Catalan Independence? Democracy dies in Spain.

'One question though.

Francos been dead for thirty years. Is this a similar vein that Germany went through 30 years after WW2 with the red brigade.'



If I understand your question, yes in Spain as a whole there was a huge desire for change, during the Franco years the media was completely controlled by the government and if you wanted to know what was happening in Spain the main source was the BBC world service (Spanish speaking) or there was also a Soviet led Spanish service that was purely a soviet propaganda station. The state news would be about the Generalisimo having a working lunch with his ministers, sports and such alike but nothing about the demonstrations and strikes that were taking place in the Basque country. (there were also leaflets thrown on the streets by union members). Of course the bar was were the real news and political matters were discussed

Once real news started filtering through the Spanish people, especially Catalans and Basques wanted change but it was only in these regions were a minority contemplated and implemented violent action as a means to achieve their goals.
The Universities in all regions of Spain were regularly visited by the Grises (section of spanish police) they regularly had running battles with protesting students.

Spain was becoming a more prosperous country and the middle classes would probably enjoy the political and economic stability experienced in the post Franco years, so there probably was little appetite for big changes since things were advancing in the desired direction, that is apart from in the Basque and Catalan regions whom wanted faster and more radical changes but within a legal framework.

Take my comments with a bucket of salt because I am out of date and know little about what this thread is dealing with, Catalan Independence. I personally would like the Spanish and Catalan Nations in whatever form they adopt to solve their differences and get on with solving their economic, pension and unemployment woes because the current situation is going to stifle foreign investment and make matters worse.
What pro-independents have now is an extremely bitter pill to swallow, from their perspective they are worse off now than before the vote for independence, they are not about to give up, so every election whether national or municipal is going to cause lots upheaval and instability in the region. I think civil unrest would be more damaging to the Catalan people than to Spanish government so I don't know were they go now.

I will carry on observing, the EU has yet to get involved, that could make things even more interesting.
 
The government has described as "provocative" the appointments by the president of the Generalitat, Quim Torra, of four consellers in prison or escaped and has assured that the intervention of the State in Catalonia will continue.

The Government will maintain article 155 of the Constitution by not endorsing the list of directors that the president of the Generalitat intends to appoint.

In a statement, the Executive notes that these appointments discredit the will to dialogue expressed in the letter that Torra sent to Mariano Rajoy and believe that these appointments show that this will "is not sincere."

"Yesterday, Mr. Torra wanted to stage a willingness to dialogue that lasted less than 24 hours, since his proposal for new counselors is a new provocation because several of them are fleeing from justice or in a situation of provisional prison, "the statement said.

The Government emphasizes that, "through its Secretariat, which is the only body competent to authorize the publication of the proposed decree of appointment, will analyze the viability of the new announced Government, given the personal circumstances of some of the appointed."

Torra has appointed as members of his Government the exconsellers Jordi Turull and Josep Rull, in preventive detention, and Antoni Comín and Lluís Puig, fled in Belgium from the Spanish Justice.

The president of the Generalitat, adds to the note, "has missed an opportunity to demonstrate his will to recover normality, since his decisions show that he wants to maintain a strategy of confrontation with the State and the majority of Catalan society."

In the statement, it is pointed out that both the government and the constitutionalist political forces "have been demanding the new president of the Generalitat to put an end to this political confrontation that only generates social unrest
 
Further to the above, Torra, I think, is still playing a game of symbols. The lads in prison are there for preventive purposes, they have not yet been tried, found guilty or sentenced, so in theory their rights to take up the post are unaffected. Obviously physically that would also be impossible unless the judge released them to do so, which is about as likely as me reaching six foot at my age.
The impression given by judge and government is that sentence has already been dictated, it is just a question of going through the motions and making the evidence fit until that point is reached,

However on a legal point the government has no grounds for refusing to print the DOGC circular which effectively works like gazetting and that the Catalan government will not become effective until that is done. Publishing the names is a legal necessity which is being ignored here by the triumvirate, it is not the publication that is the problem, it is the physical workability of having some of those named unavailable.
The fact that those in Madrid don't approve of those named should not be the point.

The game from Torra's view might be to take this to the International courts, and drag Spain's name through the mud. That way he could get his names reinstated. Also pigs might fly.

Meanwhile Catalunya had breathed a sigh of relief that we had a government and now it's all back on the trucks, and hurry up and wait.

Problem is Rajoy, Sanchez, and Rivera are all having a willie-waving contest over this seeing who can come over as the hardest, or at least not less hard than the others, and letting this government happen would be taken as an opening for the other two to have a go at Rajoy.
As I have pointed out before any concession is seen as a defeat, -just look at the uncomprehending consternation when Belgium didn't do what they wanted- so there can't be any giving in.
But it shows they don't accept the result of the election they called and will only be happy with a government that kow-tows.

Then we have Torra-Puigdemont playing a symbolic game to wring some form of at least a minor victory, or to have this on the international stage.
The way ahead would have been to appoint interim ministers until the others could take up their posts, and leave the exiles and prisoners as MPs who could delegate their votes. That way we could have a working government, this way I can't see any profit in prolonging a fight that ultimately will not result in the prisoners or exiles being restored no matter how many international courts say it should be otherwise. Spain won't give in over this, they will just stick out a petulant lip and say you are all nasty people and wrong and it's our business.
So while we need a government this happens.

As said on a TV programme last night while they all fight their symbolic battles the gap between political representatives and politically represented widens. I liked that comment.
 
By not publishing the DOGC it means that 155 is still in place and will be till Madrid approves of the government here.
A comment on a TV programme last night made me think, it said that applying 155 in the first place is a failure.
Thinking about it, it's true in that Madrid didn't engage in politics over this, and the need to apply it means that they failed to find a political solution rather than a repressive legalistic one.

The programme below is Faqs and is actually very good indeed, it brings opposite POVs to the table and allows them a platform, something that is not that common on the rest of Spanish TV.
I think that while it is mainly in Catalan those of you who understand Castellano might like to watch from 1hr 47 mins.
The Secretary General of VOX came on to give his POV, and opposite him was a Catalan lawyer and judge who has been disqualified from his position for principally political reasons.
The judge spoke in Castellano for the benefit of the argument, -strange because people say you can't use Castellano in Catalunya- and the SG is Spanish.

VOX has challenged the appointment of Torra in the courts and wants him disqualified, their reasoning is that if the government doesn't do it, someone has to. It comes over as extremely nationalistic (spanish) who can't accept the idea of multinationality.
I leave it to you to make your own judgements as to the validity of the arguments but for those who don't want to watch I saw the CG as very much in the shadow of Franco, (VOX is v right wing)
and for whom the sacred unity of Spain in territory and thought is above everything.
He wants to impose,not argue or persuade, the Spanish view on European Justice so that they concede to Spain, yet there isn't consensus within law in Spain over all this, only in the Right.
He was extremely uncompromising and a lot of what he said was typical of what we hear, that Catalan schools indoctrinate, that TV3 is a propaganda tool despite him being allowed to state his case there, that the kids of GCs are suffering a continual abuse*. In this vein he compared us to Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany, a comparison that I am becoming used to hearing but which has no relationship to reality. Yet that is what is being constantly repeated and disseminated in media and conversations, and if you want to know the 'traditional right' Spanish POV, listen to him.

The Judge came over as being a bit disperse, and could have argued better I thought, but made a couple of valid points.
Catalunya is the only autonomy that hasn't been allowed to have the statute they voted for was one.

Worth a watch.

* This complaint of constant abuse to innocents, and also poor Llarena who is just doing his job, ignores the fact that it goes both ways but that doesn't get into the news. I discovered that Torra has three kids who have all been subjected to a campaign of abuse including one who is handicapped.
Pot-kettle-etc. It's got nasty
"Preguntes freqüents": govern constituït
 
Couple of other things from the prog which I had agreed with before I saw it.

Rajoy is saying that the defiance shown by Torra over naming his government also shows that he had no real desire for dialogue. So now Rajoy has his excuse not to do so. The fact that he had no real intention of dialoguing is shown by his comments of 'I will dialogue only within the law.'
In other words he will not talk about the central problem.

But both sides need talk to happen, and it should encompass every aspect of the problem. Rajoy is being ingenuous in that talking is not the problem, acting is. He can talk about everything but then he is restricted in his actions by his holding to his interpretation of the constitution.
By discussing everything possible solutions may be found, at least temporarily, and routes of understanding also. By shortsightedly refusing to discuss certain subjects or aspects thereof, the possibility of engaging in finding a political solution is made far more difficult if not impossible.

It was pointed out that Rajoy is asking Torra to renounce his principles before sitting down to talk if certain topics cannot be discussed. That is not politically clever.

As was said, the problem has been here for centuries and it won't go away no matter how much you legislate.
 
By not opening talks or giving Torra the go ahead for his cabinet, Rajoy is increasing the independence feeling in Catalonia.
Even the guys I speak to in the pub (rarer meets now as my friend who works for the town hall has moved to another village) are openly critical of Rajoy's handling of the situation whereas earlier their opinion was that he had no choice.
Whilst support for independence dropped to around 40% back in Feb, the latest polls show it is now up to 48%. Support for Spain in Catalonia has dropped from 53% down to around 50%.
The independents would get a majority in parliament, though.

Question for @Dwarf
How has Article 155 actually impacted (apart from forming the government) in Catalonia? Many of the options open haven't, according to Jorge/Jord (one of the chaps who is Catalan but works in this area), been implemented. Direct rule on all governmental matters haven't been brought in as I understand it.
 
As a final point, on a social side in Spain in general we find censure now within certain areas of expression.
The Directors of Jueves the satirical magazine are under investigation, and a young Catalan rapper has been handed a two year prison sentence, currently under appeal, for exhortion to terrorism.
I don't like either Rap or his song, but he should be allowed to say what he likes no matter how stupid it is. In his view he was commenting on social injustice.
Yet Losantos can go on the airwaves and propose bombing Barcelona with all that entails and gets away scot-free.
The conclusion is that the system isn't fair.
It was also pointed out that there has been a silence from Spanish musicians who should be fighting for their right to free speech because it affects them as well.
In this aspect as well as others Spain seems to be going backwards over certain civil rights and it's worrying.

At the end of the prog there was the interview with the rapper and also with the director of Comparsa los Angeles de la Guardia de la Carnaval de Cadiz.
At 3hr 08m there is a meeting with a bloke who lost his child on Las Ramblas when real terrorists not the made up kind drove the van down it.
They sang a song for them and social awareness which is quite good and worth watching.

It's not boring here.
 
By not opening talks or giving Torra the go ahead for his cabinet, Rajoy is increasing the independence feeling in Catalonia.
Even the guys I speak to in the pub (rarer meets now as my friend who works for the town hall has moved to another village) are openly critical of Rajoy's handling of the situation whereas earlier their opinion was that he had no choice.
Whilst support for independence dropped to around 40% back in Feb, the latest polls show it is now up to 48%. Support for Spain in Catalonia has dropped from 53% down to around 50%.
The independents would get a majority in parliament, though.

Question for @Dwarf
How has Article 155 actually impacted (apart from forming the government) in Catalonia? Many of the options open haven't, according to Jorge/Jord (one of the chaps who is Catalan but works in this area), been implemented. Direct rule on all governmental matters haven't been brought in as I understand it.
Thanks for that. get back to you later on this. Missus wants us to go out to see Iniesta's last match. But yes it has had an impact.
 
By not opening talks or giving Torra the go ahead for his cabinet, Rajoy is increasing the independence feeling in Catalonia.
Even the guys I speak to in the pub (rarer meets now as my friend who works for the town hall has moved to another village) are openly critical of Rajoy's handling of the situation whereas earlier their opinion was that he had no choice.
Whilst support for independence dropped to around 40% back in Feb, the latest polls show it is now up to 48%. Support for Spain in Catalonia has dropped from 53% down to around 50%.
The independents would get a majority in parliament, though.

Question for @Dwarf
How has Article 155 actually impacted (apart from forming the government) in Catalonia? Many of the options open haven't, according to Jorge/Jord (one of the chaps who is Catalan but works in this area), been implemented. Direct rule on all governmental matters haven't been brought in as I understand it.
Interesting post for what you say. I think that polls reflect the fact that people are seeing that Rajoy couldn't have done it worse, and for both Spain as well as Catalunya. However, serious question, when your mates criticise Rajoy how many decant towards Cs and how many more towards the centre?
I think it's important as Spanish politics seem to be taking a turn to the right, and with Sanchez coming on as harder than Rajoy it's, for me at least, a regression to the 'Old Spain'. Sanchez has a problem in that he has lost a large part of his truly socialist base to Podemos and the rest are centralist/socialist or traditional-socialist like in Andalusia. To retain his power base against Diaz he has to be anti-Catalan or pro-centralism if you prefer. Also to gain votes among the centre-undecided he has to go towards the centre/right and take ground away from the PP who now are threatened from the extreme right by Cs and now by PSOE in the centre/right.
We will now end up with three parties (PP Cs PSOE) going further right and Podemos being really quiet about this all.

Sorry about the diversion, but before I answer, a question about your sources.
40% for independence? Where did you get that from? Interested question.
I know that around January a lot of people were just fed up and demoralised, and had Madrid done something positive as opposed to just waiting then they might have seriously undermined the independence movement.
Quim Torra today asked a really important question.
"Quin projecte té el govern espanyol per a Catalunya?"
Translation: What project does the Spanish Government have for Catalunya?

Here I think we have one of the deepest roots of the problem, what does Spain want from Catalunya and what does it propose to help it achieve that? A large part of Rajoy's problem is that the answer is that he doesn't know or have an idea. Catalunya has grown largely through it's own impulses and dynamism and to a large extent Spanish governments have lived off that. Instead of creating a joint project to benefit everybody and harness this they have been intent to simply benefit from it and direct resources to other areas in either competition or detriment to Catalunya. Mediterranean corridor a prime example that would benefit Catalunya, Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia, and thus all of Spain, but opposed by Madrid for sectarian reasons.

As it stands the message is that the colony has to do what it it told and work for the rest. If that sounds plastic then sorry, but from the pov here then what is the answer we have to draw?


OK sorry, but your post sparked the reply.

155 effects.
It wasn't applied as hard as it could have been, at least overtly. If you look day to day then for the majority of people it hasn't made that much difference. We get up, go to work, go home watch tv, get on with our lives, and the routine continues.
But there is an effect that I have noticed in people's demeanours that I have observed, at least here in my town, that a huge mistrust of central government has settled on most of us, and this despite the concurrent mishandling of the situation by Puigie and Co. People are more cynical about Spain and more inclined to see them as a right-wing monolith that only wants to maintain Catalunya in subjection to an idea rather than as a partner to a project.

As to physical effects, well their secret weapon has been the 'funcionario' or Spanish bureaucrat. To those of us who have run foul of him it's the devil's torture, though it has improved in recent years.
Things like hospitals, and social initiatives whose budgets were approved and voted on with money in the bank now had to be referred to Madrid who simply said that it was not convenient at the time and the money was now not available.
This is historically what Spain has done here, but in this cases it affects the Health Service, and Social Services.
People who needed operations, or to be seen by doctors on potentially life-threatening situations now couldn't be. Homeless people lost support measures.

Quote.
"The Department of Education is a good example of how the intervention of the Government has affected the dynamics of the Generalitat. In five months, none of the usual administrative procedures has been conditioned by the 155: The 2,000 'oppositions' seats planned have taken place and it is expected soon to approve the annual resolution which includes all the details of the school pre-registration.

However, this conselleria has seen how some measures were paralyzed due to lack of political leadership. It has happened with the pact against school segregation, announced by the councilor Clara Ponsati and the Síndic de Greuges and that should lead to a change of the pre-enrollment decree of the 2018-2019 academic year, with commitments such as distributing students with difficulties among all the centers, public and concerted, alike. The modifications must wait for the next course."

That's the type of thing that has happened, slowing down or paralysing the day to day of services relating to government or which depend on government decisions.

The Education system feels itself under a microscope and there is an implicit threat,
Initiatives that were proposed and agreed are now paralysed until 155 is lifted.
The teachers in the GC kids case are seen as victims in a campaign to undermine the education system because of the mishandling of the situation.
The Diplocat has been dismantled with 260 posts lost. Again short-sighted as a great deal of its work was to promote Catalunya as a place to do business and thus benefit all the state. But they can't see beyond their noses these people.

TV3 has suffered both in budget and vigilance.

Quote:
"The closure of the accounts of the Generalitat has affected absolutely all the agencies that depend on it, from universities to hospitals, through multiple consortia, foundations or scientific research institutes. The latter were the most belligerent at the time of denouncing that the measure requires them to justify to the Ministry all payments made, which "hinders" its operation. This is what Lluís Rovira sees, president of the Research Centers of Catalonia (CERCA), which notes that the procedure for making transfers is still to "send a certificate to the Ministry justifying that money is not directed to illegal activities." This supposes, according to details, that a procedure that was previously immediate now requires several days to be approved "

Bureaucracy is the biggest way to stifle any initiative or dynamism and the latins have it off to a T.

On a personal level I have received in the last sixth months two queries about the normal running of my business and my mortgage. I received a visit from a civil servant over a really minor detail that had never been queried since I started on my own in 1994 and could have been done over the telephone, but still cost me money. The other a query about ownership in the final year of my mortgage that they could answer by looking on their files.
According to my accountant this has been happening frequently nowadays and didn't before.

So I hope this answers your question, I could go on for pages, sorry to give you such a long answer but the question needs one.

Has it had an effect? Yes. Much of it psychological through the mechanisms of what they have done. After my experiences I am just peed off with the system, much more than before. The main effect I think is this, how people see Central Government and their confidence in the same. Plus the polarisation of society.
 
Headlines in the Vanguardia today.

What price will Torra pay for a policy of symbols?
And what price will Rajoy pay for arbitrarily stopping him?

PNV hold back on approving the budget. (Won't till 155 lifted, a problem for Rajoy.)

Torra visits the prisoners.

Torra will govern with his ministers till he has a government.

For Puigdemont it's more important to keep on holding up the grievances than healing the rift with the government.

Ana Botin president of Santander Bank (A biggie) "we have to re-enthuse the Catalans over the Spanish project." (implication is that they have to do things for us.)

From No is No to Rajoy's crutch. Sanchez's about-turn.

ANC will ask for demonstrations against the continuance of 155.

The naming of Torra as president is a mistake that has produced a reaction in Catalunya, Spain and Europe.

A judge in a corruption case in Andalusia has complained of political pressure on an almost daily basis from all sides.
 
Sorry about the diversion, but before I answer, a question about your sources.
40% for independence? Where did you get that from? Interested question.




.
A poll by CEO (Centro d'Estudis d'Opinio) in February showed a 40.3% support for independence compared to 53% for Spanish. As reported in Catalan News, Reuters and others.
The same CEO now shows 48% for independents and, sorry I read it wrong, less than 50% for Spain.

And I don't really get in depth with those Spanish in the pub on what their politics are so I don't know who they would be supporting although this area is very pro PSOE (just stopped Sunday opening for shops here).
 
A poll by CEO (Centro d'Estudis d'Opinio) in February showed a 40.3% support for independence compared to 53% for Spanish. As reported in Catalan News, Reuters and others.
The same CEO now shows 48% for independents and, sorry I read it wrong, less than 50% for Spain.

And I don't really get in depth with those Spanish in the pub on what their politics are so I don't know who they would be supporting although this area is very pro PSOE (just stopped Sunday opening for shops here).
Thanks, like I said there was a demoralisation which if exploited could have brought results.

Things back to normal and, if I have it right, 48% pro-independence, 43% pro-union, and the remaining 9% or don't knows or don't give a toss.
In actual fact in contrary to what the unionists say, while the independence movement doesn't have a majority they still have more support than unionists, albeit by a narrow margin. That the unionists have 43% doesn't automatically mean that the indepes have 57% as we see. It's also why they get parliamentary majorities.

Valencia not so far back used to be a PP area, though maybe not by a great margin and after Camps and Rita I'm not surprised that they have gone PSOE.
 
As surmised the Three Musketeers have banded together to see if they can impede Torra's named government. Rajoy is studying if there are legal grounds to challenge the names.
In this he is dicey ground, as it is a legal requirement for the government to publish the DOGC and the party that has been insistent on obeying the law now looks to be on the point of breaking it. The DOGC has been published but only with the job descriptions not the names to buy time.

The names also have not yet been tried so they have their political rights intact and there are no legal grounds to impede their appointment.
OK practical grounds I agree with.
As I have said the way things are being framed it is as if the sentence has already been decided and that the names are already convicted. What happened to presumption of innocence.

In fact when Sanchez said that they will have to reframe the penal code over rebellion to bring it into line with what is happening in Catalunya then he is admitting that legally the prisoners are not guilty of the crime as things now stand. That won't stop Llarenas or the Musketeers though.
 
The German courts have again refused to extradite Puigdemont on charges of rebellion.
The higher German court has not agreed to his bail and has asked the Schleswig court to re-examine the extradition on charges of embezzlement.

Just thought I'd throw that in before @Skylog tries to start another civil war. Wish he'd stick to his Commando comics.
 
The German Prosecutor after receiving more information from Llarena asked for Puigdemont to be re-jailed.
The German Courts decided against.
Perhaps they are miffed that Llarenas is telling them what to do and what their conclusion should be.

Meanwhile the same Judge has refused to allow Turull and Rull to leave prison in order to take up their offices. This on grounds of probability of re-offending.
The way he worded it reinforces the idea that he has already passed sentence and that they are guilty. Whether they are or not he is ignoring their legal rights until they sentenced.

I see that Millo the Government representative here awarded medals to GC who had participated in 1 Oct here. There is a very clear message in this.
 
The Basques have voted to approve the budget despite their condition that 155 needed to be lifted first.

The decision taken was I think because it would have benefitted Cs and in the Basque Country the Cs are not popular to say the least.
Also the Basques have a big wedge of cash hanging on this approval, a wedge that they got out of Rajoy for supporting him.
Rajoy says that the lifting of 155 is 'imminent', though in practice we will see. I'm betting that he will keep it going and blame Torra for it while saying that he really wanted it lifted but had no choice.

Unfortunately this I think will leave Catalans a little more suspicious of Basque help in the future. Which may be a problem because the Basques now want to include recognition of their national identity on the table.
If reports are true they want to approve a new Statute in which in the preamble the Basque Country and Basques are recognised as a people and nation.
Plus the right to decide should be included.

PNV and EH Bildu have agreed on this, against are Elkarrerin, PSE, PP and Podemos

Now where have we heard all this before?
 
Meanwhile Rajoy refuses to publish the DOGC, Soraya says that it's easy, all the Catalans have to do is play the game and name people who can do the job. (translation, people we approve of.)

Torra is studying taking this to the courts, and also will ask Rajoy what his legal grounds are for refusing to publish. As mentioned those grounds are shaky.

Oh dear.
 
Lamela warns that Trapero will end up in court as the accused.

That's definitely going to get up our noses here.
Seen as revenge for not ordering the charge on 1 Oct.
 

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