Andorra's disdain for Catalonia
English
per Víctor Alexandre   
dimarts, 11 juliol 2006
El menyspreu dưAndorra a CatalunyaIt is common knowledge that the Andorran authorities don’t feel even a minimal of cultural or political sympathy for Catalonia. In fact, perhaps because they feel superior, they tend to save their sympathy for Spain. Being able to speak as peers with a real “State” makes them feel important, even to the point, in public and in private, they laugh at so-called “state-less nations.” It’s logically, of course; the Andorran authorities are on a whole other level. To have a chair and a flag in the United Nations isn’t peanuts, after all. For this same reason, they feel more important when they travel to Madrid to speak with ministers, than when they travel to Barcelona to speak with councilors. After all, what is a councilor anyway? And what is a nation without a state? The Andorran authorities practice high politics and find hilarity in Catalonians’ legitimate aspirations to have their national rights recognized. These are childish aspirations, as we know. The heads of Adult governments, on the other hand, travel to Madrid, center of the universe, delight in each pat on the back, and are allowed to rest their feet upon the table. In exchange, during the World Cup, the Andorran government invaded the air-space of Catalonian television’s Channel 33, granting it to the Spanish channel “La Sexta,” so that all of Andorra could quake with emotion during the Spanish team’s matches. This is how an obedient and submissive government showed that nothing would make them happier than to cease to be a state and become, instead, an autonomous community of Spain.

Perhaps it was in one of these meetings of international high politics in Moncloa that the Andorran authorities, ever yielding to the wishes of Spain, agreed to abstain from voting on Catalonia’s official membership in the International Skating Federation. This non-participation, though, was even more cowardly then a negative vote, since Andorra was, like other countries, under the pressure and manipulation of Spain to ensure that Catalonia be rejected, and knew full well that affirmative votes were essential. Abstention, then, was the same as a negative vote, but avoided such a label. Now, of course, a certain amount of time has passed since them. Even so, situations like these have special significance, and in this case, millions of Catalonians, awaking from their dismay, understood what they could expect from Andorra in terms of international support.

Jaime Lissavetzky

If, despite all this, anyone doubts the disdain which the Andorran authorities feel for Catalonia, it should be sufficient to observe the photograph that illustrates this article, or to visit number 14 La Llacuna Street in Andorra and see how City Hall’s plans are being carried out as they efface, day after day, the name of the Catalonian Cultural Center. The repeated requests that the Center has made to the Department of Hygiene, in person and in writing, to move the dumpsters, and the refuse that accompanies them, to a more convenient corner, have been useless. The shamelessness of the very same City Hall goes even further; the trash was moved for 24 hours last May 19th, when the Center was to be visited by Jordi Pujol. The next day, of course, things returned to “normal” and the rubbish returned to the doorstep of the Catalonian cultural embassy. Perhaps it’s that Andorra likes the Catalonian money that visits, but is less interested in the culture that it comes from. For this reason they dump their trash on the doorstep of the Center that represents it. It would be interesting to see what Catalans would think, if they were made aware of this reality.

Centre de la Cultura Catalana
Outside view of the Catalonian Cultural Center, located in Llacuna Street of Andorra la Vella.

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El Punt , 7/11/2006 (Catalan)
radiocatalunya.ca , 7/11/2006 (Catalan)
Racó Català , 7/13/2006 (Catalan)
normalitzacio.cat ,7/13/2006 (Catalan)
Eurotribune.net , 7/18/2006 (Catalan, English, Spanish, French)