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Wee Ginger Dug

THE DUG is in Scotland on a Spanish pet passport. He was picked up as a stray in one of the most southerly Catalan speaking towns in the country. In 2009 he was found starving and abandoned by an irrigation canal just outside the predominantly Catalan speaking city of Elche (Elx in Catalan) in the south of the Pais Valencia near to where the person who became his far less photogenic human was living at the time. The dug has adapted well to life in a Scottish family, and is now bilingual in Catalan and Scottish English. He’s equally disobedient in both languages. The dug is only interested in lazing on the sofa, cadging treats and pats, and sniffing suspicious smells when he goes out for a walk, but even though we’ve been back in Scotland since 2013, his human still takes a close interest in events back in Els Paissos Catalans, the Catalan Countries.

Given that this month the Catalan elections imposed on the region by Madrid are due to take place, I thought it might be useful to give some background to the Catalan dispute. One of the biggest differences between Scotland and Catalonia is that whereas the independence of Scotland means an end to the Scottish question as far as the rest of the UK is concerned, Catalan independence certainly doesn’t mean an end to the Catalan question for the rest of Spain. This is one of the reasons why the right wing Partido Popular government in Madrid is so intransigent in its dealings with Barcelona, and so determined to prevent an independence referendum from ever taking place. Unlike in Scotland, language issues are central to the Catalan question, and the Catalan language is widely spoken outside of Catalonia.

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iScot Magazine
December 2017
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