Thursday, November 18, 2010

They don’t mince words in Catalonia

They don’t like bullfighting, they don’t like to be considered part of Spain - they certainly don’t like immigrants and are not afraid to say so.

But now the Popular Party has been forced to remove a video game from its website that showed its main candidate at regional elections in Catalonia destroying illegal immigrants.

The video, in which PP candidate, Sánchez Camacho appears as a Lara Croft-style character who wipes out immigrants jumping from helicopters, was placed on the conservative party's campaign website yesterday. It provoked outrage and was taken down. People's party officials claimed its designers had not followed instructions.

Earlier this year Sánchez Camacho had to apologise for a pamphlet linking immigrants with crime, which featured a photograph of a banner saying: "We don't want Romanians." "I am concerned about whatever worries Catalans, and one of the things that most worries Catalans is immigration," she said recently.

Other Catalan parties have also come out on the attack against immigration. Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida, one of the leaders of the Catalan nationalist Convergence and Union coalition, which looks set to win the vote, has complained that too many babies born in Catalonia have immigrant mothers.These accounted for more than 50% of births in some Catalan towns, he said, adding: "Things are not going well."

Every party is in on the act. In the run-up to the elections, socialist mayors in major Catalan cities such as Barcelona and Lleida led a wave of local bans on the use of burqas and niqabs in public buildings – even in towns with no Muslim population.

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