Read in Catalan

The truth, to be as clear as I can about this, is that I feel enormously comfortable with the demands made by the Catalan farmers. I subscribe to them because, even though they have been opening the newscasts in recent days, they have no-one listening to them. Those who work on the land are the last problem that governments think about and they are treated as second-class citizens. Their votes are worth less, since they generally live in the towns with the least employment in the country. It is the longest-running crisis of those that have occurred in the last 50 years and the one in which fewest economic resources have been invested. We want the country to continue having the balance it had in the 20th century and nothing is being done to facilitate the transition of farms from parents to their children. I have seen parents cry because they have no-one who wants to continue farming the property and with a certain disdain they are told that the assistance to enable such a transition, involving payment of a reasonable wage, was never going to arrive.

The only thing that is not absent from the appointment, and in fact, it is more and more present, is bureaucracy. Papers and more papers, printed everywhere, duplicate and triplicate copies, hours and hours of work that many times they don't know how to do and yet they are unable to avoid doing. All this is very difficult to understand from Barcelona. And even less to share, to feel connected to a problem that is often not known and other times simply ignored. It is better to protest about the price that products of the land cost in the market or in the shops, the so-called rise in the cost of the shopping basket, than to try and work out how much the farmer was paid for them or the origin of a certain variety of oranges, strawberries or cherries, which, by the way, are already on sale at the markets for 18 euros per kilo from Chile.

This Wednesday, Barcelona was absolutely flooded with tractors occupying the main arteries of the city - Diagonal, Meridiana and the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes - with farmers from different areas of Catalonia coming together in these columns. From Central Catalonia and Girona, to tractors from Terres de l'Ebre, Tarragona, Penedès, Lleida and Baix Llobregat. Also growers from Alt Urgell and the two counties of the Pallars going far beyond what was foreseen by the unions, who invited themselves along to a groundswell that started from below and surpassed the filters of the always-properly-organized mobilizations. They brought their protest to Barcelona to be heard by the official bodies and the February 7th Movement, as they call themselves, reached the office of the president of Catalonia.

It is becoming more and more evident that their world is ending because nothing is being done to reverse a dynamic that seems unstoppable. Or very little is being done, because there are always other priorities that take precedence

At dawn, they were due to embark on their return journeys, heading homewards because they have indeed lost a day of work, which they will have to make up with more hours in the coming days. Surely, they know that they cannot expect miracles and that when the wave of information recedes, they will disappear from the map again. That is, from the news. But surely, this protest, even if it is not noticeable from Barcelona, is different from previous ones. It is becoming more and more evident that their world is ending because nothing is being done to reverse a dynamic that seems unstoppable. Or very little is being done, because there are always other priorities that take precedence. In the political world of the emergencies over the next few hours, the farmers are many kilometres away. In fact, what remains far away, even if it is sad to say so, is an idea of what Catalonia is, disappearing as it is buried by nostalgia.