By Anne Kay

IS Spain working towards a situation of political tension on several fronts?
Catalonia celebrated its national day this weekend with “fighting speeches” from many of the political leaders, particularly Catalan President Maragall, leading the ceremonies for the first time.

The offering to the Catalan flag, the Senyera, was the scene of agitation amongst the public since the leaders of most of the political parties were booed as the placed their garlands.

The only exception was the defeated ex president, Jordi Pujol of Convergencia i Unio. Catalan observers have commented to this writer that the boos were because those members of the public had thought that Catalonia would be independent within two months of their autonomous elections.

They had believed the separatist manifestos of the smaller members of the Catalan pact, which is rather like a repetition of the Progress Pact that the Balearics enjoyed/suffered for four years ending in 2003. Other readers with dual nationality have mentioned that their Spanish adult children were particular interested to know if they would find it easy to go and live in the mother's original country.

Does that mean that people are worried that Spain is working towards a new Transition that may not be so peaceful as the one that took place when Franco died and Spain became a peaceful, democratic country much to all outsiders' surprise.

Surely the politicians of Catalonia and the Basque Country who demand independence have enough memory to remember what happened fairly recently in Bosnia! Surely those same politicians know enough history to remember what happened in the Spanish Civil War and also in Europe when ethnic cleansing was something that triggered off bloody battles! Somehow there is a complete incongruence in the politics of the Catalan left extremists because on one hand they say that they reject the conservative party's politics for immigrants, and yet on the other hand they talk about real Catalans taking their own decisions and ruling their own “country”.

Yet the wealth that Catalonia, like the Basque Country, enjoys is in no small way thanks to the manual labour by immigrants from all other parts of Spain and now from other countries too.

Would there be an ethnic cleansing campaign if those “regions” of Spain managed to obtain their independence and become internationally recognised ”countries”? Would the EU approve of that?