Catalan Independence? Democracy dies in Spain.

Marta Rovira stated today that ERC still would like to see a formula to have Puigdemont as president at a distance. BUT they need an effective plan that will work and not just be shot down by the government. The important thing is to get 155 lifted. That they are working on a plan and agreement with Junts per Cat and hoping that in the next few days they will reach an accord.
-And yet more time passes.

Also I see that she is now high on judge Llarenas hit list. She was there before but now she is being effective the priorities are shifting.
 
Yesterday someone made an interesting point that is worth thinking about and not just in the Catalan context.
It is the idea of Power vs Authority within a democracy.
One may use power but it should be an authorised power by voters.

The discussion and example obviously was about Catalunya where the Government have been using power and claiming authority from the constitution and lately from a social demand.
Within Catalunya Junqueras has more authority than Rajoy as given by the voters in the Catalan elections.

It is interesting and ironic that the PP is now falling back on social demand when the whole point of their actions was to stifle such a demand within Catalunya.

They are basing their revision of prison sentences where crimes of sedition and rebellion can not be pardoned or transmuted on just such a claimed demand. This again highlights the drive for revenge but appealing to voters in their battle with Cs.

Interesting philosophical point.
 
Not a lot grabbing the headlines, just more of the same stuff. Torrent the speaker has been insisting on Puigdemont, but the longer he keeps on trying to find a formula the longer 155 stretches on and the longer we suffer its effects.
ERC and PdeCat can't agree on a formula for declaring Puigdemont some form of president or figurehead and in a reversal of roles ERC are more conservative and PdeCat more radical.

This has to stop, and I think that again the government is going to win this one because Puigdemont is unlikely to be president this time round. That he can set up a council in Belgium as some sort of exilied figurehead is about all he can do at this juncture. If that sorts out he problem then go for it. Though I read that Llarenas will ask for extradition again in the near future.

But the biggest bombshell has been that the government wants to add a box in the school pre-inscriptions to allow parents to ask for their kids to be schooled only in castellano.
It might not seem a big thing outside but it is massive here on many levels.

Firstly it implies a major use of teaching resources for a relatively few pupils, resources that are tightly stretched after government restrictions both before and after 155.
Secondly the Catalan system has been very effective up to now, everybody comes out knowing both languages, (with some English or French as well) and a bi-lingual person has more resources in life.
Thirdly the Catalan system does not segregate on grounds of sex, colour, or religion, so why now on language? It means that some parts of society will not have the social tools to fully integrate and thus sets apart some of the population widening the us-them catalan-spanish mentalities that the government apparently wants as a step towards dismantling everything Catalan. In fact it is disadvantaging the Spanish speaker and creating potential conflict.
Fourthly it is simply another attempt in a long chain of attempts to spanishify the Catalans, the last being by Education Minister Wert in 2012 who openly stated that he wanted to make the Catalans more Spanish.

The faster we get a government the better, meanwhile the parties bicker like dogs after a bitch and we lose while Madrid imposes. the next article from La Vanguardia sums it up nicely:
 
The same day it transpires that the Government is studying whether to modify the rules of school enrollment (via 155) to make it possible for parents who want to avoid schooling in Catalan, we begin to read articles in the press that firmly and solemnly affirm that linguistic immersion should be eliminated by way of constitutional reform. The reason? According to the guru on duty, that is the way to deactivate the independence movement. That the analysis of the sociologistin the trenches is full of falsehoods, errors and stale topics is not important: the "¡ A por ellos!" Claps enthusiastically. And the threat is great, although the Secretary of State for Education has remarked that there is, at the moment, no decision.

What's going on? I agree with the friend Jaume Pi, editor of La Vanguardia digital, who yesterday summarized in two tweets the situation: Rajoy has raised his head over the parapet to force the independence movement to abandon the head to head that Puigdemont maintains with the State and, at the same time, wants to content to the toughest sectors of centralism in society, in order to compete in the struggle with Rivera over municpal ans autonomous issues.
In search of his win-win I will add that dismantling the school and the Catalan language is only the first part of a plan that also focuses on the public media, the Mossos and the finances of the Generalitat, which have been in Montoro's sights for some time. A plan designed in the laboratories of the FAES, which Cs has taken on as the basis of their project, which many newspapers in Madrid disseminate daily and which the PP use to maintain positions after the defeat of 21-D. Remember how a strategist of the Moncloa summed up the problem: "We have to recover control of the money, the dread and the propaganda". According to his vision, TV3 and the schools are the two legs of what they consider "propaganda".

The idea that you want to give to the two million who voted for independence is simple: everything can get worse, instead of pre-independence you will have preautonomy, you will have to beg to have classes in Catalan, give up all hope,. They challenged the State and they will pay dearly. A little more psychological warfare to finish softening up the people. And maybe it would not be necessary. Someone very aware of the situation tells me that the officials who apply 155 are surprised at the little opposition they have found in most departments of the Generalitat. They were psyched to fight, but it's turning out to be a walk over. They did not have good information about the enemy: when they landed to dismantle the Diplocat, and saw that the list of people that had to be fired it was only forty, they exclaimed: "This must be from one embassy!" And no, that was the sumtotal of Catalan foreign diplomacy that had made them so nervous.
 
I think you're making a few things up there or reading La Vanguardia take on it.
Catalan is the main language in schools with Spanish taught for 2 hours a week in primary school, 3 hours a week in elementary school and 2 hours a week in pre-university education. The request to increase the amount of time Spanish is taught came from an organisation of teachers and educators and, after a ruling some 18 years (2000) parents can request more time in Spanish. In that time, just 500 have applied and only 50 requests have been approved.
This "option" (which is being pushed for by Ciudadanos, not the PP) would not stop Catalan being the main language in the vast majority of establishments.
The inability to come to any agreement over forming a government is making things like this come to the fore.
You make it sound as if all kids in Catalan schools will be forced to be taught in Spanish which is nowhere near the truth.
 
No, and I will reply later in more depth, no time now. Those figures are erroneous, more later.
How you get that I am saying that Catalan kids will be forced to be taught in Spanish I just don't see, and I'm not claiming that by any means. (They haven't gone that far yet, give them time.;))
It's the opting out and segregation which is the point.

Yes it's lack of government, see previous post, I totally agree.
 
@exbleep
Back after a long day, a session of philosophy in Ye English Tavern, Girona won 3-0 so any flights of literature poetry or semantics you can lay firmly at the door of Arthur Guiness.

When you posted I think you were behind events, and I hope you are up to speed now.
The initiative you referred to was indeed a C's proposal which I rather think was designed to gain voter sympathy rather than believing it would prosper, given that it is adressed to all of Spain encompassing Galicia, Euskadi (Basque Country) and Catalunya. The Basques are likely to kick up about it but Cs don't have much of a vote there, and the Gallegos (Galicians) as well but they are a PP stronghold so not much lost either way. The vote they got in Catalunya isn't likely to grow much, probably more the opposite, so again they aren't jeopardising their vote if they lose. The vote they are adressing is the Spanish Right in order to take pole position from the PP.
Whether the PP initiative is in a measure a riposte to Cs or something they had in the pipeline is debatable, but the difference is that the PP initiative is only directed at Catalunya.

The points I made in post 2,923 apply as to how many see it here. Talking to a mate who is totally anti-independence tonight he sees it the same way that I do and sees the measure as completely misguided and agrees with me. The worry is that this is only a first step.

You say that "You make it sound as if all kids in Catalan schools will be forced to be taught in Spanish which is nowhere near the truth."
Well I've reread the post and I just can't see where I've said that that at all, so you had better specify. I'm far more worried about language segregation which is just as prejudicial to equality and democracy as segregation due to race, colour or any other prejudice.

As to the being forced to be taught in Spanish it has already been tried, though constant voices continue to propose it as an idea to various extents. The example quoted about Education Minister Wert is on record, and he's not the only one who thinks that. FAES is all in favour.

What you said about the amount of Catalan/Spanish taught only applies to language teaching much as we had English and Eng Lit in school as well as French/Latin/German. The important point is that for the rest of the subjects the vehicular language is Catalan, as is the admin of the school. If a parent comes to the school who doesn't speak Catalan they will be attended to as a matter of course in Castellano without problems. But that the schooling is in Catalan is the point, so that everyone starts on an equal footing in Catalan society.

With your mates try the mirror image. I see a proposal in the EU for a single president, so fast forward a few years when a EU decree obliges all the countries to educate in English as a common language with the local countries' languges to be taught a few hours a week. How would they feel to have their mother tongue relegated?
OK, you will say, the same happens in Catalunya with Castellano, yet I would argue that if someone comes here for work or whatever they should understand that the language here in schools is Catalan, (and in Euskadi the language is Euskadi,) and accept it. When I came here I accepted that my child would not be taught in English and I took measures to make sure she had English input.
When I listen to kids in the local school playgrounds I can hear Catalan, Spanish, Morrocan, Central African languages and even other EU languges. Yet they can all speak Castellano, it really is a multi-lingual society here. In Barcelona there are schools where the principal language in the corridors and playground is Castellano, but they also speak Catalan. I can only see that any measure away from that is to disadvantage the individual student who is educated in one single language in a multi-lingual society. This I say as someone who works in education, not as an independentiste.

What the PP propose is twofold, firstly to start on the path to dismantling Catalan gains. the second is to gain votes in the battle with Cs. But to do that they may seem to give a moral advantage to the PP voters in Catalunya whereas they are actually disadvantaging them.

All this is happening because the bloody useless politicians can't agree when they should, and the Catalans suffer more because they bicker about details.
 
Well all the above has caused a reaction, and whatever is being said in Spain it has certainly been something the Catalans manage to largely agree on.
Comuns is against the measure, and even PSC who has given 155 their support, has said that they will fight tooth and nail for the language and education.
So the PP have managed to get the Catalans to agree on something, and a something that they will join forces for on this issue.
Even Cs are unlikely to support it due to the battle they are involved in with the PP and the fact that they are proposing a different measure.
On the other hand being a major cynic I suspect that the PP may have deliberately started an initiative knowing that it will unify the Catalans and the ensuing conflict will allow them to continue to protect the National Integrity and be the Champions of Spain.
If that isn't the case then there are two possibilities left, neither of them inspiring either. The first is that in trying to gain votes to beat the Cs they have managed to unify the Catalans on the issue that means the most to the great majority here.
Or there is an article by Joan de Sagarra (Joan is Juan or John in Catalan) an well-known anti-independentiste titled 'I'm not independentiste but'
The precis of it all starts with an article recently published in El Pais by a Jose Luis Alvarez, doctor in Sociology in Harvard. In it he claims that the only way to disactivate the independence movement is by cancelling the linguistic immersion in the Catalan Education System otherwise in a generation Catalunya will achieve independence. How? he cites that ex-president Pujol set in motion a long-term plan that involves waiting until the generation of immigrant workers from other parts of Spain, who still vote unionist, die out. Then the Independence movement will be able to count on between 60-65% support, which even the EU will find difficult to ignore. Demographics.
Sagarra disagrees with this analysis, though states that the conclusion of needing to dismantle the Education System is shared by both PP and Cs, and considers that it would be a major political mistake with unforseen consequences.
He says that the Catalan system over the last 30 years, while naturally not being perfect, has been a resounding success. Children leave the system fluent and literate in both languages and easily reach the standards of Castellano required by the Spanish Education Ministry.
When you interfere with it you create independentistes, just as the Courts are doing now, and just as the police did on 1st Oct with their batons, it is that sensitive an issue.
He concludes the article by saying that while he is anti-independence if they interfere with the language he might just change his mind.

Just when I thought that things were quietening down and that the Catalans were reluctantly accepting another beating by Spain, this springs up. Perhaps they thought that it would be accepted with much gnashing of teeth, but accepted all the same. No chance.
Amazing the lack of quality in politicians in this part of Europe.

ed to add the word years
 
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Marta Rovira set free under 60,000€ bail. Bit strange the decision, while Marta Pascal goes free.

Tomorrow Artur Mas has to appear tomorrow, tuesday, hope he has his bag packed.

However Judge Lamela has cited the ex-head of the Mossos Trapero to reappear in front of him on Friday on further charges of sedition and criminal organization for 1 Oct. Lamela considers that he designed a plan of inaction and was part of a strategy towards independence.
Again he believes De Los Cobos rather than weighing up the facts, which showed the Mossos closed down more polling stations than the GC-NP without disturbing the 'convivencia' as per orders. De Los Cobos considers that because the Mossos didn't adopt the hard option they were at fault. He alledges no co-ordination despite the fact that he made no real attempt to meet with and co-ordinate with Mosso Chiefs prior to the day except on a superficial level. Which seems to me to indicate that the hard option was planned and pre-meditated.

The judge seems determined to prove premeditated rebellion and to remove from the scene those he considers the main culprits. He is also determined to find a circle of conspirators whose nefarious plan was the independence of Catalunya.

Interestingly a retired Judge of the TSJC (Spanish court in Catalunya) opined (speaking in Castellano) that for rebellion to exist there has to be violence. Also that there has to be a plan to instigate that violence, and that in Catalunya that condition just doesn't exist, therefore the charges have no fundament.
Lamela obviously disagrees, but hasn't yet managed to prove the existence of violence other than in potentia, and as someone observed, his idea of what is happening/has happened in Catalunya doesn't fit the facts, and he is working on a constructed scenario rather than reality.
However in his self-adopted role he will open the door for the interference with the Mossos and other aspects of Catalan society that are seen as wildly dangerous to Madrid.

There is very little confidence in the impartiality of justice in this case around here.

A major player in the CUP Anna Gabriel is also cited to appear before the Judge on Wednesday.
She has gone to Switzerland in a carefully thought out plan to bring the case before the attention of the World again and show up Spanish Justice for its lack of impartiality. How successful she will be is fairly moot, especially after Puigdemont, but if it continues to keep it in the public eye then she considers it to be worth it. Mind I think the boredom factor will reduce its impact.
Predictably the PP and Cs are shouting about the 'sauve qui peut' of the independence movement, which is not what this is about.
Watch and shoot.
 
I read today a spokesman for the PP, Casado, today stated that Spanish is not studied in Catalan schools. More false news on the lines of castellano being prohibited in Catalunya, yet pushed out as truth for public consumption.
Yet they get away with it.
 
Anna Gabriel apparently will not appear before the Judge and is considering political asylum in Switzerland.
She says that she will not get a fair trial in Spain.
Reading between the lines I think that her plan is to demonstrate that there was/is no violence in the Independence movement and hold the conclusions of Spanish Justice up to the light.
Whether it will change the minds of politicians and judges already set on a course of action is frankly doubtful.
Extrapolating Rajoy's principle of say nothing and wait till it all blows over would seem to be what Madrid hopes for, this time in an international scenario.
 
Anna Gabriel apparently will not appear before the Judge and is considering political asylum in Switzerland.
She says that she will not get a fair trial in Spain.
Reading between the lines I think that her plan is to demonstrate that there was/is no violence in the Independence movement and hold the conclusions of Spanish Justice up to the light.
Whether it will change the minds of politicians and judges already set on a course of action is frankly doubtful.
Extrapolating Rajoy's principle of say nothing and wait till it all blows over would seem to be what Madrid hopes for, this time in an international scenario.
You beat me to it , was just going to post much the same thing.

I can offer a longer quote though

"I am being persecuted for my political activity and the government press has already declared me guilty," said the former CUP representative in the interview, in which she maintains that, "since I will not have a fair trial in my country, I am looking for a country that can protect my rights. "

Gabriel says she will be "more useful to my movement in freedom than behind bars", as she sees the fate of some of her colleagues who are still in prison since last December, she says.

"I understood that I had to leave, I'm not the only one waiting for prison, the whole government (Catalan) is threatened," she says.
 
You beat me to it , was just going to post much the same thing.

I can offer a longer quote though

"I am being persecuted for my political activity and the government press has already declared me guilty," said the former CUP representative in the interview, in which she maintains that, "since I will not have a fair trial in my country, I am looking for a country that can protect my rights. "

Gabriel says she will be "more useful to my movement in freedom than behind bars", as she sees the fate of some of her colleagues who are still in prison since last December, she says.

"I understood that I had to leave, I'm not the only one waiting for prison, the whole government (Catalan) is threatened," she says.
Sums up what she is trying to do.
 
Watching the news I see that the CT has overturned part of a law from Ex education minister Wert in 2013, who in trying to assure that parents could have their child educated in castellano accepted that to dedicate resources to a few was impractical and stipulated that 6,000€ would be made available to families to send their child toprivate schools which either teach in castellano or have a higher input of the same. If I have it right over the years only fifty families applied for and were given the grant.
The Generalitat appealed and finally it has received sentence after five years.

However the timing of the sentence I find more than interesting, especially as it means that to ensure the possibility of teaching in castellano the Government has to do something concrete.
So the door is open to changes.
However as ponted out by the educators you can't just turn everything on its head overnight, these things need time to apply. The PP proposal ignores this and in areas such as Barcelona if this is taken up may put an impossible strain on resources which will be unable to comply with the order.
That apparently won't matter as long as the measure is seen to be taken.

The Catalan politicians need to get their act together now, and there isn't much sign of that.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
The Catalan politicians need to get their act together now, and there isn't much sign of that.
Ultimately the Catalan leadership didn't think this through. They just hoped a pro-independence vote and a Jean-Luc Picard wave of the hand saying 'make it so' would deliver independence. Madrid was never going to acquiesce.

They needed to prepare what was in effect a coup, have a fully functional alternative state up and running the instant they declared independence and effectively say to Madrid, "go on, send the tanks in and start a civil war". As things turned out they had no concrete plans for independence and had made the square root of fornicate all preparation.

It's also noticeable that none of the pro-independence leadership want to allow themselves to be jailed by Madrid, become de facto political prisoners and play the Nelson Mandela role from prison. They've chosen exile rather than imprisonment, suggesting they don't have the balls to risk all in pursuit of independence.

Wordsmith
 
Ultimately the Catalan leadership didn't think this through. They just hoped a pro-independence vote and a Jean-Luc Picard wave of the hand saying 'make it so' would deliver independence. Madrid was never going to acquiesce.

They needed to prepare what was in effect a coup, have a fully functional alternative state up and running the instant they declared independence and effectively say to Madrid, "go on, send the tanks in and start a civil war". As things turned out they had no concrete plans for independence and had made the square root of fornicate all preparation.

It's also noticeable that none of the pro-independence leadership want to allow themselves to be jailed by Madrid, become de facto political prisoners and play the Nelson Mandela role from prison. They've chosen exile rather than imprisonment, suggesting they don't have the balls to risk all in pursuit of independence.

Wordsmith

Difficult to disagree with that. Don't know how far the exile bit is a tactical ploy and how far staying out of Madrid's grasp to keep themselves in play to a degree.
 
As to the last, on TV tonight the CUP claim that it was an agreed ploy within their cupola to open a centre of pressure in Switzerland, neutral territory.

Based on the last couple of days when today Artur Mas walked free for now, Anna Gabriel might well have not been locked up. So she is taking a step that takes her away from family and country for an unforseen period. Not so pleasant perhaps.


Also, not to do with Catalunya directly but a rapper who in his songs called the Royal family thieves has been jailed for three and a half years for lese-majeste.
Spain has a gag law which is a serious attack on freedom of speech. This was brought in effectively to stifle criticism of the PP and its supports.
Not a great advert for quality of democracy.
 
No pain no gain. Unless Catalans do some violent resistance by claiming independence and resisting the military intervention by Madrid they will not get independence. You get nothing for nothing.
 
No pain no gain. Unless Catalans do some violent resistance by claiming independence and resisting the military intervention by Madrid they will not get independence. You get nothing for nothing.


If you get over there quick, they'll name the first International Brigade after you!


You seem keen on agitating for people to commit murder against their friends and neighbours; whats your background?
 

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