The right of the Partido Popular (the local party members, not the leadership) are using the campaign against the new Catalan Statute of Autonomy (which is still under discussion in the Spanish parliament) as an excuse to try and raise the temperature in the national political arena. This topic is also losely related to the recent bogus phone call to Evo Morales, since it is being partly organised and promoted by the same radio station (La Cope).
The issue has particular significance at this time of year since Spanish people tend to receive a case of wine as part of their xmas ’box’ (the other part being an extra monthly’s salary payment) from their employers, and normally these cases contain a couple of bottles of Cava. In a sense the composition of the box has represented the cultural diversity of Spain. This year however some distributors have changed the Cava for sparkling wine from other Spanish regions and it is this move that has sparked all the debate.
All of this has its curious dimension, since the people in the forefront of promoting the boycott are the very people who want to argue that the Catalans are in fact Spanish (right to their bone marrow!), while it is normally the Catalans themselves who say they aren’t. But if Catalans are Spanish, then why boycott a Spanish drink? Really I can’t help feeling that it is the people who say their main priority is maintaining the unity of Spain who are the ones who are doing the most to foment separatism.
If Catalonia becomes an independent state, it will because of ill-considered acts like this. Alas, too many nationalisms and nationalists are attached to particular territories and landscapes without caring for the people and cultures which inhabit them.