Tuesday, May 24

Radical nationalism takes the electoral list of Junts | Catalonia

The president of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Joan Canadell, 'number 3' of JxCat for Barcelona.
The president of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Joan Canadell, ‘number 3’ of JxCat for Barcelona.Marta Perez

Few examples such as the defeat of Ferran Mascarell better explain the radical sign that the electoral list of Junts per Catalunya (Junts) takes. The ex-socialist, ex-Minister of Culture and politician fought in a thousand battles, joined the bandwagon of independence with the process. His career and loyalty to Carles Puigdemont, the former president of the Generalitat and head of the party’s list in the next regional elections, did not serve him in the recent party primaries against names that are known for their nationalist and populist activism: Mascarell only obtained 98 votes, 4.2% of those who participated in the election of the Barcelona list; over him were 24 candidates, among them the ultra-nationalist Mark Serra or the clown Jordi Pessarrodona.

If there is one man who represents the commitment to extreme nationalism in the Puigdemont formation, it is Joan Canadell. The president of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce will be number three from Puigdemont and Laura Borràs in Barcelona. The eccentricities and xenophobic opinions of Canadell have been recurrent, on social networks and in talks in which he has participated. In one of his 2020 comments on Twitter that raised the most blisters, this businessman and now politician assured that Catalonia would have fared better separated from Spain during the pandemic: “Independent Catalonia would have saved thousands of lives. Spain is unemployment and death, Catalonia, life and future ”. Valuations like this have been common at Canadell. “We have been under these savages for 300 years, I think even 500 years,” he said, referring to Spain, in an event in 2018.

Canadell reached the presidency of the Chamber of Commerce thanks to a campaign to mobilize the vote of small businessmen and the self-employed orchestrated by the Catalan National Assembly. His victory was overwhelming despite the fact that he had previously made proposals opposed to the interests of stability of the business community. He was in favor of boycotting companies that he believes are not in favor of a referendum on self-determination and patriotic strikes as a tool to pressure the government: “Who will suffer the country’s stoppages? One, the 6,800 multinationals established in Catalonia. They will help us if we go on strike, because they will call Merkel or Macron on duty, because they cannot live with Catalonia standing still, ”Canadell said two years ago. Also in 2018, he asked through Twitter that Catalan companies should move their tax domicile abroad to avoid paying taxes in Spain.

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Another facet that has characterized Canadell is his support for the Institut de Nova Història (INH), a group of amateur historians who say that characters such as Miguel de Cervantes, Leonardo da Vinci, Cristóbal Colón or Santa Teresa de Jesús, among many others, were Catalans. In 2017 he gave a conference with which he wanted to show that the United States flag is inspired by the senyera. The Catalan Minister of Digital Policies, Jordi Puigneró, also supports the theses of the INH, and even published in 1999 a study according to which Juan Sebastián Elcano was indeed the Catalan Joan Cacirea del Canós, Bartolomé de las Casas, a Catalan friar called Bartomeu Casaus, and the Pinzones brothers, the Catalans Pinçó.

Puigneró, who will be part of the Junts list in the next elections, has a past dotted with xenophobic messages. In 2012, during the London Olympics, he wrote on Twitter: “Do you know the difference between a Spaniard and a Mongol? A medal”. That year he added in the same social network: “A Spanish intellectual talking about federalism is like an alcoholic and abusive husband shouting ‘I will change’ the day the woman is packing her bags.” Canadell and Puigneró’s interests have coincided in promoting the current strategy Govern to develop what they have called “the digital republic.” Canadell explained in several talks the benefits of the project to create new independentistas: “When with the Catalan digital identity, to those who do not make ends meet, we give them a digital cryptocurrency, to exchange it for things that interest them, what will the people from Baix Llobregat who have a bad time? ”.

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Expoliation with the coronavirus

Canadell and Puigneró are not only potential members of a future executive of Junts, they would also enter the pools to succeed Borràs in the event that Borràs were to be disqualified due to the alleged concession of finger contracts during his stage in the Institution of the Catalan Letters, facts for which it is being investigated in the Supreme Court. Borràs is characterized by a promotional strategy in which she enhances the devotion that her most loyal followers feel for her, periodically sharing images and messages that they dedicate to her. The number two of Puigdemont stands out for messages with populist overtones, such as the words he spoke on December 22 at a party act and with which he denounced that the PSOE Government and Podemos were taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis to “plunder “To Catalonia:” We reject a centralized management [de la pandemia], which has been done by the Spanish Government, which has also taken advantage of the tax plunder that suffocates the Generalitat. We are a rich country, but also a plundered country. We cannot stop keeping it in mind. Because everything we generate could allow us to get out of the crisis with guarantees ”.

Another character who follows in Borràs’s footsteps, with daily messages of support for him on social networks, is the lawyer and deputy Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas. An upstart independence, today a fervent squire of Puigdemont, last year, at a rally in the town of its leader, Amer, Alonso-Cuevillas proclaimed without disheveled that only the “final 100 meters” were missing for independence: “We have been 300 years, as minimal, trying our moment. We have come further than ever. October 1st [de 2017, fecha del referéndum ilegal de independencia] it was the most important act of civil disobedience in the history of Europe ”. Alonso-Cuevillas also predicted that thanks to the presence of Puigdemont in Brussels, international support in favor of independence would arrive in droves. The former president and MEP, today fled in Belgium to avoid Spanish justice, said on December 4 that he was throwing in the towel with respect to the European Union: “We will not negotiate with the EU the independence of Catalonia because the EU is a union of the State; there the singing voice is Spain. Nor is the EU the fastest to recognize independences. There is life beyond ”.

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A new reference in Girona

In recent weeks there have been other examples of the radicalism in which Junts has embarked: this was the meeting in which the vice president of the Parliament and deputy Josep Costa with representatives of small groups of the extreme right of independence, to probe a possible electoral alliance. So is the success of the agricultural businessman Salvador Vergés in the Junts primaries in Girona. The digital E-news published a photograph of Vergés armed with a toy rifle, a hood and masked with a stellate – the independence flag – making an offensive gesture with his middle finger. “Even if they paid us 16,000 million euros each year to be Spanish, we would not want to be, because we are different, we have nothing to do with these people,” said Vergés in a speech on the occasion of the national holiday of Catalonia last September. “Would we do to them what they do to us? Would we rob them? Would we deny them language and culture? Would we mistreat them? Would we imprison them? Would we want to destroy them as a people? We would never do it ”.


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