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 Post subject: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Uncharted territory, perhaps, but is it?

I remember the earliest days of the Yugoslavian break-up and watched with incredulity reports of shots being fired on the Slovenian border. Then nothing further and Slovenia was allowed to go its own way.

We all know what happened next. Incredible that it should happen again, but we said that in Slovenia and perhaps it was said in 1936.

Will Spain really enforce its unity? And will Catalunya really resist? Can it?

My heart is with the Catalans, I am a republican after all, but my head says Madrid.

My anger, and I do have anger, is against the Madrid government who could, should, have allowed the referendum to be legal. It is said that maybe approaching half of Catalans do not want independence. An indecisive vote may have diffused the situation, but no, they insisted on force and the outrageous result of violent police trashing polling stations and peaceful voters alike. Moral high ground destroyed in one fell swoop.

Of course, a free vote could have reinforced independence aspirations and maybe the Brexit vote was in their minds when they decided not to risk it.

The irony of all this is that for as many years as I can remember Catalans have been independantly minded but did not resort to violence. Unlike the Basques who battled at great cost in human lives with no satisfactory result.

And what of French Catalonia? Any sympathy, or more there?

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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:14 am 
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I supported IndyRef, Brexit, Falklands and Gibraltar referenda - and this right to self determination under UN Treaties.

I also think, as with InyRef, Remain would make most sense.

Rajoy, one of the most corrupt politicians of modern times, has totally misplayed it - sending police to beat up the locals in front of cameras and prevent a democratic process - something I would have expected from Mugabe.

I agree he should have allowed a proper ballot (or just given Catalonia the same rights as other regions) - he has instead inflamed things. Rajoy seems to be aiming to become the next Franco.

What now? Direct rule, elections, mass protests, general strikes . . if we are lucky

J


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:09 am 
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In any civilised society the constitution and rule of law must prevail and in that respect the Spanish government have no option but to enforce and restore it and are constitutionally obliged to do so. If Catalonia wish to change the constitution then it has to be through democratic and legal means not insurrection.

The autonomous regions of Spain are already independent in all but name and the argument commonly put forward by the separatists that the rest of the country are robbing them is both facile and indefensible because the constitution provides that "The entire wealth of the country in its different forms, irrespective of ownership, shall be subordinated to the general interest".

The constitution also defines the nation as being "indissoluble" and clearly sets out the consequences and penalties for the sort of action this minority has recklessly and wilfully pursued.

Since most of the free world (bar the SNP but real no surprise there) has declared that they do not and will not recognise Catalonia as a separate country, and that independence instantly disqualifies them from EU membership with zero possibility of rejoining, it's a sublime definition of a pyrrhic victory and Turkeys voting for Christmas but tragically as idealistic dreamers they are too blinkered to see further than the end's of their noses.

I fear there is going to be violence though and when that happens nobody wins.

Ultimately they will and must be brought to heel but the whole region will likely be broken and impoverished by it, business and commerce are already fleeing and are unlikely to come back even when it has all blown over.

Even if they won independence the level of Catalonia's own public debt (a staggering €72 bn) and a likely demand that they assume a portion of the rest of the Spanish national debt (which stands at about €1 tn) essentially means they would be bankrupt from day one.

All so sad and all so unnecessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:37 am 
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Of course the rule of law must prevail - however Spanish Law comes after UN Treaties - they take precident over local laws.

The issue is whether Catalonia can be considered a region under UN rules entitled to self determination.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:44 am 
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The UN didn't show much unity or consistency over the Falklands and Gibraltar, nor did the EU.

I'm with you though, self-determination is the key. I wonder why Catalunya, and, I suppose the Basque country, agreed to that constitution after Franco died. I suppose they thought anything was better than what he put them through.

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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:58 am 
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As I recall both Falklands and Gibraltar have held referenda on their futures.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibraltar ... ndum,_2002

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkland_ ... ndum,_2013

It is Spain, with its relatively short history of democracy, that seems to have issues with these things.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:14 am 
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niemeyjt wrote:
As I recall both Falklands and Gibraltar have held referenda on their futures.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibraltar ... ndum,_2002

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falkland_ ... ndum,_2013

It is Spain, with its relatively short history of democracy, that seems to have issues with these things.

J


Exactly, and Spain refuses to respect the overwhelming wishes of the Gibraltarians and harbours covert sympathy for the Argentinians in the face of equally overwhelming support for the continuing British connection in the Falklands.

A strange aside regarding the Catalan issue. I was in Spain, though not Catalunya the morning after the disgraceful treatment of peaceful would be voters and was surprised to see the unfettered coverage on the national TV.

Despite the awful scenes which were shown I was the only person in a room full of, presumably Spaniards, to take any notice of what was going on.

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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:47 am 
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I have been reading the links regarding the Falklands and Gibraltar referenda and 2 things strike me in particular.

In the Falklands even the the majority of the 13 Argentinians resident and entitled to vote did not vote to go with Argentina. There were only 3 votes against remaining with Britain and it is thought (I am not sure why or how) that at least one of those 3 voted against because they wanted full independence.

In Gibraltar I presume, maybe there is a breakdown somewhere, that the majority of the entitled population is of Hispanic origin, and yet the vote for Britain was equally overwhelming.

Perhaps the Spanish should take a long hard look at themselves.

One last amusing aside. An Argentinian official, explaining why they should ignore the referendum, said that the inhabitants of the islands were 'implanted British citizens of disputed islands'.

So perhaps we may soon see all the Hispanics from South America handing over sovereignty to their respective indigenous tribes. A bit like that humerous anti-Trump picture of the North American Indian asking. 'So you are against immigration, great, when are you leaving?' :))

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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:27 am 
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There is a question no one seems to have considered here. Supposing by some freak the Catalans gained independence, where would this leave immigrants living there, including many UK citizens, and their benefits of being under the "EU banner" given the EU has said it wouldn't recognise Catalonia as a State nor would it be considered to be a member of the EU?


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:46 am 
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Wilbro - they would be in a similar position to us living in France, would they not ?

I think many people feel that decisions about their country/state/region etc are made by folk in the capital, who are far removed from what goes on outside the capital. What they really want is more autonomy whilst continuing to benefit from the capital.

I wonder if Catalonia thought through who they could trade with, what the conditions are likely to be and what it would cost ...


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:03 am 
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Blaze wrote:
Wilbro - they would be in a similar position to us living in France, would they not ?

I think many people feel that decisions about their country/state/region etc are made by folk in the capital, who are far removed from what goes on outside the capital. What they really want is more autonomy whilst continuing to benefit from the capital.

I wonder if Catalonia thought through who they could trade with, what the conditions are likely to be and what it would cost ...


Indeed, and I return to a point I made earlier. The stupidity of the Madrid government in not allowing a legal referendum, a la Scotland, is monumental. The vote in Catalunya may well have quelled independance desires for the time being. Instead they have created a crisis.

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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:25 am 
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wilbro wrote:
There is a question no one seems to have considered here. Supposing by some freak the Catalans gained independence, where would this leave immigrants living there, including many UK citizens, and their benefits of being under the "EU banner" given the EU has said it wouldn't recognise Catalonia as a State nor would it be considered to be a member of the EU?


Would it matter? I thought Catalans had taken the line that they wanted normal relations with the EU - thus they would recognise EU passports and EU residents.

A bigger issue might be what would happen to Catalans with a new Catalan passport if the EU does not recognise it.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:56 pm 
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niemeyjt wrote:
wilbro wrote:
There is a question no one seems to have considered here. Supposing by some freak the Catalans gained independence, where would this leave immigrants living there, including many UK citizens, and their benefits of being under the "EU banner" given the EU has said it wouldn't recognise Catalonia as a State nor would it be considered to be a member of the EU?


Would it matter? I thought Catalans had taken the line that they wanted normal relations with the EU - thus they would recognise EU passports and EU residents.

A bigger issue might be what would happen to Catalans with a new Catalan passport if the EU does not recognise it.

J


What a simplistic view J. So (and just for starters) when an EU resident presents his health card at the state hospital for treatment, how is the Catalan Government going to get recompense for the treatment provided? What is going to happen at the French border when goods are being exported? Spain further South can divert goods via Irun or Confranc (sp?) at a cost I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:08 pm 
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I was addressing the EU resident point Wilbro raised (that's why I quoted him) - not the wider trade and other issues.

But I agree it would be a mess - much as Scottish Independence would have been - which is why I said in my first post in this thread "Remain would make most sense."

J


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:24 pm 
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The turnout and referendum results in favour of independence weren't exactly overwhelming, and judging by today's demonstrations n Barcelona, a great many Catalans want to remain part of Spain.

But what exactly do those who want independence want ? Do those who voted for independence actually have any idea what they were voting for ? Ideals won't win over practicalities.


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:29 pm 
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You are correct - which is why an IndyRef style vote should be allowed and then sensibly debated. And I repeat - as with IndyRef - were I voting I would go for Remain.

That should take the heat out of the debate for a generation.

The national government could also make "devo-max" style promises to put Catalonia on a par with other provinces.

But Rajoy, a totally inept and corrupt politician, seems to think just trying to beat sh1t out of old grannies is a better way to do things.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:28 pm 
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I appreciate that it is not the EU that "looks after" immigrants in a direct sense but if, for example, the Limousin went Independent then I can't see CPAM being replaced nor CPAM providing health cover. Just as one example but there are many other areas that independence affects, not least economic ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:05 am 
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I agree - it requires a complete replication of all the trappings of state - which I think was why, when the ScotNats were unable to provide answers as to how they would have gone about it - they lost.

A similar debate and referendum is needed in Catalonia.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:21 pm 
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Puigdemont and his deranged entourage run away and seek asylum in Belgium.

[url]https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/10/30/inenglish/1509349808_516176.html[url]


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:00 pm 
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ErnieY wrote:
Puigdemont and his deranged entourage run away and seek asylum in Belgium.

[url]https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/10/30/inenglish/1509349808_516176.html[url]


Sensible move in view of impending arrest.

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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:53 pm 
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Should the SNP be giving active support for a separate Catalonia? Or do they think Spain should remain as a single country?


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:37 pm 
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I think Sr Puigdemont should have given some thought to the implications and ramifications of independence, as he doesn't appear to have planned anything at all.

I doubt that he has the support of the majority of Catalans any longer, if he ever did have.

We should be there next week, so I'll raise the subject in a couple of my favourite bars.


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:28 pm 
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I think they all imagined everything would carry on as before but that they could "govern themselves" ... whatever they thought that would mean. No thought of what Catalunya would need or how it would be run ... or where the money would come from to pay for the services they currently enjoy.


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:13 pm 
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I'm sure they could have done very well, or wouldn't have had to, if only the inept morons in Madrid hadn't outlawed a perfectly reasonable referendum.

I'm quite sure that the referendum, without the brutal disruption, could have shown how little support he has. Now he has lost the chance of independance, if he ever had it, but Madrid has painted itself as a repressive and undemocratic regime.

I think that Rajoy has opened a can of worms which won't now settle for a generation, independance or otherwise.

Only thing Madrid can do to salve its reputation now is cancel out the ridiculous gaol threats and try to make some concessions.

I remember thinking when the Scots demanded a 2nd referendum after the Brexit vote, which was refused by May, that they should have gone ahead and held it. What could Westminster do, I thought, send in the troops? I hardly could credit that had they been Spaniards, they would. But they are not, and wouldn't have been so foolish.

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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:05 am 
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Blaze wrote:
I think they all imagined everything would carry on as before but that they could "govern themselves" ... whatever they thought that would mean. No thought of what Catalunya would need or how it would be run ... or where the money would come from to pay for the services they currently enjoy.



I doubt the money to run the country would have been a major problem. There is a lot of industry and wealth creation in Catalunya - something that Madrid is wanting to ensure continues to support Spain as a whole.

I doubt however that if the referendum had been allowed to proceed freely that there would have been a yes vote.

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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:09 am 
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I often wonder if all the people who demonstrate in the streets actually bother to vote !


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 Post subject: Re: Catalunya, so what now?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:53 am 
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Blaze wrote:
I often wonder if all the people who demonstrate in the streets actually bother to vote !


The point is that many were not able to as Rajoy sent in the riot police to smash up the polling stations.

As for which way it would go - I think the underdog / political prisoner sympathy vote could actually make a leave more likely now - which I do not tink would be the best outcome.

Rajoy has totally messed up. He is now likened to Franco - and all that he entailed.

J


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