Posted by: Dirk | May 25, 2012

The Politics of Copa & king

Tonight we might be witnesses to a significant rise in political tensions in Spain as the Spanish cup final takes place. The game is hosted in Atlético Madrid’s Vicente Calderón and will feature the sides of FC Barcelona and Athletíc Bilbao, which are from Catalunya (Catalonia) and Euskal Herria (the Basque country) respectively. Three years ago, the two teams faced each other in another cup final in Valencia. The crowds booed and whistled during the Spanish national anthem (which was legal, by the way), as the supporters of both teams do not think highly of Madrid and the king. During the Franco regime, taxes were redirected from the industrial regions – the Basque country and Catalonia – towards Madrid and its regional allies from the times of the Civil War. Also, the local languages were forbidden under the fascist dictatorship. Perhaps more importantly, the past is till hidden behind a veil and many victims of the Civil War have not been buried as the issue has not been resolved so far.

Esperanza Aguirre, president of the community of Madrid, is currently under pressure as it was found that the deficit of that region is much higher than it was portrayed. Instead of explaining the deficit, reports El Pais, Mrs Aguirre has said that she will not tolerate whistling against the king and will have the crowd removed from the game in case this happens. Apart from this, a Madrid court has decided to allow a demonstration of ultranationalists only 4 hours before the game. If this is not adding fuel to a fire, then what is? Political instability, here we come!

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