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greypanther





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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 21:38    Post subject: Catalonia. Reply with quote Print

So what is happening in Spain at the moment? I know there are Spaniards on this bit of the forum, so is there any insider opinion available?

It seems confusion is the result mostly at the moment, with some glum rhetoric being written. Time to talk.

Quote:
The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, is playing hardball with Catalonia’s bid for independence. His first response to the declaration by President Carles Puigdemont that the right to independence was won, but would be suspended in order to create space for “dialogue”, was to challenge Mr Puigdemont to clarify his region’s status. Mr Rajoy has made no secret of his readiness to trigger article 155 of the constitution and suspend the region’s autonomy. Now he has flatly rejected Mr Puigdemont’s call for mediation. He must take care: boxing the Catalan leader into a corner would be a high-risk strategy.

Mr Rajoy did not even apologise (though some of his colleagues have) for the police behaviour on the day of the poll, 1 October, when the rest of Spain and Europe watched aghast as voters were met with truncheons and rubber bullets. He has not budged from his refusal to talk, while the Catalan leader’s hopes rest on some international mediation that the EU has so far resisted for fear of appearing to endorse what Spain’s constitutional court has declared an unlawful vote.


I am surprised that no one had started a thread on this before now, especially considering the potential for damage to the EU.

Someone tell me how the Spanish Civil War started last time please? Also is the " left ", in charge in Catalonia?

Edit: Another thing occurs, what will this mean for us in the UK? Will a certain Scottish lady get ideas from this mess?


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Morkonan





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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 21:51    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I've been waiting to hear from any Spanish/Catalonian members as well. Or, at least European members more familiar with the issue than I.

I don't think an actual "civil war" is a concern, but I certainly worry about riots and unrest and the harm such things can cause.

I wonder what the roots of this latest movement truly are. I know that the region has traditionally had its own culture and limited independence in some ways, but, for some reason, I think there may be some behind-the-scenes forces at work, here.

Sovereignty is an issue, here, and Spain has, at least from articles I've read, allowed the region to be somewhat independent and hasn't moved to truly incorporate it into the rest of the country's culture and government. Instead, it has allowed the notion of "exploitation" to continue, unhindered, right in the middle of it's own "bread basket," the wealthiest part of the country.

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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 22:17    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

My own opinion is that Spain can't afford to allow Catalonia to successfully become independent. For a start, it would provide enormous encouragement to the Basque separatists elsewhere in the country, not to mention that Catalonia accounts for something like a quarter of their GDP and thus they'd be significantly poorer without them.

As for the referendum results, how much of the low 42% turnout was because of the police raiding polling stations, and how much because of Catalonians who believed the independence vote was illegal and thus didn't bother going out to vote?

Difficult to see where it can go from here, though--Spain has already granted Catalonia a good deal of autonomy, I'm not sure how they could provide more without making them effectively independent anyway.

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PostPosted: Thu, 12. Oct 17, 02:39    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

There's lots to say about this, good, bad, daft, reasonable, culturally acceptable (or not), where's the EU, what about Scotland, what about the Basque Country etc etc etc.

What completely tilted things was police using violence to stop people voting.
Whether you're a supporter of Catalan independence, or a Spanish unionist, that was the critical moment.


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PostPosted: Thu, 12. Oct 17, 03:15    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

pjknibbs wrote:
Difficult to see where it can go from here, though--Spain has already granted Catalonia a good deal of autonomy, I'm not sure how they could provide more without making them effectively independent anyway.

I seem to recall reading something about Catalonia being granted limited autonomy post-Franco, but that some of that autonomy had been revoked in recent years. I could be mistaken though. (But if right, it may account for some of the current tensions.)

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Santi
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PostPosted: Thu, 12. Oct 17, 04:11    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

This is going to be a bit long, but bear with me.

Catalonia, as the Basques, Galicians, Asturians, Valencianos, Mallorquins and Navarros mostly, pretty sure I forget a couple, always had sense of identity other than Spanish, cutting it short, after Franco the different regions gained a good deal of autonomy, that identity has been promoted from a local level, and thanks to governments relying of the support of nationalist parties from those regions to have a majority, more concessions were made.

Now, most regions do not push that nationalism too much, Basques were the exception and since they got a very sweet deal, where most of the tax money from the region goes back to them instead of part of it being distributed by the Central government to poorer parts of Spain, they are keeping very quiet, included the present Catalonian situation.

So part of the problem is money, Cataluña is broke because of mismanagement from the local authorities, together with other regions they are operating under what we can call a "bail out" from the Central Government, same issue as the Basques, Catalonia contributes a lot to the general budget, but part of their money goes to poorer parts of Spain, so according to them, they are being robbed of what is theirs.

Then Catalonia is roughly 50-50 divided between those who want independence and those who do not, but they all feel Catalan and will like a say on it.

Facts: The latest referendum was illegal, Cataluña as the rest of Spain is ruled by a Constitution, the Catalonian Parliament decided to ignore that Constitution and bending the rules not only of their local parliament but ignoring the rights of the parliamentarians that opposed it, called for a referendum and issued a set of laws for the declaration of the Independence.

This is important to understand what happened, they did broke the law, not only once, but several times. The Catalan legal team in the Parliament told them that what they were doing was illegal. The Superior Courts of Catalonia told them that it was illegal and suspended the referendum and the disconnection laws. The Superior Courts of Spain did the same.

The Tribunals of Justice then issued the order for the Mossos (catalonia police), Guardia Civil and National Police, as judiciary police to stop the referendum.

The day of voting, the electoral colleges supposed to be closed by the Mossos, but their leadership did not carry out the orders given by the Judges, so National Police and Guardia Civil was called in to remove the urns and vote slips. Some scuffles happened as people did try to stop the policial action by blocking the entrances to the polling stations. Some scuffles did occur and some unnecessary violence happened, but not enough to speak of police brutality, they were acts of single police individuals.

As per voting, you presented your identity card, they wrote down the details and you put your vote in the urn. This is due that the whole infrastructure for the voting was eliminated as ordered by the Judges. Some journalists did vote a few times in different polling stations to see how weak the system was.

Taking apart the fact that the referendum was invalidated by Spanish law, and so the majority of those who are not in favour of independence did not vote, they had 42% of participation, and a 90% of votes in favour of Independence, according to their own disconnection law, they had to proclame Catalonia as a Republic.

Next day, big hit to Catalonian companies in the stock market, together with the major companies taking their social HQ to other parts of Spain, EU refusing any kind of involvement and a clear message that Catalonia will not be part of the EU as an independent country.

Next day, the President of Catalonia declares the Republic and 3 seconds later it suspends it as to not create more discord with Spain, and declares that they are ready to negotiate.

Spanish Prime minister asks him to made his mind up, is he declaring the Republic or not? If the response is yes, then the Prime minister will trigger 155, that suspends the local government and basically calls for new elections for Catalonia to get a new local government. If they say no, then back to the framework of the Spanish constitution, either way, there is a lot of judicial process on course, so probably they will be barred from their political posts and new elections for Catalonia will need to be called.


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greypanther





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PostPosted: Thu, 12. Oct 17, 16:50    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Thank you Santi, that makes it a little clearer. A mess caused by poor leadership is what I had read into it already, though many sources seem to be partly blaming the Spanish leadership in part at least too. Hard to see how a good result will come from the mess either. Just goes to show how poor some media sources can be too.


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Santi
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PostPosted: Thu, 12. Oct 17, 23:55    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

The Spanish leadership fault probably refers to the reform of the Catalonian estatuto de autonomía (autonomic bylaws) in 2006. That was done and approved by a legal referendum by Catalonia but when it did reach the Central government chambers for approval, it was diluted and some parts were contested as anti constitutional by the PP (right party in Spain).

A really bitter judicial battle did follow in Spain constitutional tribunal, not only by the PP and the Catalonian government but by the party in power at that time the PSOE (socialist party).

The main problem was that some of the new Bylaws did put the foundations for Catalonia to be independent and a complete lack of dialogue by the PP, in the opposition in those days.

Obviously the "diluted" new bylaws were not exactly what Catalonia voted so a lot of resentment was generate by that.

One of the good things to come out of this is that the Central Government (PP, right party) in exchange for the support of PSOE (socialist party) is the promise to study a reform of the Constitution that deals with the Autonomic regions in six months.


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Morkonan





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PostPosted: Fri, 13. Oct 17, 00:14    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Great posts, Santi! Thanks for explaining the situation!

To touch on a common theme, here: Sovereignty.

Sovereignty issues are a nation's "self-made" problem. In some cases, they're only "surface features", like the difficulties some have in fully understanding the United States and its "Representative Republic" that vests a great deal of power and authority in the governments of individual member States.

But, other sovereignty issues are much more troubling and extreme, especially when one is dealing with provinces that have been given a great deal of "independence" that is largely due to ethnic or cultural differences. The most extreme case is the semi-autonomous regions in Pakistan, which are a haven for terrorist groups and radical militants.

A stable nation can not afford questions of sovereignty. Cases like the Georgia-Ossetia Conflict are clear demonstrations of what happens when issues of national sovereignty come into question. And sovereignty "land grabs" by certain nations... Crimea, anyone? A "presumably" culturally different, somewhat independent, strategically vital, part of a country questions sovereignty and then... the question gets answered.

These examples aren't "wars" in a classic sense. They're a route to conflict that directly involves issues of acknowledged independence with the parent-nation accepting limited sovereignty, or ignoring that outcome, which results in further separation, possible loss of the region or direct or third-party conflicts. As these sorts of examples show, sovereignty issues that surround regions that are culturally or ethnically isolated from the rest of the country are particularly dangerous.

When a sovereignty issue becomes legitimized, it's dangerous. It invites, some might suggest "demands", further conflict. And then, someone yells "Freedom" and inspires people to start picking up guns for a "righteous cause"...

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PostPosted: Fri, 13. Oct 17, 08:35    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I think the it will come down to economics, they can survive as one nation but split into individual part/s, whoever that maybe, is going to have the kind of economy to grow in any meaningful way. Business is already leaving Catalonia, even though nothing has actually happened yet and I doubt tourism alone is enough to sustain them, one more terror attack and you could find your GDP suffering for years, if visitors is you main source of money.


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korio
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PostPosted: Fri, 13. Oct 17, 09:12    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Morkonan wrote:
And then, someone yells "Freedom" and inspires people to start picking up guns for a "righteous cause"...


And that's exactly what they are trying.

Spanish politicians are corrupt, some people are already suggesting that they are forcing this "independance" bull before countrys like Andorra give the full bank data to the EU, this will potentially expose all the money they have stolen from the country into their own pockets.

As always, there is a lot of bull being thrown from each side, and the "normal" people are the ones being hit by that bull.

I have even seen kids voting, people bringing kids to the voting places where they knew for sure was going to be police and more than probably violence...

I have also seen a women trying to take the shielded hat from a police, then the police hit her, and everyone accusing the police of brutality....

And in the end, as always, all of this is just for someone hidden in the dark to full his pockets.

We will see what happens, but believe me, they will not get the independence and they will end in a worst position than when all of this started.

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PostPosted: Fri, 13. Oct 17, 09:52    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Some more points of view:

http://theantimedia.org/american-barcelona-catalonia/

http://www.cataloniatoday.cat/article/1253759-catalonia-s-right-to-self-determination.html

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PostPosted: Fri, 13. Oct 17, 12:10    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

The thing is where does it end, Spain has been Spain for 500 odd years, we seem to have this new thing that people say 'hey 300 years ago this was our land, so now we are in charge'

The break up of the UK was similar, Scotland say, hey pre 1700's we have no union so now 300 frickin years later we have changed our mind. It serves no purpose in the modern world, it's just a fad so someone can put up some walls, have a new passport colour and wave a flag allot.

All these places have mixed populations from hundreds of years, how do you say who is what anymore, you start down this stupid path of saying 'I am 5th generation whatever' (not picking on yanks but they say that allot).

I suppose the end argument is what is achieved, because even if this Catalonia independence went ahead, nothing is actually going to change!!


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PostPosted: Fri, 13. Oct 17, 15:46    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I seem to remember reading that it was suggested that the Spanish government would use troops if necessary, to take control, is this true?

@ Korio: So only Spanish politicians are corrupt? I would say it seems to be a pre requisite for the job, everywhere! Also there are always those who will gain from such situations and I fail to see a good conclusion for this mess.


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PostPosted: Fri, 13. Oct 17, 18:32    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

greypanther wrote:
I seem to remember reading that it was suggested that the Spanish government would use troops if necessary, to take control, is this true?

@ Korio: So only Spanish politicians are corrupt? I would say it seems to be a pre requisite for the job, everywhere! Also there are always those who will gain from such situations and I fail to see a good conclusion for this mess.


Of course they will use the army if needed, in our constitution laws what catalonia leaders are doing right now is high treason and that is punished with a sentence of 15-25 years of jail.

Of course we will not reach that point, i hope at least, but legally its possible.


Right now, they want catalan leaders to say clearly if they declared the independence or not, because if they say "yes" the government will use the article 155 of our laws and will suspend the autonomy of catalonia and revoke all powers of their "local" government to the central government.

Right now Spain is divided in "zones" and each one is ruled by a "local" government, over them is the central government. What we are currently living on catalonia is a "uprising", it happened in the past, and things didn't end well....


The problem in Spain is that in the past, politicians where corrupt, but there was plenty of money to steal from us, but in the last years, with the economic crisis and such, there is not so much to steal so now its more noticeable when someone steal. All of our political groups are buried in corruption cases, older or newer doesn't really matter.

Wherever there is money, corruption its near.

Also, and i find really funny that nobody in the international press is talking about that, catalan government, moved away from spain more than 400 million euros for the independence costs.

Also they had stole the electoral census and given it to a particular to upload it to a website so people could check where they should go to vote, a vote that ended being not controlled by anything, even kids could vote, people without their ID, people voting couple times in different places, vote boxes left alone in the middle of a street with tons of people gathering around and putting it their votes without any control.

And the funniest part is that when they showed the results, if you sum up the % it was like a 100,80% so they counted more votes that the total of votes, or did wrong the %


For me, all of this is a pantomime, something orchestrated by a couple of hidden guys pulling the strings to win money, and using and forcing the people as meat shields.

And said that, i want to clarify that i have a lot of family living there, a some of them want the independence, but not this way.

They could have done things right, like the basques did in the past, but they rushed this situation to take advantage and make claims that even the majority of catalans are not agree with.

For now, more than 500 company's moved their HQ's from catalonia to other places on spain, and some of them even said that they will be moving their assets and production facilities.

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