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How "Catalonia a nation" means "Spain becomes a Federation"

category international | eu | news report author Friday September 30, 2005 12:26author by iosaf mac diarmadaauthor address barcelona Report this post to the editors

120 public votes in favour 15 against.

Almost since i came to live in Catalonia, people have spoken about their "estatut" the reform of the relationship between their local and historical government and that of the Spanish state established under the constitution agreed at the transition to democracy.

& i've done my best to explain the background and contemporary issues to readers in Ireland, because for many reasons it ought interest them.
Many previously would have thought constitutional issues in Spain stopped at the Basque.

This morning the deputies in the Catalan Parliament, standing up one by one and gave their final "yes" or "no" to each article, to end this process in a public and historic manner & enter the video mp3 files of telly.

No deaths nor Wars nor soldiers in uniform or balaclava read a proclamation. Its an example to follow. I hope these fine words will build a fine society. Coz I'm happy to be a part of it.
espardenyes - shodding the poor.
espardenyes - shodding the poor.

& this process is going to create a pluri-national Spanish state. I've explained it all to you over the years, I must say its "quite a day".

As constitutions go, its a good one. Actually its just the sort of document and has been decided in such an inclusive and representative way that I think its a model for other European nations to follow, particularly "Ireland".

That much said, there are those who oppose it.
The young revolutionary cadre of independence catalans on one side and the old unitary and centralised España crew on the other. & if we have any truly purist anarchists left amongst us they will naturally in good faith to their principles dismiss the whole thing. Those whom I have spoken to from other "communities" (the 14 local self-governing regions of Spain) have varyingly seen this as the Catalans moving to split, or to be less in solidarity or provoking "nationalism") We'll see how it goes.

But, the document is about to become law.

Its about to become history.

The Civil war and the collapse of the 2nd republic which presaged both fascist and stalinist agression in Europe and the 2nd world war found their roots in the declaration by Catalonia of its independence in the 1930s.

This land has come a long way.

& today it declares in 227 articles across more than 150 pages many things.

The most important usually being the first articles.

"Catalonia is a nation"

short and simple, and that nation's government and historic rights are expressed through the Generalitat, it has a relationship through the Generalitat with "Spain" "a pluri-national state" which is defined by the "statute" and the "constitution [of the Spanish state]"

Its language is Catalan.
Its historic and rightful government is the Generalitat.
Its a European nation.

They have defined their territory, and made special allowances for the valley of Aran which speaks a dailect of occitan and saw the last armed resistance against Franco. They have expressed the legitimate and historic rights of the "catalan peoples" beyond the current "borders" of Catalonia.

The document gives guarantees on several of the usual things - Equality, Liberty, Justice, Education, Housing, Children, participation and some new items you don't see in Bunreacht or to my knowledge any other European constitional document.

* The right to privacy (retention of datas).
* The right to a dignified death.

[this is not an official translation of article 20]
"all persons have the right to live with dignity the
20.2 gives persons the right to freedom of expression on the way they wish to die and leave instruction on the medical treatments they wish receive with special regard for those who can't do so.

* The Right to a secular society.

* The rRight to buy and sell in the language (catalan)
* The Right to live in a ecologically sustainable environment.
* The Rights of the elderly to assistance dignity and support
* The Rights of women
* The onus on the citizen to respect both environment and heritage
* The Right to full medical disclosure
* the Right not to be descriminatet against for linguistic reasons. The language of Catalonia is Catalan, both Aranese and Castillian are recognised.

In addition the very complex questions of finance and the peculiarities of Catalan banking have been further defined to update them for EU membership. Catalonia was the first nation in Europe to develop non-profit "trustee" banking, all profits on many of the savings banks must be returned to society by the trustees to culture and social enterprise.

And many of tasks and areas of concern previously held by centralised ministries in the spanish state now return to the Generalitat.
The Generalitat has defined itself by historic right as the government of the nation of Catalonia.

Now boys and girls, old & young, We are going to do the same with the island of Ireland. Indeed in the most ridiculous ways we've already started, the process began with the careful planting of seeds in your minds. may they Bloom.

Related Link: http://www.gencat.net/
author by ipsiphi - tis all about mushroomspublication date Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

from "dot.es" (for spain) to "dot.net". Soon enough there will be a "dot.cat".
If you goto the site today, and click on the english you'll read advice on eating wild mushrooms.
Honest & Decent ;-)
Your environmental rights ought be enshrined so.

* The best way to gather mushrooms is cutting them with a knife down to the ground. There’s no need to rake the fallen leaves, as the mushrooms are always at the surface and you could damage them. If a mushroom dies, there won’t grow any other mushroom there.
* You shouldn’t gather the mushrooms in plastic bags, but in rigid baskets. This way, the forest recuperates the regenerative particles of mushrooms, the spores. So, by the way you gather mushrooms, you reseed the forest.
* Do not touch of squash any mushroom you can’t identify.

Related Link: http://www.gencat.net/index_eng.htm
author by iosafpublication date Sun Oct 02, 2005 21:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He marked the anniversary yesterday by re-visiting the cadet school where he whilst constitutionally under the tutelage of Franco was prepared for his restoration to the throne. It was a very complicated arrangement and Franco died and a few others just before & young Mr Bourbon fifty years ago was still not technically the heir to any state, just the son of a king who had abdicated in his favour, allowed to return home under special circumstances for "an education". The change in Franco's laws would come much later naming young mr Bourbon the crown heir.
& well the rest is history. Interesting history. When Juan Carlos went to the general military academy in Saragoza, the maps which school-children used still showed the "reich territory" of germany from before their defeat in the 2nd war, in which Spain was neutral. It was a country which had not yet opened itself to tourists. it got very little books or magazines or movies or telly from anywhere else. it went to complain about gibraltar & the british empire at the UN so people would notice it.

They didn't really. 50 years is a long long time.
He kissed the flag and made a speech without naming anywhere, reminded his audience that the constitution or as it is called "magna carta" by which all that Franco stuff was to end in 1978 guarantees the "indisoluble unity of spain".

The head of the spanish government mr Zapatero has been through the weekly puppet satire news review on a tv channel owned by a local of influence, as a variety of carictures. He began as willy wonka from the chocalate factory "johny depp" indeed, the oompa loompas were the catalan tri-partite. Through the week the borders of Melilla and ceuta went from medieval castle walls to floodlit barbed wire. The oompa loompas became the happy trio of "inverted commas". mr socialist party catalonia, mr marxist greenie, mr republican.
They have no doubt, a statut they can tell their grand-kids about. & today Zapatero decided to tell his bit of spain that the king was right, no need to fret""""they" "haven't" "broken" "spain""""""

Whether or not this shods the poor i don't really know. The poor take a while before they get to Catalonia and they mostly can't stay for long coz its expensive and the work thing is sort of closed. Nor is it like i'm paying as much in tax and indirect benefits as your typical irish gangland boss on the costa del sol. Because I'm not one of those types. It would be a bit incomodous with the "lefty" thing. i'm just trying to get by often with dificulty month to month or is it season to season or eclipse of the moon to another anniversary and birthday and chance to say .

But I have shoes.
I only need to walk out of Babalon : I don't need to jump the wall into this wonderful diverse always surprising country. So use that voice and speak.

author by Gerard - Particularpublication date Fri Oct 21, 2005 00:06author email drar3g at yahoo dot esauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

After reading your post, being a catalan myself, I can only think "Oh my, oh my...".
To start with Spain wasn't neutral during World War II: it was ruled by a facist dictatorship allied with the Nazis and the Italian facist. The dictatorship got to power after a three-year civil war against the forces of the previous democratic goverment and with good help of both italians and germans who experimented the war tacticts they would use later on during the world war.
Secondly, it is the will of the catalan citizens, through 90% of their elected politicians, to establish themselves as a nation within Spain. This is just a way of formalising a widespread and long-existing feeling of nationhood in Catalonia.
Finnally, because of cost of living is so high in Catalonia compared to most of Spain, whereas salaries are just the same and goverment investment is low, the otherwise industrial and productive Catalonia has the largest share of poor people of the whole state. That is of course, unless you suffer from some allergy to all things "lefty" and need to find your sources in the far-right spanish nationalist movement.
Now since you've got shoes, put them on, walk to your local library, get some culture.

author by iosafpublication date Fri Oct 21, 2005 13:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But Spain was neutral in WW2. Fact.

Spanish troops took part on the Russian front but the mission of the blue division was not understood by the allies to be an act of aggression against them, the papers are now published from both Americans and British on that and has to be considered against their agreements to join forces with Stalin.
The allies understood the intervention in the same terms they had understood the Irish ACA in Spain during the coup d'etat which was the civil war.

And the school books did show the reich borders did they not? Surely your parents saw them and commented on it, I must not be the only foreigner who has been shown these things.

90% of the catalans do support the estatut.
I think i've got that point across over the last four years of writing about it. But the comment previous was supposed to illustrate to irish readers the reaction to the estatut amongst the rightwing of Spain, those who admire their King.
& I am very surprised that "a Catalan" would be so blythe about it.

Because that "90%" don't agree with each other about what "nació" means, a point underscored by the CiU's attempt to confidence vote the tripartite in the last week. Members of ERC in Vic with whom i have spoken understand "nació" as an Irish person would. "nation is on the way to independence". Whereas supporters of CiU in Sarría Barcelona understand it much in the terms you suggest "nation within nation". The PSC on the other hand who have managed to cobble the whole thing together see "nation" as an expression of "plurinationality" a concept I am very interested in and long discussed with intellectuals here as it ought interest the Irish peoples. JERC and many other younger activists groups have in fact voiced anger at the concept, as it sells out their aspirations to complete statehood. Spanish leftwingers I have spoken to are more interested in the questions of "solidarity" and "money".
Actually to be honest, 90% do not support the "estatut" at all. Thats parliamentary bullshit.
Most people on the street don't give a crap. If "la senyera" is important to them, they want independence, the only young people I see who support this stuff are the equivalent of young fine gael, and interestingly they can't talk to me about articles 19 upwards. And this is a long document. It took me three weeks to translate to english.

Anyway. I haven't updated on the catalan side, because there is nothing to update yet.

if you want to read about your people in your language :-

author by iosafpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 21:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thats because today the Congress of deputies of the central madrid government of the Spanish state a.k.a. the parliament of Spain began its debate on the "estatut" and whether or not to ratify it.

on the catalonia is a nation side :- everyone.
on the Spain is indivisible one and great side :-
everyone else.

Zapatero has in his bit declared that as far as he's concerned "catalonia is a nation" (first article of the estatut) is perfectly compatible with article 2 of the Spanish constitution "Spain is the nation of all". Meanwhile, Rajoy the leader of the PP opposition and heir to Aznar has declared that he is no longer boycotting catalan produce, likes catalans and is saving catalans from themselves, and in the meantime saving Spain. The satirical puppet TV show has depicted the pp front bench as a pair of mormons for the last weeks warning of the "the end of the world, starting with spain". Meanwhile the royalty unity crew are happy - they got an heiress to the crown at hallowe'en and all the political catalans said nice things about allowing a girlie to get the bourbon crown. Coz thats the future.

The cogs of imminent statehood have continued to turn, Barcelona is now being policed in every barrio by the "mossos d'esquadra" catalan police force and the "forces of occupation" policia nacional de españa have gone. They still use the same 9mm weapons though. It took 44 minutes for the Mossos to arrest someone. & only 8 minutes to answer a call the morning free commercial press competed to tell us in both proposed "co-official languages". The lucky first arrested man was a 47 year old moroccan who was caught pissing against a wall. Another sign of the future. Juan Clos the tripartite mayor just decreed that pissing against the wall is a criminal offence in the last weeks and endangers public health. The local playground is still squated. The award winning roof on the market didn't get into google earth and leaks. As you can see - Great progress being made for civilisation. Anyway here's pretty much the only english language pick-up at this point (apart me the expert) its from the BBC they read me -

This country is changing. (all of them). As I've told you already the estatut is ratified by catalonia [as defined by the Spanish constitution], and though the vast majority haven't read it, or can even agree on what it means or may mean in the future, they approve of it.
The "as defined by the spanish constitution" geography question arose during the last weeks as well... & unsurprisingly it surfaced through sport. The recently formed "catalan football time" who interestingly lost their first "international" (those catalan "inverted commas" again) against Brazil last year. The Catalans already have one of the best soccer teams on the planet, but their nationalists wanted one with only catalans (or irish style grand-children of catalans) to be "properly recognised". Very odd this nationalism stuff. And the resulting team had none of the really good players and lost. But they've continued to play and at their last match a banner was brought to the pitch of "països catalanes" Oh dear. Now you might not know or even remember coz I've never explained it properly to you dear reader, or i did explain it and you forgot. But "PPCC" extends from Rossillon in France to the Balearics and all of Valencia. Thats 3 seperate autonomous regions of the current spanish constitution and half of a french regional department.
And when Zapatero sent the spanish response to the EU constitution to Brussels in castillian, catalan, basque, and galician? the valencians sent the same document in "valencian"? And Brussels sent it back coz it was word for word the catalan language?
You'll understand then that a lot of people who live in Valencia object to the Catalan thing, and they vote PP, and their leader is Zaplano (so they've a zp too) and their young people kill our young people during the summer festivals. & The 2nd most wanted nazi war criminal is believed to be in hiding there at the moment. Anyway the Valencians objected to the "fascism" of certain Catalans expropriating their bit of Spain (spellt e-s-p-a-ñ-a).

Valencians now have an indymedia. Its been around for the last months but has just got sort of "relevant". http://valencia.indymedia.org/ Their first features are there go have a look scroll down. It is interestingly offering 2 translation options. Catalan and Español. Well this is all sort of "indymedia history" stuff. Which I honestly hope is never forgotten for any collective. Why! we do have a lot of it. For a long time bcn.imc saw "newswire debate" on whether or not it was "the city" or a "country". & now you ought understand what/where that country might have been. And the range of opinions went from "cyber community using a geopsychological or linguistic node" (who was that?) to the PPCC crew, to well lots of it. And that was only "town and country" being debated not "nation". In the end we got esperanto {:-)Hector!} and sort of "spokenform-non-geographic/dialect specific english" translation buttons. Somehow i think it must be easier in some respects for the valencians or even the "australasian/oceanic pacific rim timezone" indymedias. But they will have someday an "offaly question" of their own.

ribbid, ribid, ribbid, belch, rant, ruminate, moot, yawn, the one really great thing you learn about politicians from migrating is that they're everwhere

author by aargh! iosafpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 21:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

on the 29th of December 2004 the catalan selection football team played Argentina.

Not Brazil.

They lost because Argentina scored goals. The ponit I made was not meant to offend those who truly want a ppcc to join the big family of nations and states. It had more to do with my believing that BarcaFC are one of the most recognised teams globally and their Port Allegre Brazil born player Ronaldinho was named "footballer of the year" by the Swiss people who value professional footie. & sure if he has declared his wish to live long and prosper in Barcelona why can't he play for ppcc? He speaks all the languages and does adverts. Maybe he sold out.

I apologise to all readers in irlenad and in particular the Ronaldinho family for any hurt or misunderstanding the previous update comment might have caused. Its the information we work with, give us good info, we might make good media.

author by iosafpublication date Thu Nov 03, 2005 21:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

197 votes in favour
146 votes against.
1 abstention.

coverage from BBC-

& it really does get up some peoples' noses. Today I spoke to a cross section of young spaniards (all resident in catalonia but not a single one a catalan) & I was really surprised at how far up their young noses the whole thing had gone. I did my best to compare and contrast, it took them a while to accept that either Wales or Scotland were nations or even countries. Both words have for them been so definitely tied up with "independence". One refused to believe that the first translation button on a BT public telephone in London is to the welsh language. Oh well, thought I, they'd all fail their british residency culture test if obliged to take one, which of course they never will be. I wonder how they'd fair in Ireland? Probably depend on where they lived. For Dublin is different to Offaly, is different to Belfast. Funny stuff this "nationalism".

olé = endevant

author by GOSH! iosafpublication date Sat Jan 07, 2006 17:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ok, as chomsky sais "Catalonia is vast and soon will be autonomous". Yes it is vast. & it already had autonomy, but the "estatut" above is its latest attempts to further its autonomy.
In the last comment i said "it had been accepted", I was a bit wrong. What had occured was the acceptance of the Spanish Congress to examine a petition from one of its 17 regional parliaments to reform the constitutional relationship.
Remember the Spanish are the lawyers of Europe. I suppose its a natural symptom of transition to democracy. & accordingly this winter they've been doing their best in Madrid to "whittle down" the "estatut" and especially that troublesome first article.
The PSOE (left government) want to put in "Catalonia is historically a nation", the PP (right opposition) don't want any mention of "nation" at all. For them there is only one nation - that of España. The minister of Defence in Spain, José Bono seems to be the most "right leaning in rhetoric" and regularly reminds all "Spain is the mother to all and stepmother to none".

This morning he just placed an order of "house arrest" on Lieutenant General Don José Mena Aguado under military discipline law for the next 8 days.
the link to teh ministry of defence:-
reaction in Catalonia

A general has not been arrested in Spain for "suggested breach of the democratic contract" since the coup d'etat attempt of Feb 23. C/F

What has occured now is that yesterday the General in question, suggested military action against Catalonia if they continue to "seperate" under Article 8 of the Spanish constitution.

author by iosafpublication date Tue Mar 21, 2006 13:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The president of Catalonia Pasqual Maragall has announced this morning that Catalans will be allowed a referendum on the adjusted proposed estatut this June 18th 2005. (j18). Of course thats the anniversary of something or other..... Don't get sentimental.


Related Link: http://www.presidentmaragall.cat/president/AppJava/cat/persona/activitat/actualitat/2006/03/603212.j
author by ipsiphipublication date Thu May 11, 2006 21:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you check the original date of this article which reported the passing of the "estatut" by the Catalan parliament, you'll see it was September 2005. In the meantime people all over the world including our dear Chomsky talked about "Catalonia increased independence" as if it were done and dusted.

Well its not over till the fat lady sings.

Pasqual Maragall (my mate) has today the 11th of March, 2006 announced the dissolution of his tripartite coalition of PSC - ICV - ERC. He's asked for the ERC (Catalan independence left republican party) ministers to hand in their resignation. He believes the coalition is unworkable, because after going to Madrid with the "estatut" ( which I took 10 days to translate on account of its incredible complexity) and bearing with numerous "little adjustments" [mostly to the finance clauses actually and not really to the "nation" clause") ERC finally decided they wanted a "blank vote" in the J18 referendum to be held in Catalonia. Well, actually the ERC leadership decided that, the grass roots then decided they wanted a "No!" vote which would allign them with the PP (party of Spanish state union).

So there you have it. it was the core of the independence party to have the "estatut" as a stepping stone to independence and an end to financial solidarity with the other regions. & they lost the "pluri-national realpolitik" game. In the meantime it has become quite apparant that the party which ruled Catalonia alone for 23 years (CiU) [equivalent to the basque PNV] are happy with what they got from Madrid, and indeed in no small way _legitimised_ the Zapatero project. The tripartite which seemed so wonderful at first (c/f "republicans are key" http://indymedia.ie/article/62218 ) has now bitten the dust of impossible and impractical nationalist ambition. & for the moment, it seems certain that the next Generalitat will either be PSC / ICV (spanish state not only catalan republican post marxist green) which would mean "more left policies and less nation shite" or.... PSC / CiU. That would mean "less left, less nation & more business" &... Zapatero guaranteed a second term in the general elections of 2008 and plausibly would see his project last 12 years. CiU are the "swing factor" king makers in every Spanish state general election, and indeed brought Aznar to power.

& that will be regardless or not, if the "estatut" is accepted by the Catalan voters on the 1th of June 2006, or for that matter if Andalucia decides under its regional president Chavez (I kid you not - he's arguably the first Chavez in political history, Hugo is number 2, Adan is number 3) whether or not it is a nation or anything the Basques may concievably come up with. If the "estatut" is rejected, ERC have alligned with the PP in rejecting it, in rejecting their own politics, if it is passed, they're out of government anyway...

I saw all this coming you know. it really has been & will be a very interesting game. Basques and Irish take note! coz its not over yet by a long shot. "tripartite surprise left wing coalitions can really sort you out in the long run.

author by @publication date Sun Jun 18, 2006 19:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

so unless everyone runs to the polling stations in the next half hour -

36 is our magic number.

its been a very catalan referendum after all.

You know where it is.
You know what its name is.
You know what its language is like.
You know about all the footballers and artists and dinky architecture & the crusades & the dragon & the mountains & all of it.
You've seen the cute shoes at the top of the page.
You know about the war.

Beir Bua!
Katalala-land is welcomed to the table of nations - yet again
"an abstention to be proud of"

visca la ros@

Related Link: http://www.gencat.net
author by dr. sickmind fraudpublication date Sun Jun 18, 2006 20:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"But Spain was neutral in WW2."

No it wasn't my dear ipsiphi.

Spain was a "NON-BELLIGERENT" for most of WW2 not a "NEUTRAL".
There is a small but subtle difference.

It only adopted a policy of "neutrality" (as opposed to non-belligerence) in 1943 due to Allied pressure and after it was clear that the Axis powers were going to lose.

"Despite the sympathies of the Spanish Government with the Axis and its constant provocations, such as the seizure of Tangier in North Africa, and harboring spies and saboteurs, the United States and Great Britain followed a careful policy in the expectation that Spain would not become an avowed belligerent. And indeed for much of the war Spain remained pro-Axis, but non- belligerent.


By 1943 Spain began to gradually adopt a neutral policy, largely in response to Allied economic warfare, the growing strength of Allied armed forces especially in North Africa and the Mediterranean, the reversals experienced by Germany from 1942 onward. After the fall of Mussolini in July 1943, Spain softened its stance against the Allies."

See also:

Related Link: http://www.archives.gov/research/holocaust/finding-aid/civilian/rg-84-spain.html
author by dr. sickmind fraudpublication date Sun Jun 18, 2006 20:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"I would like to thank you, dear Fuehrer, once again for the offer of solidarity. I reply with the assurance of my unchangeable and sincere adherence to you personally, to the German people, and to the cause for which you fight. I hope, in defense of this cause, to be able to renew the old bonds of comradeship between our armies."

Related Link: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/wwii/spain/sp06.htm
author by dr. sickmind fraudpublication date Sun Jun 18, 2006 20:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Your letter of the 6th makes me wish to send you my reply promptly, since I consider it necessary to make certain clarifications and confirmation of my loyalty.

I consider as you yourself do that the destiny of history has united you with myself and with the Duce in an indissoluble way. I have never needed to be convinced of this and as I have told you more than once, our Civil War since its very inception and during its entire course is more than proof. I also share your opinion that the fact that Spain is situated on both shores of the Strait forces her to the utmost enmity toward England, who aspires to maintain control of it.

We stand today where we have always stood, in a resolute manner and with the firmest conviction. You must have no doubt about my absolute loyalty to this political concept and to the realization of the union of our national destinies with those of Germany and Italy. With the same loyalty, I have made clear to you since the beginning of these negotiations the conditions of our economic situation, the only reasons why it has not been possible up to now to determine the date of Spain's participation.


These are my answers, dear Fuehrer, to your observations. I want to dispel with them all shadow of doubt and declare that I stand ready at your side, entirely and decidedly at your disposal, united in a common historical destiny, desertion from which would mean my suicide and that of the Cause which I have led and represent in Spain. I need no confirmation of my faith in the triumph of your Cause and I repeat that I shall always be a loyal follower of it. "

Related Link: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/wwii/spain/sp14.htm
author by dr. sickmind fraudpublication date Sun Jun 18, 2006 21:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

After the war was over, Spain gave asylum to former top-ranking Nazis like SS-General Leon Degrelle who died there peacefully in 1994 !

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9on_Degrelle
author by wik - www.freecatalonia.compublication date Sun Jul 09, 2006 20:32author address http://www.freecatalonia.com/author phone Report this post to the editors

An document about the false "political transition" of spanish state (betwen dictatorship to'democracy')
(In spanish)

And one litlle more

Related Link: http://video.indymedia.org/download/%5BIndymedia%5D_
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