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10.18.2014

Relief? Certainly not in Catalonia!

A response to MARY DEJEVSKY, who, on Friday 17 October 2014, wrote the following (extracts):

To read the whole post, click on "Més informació" just beneath

 
"Redrawing borders is dangerous. But so is leaving them alone

"Though few in number, stateless nations account for a degree of suffering and armed conflicts out of all proportion to their size.

"When Scotland voted by a 10 per cent margin with a huge turn-out to remain part of the United Kingdom, loud sighs of relief could be heard not just in Westminster, but across Europe.

"The relief was more muted, but palpable nonetheless, when the regional government of Catalonia decided this week not to proceed with a referendum on independence after Spain’s constitutional court agreed to hear the central government’s case. Both Scotland and Catalonia are now likely to be rewarded with more autonomy, and the present composition of the European Union, like the two countries concerned, remains intact.

"These two decisions do not mean, however, that we can all settle back into our national comfort zones and disregard the risks presented by potentially mobile borders and self-defined nations without states. On the contrary. The Scottish vote and the Catalonia decision testify more to the relative stability of most of Europe at present than to any lessening of the appeal of statehood to those who do not enjoy its privileges..."

 

Dear Ms. Dejevsky, please come and visit Barcelona, and see for yourself the plentiful evidence that the Catalan process is being attacked on all fronts, both political, media and in the courts, with a savage aggressiveness that belies two bland statements of yours:  

  • "The relief was more muted, but palpable nonetheless, when the regional government of Catalonia decided this week not to proceed with a referendum on independence after Spain’s constitutional court agreed to hear the central government’s case."

  • "Catalonia ... now likely to be rewarded with more autonomy,"
Spain's Constitutional court had no choice but to hear the Spanish government's case and to temporarily (but automatically) suspend the November 9 vote in the form agreed by the broad coalition of Catalan parties last December. I only hope that it can drag itself away from its image of utter, total control by the main Spanish political parties, and be brave enough to show up the central government's ploy for what it is: a totally unjustified attack on a meticulously drafted law and decree which are within the constitutional remit of the Catalan authorities.   

Even yesterday PM Rajoy referred to it as an "illegal referendum", both usurping the role of the courts (unless he knows he can dictate the judgment on the phone) and deliberately misnaming the vote (which has been called under a law explicitly governing "consultes no referendàries"), and thus misleading anyone who cares to take what he says at face value. 

To have carried on with the non-binding referendum in its format as designed, during its suspension (which may drag out over months, in contrast to the overnight meeting the Court convened in order to nip the vote in the bud for the Spanish government's political convenience), would have been tantamount to a head-on collision with Spain, with civil servants risking their jobs, the region's limited home rule being abolished (yet again...). So the November 9 vote will take place place under alternative legislation which has not been divulged, of course, to prevent the Spanish goverment interfering yet again. In parallel, private donations amounting to millions of euros have gone into a massive grassroots campaign which is unstoppable, in my view: it is the brainchild of the two private organisations that amassed over 1·5 million people in Barcelona on September 11, to form a seven-mile-long Catalan flag!

As to Catalonia being "rewarded with more autonomy", the truth is not the least hint of anything resembling a "reward" has emerged from Spain in over four years since the disastrous Constitutional Court shattered even the most gullible Catalan federalist's dream of a common future.
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