Spain and the World Cup

July 13, 2010

José Ignacio Torreblanca, writing for the Financial Times, assesses Spain’s victory at the FIFA World Cup in light of the state of the country:

Rarely can sporting triumph have come as such a welcome distraction as World Cup victory has for Spain. … The Spanish economy is at the root of the problem. … And, in spite of the victory for the national team, Spain’s nationality problem has not gone away: on Saturday night hundreds of thousands of Catalans demonstrated in Barcelona behind a banner stating: “We are a nation. We have the right to decide”, in response to a ruling by the Constitutional Court, made public the day before, that nullified important parts of a new statute governing Catalan autonomy. With Judge Baltasar Garzón’s dogged investigation of Franco-era crimes encouraging a fit of navel-gazing, it is easy to see that the Spanish were in desperate need of sporting distraction.

More here.