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Catalonian heart, Spanish head: one woman's take on Spain's constitutional crisis

Catalonian heart, Spanish head: one woman's take on Spain's constitutional crisis
By Robert Hackwill
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Olga is a travelled Catalonian who now lives in Madrid with her husband, a local man, and son. She contends that the independence movement does not own her homeland.


On Saturday people demonstrated in Madrid in favor of Spanish unity. Olga was there, a Catalan who has lived in the capital for 10 years. Although she thinks that the Madrid government shares responsibility for the current situation, she believes that the Catalan authorities are more to blame.

“I’m here because I want Catalonia to continue being part of Spain. We are better together. Only part of the story has been reported, the impression given is that everyone there wants an independent Catalonia, and that is a lie,” she claims.

Olga Demestres is the only member of her family who lives outside of Catalonia. Two of her three siblings support independence. On social media conversations with them about politics have become impossible.. Olga’s partner is from Madrid, but she wants to preserve Catalan culture in her family.

“I speak to my son in Catalan because it is my language, I speak with my family in Catalan and I believe that it is valuable. Cultural heritage is not only the property of the independence movement, and we also have rights, those who feel Catalan and Spanish to speak in Catalan, to dance the regional dance, the sardana, or enjoy any part of Catalan culture,” she says defiantly.

She is now off on a long overnight journey home, to join a large group of people for her second demonstration this weekend; calling for Spanish unity, but this time in Barcelona. She is not the only one taking this 625- kilometre round trip; our reporter saw about 11 coaches leave, financed by the pro-unity Catalan Civil Society.

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