Concern about an article that defines Catalonia as ?the land of the ban?

The Economist criticizes the decision of the Catalan Parliament to ban bullfighting and states that the country has a ?spam of intolerance?.


August 2, 2010 11:58 PM

A critical article in the British magazine, The Economist, about the decision of the Catalan Parliament to ban bullfighting is creating concern among Catalan groups. The article of 29 July, headlined “Bullfighting in Catalonia: the land of ban”, states that, “Catalans are getting a taste for outlawing whatever irks them.” Emma's Community, a group of Catalans who live abroad and seek to protect Catalonia’s international reputation, voiced regret that The Economist “is denying Catalans the right that every society has to define, by democratic means, what is and what is not acceptable in its land.”
In the article, The Economist compares the ban on bullfighting and the initiative of some local councils to ban the burka in public places. The author states that Catalonia has a “spam of intolerance...incited by campaigns for elections to the Catalan Parliament” and suggests that this is based on an intention to distance Catalonia from Spain.

Catalan groups welcomed the fact that most of the international press “applauded” the region’s decision to ban bullfighting, and lamented that The Economist chose to “ignore the merits of the case.” According to these groups, countries such as the United Kingdom or Germany would never accept the celebration of bullfighting. “Why, then, should it continue to be legal in Barcelona?”, they asked.

While The Economist criticizes the decision to ban bullfighting in Catalonia, stating that it is “less about animal welfare” than about “rejecting the bull as a symbol of Spain,” Emma's Community say that, whatever the rationale for it, one can only “celebrate” the fact that a “gruesome spectacle has been abolished in a small part of Europe.”

On 28 June of this year, the Catalan Parliament passed an amendment to the Animal Protection Law. This revoked the bullfighting exemption that had, until then, allowed bullfighting in Catalonia. The case has attracted wide national and international attention and has intensified tensions between groups both for and against bullfighting.