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Catalonia.

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  • Spain really dropped the ball in this one. First they ignored the Catalonian autonomy changes that were put forward earlier - yet apparently it is a shock to the Spanish that sweeping stuff under the carpet doesn't make them go away. It was inevitable that they would surface again.

    Besides that the vote was going to happen was not any kind of a secret. Had the Spanish government wanted they would have acknowledged the referendum as an advisory and taken part to campaigning for it as well. Complaining that you had no chance to campaign for it when all you have is ignore the reality doesn't really work.

    Prior to the referendum i really didn't think it would have had any sort of lasting effect. After the hard handed actions resulted in around 500 injuries (last i heard) i had to reconsider quite a bit on that. The Spanish government could hardly have served better gift for the independence activists than that.
    It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, it is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed. The hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion

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    • Originally posted by Vaeltaja View Post
      Spain really dropped the ball in this one. First they ignored the Catalonian autonomy changes that were put forward earlier - yet apparently it is a shock to the Spanish that sweeping stuff under the carpet doesn't make them go away. It was inevitable that they would surface again.

      Besides that the vote was going to happen was not any kind of a secret. Had the Spanish government wanted they would have acknowledged the referendum as an advisory and taken part to campaigning for it as well. Complaining that you had no chance to campaign for it when all you have is ignore the reality doesn't really work.

      Prior to the referendum i really didn't think it would have had any sort of lasting effect. After the hard handed actions resulted in around 500 injuries (last i heard) i had to reconsider quite a bit on that. The Spanish government could hardly have served better gift for the independence activists than that.
      I am reminded of an old adage about half-measures.

      Madrid had a lot of time to prepare. Now, that isn't to say they had their hands free entirely, and one can bet their bottom dollar that no matter how the police responded to an illegal vote, there would still have been an outcry by those involved and a public backlash.

      But the external perception of the response is one of half-measures and confusion. Madrid could have either gone hard and spent the time and energy to really ensure the vote didn't happen in the long run up to it, or they could have gone hands off, let it happen, and then let the courts and system handle it while prepping for the next stage. Each one has its faults and flaws, and the political situation ain't easy, but the sorta response that followed was... well, we're seeing it now.

      Barcelona benefited from this boost to their PR. Images of police officers against unarmed citizens involved in a vote? Illegal or not, that's not a winning combo for the central authorities. And now, with the veneer of legitimacy over them, Barcelona is emboldened - and Madrid is playing catch up.

      Which brings us back around to what Madrid can actually do in response. If their goal is to prevent Catalonian independence, what is their next step? Because if recent history showed us, sending in the army ain't exactly a guaranteed win when secessionists begin standing up.

      Are we looking at even greater autonomy and concessions? Is Barcelona confident enough to follow through to the end on their desire for secession? And what of, say, the Basque regions?

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      • Some pictures of the strikes

        Tortosa:





        Lleida:





        Vic:

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
          I am reminded of an old adage about half-measures.

          Madrid had a lot of time to prepare. Now, that isn't to say they had their hands free entirely, and one can bet their bottom dollar that no matter how the police responded to an illegal vote, there would still have been an outcry by those involved and a public backlash.

          But the external perception of the response is one of half-measures and confusion. Madrid could have either gone hard and spent the time and energy to really ensure the vote didn't happen in the long run up to it, or they could have gone hands off, let it happen, and then let the courts and system handle it while prepping for the next stage. Each one has its faults and flaws, and the political situation ain't easy, but the sorta response that followed was... well, we're seeing it now.

          Barcelona benefited from this boost to their PR. Images of police officers against unarmed citizens involved in a vote? Illegal or not, that's not a winning combo for the central authorities. And now, with the veneer of legitimacy over them, Barcelona is emboldened - and Madrid is playing catch up.

          Which brings us back around to what Madrid can actually do in response. If their goal is to prevent Catalonian independence, what is their next step? Because if recent history showed us, sending in the army ain't exactly a guaranteed win when secessionists begin standing up.

          Are we looking at even greater autonomy and concessions? Is Barcelona confident enough to follow through to the end on their desire for secession? And what of, say, the Basque regions?
          I suspect the Spanish (should we now call them Castellion?) authorities will respond in either of two ways-

          1. Come up with a compromise offer granting the Catalans greater autonomy while remaining part of Spain. Or
          2. Crack down. Terminate the existing arrangements and impose direct rule by force. This would require tanks on the streets and Spain would be back to the days of Franco.

          Given the posturing of the Spanish government I suspect number 2.
          "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Surrey View Post
            I suspect the Spanish (should we now call them Castellion?) authorities will respond in either of two ways-

            1. Come up with a compromise offer granting the Catalans greater autonomy while remaining part of Spain. Or
            2. Crack down. Terminate the existing arrangements and impose direct rule by force. This would require tanks on the streets and Spain would be back to the days of Franco.

            Given the posturing of the Spanish government I suspect number 2.
            I wonder if the posturing is more about image than action. Spain doesn't want secession by any measure, but it might be banking on being able to mix a show of strength with promises of reform through back-channels.

            I think even Madrid understands that marching into Donb- I mean Catalan with a military force won't do them any favors in the court of public opinion. At this point they suffered a bruised ego and some embarrassment, but they still have the "rule of law" angle to play and can frame this as an illegal move.

            Which doesn't fix the problem, of course, but it's a strong card to play. And I imagine Barcelona knows that their small victory could vanish quickly if something goes wrong at home - all they need are some more zealous secessionists to get violent on television and they can quickly become the villains again. They already have prominent reports about anti-capitalist secessionists bullying people into supporting the strike out there.

            If I were a betting man I'd go for devolution of powers with some face-saving measures for Madrid, but I could honestly see this escalating if things go sour. It really just depends on how the parties involved play the next 72 hours.

            The King's speech later on should also provide a window into the government's thinking - to some degree at least. I imagine we'll get calls for national unity and no rash actions by any party.

            Comment


            • Catalan referendum: Region's independence 'in matter of days'

              Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC.

              In his first interview since Sunday's referendum, Carles Puigdemont said his government would "act at the end of this week or the beginning of next".

              Meanwhile, Spain's King Felipe VI said organisers of the vote put themselves "outside the law".

              He said the situation in Spain was "extremely serious", calling for unity.
              http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41493014

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              • King Filepe's Speech with English Subs



                HERE is a link to the transcript in Spanish.

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                • We bought a flat last year and we have the salary and the mortgage with a Catalan bank, that cannot be helped, but we had some savings there.

                  I am afraid of the bank going bankrupt, even though the state will intervene to rescue it, and even the deposits for small amounts are insured, if the worst happens it's a pain in the ass getting your money back, it can take moneys, so I ran today to open an account in the next door bank and have the money moved as soon as possible. we couldn't do it yesterday so I tried again.

                  I am back from the bank, there's indeed a mass flight of capitals and a bank run. They are keeping it supressed but the teller from my new back admitted under my questioning that there are a lot of customers that are moving their money either because they are afraid or angry at Catalans and hitting back at major Catalan based business, banks being the most obvious target. Specially the backlash is directed at the Caixa bank when on TV was seen how employees of the bank in Barcelona were supporting seccession. This has angered many customers, and though the bank issued a communiqué today stating that employee political views are their own while the bank duty its to their customers, this has caused inmense harm.

                  The major Catalan banks shares are plummeting in the stock exchange. with 5% losses everyday. The employees from my Madrid office are of course not responsible for anything, but they are victims as well. Is nothing personal, but I see the bank run has started and there is a good chance of the bank going under.

                  Nothing like this has been experienced since the financial crisis of 2008 that started the deppression. They are keeping it suppressed and for now there's no mass panic, but there's indeed fear and those banks are losing customers and money.
                  CANNON, n.
                  An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.

                  The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce

                  http://guerraenucrania.wordpress.com/

                  http://pinturasdeguerra.tumblr.com/

                  http://pinturasdeguerra-mar.tumblr.com/

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                  • Catalonia beset by divided loyalties in protest aftermath

                    She cried when she saw the news, he could hardly believe what he was watching.

                    Here in 21st Century Spain, police were beating people for trying to hold a vote.

                    Never mind that Ana didn't turn out herself for a ballot she believes was illegal in her beloved Spain.

                    Never mind that Xavier had already made up his mind to break away from the very same Spain.

                    Like many others, both are deeply upset about the violence at the polling stations.
                    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41486358

                    Comment


                    • Catalonia crisis deepens as independence declaration looms

                      Barcelona, Spain (CNN)Spain's constitutional crisis deepened Wednesday after the nation's king lashed out at Catalan's secessionist leaders in a TV address and the region's President vowed to declare independence within days.

                      The King said Catalan's leaders had acted "outside the law", and demanded they respect the country's constitution. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont will give a televised address to Catalans on Wednesday evening, a regional government spokesman said.

                      Both sides appeared set on a collision course after Sunday's banned independence vote went ahead in the face of a violent police crackdown.

                      The Catalan police force, Mossos, told CNN that its highest-ranking officer had been summoned by Spain's high court in Madrid to answer accusations of sedition. Spanish authorities believe Mossos did not do enough to prevent the vote from taking place.
                      http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/04/europe...ipe/index.html

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                      • Interestingly the Catalan president party, the Catalan European Democratic Party is a centre Right party.
                        "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                          Interestingly the Catalan president party, the Catalan European Democratic Party is a centre Right party.
                          The Catalan independence movement has a well-known back history for decades, has always been a peaceful centre-politics, middle-class kinda thing.

                          Possibly part of the problem here is perceptions about its potential for sufficient radicalization to bring it all the way to declaring independence. They've never been scary, and so might not have been taken altogether seriously.

                          Though if they didn't have the momentum to do that before the police crack-down on the referendum, it now seems the momentum is such they have little choice but to forge ahead and make the declaration. Which will then be very hard for Madrid to stuff back into the box. Not in the sense of controlling Catalonia by force so much, but rather getting it unsaid, when at some later point Madrid no longer has the stomach for the hard-ball stuff, at which point the Catalonian independence will be asserted.

                          It suggests itself that everyone in the EU need to prepare for that eventuality.

                          Catalonia got increased autonomy in 2006. In 2010 the PP in government unilaterally rolled that back. And then refused to even discuss the matter. Which has set up the present mess. The Catalonians had a referendum in 2014, to try to start a process. Madrid ignored it. So new they went over that option again. This time Madrid did not ignore it. Question is not just if Madrid will be asked again, but how many are now left in Catalonia willing to listen to Madrid about anything. Certainly Madrid can still just impose itself by force, but to what end?

                          I would predict that Catalunya is now lost to Spain, regardless of what Madrid does. The king's speech might well in retrospect come to be read as confirmation that Catalunya is already out, since that was how the implicitly spoke about them.

                          Comment


                          • The Catalans have a certain problem - they owe the Madrid government 52 billion (I assume that's European big billions) Euros and Madrid could call the loan in if Catalonia secedes. If they repudiate that debt bang goes their credit rating and any inward investment.
                            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Johan Banér View Post
                              The Catalan independence movement has a well-known back history for decades, has always been a peaceful centre-politics, middle-class kinda thing.

                              Possibly part of the problem here is perceptions about its potential for sufficient radicalization to bring it all the way to declaring independence. They've never been scary, and so might not have been taken altogether seriously.

                              Though if they didn't have the momentum to do that before the police crack-down on the referendum, it now seems the momentum is such they have little choice but to forge ahead and make the declaration. Which will then be very hard for Madrid to stuff back into the box. Not in the sense of controlling Catalonia by force so much, but rather getting it unsaid, when at some later point Madrid no longer has the stomach for the hard-ball stuff, at which point the Catalonian independence will be asserted.

                              It suggests itself that everyone in the EU need to prepare for that eventuality.

                              Catalonia got increased autonomy in 2006. In 2010 the PP in government unilaterally rolled that back. And then refused to even discuss the matter. Which has set up the present mess. The Catalonians had a referendum in 2014, to try to start a process. Madrid ignored it. So new they went over that option again. This time Madrid did not ignore it. Question is not just if Madrid will be asked again, but how many are now left in Catalonia willing to listen to Madrid about anything. Certainly Madrid can still just impose itself by force, but to what end?

                              I would predict that Catalunya is now lost to Spain, regardless of what Madrid does. The king's speech might well in retrospect come to be read as confirmation that Catalunya is already out, since that was how the implicitly spoke about them.
                              Reading the reports it looks like the King's speech my have worsened the situation. He is not a neutral political figure like the UK Queen but was shown to be just a stooge of the Spanish state. He made no mention of encouraging dialogue, didn't even say a word of Catalan.

                              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41493014

                              If the Catalans press forward with independence it will be interesting to see which way the local Catalan police go. I don't think they were involved in the weekends repression and I saw pictures of Catalan officers arguing with Spanish ones.
                              If the Spanish continue with repression they will need to base large numbers of Spanish police, possibly backed by troops, in Catalonia on a long term basis.
                              "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

                              Comment


                              • Catalonia got increased autonomy in 2006. In 2010 the PP in government unilaterally rolled that back. And then refused to even discuss the matter. Which has set up the present mess. The Catalonians had a referendum in 2014, to try to start a process. Madrid ignored it. So new they went over that option again. This time Madrid did not ignore it. Question is not just if Madrid will be asked again, but how many are now left in Catalonia willing to listen to Madrid about anything. Certainly Madrid can still just impose itself by force, but to what end?
                                And this is imho the essence of the issue - what good is a nation state if you have to beat the population into being citizens ?

                                Strike some political deal and be done with it.

                                Have a Spanish federation of republics/regions/provinces/whatever under a common King - for instance ?
                                High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.
                                Major Atticus Finch - ACW Rainbow Co.

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