I lived in Argentina as a child, in the States as a young adult and for the last 11 years I have been in Spain. When I moved from NYC to Madrid I was wondering what would be like to move from a huge city, NYC, to a mid size city, Madrid, and from a huge country, USA, to a mid size country, Spain.

Living in the States I was not aware that this mid size country, Spain, has a considerable amount of citizens who would like to live in much smaller countries, Catalunya, Euskadi or Galicia. Now a Spanish and a European citizen, I frequently wonder about the two forces that seem to be driving political decissions these days: globalization and localization. Today, during a 48km bike ride near Kotor, in Montenegro, I decided to use this few months old country as an experiment and ask citizens how they felt about their newly gained independence from Serbia. The answers were not encouraging. One bar owner summarized it best, “new country, same problems” he said.


Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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xl on August 17, 2006  · 

As cathalan my idea isn’t be an independent country isolate of the rest of the world.
My wish is that Catalonia will be part of the world but having all his rigths, and the capacity to be managed by cathalans defending our interests

You live in Madrid and you really can not understand that the opinion that the people has there is more radical than here.

In cathalonia you can listen 1 or 2 guys having radical ideas, unfortunatly this is the people that Madrid Show.

But our wish is have tha capacity to manage our contry because the things managed here are going better…

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Pablo Moreno Galbis on August 17, 2006  · 

48Km, Not bad for your age! (joking ;-P)

Looking at Netherlands, Danmark or Belgium it seems that small countries can work pretty well, and you have the advantage of not having to deal with the kind of political movements there are in Catalonia or Euskadi….

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Lawyer on August 18, 2006  · 

When UK turned back Hong Kong to China, a collegue of mine was send as a correspondant to cover the event. He travelled with one question in mind: Why HK people wanted to leave a free, democratic system like the british to became part of a totalitarian communist regime? The answer he founded as amazing as simple: “we want to re-join China because… we are chinese!”
This example shows that the main point on the subject Martin exposes has nothing to do with the problems, the benefits or the looses of the independences process. Most montenegrians voted for independence because they’re not serbians. Most catalans anb basques wanted independence just because they’re not spanish, bus catalans or basques.
You’ll find the same in every country artificially created (like in Middle East) or in Europe (URSS, Balkans, Spain, etc.)

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Hadi Kabalan on August 18, 2006  · 

One of the interesting things I’ve noticed is that you find a disproportionately high number of citizens of small countries working at multinational political organisations, like the world bank, the UN, the EU etc.

I think citizens of small countries, much more than citizens of large countries, have to be outward-looking to assure survival, whether in terms of economic trade or political influence.

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Chloe on August 20, 2006  · 

I am a Taiwanese.De facto, Taiwan is independent, but most countries in the wolrd don’t recognize this fact because the threat from China.
For me, why I perfer that Taiwan to be completely independent, to live in a much smaller country? Just because we are democratic and more modern here, and I can’t accept to be reunited under the military threat.

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