Catalan Independence? Democracy dies in Spain.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Dwarf, Jan 12, 2014.

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  1. This is now becoming less a Catalonia vs Spain problem as a Catalan vs Catalan problem.
    Just as an aside:
    Independence for Tabarnia
    Freedom for Tabarnia. Catalonia robs Tabarnia. Catalonia has never done anything to win Tabarnia over. The corruption of Catalan politicians has left Tabarnia in misery. That’s why the citizens of Tabarnia have the right to decide their future. The people of Tabarnia just want to vote. Tabarnia is not pro-independence, Tabarnia is pro-democracy. If Tabarnia declared itself independent, it would be assured its place in the European Union. Tabarnia, Catalonia’s Crimea.”

    ( My clarification:Tabarnia does not exist. It is a mythical pairing of Tarragona and Barcelona.)

    Its plausibility is all thanks to the separatists themselves – all the above sound bites have been used to bombard the people of Catalonia for years – just substitute the name Tabarnia for Catalonia.

    Now social media enthusiasts have turned the sound bites on the separatists. The same economic, cultural, demographic and ethnic arguments are being used to defend the splitting of Barcelona and Tarragona from a supposedly independent Catalonia and its return to Spain as an autonomous region.

    Continually referring to the Barcelona region with its "immigrant" vote will do nothing to promote a sense of unity in Catalonia and this will continue for a long, long time.
  2. Flippant:

    Target will fall when struck.


    You mention Cs being able to draw upon 'immigrant' voters.

    Is that because of urban demographics, or a specific attempt to appeal to those voters who are perceived as less regional, or at least have fewer roots in Catalan culture?

    I'm curious (for no reason other than having followed this thread, on and off), what the definition of immigrant may be in this context.

    Other regions of Spain, other EU countries, or further afield?
  3. It's a very good point, and yes it needs resolving within Catalunya itself before a next (hypothetical) step with Spain itself needs to be taken.
    Which I personally think is why Spain won't allow consultations/referendums because once sorted there might be a consensus. -Though knowing Catalans they could argue about where the sun comes up.

    Tabernia is a fair bit of satire, but bombarded is not the word I would use. Wondered when you would bring it up. ;)

    Referring to Barcelona and its immigrant community like it or not is a reflection of how it can be seen here, and my continually referring to it won't alter the situation in any way. But it is a crude reality that the make-up of Barcelona is different to the rest of Catalunya and it is reflected in the vote.
    From a Catalan POV try substituting the word integration for unity, it makes a difference on how it is seen.
    • Like Like x 1

  4. Fall? Depends on the weapons system you are using. Now in my day *harrumph* a rifle was a RIFLE, and targets certainly fell when even just breezed. :D

    'Immigration' can refer to a wide band including myself. Catalunya has always been an industialised area creating work and needing an expanded workforce. Much in the way that London attracted, and still attracts, people who want work.
    Other parts of Spain, say Andalusia as an example were more rural and created less employment. Naturally there was a gravitating towards the place where work was available.
    This happened also with the Basque country which attracted people from all over the north of Spain.
    More recently there has been an influx of South Americans and Africans both central and north for the same reasons.

    As a difference many of the people from Spain feel grateful to Catalunya for giving them a life and support independence, though not all by any means.
    The South Americans tend to be more anti-independence as they don't really understand the emotions and reasons behind it.
    It also depends on where the immigrant lives, in Barcelona there are areas that are essentially 'Spanish' where the grouping is either Spanish immigrant or S.American and Catalan is not really heard. Obviously a newer person will have the Spanish POV round him and will not have the Catalan, therefore he won't have, shall we say, a fuller picture. Because to make real sense of this you need both sides of the argument.
    Cs played their cards extremely well among this community with their largesse as there was a grouping who had no real leaning either way and/or who were more pro-Spain. As you say fewer roots.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. In the news.

    JxCat won't (at this point) have Junqueras as president while Puigdemont is still viable, the reasoning being that if there is a change of president then Rajoy has forced the situation and won a point.
    Fair one but if Puigdemont doesn't return ERC won't accept him, though I think the whole point of Puigdemont's manoeuvre is to return as a President only to have to face up to Spanish justice and then hold it up to the world. At least that's the impression I get.

    It means that there is a long way to go before the independentistes find common ground.

    Secondly the final detachments of GC and NP finally left today after more than three months in crap conditions. I actually felt for the lads when I saw the disgraceful Xmas menu they were given, it made MREs look appetising. Meanwhile the porky well-fed Interior Minister Zoido who had Xmas scoff at home denies bad conditions which the police unions are kicking up about.
    The result is that I reckon the GC/NP won't be too enthusiastic about returning on a future deployment under the same conditions.

    ED Typo
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  6. Article from an Aragonese POV: Alfredo Pastor from the University of Aragon Business School.

    Has some interesting points.

    ALFREDO PASTOR 01/01/2018 23:30 | Updated 02/01/2018 03:21 One said that philosophers leave all things as they are and only change concepts. In these difficult times, where apparently the arguments do not work, one is forced to take hold of anything in order to clarify the ideas. We will imitate, then, the philosophers taking a look at the three concepts that appear in the title of this article and are at the center of our conflict. Who has not arrogated, during these last years, the right to speak on behalf of the Catalan people?

    Sometimes I would say that there are at least half a dozen Catalan peoples, all different from each other and often with antagonistic feelings; one is a republic that is only waiting to materialize; another the bulwark of an identity threatened by centuries of merciless oppression, a third is surrounded by a minority with a totalitarian vocation, the latter believes that their destiny is to safeguard a secular national essence that a few fools seek to corrupt ...there are many Catalan peoples; but is there at least one?
    The answer is very simple: it depends on what for. There is if it is to defend certain traditions and customs that one respects although they are not one's own; to pay tribute to a land that may have offered opportunities to prosper; to feel comfortable in a country whose geography, physical and human, is like a universe in minature; to recognize the right of those who have a language other than Spanish as their own to cultivate it; In all these companies one can speak of a Catalan people, although in some cases their contours are somewhat blurred. But there is a word that, like a spell, that turns that people into a jumble of boulders that repel each other: "independence." Just by pronouncing it we see how the inhabitants of Catalonia are divided into two large blocks of similar size, first, and each of them in several smaller pebbles and of uncertain size, then: the people has disappeared. It seems as if the concept of independence could only serve as a flag to go to war. But, if it is not about fighting, what good is independence?

    The second concept, nation, introduces us into an extremely slippery terrain. The Constitution makes a subtle distinction between "nationality" and "nation," reserving the latter term for Spain, and admitting that there may be several of the former. This does not seem enough to Basques, Catalans and now also Galicians, while for the old Castilians who still have a certain view of the term "nationality" in the Constitution it is an extraordinary, almost irresponsible, broad-minded view. In the case of Catalonia, it is well known that one of the points of the agreement between the Government of Spain and the Generalitat de Catalunya that will be drafted, signed and voted on one day or another, which refers to the recognition of Catalonia as a nation, will perhaps be of the most indigestible, even more difficult than the one related to finance. It is surprising to see that a concept as critical as "nation" lacks a convincing definition and, therefore, of criteria that delimit it; it is even said that the concept has no legal existence. It is, however, a modern concept, whose birth place is in the Switzerland of the late eighteenth century, which arose as a local reaction against French cultural hegemony. As everything that has had a beginning has an end, it may be, as some think, that the nation is falling. Be that as it may, the "Catalan nation" seems even more feeble than the "Catalan people" because nationalism, as a reaffirmation of the local spirit, is rather exclusive, while the vocation of Catalonia, at least urban, is decidedly Europeanist.

    We already know that what makes the charm of Catalonia for many is precisely its microcosm character. Let us not ask then its inhabitants to unite in a cause as singular as independence. If it is a matter of preserving a culture, in the broadest sense of the term, is not it enough to tinker with the current political framework? Can not the "will to be" that Vicens Vives spoke of be something that can not be relinquished? Will the pro-independence project be the expression of a will, not of being, but of power?

    "A concept is not true or false, it is useful or harmful," said Raymond Aron. "Independence" and "people" are rather harmful. As for "nation", I think, like Kamen, that "a nation is not a reality, it is invariably an invention". We have, on the other hand, a very tangible reality, although it refuses a precise definition: it is Catalan society. A modern and prosperous society, united, yes, but around objectives of peace and progress, and also with economic and social problems unattended for some time. Let's start from that reality, and not dreams or nightmares, to restore coexistence.
  7. 18th October Interior Minister will appear before Parliament to explain the Police actions of 1 Oct.
    Be interesting to hear his justifications.
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  8. 'Ang on a minute, 18th October? Shouldn't we have heard something by now?
  9. El Senado ha citado para el 18 de enero al ministro del Interior, Juan Ignacio Zoido, a fin de que explique en una sesión extraordinaria de la Comisión de Interior el operativo policial que se llevó a cabo en Catalunya desde el referéndum secesionista del 1 de octubre.

    (18th January).
  10. I guessed that, I was pointing out that I noticed our resident Nac Mac's deliberate mistake so he knows we're still paying attention to his posts.
  11. Old teacher's trick. Hem-hem. Well done you are on the ball.

    Nothing to do with her distracting me and me making a slip, nothing at all.
  12. Me too "I was wondering when someone would spot that" and "sometimes i will make an error on the board just to see who is paying attention" were often used in the Tut classroom over the years
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  13. See that the judge wants to investigate/indict Trapero as ultimately responsible for the vote taking place(?!) on 1 Oct.

    On 1 Oct Trapero played strictly by the orders given, and by the imperative to protect Catalans, so no violence. The judge seems to imply that the Mossos collaborated with the Generalitat to allow the vote. Conspiracy is something Madrid seems desperate to prove, probably, he says cynically, to limit the Mossos independence.

    Checked REALLY closely for dates etc.
  14. A really good article that explores the recent history of the anti-Catalan stance by the PP over the last two decades fuelled by a Spanish nationalistic view and the response in the rise of independentism.
    Basically it talks about the centre trying to impose conformity/uniformity, and the mistake that it is.
    Trying to assimilate the peripheries has always been a propensity of Madrid that has so far failed with the Basques and Catalans especially, retaining their identities.
    It mentions the equating independence with ETA in the minds of Spain, which was also seen recently when the Catalan politicians were taken to prison at high speed with blue lights and an escort just as was done with ETA prisoners.
    The PP and Cs seem to think that spanishification needs to be applied, despite its failure to date and that uniformity is the key, a POV that dates from medieval times, and is shared by a large segment of Spanish thought. Though I'd be interested in how @exbleep's mates see that. Yet other models such as the UK and to an extent the US, show that diversity can be positive and dynamic, a lesson that needs to be got across. Others such as the Soviet model show that conformity/uniformity rarely works in the long run and slows down and stifles growth/culture which return with their own force at a later date.
    Rather than looking to London for the lessons Madrid looks to Paris and its centralising policies. a pity.
    He points out that Aznar used Spanish nationalism as his base, yet the whole Spanish discourse recently has been that nationalism is wrong, by which they mean any nationalism that is not Spanish or central-orientated. So a problem we have is a clash of nationalistic sentiments, which in Catalunya also divides those who are Spanish nationalistic and those who are Catalan nationalistic. Never forgetting there is a grouping that doesn't really care either way as long as life continues peacefully.

    The Echo of Chaplin. -Antoni Puigverd

    The year is new, but politics are still locked in an old labyrinth. We have been dominated by a double tie of impotences for about 18 years. Double because, on the one hand, we have the constant confrontation between Catalonia and Spain, but on the other hand, this confrontation implies the division of the Catalans. Everything started, let's remember, with a clash of models/systems that crystallized in Aznar's time. During his second term and thanks to the moral strength of his battle against ETA, Aznar believed he was in a position to rectify what he had always considered one of the evils of our democracy: the ambiguity of the Constitution and its territorial organization. In articles written in 1979, before entering politics, he specifies his vision of the matter: "Instead of conceiving a serious and responsible plan of territorial organization of Spain, an intolerable nonsense has been mounted that offends good sense".

    He had to wait until 2000 to impose his rectification. With an absolute majority, Aznar began a process of identifying nationalism in general (including Catalan) with the evil represented by ETA. His vision was that of a Spanish nationalist and he managed to make it hegemonic through that demonization, which would not have been possible without the intense collaboration of the Spanish press and the intellectual left. It has been a very strong, indisputable and transversal hegemony, since the PSOE either does not dare to question it or participates in it by adding an essence of its own: Jacobin. It is a hegemony with a future, also, since Cs is now its quintessence (it is not accidental that it coincides with FAES).

    The reinforcement of the independence option (minority for years) was an allergic reaction to the constitutional rectification initiated by Aznar. Carod's ERC obtained the key of the tripartite in the prologue of a confrontation with the Aznarian vision of Spain, which led, first, to the renewal of the Statute, then to the disappointment of the TC ruling and, finally, to the independence process, perceived in the Catalanist environments as the only way out of assimilation.

    On the way, Catalonia lost its airbag, which was the PSC, the only solidly representative party of the two great Catalan cultural communities. The PSC has been burst, and the confrontation between the Aznarian model (perceived by the Spaniards as the only true vision) and the independence model (perceived as the only position of Catalanism) has become chronic. The State can overcome and impose the most restrictive interpretation of laws. But it does not make a significant part of the Catalan population surrender. Aznar warned about the ethnic division of Catalonia. He has achieved this with the blind collaboration of the independence movement. But Spain is not united, but fraught. The Spanish economy will not be able to face the severe duties of the debt with the locomotive from Barcelona enfeebled. The one who, in order to diminish the Catalan problem, recommended reducing Catalonia forgot an essential detail: Spain too loses and reduces by imposing uniformity.

    Ed for a sentence,( and check for 'typos'.)
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  15. @Dwarf Just heard something on the radio, as is already known my Catalan is very weak, but it seemed to be saying that the people in Belgium may have to resign their seats in the new parliament as they cannot actually show up to vote and so will put the majority in danger (doesn't apply to party leaders though?) Have you heard anything to confirm this?