Author Topic: Independence Catalan Style  (Read 400 times)

TheDrake

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Independence Catalan Style
« on: September 29, 2017, 03:09:25 PM »
How did I not hear about this? Catalonia is trying to have a referendum, and their parliament is empowered to declare independence from Spain within 48 hours of the vote.

Spain is feverishly hunting down the ballot boxes, which they declared illegal. They are seizing website domains. They have thousands of police on ships in Barcelona to disrupt voting. Quite the contrast to the vote in Scotland.

A non-binding vote went down 80/20 with under 50% turnout.

D.W.

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Re: Independence Catalan Style
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 09:50:02 AM »
Been hearing about it for awhile on NPR.  The impending referendum, not the crack down.  That's "new news".  I think this response will solidify in the minds of Catalonia they NEED independence, but no clue on their potential capability to do so against actual applied force from Spain. 

Wayward Son

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Re: Independence Catalan Style
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 12:38:55 PM »
NPR was reporting on it all weekend.  Local police were told to prevent the vote, but did little or nothing, so the government sent in federal police.

There were reports of people being dragged out of voting stations by their hair; police physically cutting internet lines from voting stations to keep the results from being sent in; police opening ballot boxes and destroying the votes; rioting, with police responding with rubber bullets; people throwing bricks and blocks from atop buildings down at the federal police.

I always think of Spain as a quiet, peaceful nation, with just a little trouble from some small groups.  I keep forgetting that it is the nation that Franco ruled for so many decades. :(

TheDrake

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Re: Independence Catalan Style
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 01:00:05 PM »
1820, 1868, 1939, 1976, ?

The whole Franco thing was about Communists vs Nationalists, not a very attractive choice. The only thing that was likely certain is that whoever won would go on a murder spree against their enemies.

This one could get super ugly, especially because of the economics of the situation. Letting the Catalans go would immediately crunch an already shaky Spanish economy.


TheDeamon

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Re: Independence Catalan Style
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 02:41:20 PM »
Been hearing about it for awhile on NPR.  The impending referendum, not the crack down.  That's "new news".  I think this response will solidify in the minds of Catalonia they NEED independence, but no clue on their potential capability to do so against actual applied force from Spain.

Catalonia is an interesting case because it is the financial core for Spain, which is a big part of why it wants to go independent. They're seeing a significant portion of their monies being siphoned off to other provinces/regions to prop up operations in this areas without any really tangible gain for them. (Kind of like some people pushing for California or Washington State to go independent--citing the raw number of those states allegedly sending more money to the Federal Government than they get back)

But unlike a few other recent examples, such as Scotland, Catalonia is "a money maker" for their National Government, rather than a drain, so the Nation of Spain really doesn't want to give up their cash cow, as they don't really have any others to fall back on. (Unlike in the US, where Californian Independence would likely be a financial train-wreck for The People's Republic of California rather than for the United States itself)

TheDrake

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Re: Independence Catalan Style
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2017, 12:44:36 PM »
The government said ministers would meet to activate Article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to take over running of the region.

Catalonia's leader said the region's parliament would vote on independence if Spain continued "repression".

TheDeamon

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Re: Independence Catalan Style
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2017, 02:53:21 PM »
The government said ministers would meet to activate Article 155 of the constitution, allowing it to take over running of the region.

Catalonia's leader said the region's parliament would vote on independence if Spain continued "repression".

And thus, the Government of Spain has now ensured that Democratic Governance in the province of Catalan is going to be politically impossible for years to come. The moment the population gets to vote, they WILL vote for a government that opts to break away. If they make voting for such an option illegal, well... The EU among other organizations and Governments(/Governmental Agencies) is going to enjoy having fun justifying continued support for the Government of Spain.

TheDrake

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Re: Independence Catalan Style
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 08:27:32 AM »
Article 155

"If a self-governing community does not fulfill the obligations imposed upon it by the constitution or other laws, or acts in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the general interest of Spain, the government, after having lodged a complaint with the president of the self-governing community and failed to receive satisfaction therefore, may, following approval granted by the overall majority of the senate, take all measures necessary to compel the community to meet said obligations, or to protect the above mentioned general interest."

This is actually happening. "all measures necessary"

It's a bad year for EU stability. Does everyone in Europe and other major powers just watch this unfold if it doesn't remain peaceful? Does the UN sanction Spain? Do the Basque take advantage of any chaos and go independent also, and if so, do the French Basque jump on the bandwagon?

I can't remember seeing a close ally nation to the US start coming apart like this. I've travelled to Madrid and Barcelona, and it makes it feel a little more personal than the many times other places have gone through convulsions like this - including Eastern Europe.

I really don't see how either side can back away at this point. Turning the momentum will become impossible if Madrid starts giving orders to the Barcelona police, or sends national troops in number. Meanwhile, Catalonia can declare independence and stop sending tax money to the central government and that will be the end of that. The whole thing could just remain in some kind of weird limbo, where they've declared independence in name which the central government repudiates, but everything runs the same. Economically, I imagine even that limbo would start to get painful. What does it do for investment, tourism, etc?

TheDeamon

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Re: Independence Catalan Style
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 10:20:13 AM »
It can turn to be more "fun" than that.

The UN will be unable to sanction Spain if France decides to veto the measure in the Security Council, also tangentially involved in this is the UK who also holds veto authority and is still nominally part of the EU while the Brexit process continues.

On the EU side of things, France now has to dance on a double knife-edge with regards to Catalan and the Basque. As whatever plays out in Catalan can influence what the Basque try to do. However, whatever the EU itself attempts to do in regards to Catalan's pursuit of independence from Spain will in turn have direct consequences as to whether or not Catalan decides to maintain "friendly relations" with the European Union should they become independent.

Reality is, the interests a EU "super state" are best served by Catalan being granted independence and it being brought under the Aegis of a stronger EU, and realistically, they should encourage other larger national entities (Including France and Germany) to break apart into smaller chunks while simultaneously integrating themselves further into "a stronger European Union." In other other words, turning them into a "United States of Europe."

But that is certainly not on the Agenda in France, and probably not really on the radar for Germany. France certainly wouldn't stand for that, as the EU is a vehicle for them to exercise their political power and influence upon their neighbors. Something they'd lose if France were to be broken apart as well. So expect the EU Administrators to become highly hypocritical as it regards to Catalan Independence, I fully expect they're going to try to make such a prospect highly unpalatable to the Catalans. Never mind that they were highly friendly to that idea with regards to Scotland in years past, because that "was different" -- and involved the UK only. Which brings us back to the Brexit.

TheDrake

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Re: Independence Catalan Style
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2017, 08:05:40 PM »
And the latest joy:

Quote
Spain's high court has summoned sacked Catalan leader Carles Puidgemont and 13 other members of his dismissed government to appear later this week.
It also gave them three days to pay a deposit of €6.2m ($7.2m) to cover potential liabilities.
The summons comes after Spain's chief prosecutor on Monday said he would press charges including rebellion.
Mr Puigdemont is in Belgium with several former ministers. He earlier said he was not there to seek asylum.

Not sure where they are supposed to scare up millions in 3 days. I can't even get a paypal to go through in that time. Maybe they just have sacks of cash lying around?

This seems designed to get them to cut all ties and seek extradition, which again will be problematic to avoid for EU countries. Meanwhile, there seems little incentive for those ministers (former) to appear voluntarily and be put in prison for rebellion.

Pete at Home

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Re: Independence Catalan Style
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2017, 01:26:43 PM »
I lived in Spain for 15 months during the 1980s and I always thought it seemed ... less than a 1st world country and less than integrated with Western Europe.