The Economist – Hostage to Catalonia

If Spain has become a noisy place, with protest against austerity now a daily event in some cities, the soccer match on October 7th between arch-rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid threatens to be noisier still. Both sides will be roaring for goals from the likes of Barcelona’s Leo Messi or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. But many fans at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium will also holler for independence for their Catalan homeland. “It will be very, very loud,” warned one senior local businessman.

FC Barcelona is fanning the separatist flame. It will hand out red and gold coloured placards to the 98,000 fans at the match so they can ring the pitch in a giant Catalan national senyera flag. Shouts for independence will be timed to coincide with the seventeenth minute and fourteenth second of each half – symbolically matching the year, 1714, when Catalans lost key rights.

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