Toronto’s Black Lives Matter march while Towleroad notes the lack of a GLBT-black coalition.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russian economic problems are worsening the government’s relations with republics like Tatarstan, wonders how long Kadyrov will stay in power in Chechnya, and suggests Belarusian bases might be used to threaten Ukraine.

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