Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Largely Symbolic"

"Largely Symbolic" That's how the AP has described Catalonia's landmark Declaration of Sovereignty. On the one hand, that's true: declaring a country's sovereignty is loaded with symbolism. Here is Catalonia finally standing up and saying that it has the right to decide its own future. But if you interpret "largely symbolic" as "having little legal standing" as those newspapers seem to do, then you'd be grossly misled. The Parliament of Catalonia was elected on November 25, 2012 with the highest turnout that that Parliament has ever seen. The Declaration of Sovereignty was approved by a favorable vote of 85 of the 135 Members. It is a monumental step on the road to independence. Symbolic for its significance, I'll give you that.



Great to see an accurate portrayal in CNN: Catalan Parliament declaration pushes self-determination
"It is not an outright statement of independence, but parliament's declaration insists that the Catalan people, in northeast Spain around Barcelona, have the right to self-determination."

Here's the initial roundup of the immediate coverage of the Catalan Parliament Declaration of Sovereignty, which is distressingly limited to repeated versions of the AP article, a better one from Reuters, and another from DPA, a German press agency.

Europa Online Magazine pretty much has the facts straight (from DPA): Catalan Parliament approves referendum on independence
"The parliament of the large north-eastern Spanish region of Catalonia on Wednesday approved a declaration paving the way for a referendum on independence, despite objections from the national government in Madrid."

And here is the Reuter's story, as it appears in EuroNews Catalan lawmakers pass resolution on sovereignty Catalonia votes on motion calling for right to decide political status

GMA News Online: Catalan lawmakers pass resolution on sovereignty
"Catalonia's parliament approved on Wednesday a declaration of sovereignty signalling the start of an uncertain journey towards a referendum on independence from Spain for the northeastern region."

ABC was first to carry the stilted AP story: Catalonia Declares Itself a Sovereign Entity It's also being carried by The Guardian, Huffington Post, Washington Post and Fox News

Reuters has someone on the ground: photograph: Catalunya's separatist supporters meet at the entrance of Catalunya's Parliament during a session in Barcelona

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