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Spain/madrid/catalonia/independence

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Just some thoughts from observing what's going on in Spain.

Spain is big. It takes hours and hours to travel across it by car. Most people live near the coast.

Madrid seems to exist only to be a capital city. I assume commerce flocks to capital cities to be near government for lobbying and to live among the politicians.

But it looks like it was chosen to be dead centre in the land and not because it has a major river or a port or natural resources. I can't see any reason to build a city in the middle of a semi-desert in the middle of nowhere.

It's one of the major cities in Europe which is positioned politically and not strategically. That's why you have the Catalonians and the Basque on the edges fighting to leave Spain.

London has the Thames. Lisbon has the Atlantic. Barcelona has the Mediterranean. Scotland (kind of) has oil. Budapest has the Danube. Etc. Paris is near the "Blue Banana" - trade route from Manchester through the centre of Europe to the north of Italy.

The hatred of Barcelona by Madrid seems more about the realisation they are in completely the wrong place and Barcelona is. They must feel quite weak.

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Just some thoughts from observing what's going on in Spain.

Spain is big. It takes hours and hours to travel across it by car. Most people live near the coast.

Madrid seems to exist only to be a capital city. I assume commerce flocks to capital cities to be near government for lobbying and to live among the politicians.

But it looks like it was chosen to be dead centre in the land and not because it has a major river or a port or natural resources. I can't see any reason to build a city in the middle of a semi-desert in the middle of nowhere.

It's one of the major cities in Europe which is positioned politically and not strategically. That's why you have the Catalonians and the Basque on the edges fighting to leave Spain.

London has the Thames. Lisbon has the Atlantic. Barcelona has the Mediterranean. Scotland (kind of) has oil. Budapest has the Danube. Etc. Paris is near the "Blue Banana" - trade route from Manchester through the centre of Europe to the north of Italy.

The hatred of Barcelona by Madrid seems more about the realisation they are in completely the wrong place and Barcelona is. They must feel quite weak.

I dunno about the rest of the stuff, but the UK is big too. It takes hours and hours to go from Land's end to John O'Groats. 900 miles. In fact, if Spain is "big" just about everywhere is big.

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The hatred of Barcelona by Madrid

Have you got that the wrong way round?

I believe that Toledo was the capital originally, just South of Madrid. Valencia was the seat of Govt.[Republican side] for a while during the civil war.

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I dunno about the rest of the stuff, but the UK is big too. It takes hours and hours to go from Land's end to John O'Groats. 900 miles. In fact, if Spain is "big" just about everywhere is big.

Spain has invested in some impressive high speed train services which, like most European countries, put British Rail to shame.

EU grants may have helped, not sure?

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Spain has invested in some impressive high speed train services which, like most European countries, put British Rail to shame.

EU grants may have helped, not sure?

Have no clue. I just think that the idea that Spain is "big" is a bit wrong. Although of course it's subjective. You point regarding accessibility is valid to me.

Not anything to do specifically with spain, but the OPs topic struck me that this is a worldwide phenomenon, where you get certain cities that are part of a huge globalisation trend that are becoming increasingly disconnected from their surrounding regions and that these globalised cities are more likely to act in the globalised interest than in the interest of the regions that surround them. Where this is going to lead to is anyones guess.

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The hatred of Barcelona by Madrid seems more about the realisation they are in completely the wrong place and Barcelona is. They must feel quite weak.

Quite the opposite. The rest of Spain is sick to the back teeth of the Catalans and their demands - they are Spain's equivalent of Scottish nationlists

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But it looks like it was chosen to be dead centre in the land and not because it has a major river or a port or natural resources. I can't see any reason to build a city in the middle of a semi-desert in the middle of nowhere.

I've been there and that's exactly what I thought. It must be incredibly inefficient: it's sitting in the middle of a very arid area that looks as if it doesn't offer many opportunities for food production. It's a large city that's going to require lots of food/goods/power/water and most of that's going to have to be transported long distances from more productive areas or from the coast. Presumably if it wasn't for Madrid they'd have a big doughnut-shaped country with little political cohesion.

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I had never heard of the blue banana before. It seems like a load of rubbish, just some geographer drawings a shape round some cities, I don't think it means much. Also according to the wiki article Paris isn't in the blue banana, which slightly blows your point out of the water!!

No idea why Madrid became the capital, personally I liked it a lot more than Barcelona.

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Bit like Russia, isnt it. St petersburg had the hanseatic ports, faces europe, has the history/culture. But Moscow was at least a little more central, somewhat more 'eurasian' than european. I guess moscow has a river, but it only goes to the landlocked Caspian lake sea.

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Have a referendum, let them go if they want it.

Turns out the Scots didn't. But if they had I'd have been fine with it.

At the end of the day, localism is the business. If local people vote for silly government, and then they go bust, the rest of us watch and laugh, and then absorb their best and brightest emigrants. I'm ready to leave London, I'd be silly not to be.

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Guest eight

I'm ready to leave London, I'd be silly not to be.

How could you ever tire of black snot? Us connoisseurs prefer it to the regular kind.

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Watching pretty woman and the first scene is in the blue banana club.

Is it anything to do with Paris ?

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