Massive march for Catalan independence.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Dwarf, Sep 11, 2012.

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  1. I realise this will probably cause only minor ripples on the Arrse however I am at present watching on TV on the Catalan National Day a massive march in favour of Independence staged in Barcelona.
    Initial figures talk of a million and a half people, which may be conservative. Considering the population of Catalonia is 7.5m, and a large proportion is recent immigrant this is significant.
    The official figures will seek to reduce this obviously and the march organizers to talk it up, but the streets are backed up for huge distances and the 1.5m may actually be true.
    Certainly all the trains were booked solid, every coach in Catalonia was booked and they ended up hiring coaches from France and as far as Zaragoza.

    The politicians both spanish and catalan will do their best to ignore this. The catalan president of the Generalitat is crapping himself at the thought that he might actually be the one to have to face the declaration of independence as opposed to just talking about it. However it just might start something, and the people are beginning to feel that they just might get somewhere.

    In the UK there is to be a referendum on Independence, something that is fine and democratic whichever way it goes. In Spain it is declared illegal as the Spanish constitution declares that the national territory is indivisible and inviolable.
    If the Jocks can have a democratic say why can't the Catalans? They tick all the same boxes as a nation and have their own language to boot. It's time the Catalans got to vote, after centuries of being unable to express their desire to be separate from Spain due to armies trampling over them.

    The consequences may be minor, and they may be great, because the Spanish economy would have a boot in the nuts if their biggest revenue producing area went on it's own. Also there is a section in Spain who would have the army on the streets, although the Spanish Army has changed a lot and I can't see it being happy at a repressive role.

    You read it here first gents.
    Visca Catalunya.
     
  2. This has been rumbling for ages, there's been some good stuff on R4 and the world service, who knows if it will come to anything. I don't think it will go away though.

    There's been discussion that the bull fighting ban was as much about not being Spanish as it was about the animals.
     
  3. Have you not answered your own question?
    Has Barcelona actually put any groundwork into being an independent nation? Do they have plans for how they're going to manage their share of Spain's debt let allow then raise funds to support themselves? Are they going to apply/be accepted to join the EU so that they can try and get their share of the bailout money that's keeping Spain afloat at the moment? Not to mention all the other tedious bits of being an independent country.
    Far too many nationalists seem to just think it'll work out and don't seem to realise/or care about the little boring day to day things. I might be doing them a misservice and if the Catalans have actually put forward plans for how they're actually going to run and fund their new country and 50.1% of the people there want it then good luck to them.
     
  4. The wealthy regions of the PIIGS where always borderline.

    When I was in Northern Italy in the Summer, there was a definite appetite for dumping the poor south.
     

  5. Good points, but the last thing this is about is money. Spain is different as they say. When Franco died and democracy was declared Catalonia and the Basques were given autonomous region status as a sop to the nationalists who wanted out.This means that there is a government that is voted for every four years that has competence over a wide range of issues. It could act as a government tomorrow, it's politicians are equal to any incompetent politician in Europe that you care to name.
    As to the debt if Catalonia was allowed to keep the revenue it generates as opposed to giving it to Madrid, then it could cope fairly well.
    But this isn't about cash it's about national feeling. Catalonia joined to the Spanish crown when they ran out of kings, the last dying childless, sort of like the Anglo-Scottish union. The promise was that Catalonia could keep its laws and customs, a promise that has been consistently broken. Imagine a Scotland where the English immediately imposed English law and language and custom. They then declared that Scotland simply formed the northern provinces of England and that the only possible country was England. When the Scots protested they were shouted down as being bad English and treated as second class citizens. On the occasions they resorted to arms they were crushed by the bigger bully in the south, and told they were English and had better like it, and that their language was on occasion prohibited.
    That's what happened to Catalonia, more or less, children growing up have to learn a language that is not theirs, and their own looked down on by many Spaniards.

    Today is about a nation wanting out from under, it's about the desire for national expression, something that was never denied to the smaller countries in the UK. Having a more federal Spain in which Catalonia and the Basques are recognised as national entities in their own right might work but most of Spain won't accept this, (probably). The Brits are lucky, they know who they are and can express it, the Catalans know who they are and haven't been able to. They want to be in charge of their own destiny, this is what it is about.

    Hope this is clearer.
     
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  6. Expect the Spanish politicos to start sabre-rattling about Gibraltar now to try and distract attention.
     
  7. So wtf do the Catalans (and other European separatists harking back to the good 'ole days of the Middle Ages...) really expect will be their lot under a coming Federal Europe? Ok; great gravy-train benefits for yet another set of corrupt politicians and functionaries (and a monster EU "parliament" with all those extra seats), but how do they expect to have any economic viability or political visibility as yet another tiny province? If Catalans think they are subsidising Spain now, what do they think will change under the EU? They'll end up paying even more to support "poor" areas, as they'll have all those extra layers of expensive EU bureaucracy processing their subscriptions..
     
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  8. I've been hearing this pretty much every year for the last 15 years, but more so in the last 5 or 6 - my brother in law is a fanatic.

    As far as I can see, Spain could let Catalunya go, then invade it again to prove the "strength through size" theory
     
  9. They have to pay the EU anyway as part of Spain, but at least they will lose having to pay Madrid. It's all about who you choose to pay rather than having to pay who you are told. The amount really doesn't come into it.
    There are no illusions as to being part of Europe, but at least Catalonia will speak with her own voice, even if it is a very small one. Like I said the Brits can afford to be smug about this, we are a nation, or nation of nations, why should the Catalans be chatised for wanting to reattain a sovereignty that many see as being forcibly witheld from them?

    I came out 25 years ago and I've never heard such a groundswell in favour as now. Many of the younger generation see that it really could be in their grasp democratically, and the demonstration yesterday was above all a peaceful one. Belief is beginning to be kindled.
    Unfortunately the president of the Generalitat is likely to sell out the movement provided he gets the Fiscal Pact with Central Government that he wants. This may happen as the lesser of two evils and will allow Catalunya to keep the revenue it raises and send an agreed proportion/amount to Madrid. But I don't see the majority of Catalans being happy to accept that after yesterday, they want a referendum to see what the score is.

    Would the Spanish use military means? Certainly a sector of the army backed by a large part of the population would be inclined to do so. Would Europe stand by?
    However the Spanish Army is now volunteer and dedicated to protecting people and I think it would be hard for a lot of young Spanish soldiers to shoot civilians in order to protect the National Integrity. Because that's what it would come down to. There would be a number of young Catalans in the streets offering a definite resistance with whatever is available, and blood is a real possibility. The other day my son-in-law who wouldn't say boo to a frightened rabbit was talking of improvising explosives or petrol bombs against vehicles if the Spanish decided to send in troops, and this entirely without my prompting and took me totally by surprise. If he can talk about it, imagine the hotheads. I bloody hope not because I would feel obliged to be out there protecting the clumsy buggers back.

    Obviously it's early days to be talking about this and may well come to nothing, but you did raise the point.
     
  10. I may have come across as more dismissive of the Catalan nationalist desire and feeling of being occupied by an 'outside' power than I had meant to, and if the Catalans are genuinely capable of running their own country without having to come to us and the rest of the EU with the begging bowl two minutes in and the majority of them want it then best of luck to them.
     
  11. If they want to choose regression over progression let them get on with it I say. Retaining sovereignty means zip when your country requires bail outs, ask the Irish.
     
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  12. One major issue of this idiotic (IMHO, of course) separatist drive to split up viable nation states into fantasy statelets is - where do you stop? Catelonia has four provinces with separate "identities" that each in turn incorporate regions and territories that used to be at each others' throats back in the days before amalgamation under a single national sovereign.

    Its no coincidence that most of these territories got hoovered up in the first place because they were generally impoverished badlands riven by tribal warfare and economically utterly overshadowed by more politically/socially advanced larger neighbours.

    I just don't comprehend how people think that they should turn the clock back about 300 years or more. The current European map is the result of centuries of political evolution into stable nation states - not least through bloody war and social change. What is the point of starting all over again?
     
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  13. ^This^
     
  14. Regression is what they are faced with with PM Rajoy. If you think Gordon is incompetent you should try this bloke. Bail outs and harsh conditions imposed on the country by Europe is what is going to happen to Spain anyway. The worst of which will be passed on to the Autonomous Communities so that the core Spanish voters suffer less and have someone to direct their frustrations onto when the ACs complain at less than equal treatment.
    Catalunya with its own revenue has a better chance of going it alone than with Spain, though there is a lot of debate as to how well or otherwise.
     
  15. So, that'll two of us out there then

    Have you travelled much outside Catalunya? There is a real difference,especially when you get down south, and I can see how losing Catalunya would make things so much worse for certain areas the rest of Spain. However, I'm also quite in favour of a more proprtional amount of public money being spent here.

    As for the referendum, there was one which allowed for more autonomy, then central government had a bit of a fit, and PP managed to bugger things up