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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Catalonia's ex-president has taken his people down with him

Readers weigh in on an economy in shambles, costly treatment, research challenges and more

More than 750,000 protesters descended onto the streets of Barcelona on Saturday demanding the release of jailed separatist leaders. AFP
More than 750,000 protesters descended onto the streets of Barcelona on Saturday demanding the release of jailed separatist leaders. AFP

I really feel sympathy for working people in Catalonia and shock at how their divisive ex-president is prepared to pull the whole of his territory down with him (Puigdemont attacks ‘colossal outrage’ of Spanish government crackdown on Catalonia, November 7). He smugly states that Catalan independence has majority support, which is clearly not true. He has caused the tourism industry to nosedive, the real estate values to tumble and thousands of companies to relocate their registered headquarters to other Spanish provinces. Many people will already have lost their jobs and the current strike is also robbing people of their livelihood and yet, the ex-president continues to trumpet his cause from afar, where he is secure from incarceration. Did he ever bother to tell his followers how difficult life might be outside the EU, as it has been made very clear that Catalonia would not be admitted as an independent state. What are they going to use as currency? All I see is economic chaos, thousands of job losses and a devastated tourist industry.

Jeremy Weeks, Abu Dhabi

Why not come to India for premium and affordable healthcare?

In reference to your article UAE patients pay the price of rising costs of cancer care (November 11), I wonder why more people don't come to India for quality treatment at 40 per cent of the costs incurred elsewhere. In addition, they will have no overheads.

Darshan Kumar, India

The Gulf is right to put national security first

I refer to your article Lebanese president tells Saudi Arabia Hariri must return (November 10). As a Lebanese citizen, I stand with any country whose policies are based on national security. The Iranian militias are a threat to the Arab countries and I'm glad to see the leadership of Saudi Arabia and the UAE take charge of fighting this growing and dangerous threat. It is unfortunate that the Lebanese prime minister has found himself in the middle of this, but as a Lebanese politician, he should take responsibility for the behaviour of parties within his government who have continuously harmed Lebanon and its relationship with longstanding Gulf allies.

Rami Salman, Lebanon

Regional challenges are big, but so is resolve

Your article Engaging young minds is key to our prosperity and security (November 9) was an interesting read. At the eighth World Science Forum, officials expressed the importance of cultivating youth interest in science for harnessing future resources. The UAE offers high incentive for science research and has several premium institutions to its name already. Most notably, its artificial intelligence strategy is so comprehensive that it even has its own minister. In my opinion, the region is on track to tackling pressing issues like water scarcity and food development by 2022, thanks to countries like the UAE and Jordan ensuring that the momentum on such issues is kept up.