Josep Carod-Rovira, the leader of the Catalan Republican Left Party (ERC), upset the government once again last week, during his visit to Scotland. He told Scottish prime minister Alex Salmond: “Catalonia is like Scotland but Spain is not like England.” Both men are pushing for a referendum on their country’s independence from Spain and England – a move approved by the UK government but opposed by the Spanish government as unconstitutional. Since Sr Carod’s party came to prominence as a member of the so-called “tripartite” Catalan government, together with Catalan Socialist party and a smaller nationalist party, he has raised many hackles. Two of his worst gaffes were meeting leaders of the Basque terrorist group ETA in France to get them to agree not to carry out bomb attacks in Catalonia and upsetting the world’s Catholics during a visit to Israel, where the then Catalan regional president Pascual Maragall was photographed taking a photo of a broadly smiling Sr Carod holding a crown of thorns over his head outside a tourist souvenir stall in a Jerusalem street.



  1. Ariel Gerondi says:

    The smaller party in the “tripartite” is not a “nationalist” one (it is a green-post-communist organization). Everybody agrees, in England, Scotland, Spain and Catalonia, that Spain (modern name of the Kingdom of Castile) is not like England. As an Israeli living in Jerusalem, I can say that the crowns of thorns that are sold in Jerusalem’s Old City are intended to be used for these exact purposes, namely taking pictures holding them over the one’s head, that is, exactly in the manner that Mr. Carod-Rovira used it: this is called “Imitatio Christi.” Moreover, in Catholic countries like Catalonia a tradition exists reproducing the Christ’s passion and Mr. Carod-Rovira knows and assumes that tradition.

    Simply, you expect your readers shall see Catalan people are obnoxious, only because you say it. This is the Holy Office, also called Spanish Inquisition, procedure.

    By the way, I do not agree with the first half of Mr. Carod-Rovira clear and neat statement. Catalonia is like England, and not like Scotland. England owes her Saint George, her flag and the idea of her Parliament to Catalonia. The word ‘Parliament’ comes from the Catalan word ‘Parlament’ (‘speech’), and the Catalan Parliament, as the Catalan musician Pau Casals stated before the UN General Assembly on October 24, 1972, preceded twelve years the English. Probably Mr. Carod-Rovira wanted to be obsequious with Mr. Alex Salmond, but I find it excessive.

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