In Catalonia, 2 intractable sides battle for hearts and minds: Margaret Evans

Friday, 13 October 2017, 03:02:35 PM. Catalonian separatists dismiss Spanish unionists as 'fascists,' a term that recalls the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. There is seemingly very little movement between the positions.
"The nationalists are the problem," the man wrapped in a Spanish flag said with no hint of irony.  "You have to tell the truth about what's happening here!" He had just marched through the centre of Barcelona on Sunday along with hundreds of thousands of other flag-waving demonstrators chanting "Catalonia is Spain, Spain is Catalonia." It was just a week after Catalonia's separatist leaders staged an independence referendum rejected by Spain as illegal and the first major demonstration by Catalonians who favour remaining in Spain. If the man with the flag is to be believed, that's because up until recently they've been too intimidated by Catalonian separatists to voice their opinions, In other words, by "the nationalists." He was happy to give his opinion, but not his name. Sharing thoughts on independence can get you into trouble, he said. Maria Dolores had no such concerns. She too was draped in a Spanish flag. Born in 1957, she said the Catalonian leadership has gone too far. And she dismissed Catalonia's claim to nationhood, even though she herself was born and raised in Barcelona. "They have created a complete fantasy about their nation," she said. "About their history, about their reality which is not at all the truth." Flag-waving demonstrators chanted 'Catalonia is Spain, Spain is Catalonia.' But there is a battle for hearts and minds in Catalonia. (Lily Martin/CBC) For their part, many in the separatist camp tend to dismiss unionists as "fascists," an insult dating...Read more
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