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Barcelonas and Beyond #12 - Monday 21st to Sunday 27th November
November 19, 2016
Welcome to Issue Twelve of Barcelonas and Beyond for Monday 21st to Sunday 27th November. This week we feature the crucial speech Artur Mas gave on Catalan independence in 2014.
I send the newsletter every Saturday with information for the coming week starting the following Monday mixture of what to do information, including festivals, concerts and of course football so please feel free to pass this email on to your friends and contacts.
A Crossroads for Catalan IndependenceAs there is very little happening in Barcelona this week, I'd like to look back to November 25th 2014, when just two weeks after the successful Consultation on Catalan Independence of November 9th, the then President of the Generalitat, Artur Mas, made his seminal After 9N: Time to Decide, Time to Work Together speech.
In the speech, Mas gave an overview of the state of Catalan independence and proposed a single candidacy that would bring the main pro-independence parties, CiU, ERC and the CUP, together to stand in elections a few months later.
He promised that if the single candidacy won, the Parliament of Catalonia would declare independence 18 months later. Given the mood of elation at the time, most people felt that Catalan independence was within easy reach.
Unfortunately, a week later Oriol Junqueras, the leader of the other main pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana, made a speech completely rejecting the idea, which effectively broke the unity of the independence movement.
At the time of writing, yet another referendum is proposed for September 2017, which may or may not be successful, but one can't help but feel that had Mr Mas's proposal been accepted, Catalonia would have already been an independent Republic for some time.
This Week in Catalonia Radio Show
Every Wednesday at 12 0'clock midday, I host a radio show on Barcelona City FM 107.3 with my colleague Jordi Vilanova.
Our guest is yet to be confirmed for this week but as there's so much going on, it's sure to be a good show.
If you miss the show, I generally post the podcast of the show to our website late on Wednesday. Click here to vist the This Week in Catalonia website
This Week's Football
La Liga is back this weekend after a week off for international games. FC Barcelona take on Malaga away from home at 4.15 pm on Saturday 19th November and RCD Espanyol are away to Alavés on Sunday 20th at 12 o'clock mid-day. I don't really like early kick-offs but I'm missing my football so badly that it's all fine by me.
On Wednesday, Barça visit Glasgow to take on Celtic in the Champions League. I doubt whether we'll beat them quite as convincingly as the 7-0 trouncing of the first game but one can live in hope.
Next weekend, Espanyol are at home to Leganés at 6.30 pm on Saturday November 26th and Barça go to San Sebastian to play Real Sociedad on Sunday 27th at 8.45 pm.
This Week's Historical and Cultural Highlights
Monday November 21st
Marià Fortuny i Marsal, probably the most influential Catalan painter of the 19th century died in Rome at the age of only 36 on November 21st 1874.
November 22nd is the Saints Day of Santa Cecília, which despite the cold weather, is an excuse for Festa Majors in Catalonia and the Catalan countries.
Paco Candel, Valencian writer and journalist, who was author of the highly influential Els Altres Catalans, died on November 23rd 2007.
On November 24th 2003, euthanasia was applied to the albino gorilla Floquet de Neu (Snowflake) to stop him suffering from terminal cancer.
On November 25th 1905, following the publication of a cartoon critical of them, Spanish army officers attacked and sacked the offices of the weekly satirical magazine ¡Cu-Cut! and the newspaper La Veu de Catalunya. The Spanish government suspended constitutional guarantees in Barcelona and imposed the Llei de Jurisdiccions or Law of Jurisdictions.
November 25th is the Saints Day of Santa Caterina, which despite the cold weather, is an excuse for children's Festa de les Caterinetes in Catalonia and the Catalan countries.
Artur Mas gave his "After 9N: Time to Decide, Time to Work Together" speech on November 25th 2014 a little over two weeks after the 9N proxy referendum on Catalan independence.
On November 25th 2009, twelve Catalan newspapers published an article entitled "La dignitat de Catalunya" about the Tribunal Constitucional and the sentence on the Estatut de Catalunya. These were the newspapers: El Periódico, La Vanguardia, Avui, El Punt, Diari de Girona, Diari de Tarragona, Segre, La Mañana, Regió 7, El 9 Nou, Diari de Sabadell and Diari de Terrassa. Other private media and individuals would also later join the cause.
The Catalan painter and interior designer,Josep Maria Sert i Badia, died on November 27th 1945.
Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical PerspectiveYou can find out much more about the historical background to Catalonia's claims for independence in my 2014 book Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective
Find out more about the book here
My favourite gig by far in the Barcelona Jazz Festival this week is the brilliant reggae rhythm section Sly and Robbie who are backing trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer at BARTS on Monday November 21st.
I also fancy the Catalan trad jazz band, La Vella Dixieland, who are at Luz de Gas on Thursday November 24th and Clint Eastwood's bass-playing son, Kyle Eastwood, at the Casino de Barcelona on Saturday November 26th.
Featured Hotel in BarcelonaOur featured hotel this week is the lovely Hotel 1898, which is fantastically located at the top end of La Rambla, and although officially a Four Star is quite definitely a Five Star in terms of luxury.
Hotel 1898 is housed in the old 19th century Tobaco de las Filipinas building on the corner of Carrer de Pintor Fortuny so the atmosphere is very fine and regal.
I love the entrance and the bar and lounge area and the rooms and suites are really something else. The 1898 is also home to two top class restaurants, Restaurante 1898 and Restaurante Terraza La Isabela, which is on the rooftop terrace, where there is an outdoor swimming pool and magnificent views out over Barcelona city centre.
Anyway, that's about it for this week, if you want to keep up to date with all the new information I'm creating, make sure you visit Barcelonas.com regularly.
All the best
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