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(136 Posts)
Spinflight Sun 30-Jul-17 21:54:48

Quite a bun fight brewing in Spain..

The Catalonian government has passed laws and whatnot to hold a referendum on becoming independent on the 1st of October.

Which is rather awkward, as the Spanish government, the EU and various other bodies say that to do so, even to hold a vote, would be illegal.

Course there's lots of opinion polls, which naturally are all over the place.

The only thing they conclusively show is that the Catalans want a binding vote.

Whilst this is quite rightly an internal matter, were they to vote out ( which incidentally would put them out of the EU) should we support their wishes?

Surely the right to self determination trumps all other concerns, though it has to be said that we would really, really annoy Spain and the EU in doing so.

Interesting times, as ever. What are your thoughts?

cdtaylornats Mon 31-Jul-17 20:56:14

It is amusing watching the SNP trying to stay onside with the EU and the Catalans who they have always supported before.

TheaSaurass Mon 31-Jul-17 23:54:56


As to ”Surely the right to self determination trumps all other concerns,”

To my mind what trumps everything would be Catalonia’s ability to have a broad based economy that could support itself now and in the future, as it seems that is a question idealistic politicians focused on self determination usually forget to mention pre vote – but it would be the people within being offered the promise of a new, better life, that would suffer afterwards.

Does anyone know if Catalonia has its sums, currency, and banking system in order, should they gain independence – or is this all just political posturing ‘bull’?

TheaSaurass Mon 31-Jul-17 23:56:56

Would this reopen the partition of Belgium debate, where apparently the status of Brussels on a split would be both unclear and controversial?

Just on the Flemish side north of the horizontal line with Wallonia, personally I think that as the Brussels elite don’t mind moving to Strasbourg every month, the least they could do is permanently shift Brussels a tad south, and so its ‘dead in the middle’ of both.

What? grin

Spinflight Mon 07-Aug-17 10:57:53

Well there is the flanders successionists. Largest party in the flanders parliament / council / Garden shed. Don't get too excited though, there's any 97 different parties so bring the largest takes only a handful of seats.

More interesting potentially is Bavaria. A German election result which is displeasing to bavarian tastes, plus the catalans showing the way a few days later might persuade more than the third of them that currently want independence.

cdtaylornats Mon 07-Aug-17 13:29:44

There are nearly 70 active separatist movements in the EU

Spinflight Sun 17-Sep-17 01:37:29

Finally some reporting of this in the MSM.

Police raiding offices and confiscating posters, ballot boxes etc. 700 Mayors threatened with jail. It's getting quite nasty.

Given that, reportedly, over a million bods turned out on the streets to support independence it may not be a foregone conclusion but looks very likely.

Most amusingly Spain threatened to stop all funding for Catalonia if they went ahead. As Catalan is the richest region in Spain, and therefore somewhat subsidises the rest, it's a bit like the EU demanding money from us if we stop paying them money. smile

Of course ditching the Euro would have some very welcome results. Due to the inherent structural problems a lot of the imbalances are hidden in unresolved target2 payments and the like. Asking for these back would mean admitting they exist, which isn't going to be palatable.

Carolinesbeanies Mon 18-Sep-17 00:46:13

Spin, I think whats being under reported, is the strength of feeling over the right to be asked, not neccesarily the outcome. This appears to be an out and out demand for democracy rather than automatic support for independance. I gather over 80% support a referendum, yet somewhere around 40% support independance.

Its becoming a common theme across europe. Democracy? No such thing in the EU, and if Spain keep going in heavy handed over this, I think itll spread far beyond the Catalan borders.

Spinflight Mon 18-Sep-17 13:48:31

I agree Caroline, or more correctly I did.

Yes the only thing the opinion polls show clearly is as you said, though the repressive measures taken will, I think, sway even those who merely wanted to be asked so they could remain a part of Spain.

For instance the authorities may have thought that pinching 100,000 posters supporting independence was a win on their part. 100,000 posters though is cheap, the publicity generated from those missing posters rather an expensive commodity.

The Catalan border doesn't, historically, stop at the Spanish border. Many southern French also consider themselves Catalonians.

Whilst I think a free and fair referendum would likely have been narrowly defeated, ham fisted actions and Franconian tactics have I think swayed it to the inevitable.

Carolinesbeanies Fri 22-Sep-17 02:23:31

Im still watching this Spin. As the Spanish government stick to their 'unconstitutional' position, and up the ante, I gather that under the 1945 UN charter on self determination, its the Spanish government who should change their constitution to allow Catelonia to ask the question. Which way this is going to go, I just dont know, but passions are running high.

Youre right about the Occitanians blurred border, but the Flemish Alliance in Belgium has grown significantly, and Venice are grumbling about independance too. Theres a common theme. IMO, the EU has shackled an almost entire continent of peoples, and theyre well and truly kicking back. Its only going to get worse.

Mistigri Fri 22-Sep-17 07:05:35

Many southern French also consider themselves Catalonians.

Utter bollocks. There is a tiny independence movement confined to the area around Perpignan, where an independence party occasionally gets a few per cent of the the vote and where the local press quietly takes the mickey out of them.

cdtaylornats Mon 25-Sep-17 13:07:10

Mistigri they may be small now but success in Spain might encourage them.

Mistigri Mon 25-Sep-17 14:16:13

I sincerely doubt it. The movement is so niche that their website is reduced to boasting about the 5,000 or so votes they got some time in the 1980s.

There is a distinct regional identity and language (Occitan) but this is distinct from Catalan.

Carolinesbeanies Wed 27-Sep-17 00:19:41

Todays update. Police moved in preparation for the weekend, and Rajoy wont be attending the EU summit this weekend.

Spinflight Wed 27-Sep-17 05:17:30

I've walked extensively through the region Misti.

You seem to be confusing voting habits with identity, or merely basing your intemperate reply on google fu. smile

Remarkable the tiny amount of coverage that the Catalan referendum is receiving. You would expect that Western European democracies would accept and support the right of self determination. It's only when the Spanish do something particularly outrageous that anything whatsoever is mentioned.

Shutting down websites and even the .cat domain name. Stealing ballot papers, arresting mayors and lots of intimidation.

Should we really put up with this sort of behaviour from one of our allies?

Mistigri Wed 27-Sep-17 06:36:46

Spinflight I don't need take walking holidays in the area because I already live there.

Spinflight Wed 27-Sep-17 09:39:30

Brits abroad eh? smile

Carolinesbeanies Wed 27-Sep-17 10:26:52

"You would expect that Western European democracies would accept and support the right of self determination."

The SNP do. Whats more surprising though, is the EU dont. Go figure.

Mistigri Wed 27-Sep-17 10:51:30

Brits** abroad

French-British family. I have lived here for 20 years - specifically, in the part of the "Occitanie" region closest to the Spanish border.

Catalan independence is a serious issue in Spain, but to pretend it is at risk of spreading to France is just silly. Is there such a thing as an independence movement whose coattails brexiters are not desperate to grab?

Carolinesbeanies Sat 30-Sep-17 21:15:25

Approx 160 schools have been occupied. Various reports out there, but Guardian leading with the Spanish ambassador, and a 'mini coup d'etat' headline hmm

RT, are covering the nearest I can find of live coverage. Some injuries reported following fire from what appears to be a pellet gun.

Carolinesbeanies Sat 30-Sep-17 21:42:05

Spaniards protesting in Madrid this afternoon, against the referendum and Catelonia, singing the fascist anthem and saluting.

The biggest complaint in Catalonia today is the spanish fascist movements ripping down their 'more democracy' banners, and attacking schools.

Catelonians have been appealing to the EU for months and months. Its fallen on deaf ears.

Spinflight Sat 30-Sep-17 21:42:34

If you support the Catalan's right to self determination then change the location settings for your browser / computer / phone etc to be Barcelona Spain.

Complicates their efforts to suppress and ban accounts supporting the referendum apparently. smile

Carolinesbeanies Sat 30-Sep-17 22:50:37

...and Assange has tweeted the new voting info apps. Macrons 'waded in' to support the Spanish government whilst the EU remains characteristically quiet.

"New Catalan voting info app after the other one was censored by Google:"

Info: @1O_App

Spinflight Sat 30-Sep-17 23:21:18

All we need is Tony Blair to wave his hands in front of him urging the Catalans to reject independence and we have an utter certainty then. smile

Only thing that could make it more certain is Eddie Izzard campaigning on the Spanish side. Maybe we could send a millionaire popstar over there to lecture Catalonians on their line of work? Anyone have Bob Geldorf's number?

On a more serious note I'm utterly ashamed of our government. You either support democratic principles or you don't, and this is the sort of thing that comes back you bite you. Doubt I'll have to remind anyone next time we start lecturing a smaller state on self determination or whatnot, they'll remind us.

I rather suspect our world image has been tarnished greatly by the government's complete silence. A few MPs or nationalist politicians whose agenda it suits doesn't count.

I couldn'e give a damn if they think it would inflame things north of Hadrian's wall or whether we've decided not to embarrass the EU. Narrow political opportunism should never subvert base principles and this government has utterly failed a very simple test.

Carolinesbeanies Sun 01-Oct-17 00:52:10

"Narrow political opportunism should never subvert base principles and this government has utterly failed a very simple test."

Agreed. Equally damning is the silence of the 'man of the people' Corbyn and the entire Labour lot too.

No power in democracy dont ya know.

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