Spain's Secessionists
A Pyrrhic Victory in Catalonia
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  • Psalms13626

    shorter post: EU bureaucrats are still the same bunch of gutless worthless turds you remember them being. I’ll be here all night. Try the waitress, tip the veal.

  • Tom

    Another one of the problems here will be that if the EU decides to shut down Catalonia, invidious comparisons will be drawn between that and the EU’s indications that Scotland would not have any trouble if it seceded from Britain.

    • Andrew Allison

      As the post notes, the EU has made it very clear that it considers the Catalonian imbroglio to be an internal Spanish matter. The EU has also made it perfectly clear that an independent Scotland would need to apply for membership, and that new members must adopt the euro. NATO has also stated that an independent Scotland would need to apply for membership. The SNP leadership’s mendacity on these issues speaks volumes as to its real interests.

  • Angel Martin

    If you wanted to spike separatist sentiment, the central gov’t of Spain gave a master class.

    If the UK and Canadian gov’ts had behaved like that, the Scotland and Quebec referendums would have passed for sure.

    The Catalans will have difficulty getting a UDI recognized by anyone, as Flanders, Lombardy and Scotland are lined up right behind them.

    But, given the events of this weekend, the gov’t of Spain may be sufficiently stupid to provoke a UDI, regardless.

  • WigWag

    If the Catalonians want independence from Spain they would be wise to reflect on the reality that power is never given, it’s always taken. Unfortunately they would also be wise to remember the truism spoken by one of the worst criminals of the 20th century; “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

  • D4x

    Sean, why did you omit the actual Catalonian voter participation was 42%?, a number that makes a 90% vote ‘yes’ far less than a mandate.

    Since I freely admit no interest in European elections until the vote has been counted, this did give me the moment to finally study Andorra (population 77,000+). Andorra is a member-state of the United Nations, but not of the EU, although Andorra does use the Euro. The official language is Catalan. The Balearic Islands also speak Catalan. Northern Catalonia is part of France, but they are allowed to speak, and teach Catalan.

    In fact, there is an organization for Stateless Nation in the EU. (Of course there is!), and Països Catalans is one project:
    “State or states this nation belongs to: Kingdom of Spain, French Republic, Principality of Andorra.”

    Since Switzerland and Norway do just fine outside the EU, and Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, the UK, and the Czech Republic do just fine outside the Euro, perhaps Andorra can be persuaded to be the UN member-state mother of the future Catalonia, which would include the Balearic Islands of Minorca, Majorca, and Ibiza.
    THAT could be a serious referendum.
    Let Spain and France re-enact the Thirty Years War in a Thirty-Hour soccer match, to resolve Catalonia.

    • Andrew Allison

      To be fair, Sean wrote “by any conceivable standard, the referendum was illegitimate and illegal, carried out in open defiance of Spain’s constitutional authorities”, so there could be no mandate regardless of voter participation.
      Your post led me on an interesting journey into stateless nationhood (TY) but, at the end of the day, the fact that Northern Catalonia is in France ensures that the Stateless Nation will remain so. The fact that Valencia is part of the Catalan Nation is another complication.

      • Jim__L

        “so there could be no mandate regardless of voter participation.”

        … This implies that legitimacy comes from someplace other than the voters. Where would that be?

        • Andrew Allison

          You misread my post. Since the referendum was illegitimate and illegal, no valid votes were cast. Legitimacy comes from a legitimate proposition being approved by a majority of those voting.

          • D4x

            Glad I postponed reply to you. This is clearer. Was the 09/25 Kurdistan referendum turnout of 72%, with
            >92% voting legal? Short version of my delayed reply:

            Greater Catalonia, including Andorra, was originally created as a buffer vassal against the Moors.
            Now? Spanish Catalonia population is 7% muslim. England is 5%.
            Andorra was luckier – their agreement with Charlemagne has preserved their independence,
            with the President of France, Macron, serving as co-Prince. Yes, Macron is an official Co-Prince.

            On one hand, pundits are calling them multi-culti leftists about to vote themselves into a
            caliphate. On the other hand, they have been fighting for complete autonomy for
            600 years:

            Therefore, I am opting out of hypothetical discussions on Catalonia, because the cacophony is too distracting, as is the European history that created this map. European devolution would wind up reverting to feuding principalities

            I’ll stick with, the real org for Unrecognized Nations and Peoples, deliberately HQ in Brussels.

          • Andrew Allison

            The answer to your question is unclear. The Iraqi government claims that the “referendum” was illegal but, unlike the Spanish government, has not presented any constitutional evidence. Furthermore, unlike the Catalonian referendum, the Kurdish one was legitimately approved by the semi-autonomous government. Last but not least, the Kurdish vote was actually a plebiscite, not a referendum.

          • D4x

            Legalese aside, Bershidsky compares Catalonia to Crimea:

            So, let Catalonia eat paella, or whatever Catalans yearn for, because Iran is far more important, and now the confusion hits closer to home. When you read about ‘POTUS Refusal to Certify JCPOA Compliance,’ note that the certification is dictated by U.S. law, shorthand for Corker-Cardin, NOT the terms of JCPOA. From Associated Press Oct. 6:

            “Nuke deal hangs in balance as Trump plans Iran policy speech”
            “…the Iran deal comprised “only a small part” of the government’s approach to
            Iran, a traditional U.S. adversary in the Middle East that Washington considers
            the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

            The Iran deal’s future may hinge on a face-saving fix for Trump so he doesn’t have to recertify the Islamic republic’s compliance every 90 days,
            as mandated in a provision of a 2015 U.S. law known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. …”

            POTUS’ Iran strategy speech scheduled for Oct. 12. A warning to know how long to avoid clickbait, although Eli Lake at Bloomberg is a fine read, along with that AP report. “Designating the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist
            organization could put pressure on the regime. by Eli Lake ‎October‎ ‎04‎, ‎2017‎ ‎2‎:‎25‎ ‎PM”,
            Lake sees how Sec Tillerson and Mattis are ALL IN on POTUS’ Iran strategy, despite the media blitz on ‘chaos’.

            Yesterday, I discovered a terrific Spanish-language news site, from Israel: Aurora Digital is the best news coverage: news not masking opinion. Better than any of the English-language sites.
            Israel’s public diplomacy knows that Latin America is key to fighting Iran/Hezbollah.

    • Jim__L

      So, demonstrably, 37.8% of the Catalan public, in defiance of state violence, decisively expressed a desire for independence? Those numbers are comparable to Patriot sentiment in colonial America. Whether or not you think it’s a mandate (and the fact of state violence gives the Catalan patriots reason to argue that of those 58%, more than a third were also interested in independence, which would imply an actual mandate) it’s enough to fuel a revolution.

      I hope they read their Orwell before they allow foreign Socialists to get involved, though…

      • D4x

        “1984” was translated into Catalan in 2010. Orwell published “Homage to Catalonia” in 1938: “The book begins in late December 1936. Orwell describes the atmosphere in Barcelona as it appears to him at this time. “The anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was still in full swing … It was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle … every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle … ”

        It seemed Sean was implicitly comparing the 09/25 Kurdistan referendum turnout of 72%, with >92% voting Yes, with the
        Catalonia vote Yes of 90%. That’s all. Despite my indifference, I do support self-determination when a people have retained their language and culture despite decades, centuries, of suppression by a central authority. Spanish Catalonians have aspired to nationhood for 600 years.

        I’ve been reacting to the way pundits – here, there, almost everywhere – selectively omit, or include, facts that help the reader understand the current issues. In this case, was the 42% voter participation due to the central government’s real intimidation, or because the demographics have changed, since the 1930’s, to where the majority now prefer being Spanish?

        I just replied to AA, about my future opting out of Catalonia debate, adding, am much more interested in Kurdish self-determination.

  • MikePM

    No doubt most of Europe would be utterly horrified at the notion, but little but little Trumpism is spreading around the world, as the ruling elites’ desire for increased globalization, centralization, and dependence is running squarely up against the ordinary peoples’ precise opposite desire for increased decentralization, independence, and self-determination.

  • Angel Martin

    Puigdemont is scheduled to make a statement at 19:00 GMT.

    Supposedly, he will announce that there will be a Catalonia UDI on Monday Oct 9.

    Funny. I feel like this is the biggest story going right now. But it is not being covered that way.

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