Tabarnese Voices - Free and independent voices

Tabarnia, or why Torra doesn't want to confine Barcelona

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The threat of confinement over Barcelona's metropolitan area returns the focus to that reality that many call Tabarnia
Voces Layetanas
José A. Ruiz 25/07/2020 3205

Catalonia is already immersed in a second wave of the pandemic, with a third wave forecast in September, while the French government recommends its citizens to avoid traveling to Catalonia and the Financial Times strongly criticizes the Generalitat's management, highlighting the slow reaction, the awkwardness of the act as if "the virus was going to respect the vacation period" and hostilities towards the Spanish central government. Barcelona and Hospitalet are breeding grounds for the virus and the only measures taken are the hourly regulation of certain sectors and the closure of others, while the figures don't stop growing. Many residents of the metropolitan area would be very annoyed by its perimeter confinement, but perhaps it would help contain this second wave. However, it doesn't seem that from Plaça Sant Jaume they will do anything other than put band-aids. And this fact, beyond being the result of the clumsiness of a government that has been overcome, also has an undeniable political element. Let's see some very revealing data.

More than half of Catalonia
We have the first curious fact in the high-sounding figures of those affected by the threat of perimeter confinement in the area of ​​Barcelona, ​​the capital of Lleida and in Segrià. "More than four million Catalans". Surely you have heard that phrase. A huge spot in Segrià and a small spot that is the metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona (fifth graphic), just a detail in the middle of the vast map of Catalonia. This last speck appears insignificant in an autonomous community that boasts of having 7.5 million inhabitants ("7.5 milions de futurs" say the slogans of the Generalitat). But in that little spot, in the Barcelona metropolitan area, more than three million Catalans live, half of all Catalonia.
The most populated area
The second curious question is why is this place the most affected area, but in this case the explanation is quite obvious: Population density. It's evident that the factor of the presence of the seasonal workers in the east of Huesca and the Segrià region has facilitated the spread in that area, but the affectation in areas such as the capital of Lleida has been facilitated by its population density, and It goes without saying that the huge ratio of inhabitants per square meter in Barcelona and Hospitalet has been the breeding ground for sprouts in the metropolitan area. In no way the affected nuclei have been because their inhabitants are more negligent. It's simply that they are more numerous, as we can see in the second graph.
Uncompromised protests
The third data, very significant, is given by the obvious protests of the population and the mayors of the affected municipalities. The Generalitat is very accustomed to the mayors silencing any criticism that may sprinkle their autonomous rulers and conveniently deviate it against "Madrit". It's true that the manifest incompetence of managers such as El Homrani, Vergés or Torra himself are capable of making even the mayor of Lleida come out to denounce (showing his yellow bow, of course) the abandonment to which the Generalitat has subjected its population, but street protests are possible because the majority of the voters in the capital of Lleida are constitutionalists. In the Barcelona metropolitan area the effect is even greater, because the mayors are also, mostly from the PSC, but also from the PP and the "commons", making it much easier for them to report the prevailing lack of control than if they were from the ERC or post-convergent.
Because we can't forget that both the metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona and the capital of Lleida and the Vall de Aràn are largely constitutionalist areas, (as the third graph illustrates) in the same way that the 18 largest municipalities in Catalonia are (except Gerona), and in the cases in which they have finished off a pro-independence mayor (Tarragona and Lleida), it has always been due to the usual "pincer on the left" between PSC and Podemos to evict constitutional parties for the benefit of the so-called "sovereignist left".
The Tabarnian singularity
It's evident that Tabarnia (third graphic) doesn't exist as an official entity (just as the vaunted "Catalan Republic" doesn't exist either) but it's an indisputable reality at a social, political and economic level. Many may disagree with its territorial extent, or even with the name "Tabarnia", but the characteristics would be the same if instead of Tabarnia it was called "Eastern Catalonia" (like Northern Ireland). Because this reality has remarkable and different characteristics from the rest of Catalonia: It's a majority bilingual, urban and cosmopolitan population that, however, lives at the expense of the decisions of a minority whose vote is over-represented because Catalonia it's the only autonomous region in Spain without its own electoral law, which is why its vote is the least democratic, since it's based on an arbitrary disposition of the late President Tarradellas, who assigned seats by province and which in practice makes the vote of a Catalan from Lleida is worth twice or more than that of a Barcelonian. An undemocratic advantage that nationalism takes advantage of by pampering these unpopulated areas to defeat the "tabarnese" vote. The democratic utopia of "one person, one vote" would be poison for nationalism, and that's why they have blocked any attempt to approach it.
Quim Torra's fear
And it's for all this that I have stated that Torra can't apply the measures adopted in Segrià in the Barcelona metropolitan area. The reaction in the territories of Lleida, where the vote is worth twice, may have already seriously damaged their electoral prospects, but a mandatory perimeter confinement in the Barcelona metropolitan area (figure 6) would not only be a confirmation that their management has been the worst in all of Spain (as if more tests were needed), but would also unite the rejection of the entire Tabarnese area against the policies of the nationalist government that, among other things, has fatally affected tourism in Catalonia. The elections are going to be before the end of the year in any case, and the prospects are no longer good for nationalism, with the threat of uncontrolled outbreaks in September that would ruin the expectations generated, since an increase in participation and the punishment vote both in and outside the metropolitan area could make nationalism for the first time unable to gather an absolute majority even with the wild card of the electoral anomaly that has always favored it.
No. Torra cannot confine Tabarnia, at the risk of breathing new life into a rival he fears.


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