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Tag Archives: Spain

The Airbnb Invasion of Barcelona

In 1904, the city of Barcelona received a petition for development from Eusebi Güell, an industrialist and a patron of the arts. Güell had bought a tract of land on the flank of Muntanya Pelada, or Bald Mountain, which rises above the plain that extends to the city’s port. Güell had ambitious plans for his hillside property: it was to be designed by Antoni Gaudí, the celebrated architect, with sixty houses set on the bosky grounds. Güell’s business model, which required prospective residents to invest in the project before their houses were constructed, was flawed, and only two were ever built. But the grounds were completed. Serpentine paths twisted up the hillside, and at the center of a spectacular bifurcated staircase there was a fountain in the form of a lizard, its skin composed of mosaic shards in blues and yellows.

The development was sold to the city in 1922, four years after Güell’s death, and became a beloved public park, with the lizard as its icon. In time, Park Güell proved too beloved for its own good, and by 2013 nine million visitors were traipsing through it annually. “The Park has almost stopped being used as a park,” a municipal report noted at the time. It had become, instead, a “tourist place.” That year, in an effort to mitigate the damage and crowding caused by so much foot traffic, the city introduced a fee to access the park’s “monumental core,” which includes Gaudí’s staircase, and also limited the number of tickets sold to eight hundred an hour.

From the local government’s perspective, the change was a success: the year after the restrictions were introduced, the number of visitors fell to 2.3 million. Still, the flow remains constant. When I arrived at Park Güell at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in February—hardly peak season—I couldn’t get in for another two and a half hours. When I finally entered the monumental core, at a cost of ten euros, it was as bustling as Coney Island’s boardwalk on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and Instagramming admirers formed a mob around Gaudí’s lizard.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/04/29/the-airbnb-invasion-of-barcelona

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Posted by on August 28, 2019 in Reportages

 

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¡Viva España!

España es el país del 8M más masivo, el que tiene el récord en donaciones de órganos, uno de los primeros donde los homosexuales pudieron casarse. España es una sociedad abierta y tolerante, más moderna de lo que los propios españoles pensamos, bastante menos racista que otros países de Europa, uno de los lugares más seguros y menos violentos del planeta. España es una nación de naciones, y no está dispuesta a renunciar al Estado autonómico que le ha dado sus años más prósperos. España tiene una mayoría social progresista, y por eso la izquierda siempre gana cuando la participación es alta. España no es solo los barrios ricos de Madrid, y su prensa tan conservadora: es también Catalunya, y Euskadi, y Galicia, y Valencia, y Andalucía… Y por eso la radicalizada derecha nacionalista española se ha estrellado en su programa de máximos.

https://www.eldiario.es/escolar/Viva-Espana_6_893520656.html

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2019 in European Union

 

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How to be human: the man who was raised by wolves

The first time Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja ever heard voices on the radio, he panicked. “Fuck,” he remembers thinking, “those people have been inside there a long time!” It was 1966, and Rodríguez woke from a nap to the sound of voices. There was nobody else in the room, but the sounds of a conversation were coming from a small wooden box. Rodríguez got out of bed and crept towards the device. When he got closer, he couldn’t see a door, a hatch, or even a small crack in the box’s surface. Nothing. The people were trapped.

Rodríguez had a plan. “Don’t worry, if you all move to one side, I’ll get you out of there,” he yelled at the radio. He ran towards the wall at the other end of the room, the device in his hand. There, breathless and red in the face, he held it high above his head and brought it down hard against the brick wall, in one violent swing. The wood splintered, the speaker popped out of its casing, and the voices fell silent. Rodríguez dropped the radio on to the floor.

When he knelt down to search through the debris, the people weren’t there. He called for them, but they didn’t respond. He searched more frantically, but they still didn’t appear. “I’ve killed them!” Rodríguez bellowed, and ran to his bed, where he hid for the rest of the day.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/28/how-to-be-human-the-man-who-was-raised-by-wolves

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2018 in Reportages

 

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Who Owns the Wind?

“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind.”

That’s the warning in Proverbs 11:29, advice that relies upon common knowledge that there is no tangible value to the wind. One cannot hold or possess moving air, after all, and even if one could, too much gas moves in too many places to give it value. The Mistral, Scirocco, Santa Ana, and Nor’easter have never been scarce. But on the Spanish side of the Strait of Gibraltar, where I conduct ethnographic fieldwork, the Levante and Poniente power multiple wind farms, generating electricity for the region of Andalusia.

https://bostonreview.net/science-nature/david-mcdermott-hughes-who-owns-wind

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2018 in European Union

 

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Al límit: o guanya Espanya o guanya la independència

Qualsevol hipòtesi sobre el futur polític de les relacions entre Catalunya i Espanya salta pels aires amb enorme facilitat per les alternatives constants que es presenten. Queden uns 50 dies per a les eleccions del 21D i encara poden passar noves variants que canviïn completament el judici sobre el que pot passar.

La jugada hàbil de Mariano Rajoy d’aplicar al mateix temps l’article 155 de la Constitució amb una mà d’acer i convocar eleccions anticipades amb guant de seda havien asserenat els ànims a Catalunya.

El conflicte distava molt de solucionar-se, però les eleccions permetien superar el cercle viciós en el qual estava instal·lada la política catalana i permetia una clarificació global. A més, hi havia el convenciment generalitzat que els partits independentistes es presentarien per separat i el marc parlamentari resultant, per molt complicat que semblés, podria oferir més majories alternatives que no simplement un front absolutament separatista davant de la resta constitucionalista.

http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20171106/432657650273/en-diagonal-espanya-independencia-21d.html

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2017 in European Union

 

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Catalan crisis a double-edged sword for Sinn Féin

The Dáil debated the Catalan crisis on Tuesday at Sinn Féin’s request.

How long before the republican party realises this topic is a double-edged sword?

The worse the crisis in Spain becomes, the more it undermines separatist positions inside the UK – and that applies to Scottish nationalists as much as to Irish republicans.

Yet both are clinging ever more tightly to Catalonia, as the reasons for their empathy boil down to confused romanticism.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/newton-emerson-catalan-crisis-a-double-edged-sword-for-sinn-f%C3%A9in-1.3268592

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2017 in European Union

 

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Catalogne-Balkans, une inspiration mutuelle

L’éclatement de la Yougoslavie il y a un quart de siècle, resté synonyme de « balkanisation » et de conflits nationalistes, est depuis longtemps une source d’inspiration pour les dirigeants indépendantistes ­catalans. Inversement, la déclaration d’indépendance de la Catalogne suscite dans les Balkans des lectures contrastées, et réveille au passage des velléités chez des nationalistes insatisfaits de la carte de l’après-Yougoslavie.

Dès 1991, Jordi Pujol, l’ancien président de la Généralité de Catalogne (1980-2003) et figure historique du nationalisme catalan, avait trouvé dans l’éclatement simultané de la Yougoslavie et de l’Union soviétique l’annonce d’une nouvelle ère des nations. Si la Croatie avec ses quatre millions et demi d’habitants, l’Estonie avec son million et demi pouvaient ­devenir indépendantes, pourquoi pas la Catalogne qui en compte sept millions ? Pujol, qui parlait alors d’« auto-affirmation » (et non de sécession) de la Catalogne, dut quitter la scène politique pour fraude fiscale. Mais son successeur, Carles Puigdemont, a repris l’argument.

http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2017/10/28/catalogne-balkans-une-inspiration-mutuelle_5207291_3232.html

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2017 in European Union

 

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EU must take initiative on independence movements

Listening to the mock outrage and dire warnings of violence pouring from politicians and broadcast media over the next steps in Catalonia, the Gospel of Matthew seems strangely relevant. Rarely, in the modern age, has a moment of political transformation revealed more about the preoccupations of onlookers than the “Catalan situation”. Of course, no-one knows precisely what will unfold as the Spanish government seeks to assert its authority on the parliament, police, education system and civil service of the autonomous region turned independent state of Catalonia. And since the Scottish independence referendum was an official affair, whose outcome was always going to be legally binding on both sides, neither Europe nor the UK has had to prepare for a unilateral declaration of independence like the one announced last week.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/lesley-riddoch-eu-must-take-initiative-on-independence-movements-1-4600123

 

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2017 in European Union

 

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Here in Catalonia, people no longer feel like they live in a democracy

Friends and relations had gathered together to lay flowers and light candles on the graves of their departed, as is the custom during Day of the Dead celebrations in Catalonia. The thought of many at the commemorations this year, however, was not of just the past, but what lies ahead in an uncertain future.

The Garrigo family had come to the cemetery on the slope of the Montjuic hills to pay their respect to their grandfather who was killed in a battle at Terrasa in Spain’s civil war; one among the thousands who died trying to save Barcelona from advancing fascist forces. The fall of the Catalan capital, when it took place, was a hammer blow to the country’s Republican government. Hitler and Mussolini increased air strikes, poured in more supplies for Franco to help crush remaining opposition and just a few months later Britain and France recognised the rebel general’s military regime as Spain’s legitimate government.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/catalonia-day-of-the-dead-independence-referendum-carles-puigdemont-franco-a8032026.html

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in European Union

 

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Que se ha proclamado ¿qué?

La cúpula del independentismo lo ha vuelto a hacer. Cada vez que se encuentra en un atolladero, recurre a la “astucia”. Esta vez en forma de enunciado alambicado y retorcido, un redactado pergeñado para contentar a muchos y que no va a gustar a casi nadie.La esperada frase de Carles Puigdemont no fue el “proclamo la independencia” solemne que esperaban los miles de seguidores que aguardaban frente al Parlament ni las decenas de periodistas de medio mundo. El president anunció que asumía el resultado del 1-O y, por tanto, “el mandato de que Catalunya se convierta en Estado independiente”. ¿Cuándo? No hay plazo. Depende de un diálogo sobre “los resultados” del referéndum que sabe con seguridad que no se va a abrir porque es imposible emprender una negociación con estas premisas. Han ganado los partidarios de una declaración unilateral de independencia (DUI), algo temerosa y en diferido, aunque la frase sea suficiente como para que el Gobierno del PP no pueda quedarse de brazos cruzados. Es una declaración que no se votó, que no será publicada en el Diari Oficial de la Generalitat y que no provocó un estallido de celebraciones en las calles como se supone que haría un pueblo que anhela ese instante desde hace tiempo, pero que puede activar el fatal artículo 155 de la Constitución.

Source: Que se ha proclamado ¿qué?

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in European Union

 

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