A Persistent Issue

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Jun 23, 2018 19:11
Yesterday, the opening ceremony of the Mediterranean Games was held in the Spanish city of Tarragona. The Mediterranean Games are a sporting event organised every four years where countries around or very near to the Mediterranean Sea take part. Because there are participants from Europe, Asia and Africa, this event attracts the best athletes of these continents. It is always a great honour to be the host country.

As Tarragona is in Catalonia, it was expected that the opening ceremony was very controversial because it was going to be the first time that the King of Spain, the new Spanish Prime Minister and the Catalan Prime Minister met together. The first two had already met but because the new Spanish Prime Minister has only been in office for two weeks, it has been impossible for him and the Catalan Prime minister to meet. One of the main priorities of the new Spanish Prime Minister’s is to improve the relationships between Spain and Catalonia. So although he has not had time to discuss this issue with his Catalan counterpart, the new Spanish Prime Minister has let him know that this meeting will be held as soon as possible.

Due to the speech in favour of preserving the unity of the nation given by the King of Spain after the pro-independence referendum held in Catalonia, the Catalan politicians claim that he takes sides against them in this issue. How could the King or Queen of any nation not make such a thing? Is it not expected from a King or Queen to preserve the integrity of his or her nation? Otherwise, it will not make any sense. Because the King of Spain had confirmed his attendance at the opening ceremony, as could not be otherwise, the Catalan Prime Minister had refused to turn up. However, in a last-minute decision, he appeared. As on previous occasions where the King of Spain has met Catalan politicians in events organised in this Spanish region, the atmosphere was tense. The King of Spain shook hands with everybody and it seemed that everybody, including the Spanish new Prime Minister, was having a good time. However, the Catalan Prime Minister was waiting to have an opportunity to show his disapproval with the King of Spanish taking part in the event. He broke the protocol and handed the King of Spain some documents on the police charges happened the day that the pro-independence referendum was held.

I recognise that I only watched a few moments of this event. But it was enough; three people in the gallery trying to put a brave face, or least two of them because judging by the expression on the Catalan Prime Minister’s face, it was the last place he would like to be. This is the image that Spain was projecting the world.