Spain’s attitude toward Catalonia “is even worse than colonialism was. Spain treats Catalonia badly, or worse than its old colonies”, declared the writer and journalist Matthew Tree, resident in Catalonia since the 80s in an interview for the digital newspaper The Local, with versions for several European countries.
Matthew Tree argued that when Spain fought against its colonies it was done against people that spoke their own language. “When they lost them, they lost countries that had already adopted Spanish ways. However, the problem that they have now with Catalonia is that it is supposed that it is a part of Spain, but it is less Spanish in many aspects than many of the Latin American countries. It is because of this Spain treats Catalonia badly.”
Matthew Tree, who lives in Barcelona, believes that Catalonia “simply doesn’t fit into the Spanish scheme of things, and because of this, they are trying to Hispanicize the Catalonians.” This is one of the reasons for which Spain treats Catalonia, because the Catalonians are treated like strangers in Spain.
According to Tree, “Nevertheless, at present, Catalonia is in Spain against its will, and has undergone an extraordinary amount of prejudice during the last 200 years. The Catalonians have been insulted and vilified; their language is seen as having no value for Spain, but only as something dangerous, nasty and threatening to the Spanish national identity.”
The Anglo-Catalonian feels that the Spanish Government doesn’t authorize the referendum for independence because it will gain a Yes. Regarding the situation behind the hypothetical independence, Matthew Tree predicts a first attempt to boycott Spain, but then they will have a phase of good relations between the two countries. “Only then – he assures – will this very strong sentence pass into history as truth: Spain treats Catalonia badly.”