Friday, May 15, 2009

Spain's Clumsy Censorship

As you may know by now, the Basque and Catalonian fans that were present at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia to witness the final of the Copa del Rey tournament between Basque team Athletic de Bilbao and Catalonian team Barcelona decided to express what Basques and Catalans feel regarding the anthem and king of an expansionist state that has impossed those foreign symbols on them.

Knowing that something like this could happen, the government lead by Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero decided to skip the opening ceremony and in doing so try to ensure that the entire world would learn that Basques and Catalonians do not feel Spaniards, they did it in such a clumsy way that now the Spanish government is the laughing stock around the world. Of course, when something like this happens in a totalitarian state with a king that was selected to the charge by the worst fascist dictator in Europe then someone has to take the blame and in this case, the scape goat is the Sports Director at the state television according to this article published at Soccer365:

Spanish TV station in hot water

While showing the game between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona, Television Espanola (TVE) cut to reporters in Bilbao - the largest city in the Basque country - and Catalonian capital Barcelona instead of showing live footage of the Spanish national anthem being drowned out by whistles and boos from the two sets of fans at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia.

The station then aired the playing of the national anthem during half-time in the game, but with the jeers of the supporters edited out while also showing images of some of the supporters, who hail from two of Spain's most separatist regions, holding their hands to their hearts.

Antonio Gutierrez, PP representative for the Spanish autonomous region of Melilla, accused Luis Fernandez, president of the company which owns the channel, of "deciding which images or sounds may or may not be harmful for audiences".

TVE 1 presenter Juan Carlos Rivero apologised to viewers at half-time, explaining the decision to cut away from the stadium while the anthem was being played had been due to "human error".

The company which owns the channel, RTVE, then issued a statement at the end of the broadcast which again put the incident down to human error.

This morning TVE director Javier Pons held a press conference at which he announced that the station's director for sport, Julian Reyes, had left the broadcaster as a result of the incident, and that "an investigation had been begun to seek out others who may have been responsible".

On the pitch Barcelona overcame the surprise of conceding an early goal to Gaizka Toquero by romping to a comfortable 4-1 win thanks to strikes from Yaya Toure, Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkic and Xavi.

Barca are one point away from clinching the Primera Division title while Manchester United lie await in the Champions League final in Rome on May 27.

There you have it, more evidence that Spain has not yet evolved since the time when Francisco Franco ruled with iron fist.

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