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Bloody Sunday?

When I returned to Barcelona last Sunday, I expected to end up in a kind of war zone. I watched the news in Brussels looking for a kind of securing ‘Go’

By: EBR - Posted: Tuesday, October 03, 2017

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The city seems more relaxed than ever. Probably because tourists are staying away. That is the good news, I might add. Yesterday I walked with my dog Boni in the Ciutadella Parc, 40 metres from my house. Suddenly, we saw a camera crew, which is quite rare in a parc.  Without realising it, we were standing in front of the Catalan Parliament. In plenary session, on top of it, for at that moment the declaration of independence was debated. One camera crew, two French girls who were clearly lost sightseeing and a few extra cars. If this is how history and democracy look like, next time they should inform the people. Boni decided to pee just in front of the Parliament.
The city seems more relaxed than ever. Probably because tourists are staying away. That is the good news, I might add. Yesterday I walked with my dog Boni in the Ciutadella Parc, 40 metres from my house. Suddenly, we saw a camera crew, which is quite rare in a parc. Without realising it, we were standing in front of the Catalan Parliament. In plenary session, on top of it, for at that moment the declaration of independence was debated. One camera crew, two French girls who were clearly lost sightseeing and a few extra cars. If this is how history and democracy look like, next time they should inform the people. Boni decided to pee just in front of the Parliament.

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by Wytze Russchen*


Social media served images of bleeding women an policemen hammering down ‘innocent civilians’. Family and friends begged me to postpone my trip. Rajoy rose to be Franco’s reincarnation whilst an indignation race kicked off including political leaders and intellectuals from around the globe. My friends in Barcelona however told me to come, all is safe, which in the end I did.

The only slight agression I noticed around ‘Bloody Sunday’ was a heated discussion with my taxidriver. Exit from Spain but Remain in Europe: ‘that is what we demand!’ I explained the man that leaving Spain means leaving the EU with zero chance to re-enter the Union, due to Madrid’s right to veto. Arriving in the quiet city center, I told him: ‘what you ask for is Catalexit, what you will get is Catalastrophy’. If I have learned one thing the last 48 hours, it is never to trust media, social or not, but to see things with your own bloody eyes.

The city seems relaxed. Probably because tourists are staying away, which I consider a benefit. Yesterday I walked with my bulldog Boni in Ciutadela Parc, 40 metres from my house. Suddenly, we saw a camera crew, quite rare in city parcs.  Without realizing it, we were standing in front of the Catalan Parliament. In session that is, for at that moment the declaration of independence was debated. One camera, two French girls who were lost and a few extra cars. If this is how history and democracy look like... Boni decided to pee just in front of the Parliament.

Today, Catalunya is on strike. Nobody is working. ‘How would you call the other 364 days then?’, I joke with my neighbour who has put the Catalan flag high out on his terrace. Not funny; sense of humour and thre capacity to put things into perspective are history as well. Both in Barcelona as in Madrid. People are reacting bloody serious, though luckily no blood has been shed, yet.. One should retrieve common sense and relax. On this latter, I am very hopeful for Spain. Last Sunday, the moment it started to rain which accidentally coincided with lunchtime, in no time the Plazas turned empty and the megaphones went on a break.. The bars and restaurants, however, were  overcrowded. Siesta will keep Spain together, Manana.

*Wytze Russchen is EBR correspondent for Spain (Catalunya included) 

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