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January 25, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-01-25

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Page 4-Thursday, January 25, 1979-The Michigan baily
Troubled rebirth of democracy in Spain

Unrest, contradictory life-

styles plague Spain's




By Paul O'Donnell


BARCELONA, Spain-The narrow streets of Barcelona's
oldest neighborhood, the "Case antic," displays a wide
array of political and social information about contem-
porary Spain. Next to a 14th century church, not far from
the Picasso museum, the walls are still plastered with
campaign posters from the 1977 parliamentary elections.
Where sanitation workers or shopkeepers have torn these
down, other' messages abound: "AUTONOMY FOR
FRANCO .. ." An occasional swastika shares wall space
with the more numerous sickle-and-hammers. Monarchists
express themselves with the same ubiquitous black spray
paint that the Maoists use.
That Spain has evolved radically in the three years since
dictator Francisco Franco died is evident to even the most
casual observer. And nowhere is the change more striking
than in this Mediterranean city. The bustling, winding
streets just north of Barcelona's main avenue are
microcisms of the entire nation's contrasts and contradic-
tions. On Plateria Street, a few doors down from small
boutiques and artisans' workshops, a hip night club called
Zeleste pumps out live American jazz and an occastional
4 Spanish pop tune. Middle-ged, beret-wearing Andalusians
leer at porno magazines at a nearby newstand, while two
older women, dressed in black, return from evening mass
at the nearby Cathedral. However, a few hundred feet away,
two moustachoied members of the para-military Civil
Guard, both toting machine guns, keep a serious watch over
the police headquarters on Layetana Street.
During a short walk down these streets, the basic elemen-
ts of the current Spanish situation appear: the politica1 fer-
vor of a people who suffered through nearly forty years of
Frarncoist control, the clash between traditional values and
popular youth culture, and the avid expression of once-
repressed regional languages and culture. Nevertheless, a
certain tension hangs over the port district of Spain's second
largest city: unemployment is high, beggars appear all.
around Cataluaya squre, and riot guards wait iri armored
busses along the Ramblas, Barcelona's main street. ,
After decades of dictatorship, Spaniards can now finally
enjoy basic democratic freedoms that are taken for granted
in most developed Western nations. After having over-
whelmingly approved the new democratic constitution last
month, the Spanish people will once agan return to the polls
on March 1 for the election of representatives to the'Cortes, K
or parilament. This nation's political fervor makes

American look quite apathetic in comparison. But as the
- political campaign intensifies, tragic events also increase.
Terrorism, political kidnapping and killings, and police
retaliation against unruly demonstrators reappear daily in
the Spanish press. The Basque separatist group, E.T.A.,
recently claimed reponsibility for the murder of the
military governor of Madrid, Constantino Ortin Gil. Not
long before that, a military assistant was shot to death in
the Basque coastal city of San Sebastian. According to
Radio Exterior de Espana, Spain's overseas radio service,
,the current toll of death due to "terrorism" stands at 11 for
this past month alone.

shaven, burly men who were always the first to throw
rocks, smash windows, or to incite the crowd to violence.
Were they unemployed workers? Member of extreme lef-
tist groups? Or possibly right-wing "agents provocateurs"
trying to create instability? The question remains unan-
swered in my mind.
Spain's evolution is taking place * simultaneously on
several societal levels of which the turbulent political
aspect is only the most evident. While Spain's political and
administrative structure slowly adapts to democratic
ways, the nation's economic system is also in flux. Spain
under Franco had a hybrid economy which combined fn-
bridled, capitalistic expansion with a few vestiges of the


CONSTITUTION gives one the

general impression of being too conser-
vative for the left, too radical for the right-
wing, too atheistic for the clergy, and too
watered down in its statements about

regional autonomy
Catalans, and others.

for the Basques,

The elimination of Catholicism as the state religion is
another transformation which merits consideration. While
Cardinal Vicente Enrique y tarancon of Madrid supported
the Constitution which King Juan Carlos signed last month,
many bishops opposed the document because churchmen
believe that it doesn't take a strong enough stand on
marriage, and that it paves the way for divorce and abor-
tion. The church, like the military, lost much of its power
after Franco's death.
The Constitution gives one the general impression of
being too conservative for the left, too radical for the right-
wing, too atheistic for the clergy, and too watered down in
its statements about regional autonomy for the Basques,
Catalans, and others. The coming elections promise even
more changes for Spain. Current polls give the Spanish
Socialists, headed by the youthful, photogenic Felipe Gon-
zalez, the lead over Prime Minister Suarez and his center-
right coalition. All signs-point to an important political
watershed in the near future. Either Spain will continue
with a capitalistic economy under its current coalition of
centrists, Christian Democrats, and Fracoists-turned-
democrats, or it will choose a more socialist-type system
represented by Felipe-Gonzalez' party.
In any case, the current social upheaval seems to have
less effect upon the small coastal towns and villages which
will thrive on foreign tourism: Even in' the innumerable
cafes and bars of Barcelona, where TVs blare out football
games and bull fights, and patrons drink Soberano cognac,
one has difficulty believeing that an economic crisis is
going on. A cafe owner on Balmes Street, one of Bar-
celona's -main arteries which climbs towards Tibidabo
mountain, somehow represents the uncertainty many
Spaniards feel about the future. Alfonso insisted on prac-
ticing his English with me when I frequented his bar. He
explained that he and his family had lived in England for
more than ten years, and that with the current situation he
might be obliged to use his English again in the country
where he lerned it. Similar guarded attitudes about Spain's
future were repeated by numerous Spaniards I talked to all
over this nation. The Spanish have a long history of exiling
themselves to more prosperous or more tolerant lands.
Paul O'Donnell is a former graduate student in
Spanish and Latin American studies, and served for
two years as one of the Daily's European corres-

Who is really responsible for this bloody prelude to the
March elections remains another bone of contention among
the various political groups. The New Times reflects the
view that Basque guerrillas hope to provoke disgruntled
military leaders, who have lost considerable power in the
transition to democracy, into staging a right-wing coup.
Other observers maintain that right-wing groups, and even
foreign interest, manipulate much of the domestic unrest.
*Who would stand to gain the most from a military
I witnessed crowds of people starting fires, throwing
rocks, smashing store windows, and building barricades in
the streets near Barcelona's city hall. While I watched
demonstrators -hiding from tear gas bombs and bullets
behind miniature SEAT cars, a teenage boy was shot to
death by riot police only a few hundred feet from where I
stood. The violence escalated nightly as crowd reaction to
the demonstrator's death provoked more police crack-
downs. However, while observing successive skirmishes
between police and protesters, I noticed familiar faces: un-

National-Socialistic structures left from the regime's
fascist origins. In democratic Spain, workers now have the
right to organize, bargain and strike through non-
government unions. However, until very recently the old
Francoist laws made laying off workers very difficult. In-
dustrialists complain that while unions have the right to
strike for wage increases, companies couldn't cut back on
personnel when production decreased.
Meanwhile, inflation, which was over 20 per cent in 1977,
is currently estimated at 16 per cent, and 8 per cent of the
active population cannot find work. In a country where low
prices, combined with an ideal Mediterranean climate and
setting, have made tourism the primary industry, price in-
creases and political uncertainty kept some foreigners
from going to Spain on vacation. Nevertheless, despite high
unemployment and rising cost of living, according to the
Spanish Magazine Cambip-16, the picture.s-improving.
Spain's 1978 economic situation improved over the previous
year, production increased, the trade deficit.duopped, and
tourism again brought in record revenues.

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eigh ty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom

Smoke., but no fire

Vol. LXXXIX, No. 96

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Detroit wins and loses

DETROIT IS A city accustomed to
losing. So accustomed to losing,
in fact,that when it wins it can still take
a few punches on the chin and hardly
notice them. Yesterday, in a decision
heavily laden with political overtones,
the Republican Party announced it
would hold its 1980 national convention
in Detroit. In doing so the Republicans
hoped to draw attention to their attem-
pt to attract urban, poor, and black
voters to the party. But that hope was
shattered, in part, by anti-Detroit
statements, several of which por-
trayed blatant racial prejudice from
party members. The statements were
ugly jabs at Detroit and dirminishing
the pride that all residents must feel of
their city.
Party chairman Bill Brock was
strongly favored the Motor City as a
convention site. The party has been
burned since Franklin Roosevelt's
presidency by an inability to attract
the votes of black Americans.
Although the Republican's programs
have not always differed markedly
from the Democrats, the Democrats
win big in the black area of northern
cities. Brock hoped to change the par-
ty's image by bringing the convention
to Detroit. But the affects of his efforts
were diminished by the anti-black, an-
ti-urban sentiments of some mebers of
his nartv who were disannointed by the

Detroit rather than Dallas.
A Republican from Florida com-
pared Detroit to Hiroshima after the
atomic bomb was dropped. A delegate
from Mississippi said he was the only
white from the state who had ever been
to Detroit once and he did not want to
come a second time. Other comments
from members of the Republican party
showed why it can never hope to win
the support of blacks and many ur-
banites. The decision to hold the con-
vention in Detroit, while symbolic of a
new effort, only pointed out im-
peratively the shallowness of the ef-
One can only look on the city's,
reputation with pity. In its greatest
moment in a generation Detroit was
exposed to more of the shallow
prejudice that has plagued the city sin-
ce the mid-sixties. Detroit is not the
murder capital of the world. Crime has
dropped to levels of the early 1960s. It
attracts business at a rate not seen in a
decade. Yet its detractors abound.
The convention will provide a forum
for the city to brighten its reputation.
That is why the occasion was greeted
with such great joy by everyone in he
city from Mayor Coleman Young to the
taxi cab drivers. When the delegates
return to Mississippi and Texas they
will have a new impression of the
phoenix that continues to rise from the

By Richard Mahler
The publication last week of yet
another Surgeon General's'
report,, repeating the fact that
smoking is hazardous to health, is
the latest salvo in Joseph
Califano Jr.'s faltering war on
the cigarette habit.
One year ago, on Jan. 11, 1978,
the Secretary of Health,
Education and Welfare announ-
ced what sounded like the most
ambitious effort yet to get 54
million Americans to quit what
he called "slow motion suicide."
Now it seems thebattleswas
doomed from the start,
sabotaged in no small part by
President Carter.
Califano outlined a four-
pronged $30 million attack, to be
directed from a new Office on
Smoking and Health. He
proposed a joint HEW-Treasury
Department task force to con-
sider a cigarettetax increase and
a new tax based on tar and
nicotine content.
He called for a $6 million
education campaign, directed at
youth and those especially
vulnerable to smoking hazards.
He said he was asking the
Federal Trade Commission to
bolster warnings against
smoking, the Civil Aeronautics
Board to consider banning all
airplane smoking, and insurance
companies to consider non-
smoker discounts.
By last fall, however, a
Treasury Department
spokesman for the tax review
group told an interviewer that
"the task force at the moment is
sleeping - not dead, but
The FTC went along with
Califano's request for stronger
warnings on. cigarette packs, but
Congress declined to approve
The CAB agreed to snuff out
pipes and cigars on commercial
airlines, but few expect the agen-


IN BtJSlNE55 !
i f1o'
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. 1 ,,
/" '^

been money. The anti-smoking
campaign's skeptics contended
that $30 million is laughable in
the face of the tobacco industry's
own $500 million anual adver-
tising budget.
"Califano wanted only $30
million for what he termed 'the
nation's primary preventable
cause of death,' " a Washington
pundit lamented, "when $250
million was made available for a
non-existent disease like swine
Many critics think that
Califano, a three-pack-alday man
for 28 years until he quit in 1975,
must have known his attack could
not get far in the face of the
enormous power wielded by the
tobacco industry. In 1977, the in-
dustry claims to have paid $6
billion in taxes while conducting
an estimated $7 billion worth of
business. Its lobby, according to
Sen. Edward Kennedy, (D-
Mass.), chairman of the sub-
committee on Health, is
"probably the most effective on
Capitol Hill."

tobacco producing statg, has
long-standing ties to the cigarette
industry. He sometimes
vacations, for example, at the
estate of Smith Bagley, heir to
the R.J. Reynolds fortune. And
inside the office of Frank Saun-
ders, director of corporate
relations for Phillip Morris and
the only big-business man to
work fulltime on the Carter cam-
paign, is a photograph of the
President's swearing-in in-
scribed: "Your help on my cam-
paign made this day possible,
(signed) Jimmy Carter." .
During a visit to tobacco-rich.
North Carolina last March, the
President emphasized in Win-
ston-Salem that two-thirds of the.
$30 million pledged against
smoking for 1979 would be spent
on research.
"Nobody need fear the facts
about tobacco use," Carter said.
"Certainly no one need fear the.
emphasis on research that will
make the use of tobacco in the
future even more safe than it has
hen in the past."

General's famous report of 1964.
The new report turns out to be,
in essence, a digest of 30,000
research papers on smoking. At
the Office of Smoking and Health,
director John Pinney reports a
"steady stream" of non-
threatening, non-accusatory
educational materials are
flowing to schools and others.
Privately, though, tobacco in-
dustry lobbyists confess they're
less worried about such small
government efforts than they are
about changes in regulations or
In California, for example, the
industry recently poured more
than %3 million into. a successful
campaign to defeat Proposition 5,
an initiative aimed at tightening
public smoking regulations.
The Tobacco Institute
estimates some 200 measures
designed to limit smoking were
introduced-in state legislatures
alone during 1977. Besides fun-
ding campaigns against such
proposals, the Institute has sent
more than 3,000 letters to police
chiefs arguing that local smoking
ordinances would divert police
from apprehending "real
The industry is also unnerved
by an estimate by the Dartnell
Institute of Business Research
that more than three per cent of
all U.S. firms are now actually
paying their workers to stop
smoking. The Johns-Manville
Corporation, upon learning its
asbestos workers who smoked
stood a 92 times-higher-than-
average chance of developing
lung cancer, banned smoking in a
14 of its asbestos plants.
In San Francisco, attorney
Melvin Belli is representing
several children of a woman who9
died of lung cancer. In what could
become a precedent-setting case,
the lawsuit charges major
cigarette manufacturers with
liability for selling a product to '
the woman that they knew, orĀ°.
. l Amm b-nhav n iancc ,i -r

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