‘Independent And Sovereign’


Earlier today.

The moment Catalonia declared independence from Spain.

Further to this.

The Guardian reports:

Spain’s senate has granted the country’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, unprecedented powers to impose direct rule on Catalonia minutes after the region’s parliament voted to establish an independent republic on Friday afternoon.

Rajoy, who has vowed to stop the region becoming independent, is now expected to call a cabinet meeting to begin assuming control of the region and sacking its president, Carles Puigdemont.

On Friday afternoon, Catalan MPs voted for independence by a margin of 70 votes to 10. Two ballot papers were blank.

The result was greeted with jubilation by pro-independence MPs, who applauded and began singing the Catalan anthem, Els Segadors.

Spain imposes direct rule after Catalonia votes to declare independence (The Guardian)

Related: Beyond Catalonia: pro-independence movements in Europe (The Guardian)

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25 thoughts on “‘Independent And Sovereign’

  1. rotide

    Man this seems like politics gone absolutely bonkers.

    As mental as the spanish government were in trying surpress the vote earlier in the month, actually declaring independance on the back of a very inconclusive poll seems just as mental. This entire issue could have been dealt with so much better

    1. ahjayzis

      I don’t see how though? Puigdemont has been pretty open about wanting proper talks – but there’s been utter dead air from Madrid. They treat the law and constitution like immutable things and their response is basically “shut up – illegal”.

      They should have done a David Cameron on it – cancel your poll / forget the poll, we’ll make the necessary changes and we’ll fight it out in a proper referendum this time next year. Rajoy had the numbers on his side, he’s playing with fire.

  2. Vote Rep #1

    I’m not entirely sure what advice he was getting, but I am sure in the years to come there Rajoys actions will be used as an example in what not to do when dealing with internal discord.

    1. rotide

      Can’t help but agree with this. He just seems to double down each time and it gets progressively worse.

    2. Milo

      Im not sure what choices Rajoy had in fairness. He can’t just stand by while a section of Spain goes independent- especially when a huge amount of Catalan citizens want to remain in Spain. He has to protect the integrity of his borders and the sovereignty of Spain. The Catalans may have set their own cause back 10 or 20 years with these actions.

      1. rotide

        Yeah, but it was the way he went about dealing with it that people have the issue with. Sending in stormtroopers during the election obviously wasn’t a good look but after it became clear the a sizable amount of people were looking for independance , the smart move was softly softly diplomacy , not the Ulster-esque ‘NEVAARRRRR’ that is coming out of madrid.

      2. ahjayzis

        You don’t think protecting your country’s sovereignty from millions of it’s own people is straying in a bit of a dark place?

  3. edalicious

    There’s theories knocking about that this is another attempt by Russia to destabilise Europe and to take some of the heat out of sanctions from the Crimea annexation. Also, Russia seems to be making some connections between Catalan independence and the Kosovo independence, implying that the Catalan independence is a direct result of NATO’s recognition of Kosovo.

    1. Deluded

      No. Catalans have always had a seperate identity and this current problem has been ongoing since the central government has used the constitutional court to undermine the autonomy agreement of 2006.
      Rajoy’s Parti Popular is not very popular (as they are mired in corruption scandals) and are dependent on the support of theiir coalition partners Cuidadanos who claim to be liberal post-nattionalists but are generally viewed as centre right unionists. Their leader Rivera is an outspoken anti-Catalan Catalan.
      I think it is likely that Cuidadanos are pushing for Article 155 and direct rule and forcing Rajoy’s hand on this.
      Personally I cannot see how the rest of us can happily recognise all the other states and regional governments in Europe (and welcomed the post-Cold War fracturing) yet balk at challenging Spain’s supremacist attitudes and recourse to violence.
      Scotland had a referendum. The Catalans want a referendum (which was likely to fail, too) on a point of principle- they should be allowed to vote.

      1. martco

        “Scotland had a referendum. The Catalans want a referendum (which was likely to fail, too) on a point of principle- they should be allowed to vote”


        1. Deluded

          My Spanish friends don’t understand, I mean, why wouldn’t you want to be Spanish? Albert Rivera (of Cuidadanos) wants to be Spanish but wants everyone else to be too.
          It’s a bit extremist, this forced cultural hegemony, but they’re the king-makers at the moment.
          I think that PP have always had this national identity lark as a running side-show but now it has gotten out of hand.
          The Spanish could have left Cataluña alone and independence would never have been an issue! Happy to pay taxes (as long as they could spend their own budget) and employing hundreds of thousands of Spanish migrants.
          Cataluña has less autonomy than the Basque Country so the constitutional challenges have always been stupid posturing by the fragile right wing.
          As it stands this could be an economic disaster as well as a needless social and cultural schism.

      2. edalicious

        Nah, I know this isn’t a new thing. But the fact that everything is suddenly coming to head at the moment with a lot of noise coming from Assange and shared heavily by Russian linked bot nets is more than a little bit suspicious.

    2. realPolithicks

      “There’s theories knocking about that this is another attempt by Russia to destabilise Europe”

      Any links to where these “theories” can be perused.

  4. Ben Redmond

    Catalonia and Spain are teetering on the brink of calamity. Do politicians on different sides know what they are doing?

    1. Deluded

      … yet we are social creatures, so we identify with groups.

      I thought the EU is supposed to be post-nationalist, an end to territoriality and war by freezing the lines on the map and opening the borders, example: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vennbahn
      Perhaps it struggles with sectarian conflicts.

    2. ahjayzis

      Is it though? Would Ireland be richer or poorer now had we not been bothered with self-determination? We were the poorest part of the UK – do you think we’d be richer or poorer than Wales now if we’d spent the last 100 years under direct rule from Westminster?

  5. jimmey_russell

    this is RACIST! this is no different from Brexit the bigoted racists are trying to create division in the EU I bet drumpf & russia are behind this somehow

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