Catalan Independence? Democracy dies in Spain.

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

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  1. Just looked on 3/24 nothing there. A snippet about Puigdemont saying that the only thing possible is to reconstitute the Catalan Government otherwise we fall into the Spanish trap.

    As far as I see it they cannot be MPs at a distance, ergo they have to return. As soon as they arrive and are detected then they will be arrested and that will mean that they cannot vote, so the majority goes down the tubes.
    I think what Puigdemont wants, but probably won't get is an agreement from the state that while he is president he has immunity. Or something like that.
    Meanwhile Junqueras is arguing that he should also be freed to take up his post, while Justice continue to claim the potential for violence. Should they release him and if Puigdemont holds off coming back then there will be a battle for the presidency, and I think they may well do that at the last minute so the Jan 17th deadline will not be met, or perhaps they will keep him there till after the deadline so Rajoy can either demand new elections or play with 155 claiming Catalunya is ungovernable.

    (Totally by the way, but on the subject of getting in and out of Catalunya, have you done the route into France in the Alt Emporda where they smuggled the escapers in during the war? Nice day out and suddenly you are in Frogland with no border controls just a sign that says France.)
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  2. Meanwhile this is good if you speak/understand Spanish rather than Catalan.
    A Basque MP rips Rivera a new one reading back his words over Catalunya and by implication the Basque country and the rest of Spain.
    He accuses him of being further right than Rajoy, of wanting to impose on Catalunya, of wanting to take control of TV and education, all in the name of democracy. Whereas a true democrat would listen to the wishes of the people and give a vote or consultation, to listen to why the people are complaining. That Rivera says that this is sudden, but that the warnings from Catalunya have been there for a long time.
    It's really rather good, I liked it.
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  3. [QUOTE="Dwarf, post: 8344393, member: 23343"](Totally by the way, but on the subject of getting in and out of Catalunya, have you done the route into France in the Alt Emporda where they smuggled the escapers in during the war? Nice day out and suddenly you are in Frogland with no border controls just a sign that says France.)[/QUOTE]
    Which road do you have in mind, the one to
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  4. Which road do you have in mind, the one to
    IIRC it is past Sant Climent and through Espolla. In that area there are a couple of quiet roads that head over the hills.I was searching for dolmens at the time and went into France by accident looking for a place to turn round. There was a sign telling about the route used for escapers. I mention here rather than PM because this is the type of trivia that arrsers tend to find mildly interesting.
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  5. I see that the Supreme have declined to free Junqueras on the grounds that he will repeat his actions and saying that there is a liklihood of violence.
    Now the latter is seen as ridiculous here, even most unionists would agree that Junqueras is the man least likely to preach violence on any level. I increasingly see it as a pretext to keep him away from the action.
    Or even more cynically to stop him taking the presidency so Puigdemont will have to return.

    Over cynical? This on the day when Finance Minister Montoro has witheld 4,000m from the Autonomies because the budget hasn't yet been approved. This means cut-backs again, worst hit, Catalunya, Valencia, and the Balears the latter of whom were quick to accuse Montoro of blackmail. I think they are correct.
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  6. In Northwest Bulgaria some People Organize a Declaration of Independence - - Sofia News Agency
    In this context the EU will never agree with Catalan independence and outside the EU Catalonia soon will be just poor God forgotten country.
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  7. IIRC it is past Sant Climent and through Espolla. In that area there are a couple of quiet roads that head over the hills.I was searching for dolmens at the time and went into France by accident looking for a place to turn round. There was a sign telling about the route used for escapers. I mention here rather than PM because this is the type of trivia that arrsers tend to find mildly interesting.[/QUOTE]
    I was up that way a while ago to visit the wonderfully strange castle of

    Might wait for warmer weather before I try a crossing into France
  8. Interesting coments by Urkullu who is beginning to up the stakes in relation to national identity and support for Catalunya. Quick translation my bold.

    With repect for the decisons of the Supreme Court they need to adopt decisions that favour the future of Catlunya through political channels not judicial. The Basque President is worried about the attitude maintained by the prosecution and urged the Rajoy Government to show a clear commitment to political negotiation over a new model of state reflecting the national realities based on the concept of shared sovereignty.
    He underlined that the results of 21st Dec show that the desire for dialogue as expressed by the Catalan people has to be heard by Madrid.
    The reaction of Urkullu over the keeping of Junqueras in prison contrasted with theabsolute silence of the leaders of the major political parties in Spain.

    It looks like there is a new front to this being seriously put on the table by Urkullu which could be interesting.
    However the concept of shared sovereignty would be difficult for a large sector of Madrid's power base to accept. Yet it is a reality that Madrid refuses to accept that there are parts of Spain that simply don't want to be totally Spanish and that centuries of attempts and repression haven't been able to change that.
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  9. I'd like to focus on Junqueras who had his plea for release turned down by the Supreme Court and the decision calls into question the separation of government and judiciary.

    Here is a mix of both an anti-indep political commentator Onega and a pro-indep Rajola plus a letter to the editor. Basically they all co-incide in that the decision is now political.


    Junqueras affirms that he will work for dialogue and negotiation as a solution to political problems. But he did not apparently state that he needed to defend his position in relation to the 'mark of the law'.
    This gave indications of rebellion, sedition, and embezzlement of public funds.
    Junqueras' lawyer asked about the concept of presumption of innocence.
    Then there is the question of violence which the Judges say is a major reason why he is kept in prison. That to sign a declaration of independence outside the legal channels and ignore the resolutions of the Constitutional Tribunal inciting his supporters to mobilise on the streets and force the state to accept the rupture implies accepting previsible and preventable episodes of violence to achieve his proposed ends.
    And the Supreme Cort considers that those episodes of violence ocurred. They cite the 20th/21st with the demonstrations against a legally ordered search.
    The opening of the voting centres for 1 Oct meant the Forces of Order were obliged to impede the consultation according to orders received within the law.
    They say that there is no evidence that Junqueras personally participated but via his defence of unilateral independence he incited people to disobey the CT and mobilise with a predictably high risk of violent confrontation.


    The most scandalous part of the Court's decision said the following: "It is true that the appelant neither participated personally in acts of violence. Nor did he give direct orders to that end." If that is true then how is it possible to consider him guilty of inciting violence against the state?
    It is in the measure that the Supreme has built an edifice of suppositions in the style of "not needing violence to fight for power and achieve his plan. Or the acceptance of the plan included the acceptance of previsible and preventable episodes of violence to achieve his ends." Which is to say that he didn't participate in or order violent acts but he is accused of rebellion because he is violent. Like his lawyer said, they have dictated a sentence and not a reply to an appeal and have created an alternative reality, a type of parrallel universe where Junqueras becomes a violent man or one who incites violence. Surreal.
    If we look at another part of the decision then alarm becomes panic. With reference to Junqueras' political ideas, "The political project exists and the apellant has not abandoned it. Because of this there is a high risk that he will re-offend in the same illegal activity." That is to say that Junqueras is independentista, and worse still, wants to continue to be one, and soto the grave political fault you have to add a severe penal blame. But how can it be possible that an appeal for the freedom of a political leader voted for by hundreds of thousands of people receives a verdict full of political motives, overfull of suppositions and taking into consideration his political stance? This is a persecution of ideas, a memorandum of idealogical grievances where, as Dr Queralt says, " We evaluate political elements aside from justice and not if they concur with the legal elements of the infractions those necessary to keep him in prison."
    This is to say he is kept in prison for what he thinks and represents. If this is not a political persecution then what is? It's confirmed by an explicit tweet from MP (Comuns) Eslisenda Alemany, "It's worthy of the Inquisition"
    Some journalists like Ekaizer knew beforehand what the decision would be. It seems that the decision has been taken, and that is to find them guilty of rebellion, that the slogan is political and it only needs an edifice of outlandish arguments to complete the circle. Horrific.

    Reader to the editor.

    Neither jurist nor politician nor journalist, I'm just a worried citizen, like the others about the defence of human rights. I feel a deep pain/sadness over the Supreme Court's decision to maintain preventive prison for Oriol Junqueras. The three judges unanimously decided not to grant him liberty under bail and have considered him to be a dangerous citizen who could commit once again violent acts.It is clear that all citizens should respect the law and first and foremost should be the judges and powers of the state.
    I'm certain that the great majority of citizens of good faith, and not just independentistes and with respect to the Constitution can in no way understand the evident lack of impartiality shown to the ex-Vicepresident of the Generalitat. If this decision is representative of Justice then in no way can we guarantee that we have the right to equality of treatment and protection for all citizens.
    I sincerely believe that it has been a poorly thought out and very arguable decision and I hope that the many other judges and magistrates understand this.

    Dwarf's bit.
    It seems that here in Catalunya where Junqueras is known for his advocating almost Ghandiesque pacific ways ahead is becoming a symbol on which all sides, excepting the right and then again even some of them, find agreement.
    The supposed separation of powers seems mighty thin from where I am standing.
    I read an interesting article that argued that the Madrid circle of power tends to be in the same group of families or social strata who use an old boys system to maintain key/plum positions for themselves. So the families that prospered under the old regime will have passedon certain ideas and values to the younger genaration now in power. That is not to say that they are franquistes, but that certain key traditional/conservative ideas and values are shared. There is also communication between them all on social and politica/work fronts. This means that the judiciary will have a large proportion of traditional thinkers who are in line with conservative (right wing) politics, though not all of them.
    It made me think that did, though that is just a summary.

    The other thing that made me shiver is that the judges imply that while Junqueras did not advocate or particpate in violent acts that they were previsible and inevitable. They cite the 20/21st Sept. which we argued on here that there was no violence even with a crowd expressing outward hostility/disagreement with what was happening, and no policeman, or anyone else for that matter, was harmed. Also the 1 Oct where the Catalans were overwhelmingly pacific but the police were not. It seems to me that the Judges are saying that you should expect to be hurt and it's your fault if the police use violence. That I find disgraceful.
    They are also retrospectively justifying the police exceeding their judicial brief. (Who knows what the political brief was but we can speculate.)
    All this I find worrying, as it means that under this government, and probably under Cs, and maybe PSOE then Spain hasn't really made progress in this aspect of democracy, despite progress in other areas.
    When Justice maintains prison for political ideas on extremely flimsy grounds, and for political ideas while justifying over the top police actions as previsible and inevitable then what does one call that?
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  10. Article today on the above.

    Francesc-Marc Alvaro.

    The decision of the Supreme Tribunal over the Junqueras case shows the dual reality that we have been living since Rajoy activated the 155 and called for elections.
    The Vice-President has a hypothetical violence attributed to him yet at the same time they say that there is no evidence that he participated in or ordered violent actions. Itis all based in a probability that the magistrates infer from the political, though peaceful defence of the ERC leader of the unilateral path. How far is this type of judicial reasoning congruent with a democratic system in which the presumption of innocence exists?
    It's not just me saying this, some very experienced jurists have raised a shout to the skies. What margin exists to do politics when arbitrary actions have such a devastating weight?
    The tactical moves of the Spanish PM are based in the belief that the unionist parties could win, as Cospodal proclaimed.
    On the other hand the independence parties participated in the elections as the lesser evil for two reasons; the believed they could win, (and they did) and believed that the win would put the brakes on the tribunals, and ease the distension and way to dialogue with Madrid, neither of which has happened.
    Now there is an independence majority in the Catalan Parliament but the Unionism trusts in the Prosecutor and judges to tilt the balance in their favour. Their principal objective is no secret, it was announced by Santamaria in the election campaign, to behead the leadership of Independence. To retire the directors of the Process via the penal system and imprisoning those who should be its spokesman.
    What effects will there be by treating Junqueras, Puigdemont and the others as terrorists without there being neither terrorism nor acts of violence from the Independence Movement?
    In the first place it closes the door to politicas and enquiry of the conflict. Secondly it loses legitimacy of the powers of the state even further in the eyes of more than two million Catalans. Thirdly it makes whatever dialogue towards an agreement over the terms of the disagreement much more difficult. Finally it short-circuits the separation of Powers of State, accelerating the discrediting of certain decisions.
    The following question is therefore obligatory; How long can the guarantee of democracy go hand in hand with the arbitrariness of an authoritarian system without imploding?
    They want to copy the judicial template that they used against ETA and Batasuna (political wing) and apply it to Catalunya and the Process. They have heaped an overdose of humiliation on the leaders of Independence who are in prison and Belguim, something that demonstrates very little intelligence on behalf of the Managers of the State.
    the Ancients counsel was to never humiliate your opponents; in the Moncloa they have no idea of history.

    ed for a missing word
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  11. I read that other Autonomies are beginning to speak up over Finance now that the idea of a new model has been proposed. Diaz of Andalusia who is terrified of losing subsidies, Puig of Valencia who warns Madrid that they are playing with fire in Valencia, and Feijoo of Galicia are all raising their voices.
    The immobility of the Government andlack of dialogue,not just with the catalans but with anybody, has managed to create a situation that may well explode in their faces especially that they do not have a majority and that Rivera is jockeying to supplant the PP as the voice of the Right.
  12. Barcelona, Jan 10 .- Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont (JxCat) and ERC Secretary General, Marta Rovira, have signed an agreement to set up the Parliamentary Bureau and try to invest him as president of the Generalitat. The possibility of doing it in a proxy, or online way will be studied.
    The pact also includes the investiture of Puigdemont as president of the Generalitat, but it is not yet clear what route will be used to elect the candidate if he is not present, since his intention is not to return to Spain - where an arrest warrant awaits him -

    .I think I got that right
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  13. In other words, Rajoy ballsed it up and turned what should have been a non-event into a full blown crisis.
  14. The 17th is going to be the real test I think, I've not read anything that explains whether a new president has to be sworn in in person, or not.
  15. He's showing signs that he's not prepared to accept the results of the election and maybe will force new ones by legalites that could be easily overcome. The prospect of Puigdemont returning in anything less than chains is anathema especially as he has to out right-wing the Cs to either regain position or not lose any more ground. The crisis is now on the plates of the PP as there is a serious chance that they will lose their position to Cs, and so expect Rajoy to be hard on the Catalan situation. Plus the kicking up from other Aurtonomies over finance means his next few days and months could be interesting.
    Deserves it though.