Archive for the “Opinion” Category

Catalonia is my country.  Situated in the South of Europe, in the NE of the Iberian Peninsula it covers 32.000 SqKms. It has the same population as Switzerland, 7,5 million inhabitants and more than other members of the European Union, (Denmark 5.5, Finland 5.37, Norway 4.9 and Ireland 4.5.)

At the end of the first millennium with the help of Carlomagno in driving out the Muslins invaders, the Franks converted the Catalan counties, the pre-Catalonia, into an independent territory. In the 13th century the first European Parliament, the Catalan Courts, was constituted.

Confederated with the Crown of Aragon (who some years later joined Castille), it maintained its Institutions until 1714 when it lost them with their surrender in the War of the Spanish Succession. Some time before Catalonia has been split, losing the county of Roussillon and part of the County of Cerdanya to the French Crown.

Since 1714 Catalonia has been submitted to the neutralizing will of the Spanish Government who have tried with repeated attempts to suppress the language, and annul its history and traditions. Throughout history the Spanish government has suppress for long periods the Catalan Institutions. Also from 1714 Catalonia has been economically and culturally plundered; it has suffered a continual degrading fiscal treatment and many of its historical documents are kept locked away in Salamanca and other Spanish archives.

During the last campaign for voting the Autonomous Catalan Statute, approved by the Catalan and the Spanish Parliaments, boycotting of Catalan products occurred in many Spanish regions. Catalans and Institutions of Catalonia were publicly insulted.  Although the Autonomous Catalan Statute was approved by the Spanish Parliament, the “Partido Popular” comprised of many descendants of Franco supporters, immediately appealed against it. Finally the conservative majority of the Constitutional Court cut down the Catalan Statute leaving Catalonia ruined with new abusive tax plunders.

Catalonia has tried unsuccessfully to point out all these discriminations to the Spanish Government.  The last attempt was a proposal of a  more reasonably balanced Fiscal Contract but the president of the Spanish Government refused to consider it. Last September 11th the Catalan people came out into the streets to claim for independence in one voice: “Catalunya, un nou Estat d’Europa” (Catalonia, a new European State)

The president of Catalonia, an intelligent politician, good communicator and polyglot, has been educated in various universities, he has listen to the people and offered to lead the project in spite of the problems this difficult task could cause him.     Artur Mas possesses one of the essential skills necessary to every leader; an identity based on well-founded values and concepts. He is a clear leader who can guide Catalonia to its aim;  to what the people demand.

However,  destroyers of this leadership have immediately appeared, the would-be leaders, those who work for their own private interest, those who are in the Spanish Government and want to destroy an uncomfortable leadership from inside and outside Catalonia. Spain wants Catalan leaders to be at their service, weak-willed men and women dominated by the State to carry out their possessive and centralize wish. All this to exploit the Catalans to exhaustion.

With this in mind they have started to insult and discredit the leader, accusing him of being Messianic, a visionary or other stupidities when his only aim is to calmly serve the people’s just demands.  We Catalans must protect the champion of a just cause claimed by the people.  We must bring to light the dark intentions of those who wish that the abuse and control over all the people should last, a people with its own culture, language a history who have worked for centuries to obtain what it deserves and who sees how it is rejected, deceived and humiliated day after day.

Catalonia deserves that these humiliations be recognized and definitely should be not only a State of Europe but also a country in the world.

JT. 05-11-2012.

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Last week I attended a lecture in Sant Cugat Tribuna – a platform for raising business profiles through periodic discussions and lectures addressed to top executives and businessmen and women from all sectors – of the professor Mr. Leopoldo Abadía. Although I have visited many times his blog and intensively read his opinions about the economic crisis and the “subprime” loans, I was still surprised – and even more – I was perplexed and restless after listening to his vision on this so-called financial crisis.

Mr. Leopoldo’s explanations are so simple and easy to understand that it is hard to believe that what he was explaining happened in our present-day society. This has mocked those who rule important financial institutions as they all had been highly swindled.

I still remember a Spanish movie from the 50′s , “The Cheaters”, where Toni Leblanc and Antonio Ozores wisely cheat a silly but miser who accepts to pay less money for the value of a bunch of small papers resembling bank notes. At the end, the two wise guys leave with the money and the avaricious man remains with a bunch of paper notes.

In industrial companies, and I guess also in all others, when we do receive from our suppliers components or goods, we do a quality control by sampling or also using different criteria. This is to maintain or improve the quality of our products and also to maintain the prestige of our company and brands. No matter if we are using certified quality controls or we are outsourcing the quality control in origin: when the products arrive in our facilities, we must double check and do another quality control.

Those banks who accepted a bunch of papers resembling bank notes did not make any quality control. But, what was worst is that they used the money of their customers in exchange of a bunch of small papers. They were cheated, and they acted with big irresponsibility and greed using the money of their customers, customers that trusted in them.

Seems that today some small banks (the big ones are only worried on how to make up the bad results and move them to their annual profit and losses) are trying to know what relies beneath each bunch of small papers they have, and have sadly encountered that what they have is nothing else but “nothing” and that there was no property in exchange to the money they loaned to individuals and companies that had not a healthy financial situation.

Now it is time then to ask where the money from investors is, and if there is a property behind a bunch of only small papers. If this is true, then we must call it as The Big Cheat, and find out who had the malicious idea. If the banks have lost the money of their customers, if honourable investors have lost their money, therefore in which lost arch this money had been sent?.

Who has the Lost Arch? Or, where do you think it is located? That is the question.

Josep Torrents. 26.10.2008

Dedicated to all those Quality Control Managers: do not expect certain qualities and do please make your task even better. And also this is a dedication to Operation Managers, begging them to make sure that what is in their inventories has an updated value.

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