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Spanish Report
by Euro Reporter
2010-07-13 07:25:52
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Madrid fetes Spain’s World Cup winners

Spain’s triumphant World Cup football team returned home to a heroes’ welcome in Madrid on Monday, amid optimistic predictions that their victory over the Netherlands would boost economic growth and strengthen national unity. Iker Casillas, the captain and goalkeeper, raised the cup high as he emerged from the aircraft carrying the team from their 1-0 win on Sunday in South Africa.

The players are due to have an audience with King Juan Carlos before a meeting with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Socialist prime minister, a politician normally in tune with public opinion who was inexplicably absent from the final in Johannesburg. The King could not attend for medical reasons. Spanish revellers drank, sang and shouted “We are the champions!” in cities across the country until the early hours of Monday morning after Spain’s first victory in the history of the World Cup.

Another party is expected on Monday night in central Madrid after the players have toured the capital in an open-top bus.  Some Spanish commentators gleefully quoted an analysis from ABN Amro, the Dutch bank, concluding that a country could benefit from several tenths of a percentage point of additional economic growth as a result of winning the World Cup, while the losing finalist tended to suffer lower growth.

Miguel Sebastián, industry minister, said before the match that a victory would not only help consumer confidence but improve Spain’s image abroad. Spain, he said, “will be able to boost the presence of its products and services in other countries, such as China, that love our team”. Regardless of the short-term economic impact, Spanish politicians are hoping that the team’s victory will help to unify the country’s sometimes fractious autonomous regions, particularly the Basque country and Catalonia, behind the Spanish flag.


the march that took place in Barcelona

The Catalan President, José Montilla, has praised the march yesterday that took place in Barcelona.  The Catalan President welcomed the influx of mobilization, and has played down the fact that he had to stay behind a security cordon after an apparent attempted attack by an over enthusiastic protester.  Speaking to state broadcaster, the Catalan president has opined that the march was "generally positive and united." "There were more people than independence flags. People who probably voted 'no' to the statute, or did not even vote, or voted for the statute," said the president , which has justified the absence of the ministers of the PSC by scheduling problems and underlined they were represented by their party.

But beyond these considerations, has remarked that the common denominator of the demonstrators was "strong a statement of the identity of Catalonia as a nation" and "political demands to recover what the TC has put in question."  At this point, the president has again warned that the PP's strategy of trying to strengthen the unity of Spain "on the basis of making catalanism" leads to "generate more dissatisfaction and tension, and ultimately to "weaken the unity of the people of Spain".

Asked about the relationship between the PSC and the PSOE, the president has asserted that the Catalan Socialists do not feel "uncomfortable" with the PSOE, and has noted: "If we are uncomfortable it is with the TC and the PP."

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