What Catalans Want (Paperback)
Catalonia Press, 9781611500097, 244pp.
Publication Date: July 18, 2011
-What Catalans Want- takes a concerned look at Catalonia at a time when the country's political future as a Spanish autonomous region is being questioned for the first time since it came into being in 1980. It does so by talking to 30 representative Catalan and non-Catalan personalities in various key areas of public life. Interest for an English and American readership has been the main guideline for their selection. The book's aim is to discover why so many Catalans feel as uncomfortable about forming part of Spain as they feel comfortable about being members of the EU. Could the Catalan question, fanned by ongoing Spanish oppression and incomprehension, be welling up into a political issue of the same order as Scotland's or Flanders'? The book delves into a question that cannot be overlooked by concentrating on what matters most: the opinion of those affected-from the presidents of Catalonia and FC Barcelona to experts in every area. This book appears at a time when events have bowled over the country's traditional image as an -oasis- of satisfaction enjoying what was seen as an -ample- margin of autonomy and economic welfare. Independent polls now reveal that close to 40% of Catalans would like to have a State of their own. The book also delves into the 2009-2011 unofficial independentist polls that were held in over 500 municipalities in which over 90% of participants voted for independence. Why have things come to a head? And parallel to this, why do most foreign tourists visiting the country have so little idea about what is going on? The book opens with an enlightening and poignant prologue by Irish novelist Colm Toibin. The book is beautifully illustrated with photographer Lluis Brunet's remarkable portraits of the interviewees.