Random Politics Thread

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md0
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby md0 » 2017-10-02, 5:21

If the federalisation of Spain is not on the table after this, then Catalonia is more than justified in unilaterally seceding.

I for one welcome the inevitable
 FEDERAL 
 SPANISH 
 REPUBLIC
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-02, 5:31

Yasna wrote:A ridiculous comparison.

No, they're both part of the Spanish government's continued effort to marginalize regional and linguistic minorities.
Police stepping in to stop an independence referendum (killing no one) versus a state requesting that its foreign allies bomb one of its own towns, resulting in hundreds of deaths.

The police have already injured not much less than a thousand people, and this is just the beginning. How many people die remains to be seen; AFAIK, three people have already died, although it's not clear whether this is due to the police actions or not.
The nation state is deeply entrenched in today's world.

No, it's not.
If not even the EU can overcome it, what hope do other more nationalistic regions of the world like East Asia and the US have?

The United States is not a nation state. China is not a nation state. Taiwan is not a nation state. India is not a nation state.
Oh, by the way, you know what else isn't a nation state? Spain!
And Belgium and Bosnia and possibly the UK and so on and so forth.
So because the USA can't be trusted to show restraint, no one can?

I tend to think that the US functions a lot more like other countries than Americans like to believe. What sets the US apart is mostly just its relative strength at this moment in history, which is in turn largely a function of its extremely fortunate geographic position. Unless you buy into that hype about American exceptionalism.

It has less to do with its geographic position than with its role in World War II, and how the fuck does this mean no one can be trusted to show restraint?!
Saim wrote:
Yasna wrote:What??? If anything, Spain's firm response will deter other regions from moving towards secession.


Have you been paying attention to what's happening in Catalonia at the moment? Did I post too many links or something?

I bolded the key part for you.

How is it supposed to deter anyone else from moving towards secession when it is already encouraging Catalans to move towards secession?
In dieser Konfrontation ist die spanische Regierung im Recht. Sie verteidigt in Katalonien eine der Grundlagen der Demokratie: Politiker haben sich Gesetzen und Gerichten unterzuordnen.

Jesus Christ, that quote is as absurd as the crazy authoritarian shit in a first-grade textbook from Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini.
And what a poorly run referendum

So just because a referendum isn't run according to the way the central government wants means it's okay to send in troops to brutalize the local population?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-02, 8:54

Yasna wrote:It seems like we have some very different criteria for when it is justified to break laws,


Exactly. I fundamentally care about justice, and don't see legality as something of value in and of itself. Especially post-Francoist "legality", where not a single member of the old regime was tried for anything, but progressive laws coming out of the Catalan parliament were declared unconstitutional (including the law that banned cutting heating to poor people in winter, the bullfighting ban, anti-discrimination laws, anti-fracking laws and Catalan-medium education).

I'd also like to remind you that rubber bullets are illegal in Catalonia and the picolos don't give a shit, nor do any of the bootlicking fascists who cheered them on their way out of Spain proper.

And no, I'm not banalising the term "fascism":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGI7jZJC8sQ

¡Viva España!

especially fundamental ones that hold a country together.


I'm an anti-nationalist so I don't believe in countries, much less "holding them together".

Here's some Castilians who agree with me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydtEnE9xcw0

Gritaré: "¡Que ardan las banderas!"
Por la fraternidad
Que caiga el patriotismo y la hostilidad racial
Cultura popular


I will yell: "Let the flags burn!"
For the sake of brotherhood
Down with patriotism and racial hostility
The people's culture

md0 wrote:If the federalisation of Spain is not on the table after this, then Catalonia is more than justified in unilaterally seceding.

I for one welcome the inevitable
 FEDERAL 
 SPANISH 
 REPUBLIC


Keep in mind that when Catalonia leaves Spain will still have a number of other national minorities within its borders, so federalism would still be completely justified. Given the relative power of the current political forces in Spain, I unfortunately doubt things will go that direction and instead we'll see more nationalism and centralism. I feel bad for progressive and pro-plurinational/plurilinguistic groups in Spain that'll have to deal with that but I don't see any other solution for Catalonia at this point other than to leave...

vijayjohn wrote:The United States is not a nation state. China is not a nation state. Taiwan is not a nation state. India is not a nation state.
Oh, by the way, you know what else isn't a nation state? Spain!
And Belgium and Bosnia and possibly the UK and so on and so forth.


I would argue that states that give concessions to diversity are still well within the nation-state model. But that's neither here nor there - there's no reason to think this model will (or should) survive the 21st or 22nd century.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby md0 » 2017-10-02, 11:02

Keep in mind that when Catalonia leaves Spain will still have a number of other national minorities within its borders, so federalism would still be completely justified.


Yes, that's totally valid. I compare the situation to Cyprus again, but I could compare it the drift of Syria towards federalisation (initiated by the Kurds, but benefiting everyone) as well.
Federalism became a necessity in Cyprus in the context of the two most populous communities, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots disagreeing on power-sharing. But the widespread acceptance of federalism as a necessity (an odious necessity according to 45% of GCs and 30% of TCs), also legitimised demands of the highly suppressed, numerically small communities for greater autonomy, such as the Maronite Cypriots who were systematically suppressed by GCs since 1960 to the extend of linguicide.

So whatever the outcome of the referendum in Catalonia (independence, greater autonomy, or martyrdom), it lends legitimacy to the other communities that disagree with the unitary state of Spain.

In any case, unitary states (or "nation states" as they call them across the pond) are a historical failure. Unitary states can only keep themselves together through authoritarianism, or by being so tiny that they are essentially commune-sized.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby xBlackHeartx » 2017-10-02, 12:06

Germany has claimed it wants Spain to solve this peacefully. They claim they're siding with Spain on this, but see this as an 'internal' issue for the country. I guess they're saying that Germany isn't going to get involved in this?

So far, there isn't much peace going on over there. Spain claims the referendum was illegal, illegitimate, and that it never occured, and their vote count contradicts Catalonia's claim. Catalonia also demonized the police brutality. They also claim that Spain is violating international law by denying their right to vote. Oh, and rubber bullets are also illegal in Catalonia, so there's that. Spain does appear to have acknowledged that they sent police over (like they can deny the video evidence anyway...) but it would appear they did so just so they could mention that some of the cops they sent over decided to side with the seperatists, and that there were some clashes between Spanish and Catalonian police. Catalonia's government is referring to Spain's sending over of cops as an invasion. Yeah, I think we can all agree that this isn't going to be pretty.

Personally, I doubt Catalonia could win a war with the rest of Spain. I'm starting to think they're banking on the idea that someone is going to help them out in this. I think they're taking a huge risk. What's probably going to happen at the very least is Spain is going to remove Catalonia's leader from power, and likely remove what autonomy the territory does possess.

Considering that it would be 2 in the morning over there, I'm guessing we're not going to hear anymore about this for a few hours. Personally, I suspect later today we're going to hear that Spain sent troops into Catalonia. Oh, and I think the Catalonians are claiming that there have been a few fatalities caused by the Spanish cops. Yeah, this is not going to end peaceably.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-02, 13:45

xBlackHeartx wrote:Personally, I doubt Catalonia could win a war with the rest of Spain.


I'm not sure if this is the most accurate way to frame the conflict. I don't think it's an issue of whether they can win a war, but if there's anyone on the Catalan side willing to even wage a war against Spanish military forces. Let's not forget that one of the main points of disagreement among secessionists is whether the Catalan Republic should have a military at all.

Who has arms in Catalonia? Terra Lliure was barely relevant even when it was active, and I imagine if the Mossos were to be ordered to shoot at Spanish military forces many of them would defect and go home (and I can hardly imagine the Generalitat even giving them such an order).

The absolute maximum I could imagine the Catalan movement doing is a massive strike that blocks the airport and major highways. In that scenario, how many civilians would the Spanish State be willing to murder to preserve its "unity"? So far it's been capable of sending hundreds of people to the hospital (including at least a couple of cases of heart attacks and one minor with a broken neck), only to then deny the number of injured people and remind us that some cops were injured to.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby IpseDixit » 2017-10-02, 14:02

On a more pragmatic side, what is Catalonia going to do now? What moves can it undertake? Catalonia doesn't have an army and it's quite clear that Spain has no intention whatsoever to lose its richest region peacefully, and what's more, it seems to have the support -either explicit or tacit- of Europe and the US, so it's not that it's going to face economic sanctions or become a pariah in the international community. Catalonians can protest and go on strike but what are the chances of gaining independence through these means?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-02, 14:33

md0 wrote:I saw a headline that Internet blackout is attempted by Spain during the crackdown in Catalonia.
Any truth in that? Did they go full "flawed democracy*"?

* My understanding of this term is "authoritarian, but NATO ally so we don't want to call them out".


Oops, you're absolutely right. There was so much going on that I missed this one. Yes, the Spanish government did cut the internet at points so that voting spaces couldn't access the Generalitat's voting roll. Then the Spanish government and media said that there were no democratic safeguards that guaranteed that voters were being checked against the electoral roll (well yes, because you limited access to it!).

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby xBlackHeartx » 2017-10-02, 21:34

It would seem that Catalonia lied about the turn out. Around half the country didn't turn up to vote out of protest. Even if the result wasn't technically a 'yes', that still doesn't excuse Spain's handling of this. Think about it, imagine if it was a 'no' vote, and they had acted like this. Would we be so forgiving of them? They had no way of knowing what the vote would be. They just went out and assaulted CIVILIANS without any concern about whose side they were on.

I wonder if some anti-separatists are re-thinking their opinion on the matter after seeing Spain's behavior?

Granted, its starting to look like the whole thing was just a stunt by the leftists in Catalonia. But I still don't think Spain should be forgiven for how they responded to the police brutality that occurred.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-02, 21:45

xBlackHeartx wrote:It would seem that Catalonia lied about the turn out.

Where and how? The Catalan government reported that it had counted a little over two million votes. It further estimated that up to 770,000 were confiscated without being tallied. I don't recall them stating either figure as a percentage of eligible voters or residents of Catalonia. Saying they "lied" implies that you have access to facts which contradict these numbers. What are those facts and what are your sources for them?
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-03, 5:44

IpseDixit wrote:On a more pragmatic side, what is Catalonia going to do now? What moves can it undertake? Catalonia doesn't have an army and it's quite clear that Spain has no intention whatsoever to lose its richest region peacefully, and what's more, it seems to have the support -either explicit or tacit- of Europe and the US, so it's not that it's going to face economic sanctions or become a pariah in the international community. Catalonians can protest and go on strike but what are the chances of gaining independence through these means?


The president had this to say:
-this conflict needs international mediation (but he's not optimistic about the EU doing anything)
-the parliament has the responsibility of declaring independence, and the two independentist parties are already working on how/when to do it

For the rest we'll have to wait and see, I guess.

xBlackHeartx wrote:It would seem that Catalonia lied about the turn out. Around half the country didn't turn up to vote out of protest.


They lied about the turnout or about half the country didn't turn up? Because the official figures show 42% turnout excluding the 700,000 votes stolen by the cops.

Think about it, imagine if it was a 'no' vote, and they had acted like this.


That's the thing - it never was about independence as such. They simply don't recognise Catalonia as a distinct entity in the way Scotland or Quebec are.

Granted, its starting to look like the whole thing was just a stunt by the leftists in Catalonia.


I didn't realise Puigdemont was a leftist.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby xBlackHeartx » 2017-10-03, 5:58

Saim wrote:
xBlackHeartx wrote:It would seem that Catalonia lied about the turn out. Around half the country didn't turn up to vote out of protest.


They lied about the turnout or about half the country didn't turn up? Because the official figures show 42% turnout excluding the 700,000 votes stolen by the cops.



They initially claimed that 3/4 of eligible voters voted in the referendum, when in reality half of the area's eligible voters didn't even show up out of protest. And why are you disputing me on that? Your figure of 42% is far less than the 75% they initially claimed. You're literally trying to refute my claim, by substantiating it.

Surprised there hasn't been really much else developing today. I was expecting Spain to invade Catalonia, remove their leader from office, and also remove what autonomy they already had.

And it would appear the 'leader' of Spain's title, is 'king'. From my research, it looks like Spain is run by a dictatorship. And they were quite oppressive just a few decades ago. It would seem that things haven't really improved much in the country. I had no idea what the Europeans were tolerating a regime like that. And they're part of the EU of all things.

As for the rest of Europe's reaction, they're probably all going to side with Spain. Why? Let's think about this. If they help Catalonia gain independence, Spain will hate them. But if they help Spain, Catalonia will be under their oppressive rule, so it doesn't matter if they've pissed them off. I suspect the powers in the area will all side with Spain, just to avoid having to war and sour their relationship with another European nation.

And yes, Catalonia's leader (his title escapes me, sorry) is a leftist. He's been complaining about how Spain never ever supports the progressivistic values of Catalonia, or anyone really.

And I'm aware that Europe's idea of right and left doesn't line up too well with America's, but honestly Spain's seems to be surprisingly close. The right is authoritarian and refuses to acknowledge minority rights. While the left supports progressivism and minority rights. I mean, Spanish government actually outlawed the Catalan language at one point. That definitely sounds like the right and left here. While, minus the fact that the right here is highly anti-communist (even though they're technically the real communists, which is sad).

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby md0 » 2017-10-03, 6:30

Guy seems to belong to a conservative pro-business party... that counts as leftist to an American? :?
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-03, 6:37

xBlackHeartx wrote:They initially claimed that 3/4 of eligible voters voted in the referendum,


Source?

And it would appear the 'leader' of Spain's title, is 'king'. From my research, it looks like Spain is run by a dictatorship. And they were quite oppressive just a few decades ago. It would seem that things haven't really improved much in the country. I had no idea what the Europeans were tolerating a regime like that. And they're part of the EU of all things.


I'm just going to bring back a comic that md0 shared a couple years ago:

Image

And I'm aware that Europe's idea of right and left doesn't line up too well with America's, but honestly Spain's seems to be surprisingly close. The right is authoritarian and refuses to acknowledge minority rights. While the left supports progressivism and minority rights. I mean, Spanish government actually outlawed the Catalan language at one point. That definitely sounds like the right and left here. While, minus the fact that the right here is highly anti-communist (even though they're technically the real communists, which is sad).


The fact that the PP is made up of reformed Francoists doesn't mean that the "democratic" or more "liberal" right in Spain isn't right-wing. You might as well claim Merkel is a Leftist.

md0 wrote:Guy seems to belong to a conservative pro-business party... that counts as leftist to an American? :?


Well, he wouldn't exactly be out of place among the US Democrats IMO. But that's true of lots of centre-right parties in Europe.

PDeCat's been trying to present itself as "Scandinavian-style social democrats" lately, but I think that's just because they've been losing their hegemonic position in Catalan politics since the whole independence movement started growing (they used to have a huge amount of non-Catalanist voters). For the same reason they insisted that the Catalan social democrats (ERC) would have to go into a coalition with them if the 2015 elections were supposed to function as a plebiscite (which was after the non-binding consultation which was made unofficial by PDeCat at the last minute, thank God the CUP was there to keep them accountable; if this referendum proves anything its that the idea that PDeCat was just buying time with its "non-binding consultation" and "election plebiscite" was totally right).

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-10-03, 6:58

Saim wrote:Exactly. I fundamentally care about justice, and don't see legality as something of value in and of itself.

The problem with that is everyone has their own idea of what is just. Do you really want radical right-wingers casually sidestepping the law to carry out what they believe is justice?

I'm an anti-nationalist so I don't believe in countries, much less "holding them together".

What exactly do you think the Catalonian independence activists are trying to create for Catalonia? lol
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-03, 13:51

Yasna wrote:The problem with that is everyone has their own idea of what is just. Do you really want radical right-wingers casually sidestepping the law to carry out what they believe is justice?


They will no matter what I think, so my personal desires are irrelevant. I don't oppose the far-right fundamentally because they break the law, if that's what you're asking.

What exactly do you think the Catalonian independence activists are trying to create for Catalonia? lol


Many of my close friends are Catalan independence activists. If you're actually interested in what they have to say I'll relay it to you. There are many people in Catalonia who are in favour of secession and would not describe themselves as nationalists, and many of them are active in the language movement too.

Anti-nationalism does not mean accepting the status quo, nor does it mean dogmatically opposing the establishment of new states (I don't see any more reason to be against the independence of Catalonia in 2017 than that of Slovenia in 1991 or India in 1947), especially since completely transcending nation-states is not on the card in the short or medium term. Obviously anti-nationalists do not stay neutral when one country invades another even though both actors are just nation-states, so I don't see why we should be reflexively against any and all secessionism either.

By the way, the people who I've heard talking about further devolution for the Val d'Aran (including policies of normalisation of Gascon/Occitan in the valley), as well as decentralising Catalonia away from Barcelona (the Barcelona Metropolitan Area has a population of 5 million, the country as a whole has 7.5 million), are all secessionists. I've never heard a unionist raise any of these issues except in bad faith (i.e. as a way to show how secessionists are allegedly hypocrites).

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Prowler » 2017-10-03, 14:24

How many more mass shootings need to happen for USA to look more into gun control?

Also 57 deaths and hundreds of injured people?! Those are numbers that rival big terrorist attacks.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-03, 15:14

Yeah, it sucks. After a mass shooting in this country, people consistently buy more guns.
Saim wrote:
Yasna wrote:The problem with that is everyone has their own idea of what is just. Do you really want radical right-wingers casually sidestepping the law to carry out what they believe is justice?


They will no matter what I think, so my personal desires are irrelevant. I don't oppose the far-right fundamentally because they break the law, if that's what you're asking.

I get the impression he's basically asking what your idea of justice is and why it's fundamentally better than their idea of justice. Personally, I don't think a violent government is a just one. I don't think a government is just if it involves violating basic human rights or attacking unarmed civilians for exercising the right to vote (I'm sure most people in this discussion already know this so I wouldn't normally bother saying this, but just in case anybody starts misconstruing it, no, I do not think my government is just). I think a government should allow for political representation and not violence. Would you say this is somewhere along the lines of what you're thinking?
Many of my close friends are Catalan independence activists. If you're actually interested in what they have to say I'll relay it to you.

I see a few of y'all have raised concerns about what's going to happen in the immediate future. I'm more curious about what would happen after independence. Okay, so the government is Spain is brutalizing you and you win independence but then what? I'm concerned that the Spanish government's response to this referendum may be stifling any discussion about the potential future.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-03, 15:37

vijayjohn wrote:I get the impression he's basically asking what your idea of justice is and why it's fundamentally better than their idea of justice. Personally, I don't think a violent government is a just one. I don't think a government is just if it involves violating basic human rights or attacking unarmed civilians for exercising the right to vote (I'm sure most people in this discussion already know this so I wouldn't normally bother saying this, but just in case anybody starts misconstruing it, no, I do not think my government is just). I think a government should allow for political representation and not violence. Would you say this is somewhere along the lines of what you're thinking?


What I got is that legality is above justice because legality is relatively objective and your concept of justice depends on your political leanings and values. Which, yeah, it's true, but I honestly doubt there aren't situations where Yasna would put justice over legality. I doubt he's as enamored with Saudi or Qatari legality, or indeed Daesh legality (yes, Daesh is de facto a state whether you like it or not, as he is with the one imposed by post-Francoism, although perhaps I'm wrong and he'd cheer along stonings just as earnestly as he's cheering on Spanish police brutality.

Let's be clear: when I see someone who reacts to the images I showed above by talking about the legality of voting, while not condemning Spanish citizens who tell the police to "go get 'em!" (or those literally doing Roman salutes while singing Cara al sol), not condemning the illegal use of rubber bullets, or people literally being pushed down the stairs or kicked while they're already on the floor, or people being chased and beaten by cops who aren't even on duty), pensioners and children being sent to the hospital, and supporting the "transition" to "democracy" presided by the Francoist old order (neglecting to mention that fact, of course), I don't see someone who's making an abstract ethical or legal argument. I see someone who's picked a side.

I see a few of y'all have raised concerns about what's going to happen in the immediate future. I'm more curious about what would happen after independence. Okay, so the government is Spain is brutalizing you and you win independence but then what? I'm concerned that the Spanish government's response to this referendum may be stifling any discussion about the potential future.


You mean once Catalonia is de facto (control over the territory) and de jure (internationally recognised) independent? It would just be a state like any other, and the exact nature of that state will be decided in constitutive elections. What in particular are you wondering about?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-03, 17:25

Saim wrote:You mean once Catalonia is de facto (control over the territory) and de jure (internationally recognised) independent?

Yes.
It would just be a state like any other, and the exact nature of that state will be decided in constitutive elections. What in particular are you wondering about?

Oh, nothing in particular, really - I'm just clueless and wondering what that state would look like in general. Who would probably be in charge of it (I'm guessing the current regional government)? What sort of political system would it be? How interested would the new government be in protecting the human rights of their citizens, especially minorities, women, etc.? What advantages would they provide to the citizenry that they couldn't already get from Madrid? What disadvantages would they have to the citizenry?

The reason why I ask is because I've noticed that in a lot of cases where some political entity seeks independence, there is a lot of confusion regarding what the new state should look like. There was (unsurprisingly) a lot of this in India, for example. All kinds of people wanted Indian independence, but beyond that, there were so many divisions with political interests that were so much in conflict that people in some camps killed (and continue to kill) people in others. There were capitalists and socialists. There were people who wanted a Hindu state, people who wanted a Muslim state, and people who wanted a secular state. There were low-caste people and high-caste people. There were people from all kinds of ethnicities from Pashtuns to Bengalis to Tamils to Parsis operating all over the world, including in London itself. There was international backing variously from the US, France (ironically enough), Germany, Ireland, and Japan (if not more countries). I'm more than willing to believe Catalonia isn't nearly this complicated, but what kind of controversies and/or opposing pro-independence camps do exist there?


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