Catalan separatists plan largest ever European demonstration for Sept 11


1 Like

Separatists? I thought people were still trying to settle there!



I grew up in Cataluña (as it was know under castilian Franco) or as it should be known in Catalan; Catalunya.

My parents moved there when I was about 3, in 1972, I do remember Guardia Civil walking around in pairs, always smart, carrying sterling machine guns. Usually to be found drinking in cafes. Always ominous. You weren’t allowed or encouraged to speak catalan. People were known to be arrested and carted off for speaking it at various times.

Considering as well what the Catalans went through in the civil war, fighting the fascists, corrupt church and land owners, they do deserve their own identity.

I don’t speak Catalan, I speak castilian. I had my one and only lesson in Catalan the day I left school, that was about 1982/3. I’d like to learn it properly but it is similar to Castilian in many ways, as is Andalusian.

It was settled a long time ago.


Beat me to it!

1 Like

Perhaps a Settlers of Catan reference.

Edit: Apparently yup.


As an Andalusian, I fully support the Catalonian independence movement. Cultural, economically and historically Catalonia is a entity separate from Spain, only bound to it by the chains of the old dictatorship.

Long life the espetec, the caganet and the tió de nadal!


aha! of course.

Adding some precision: in 1701 after the death of the last Spanish Habsburg king, war began between two candidates, one Austrian (Habsburg) and another French (Bourbon). The war of Spanish Succession was fought throughout Europe and North America. Some parts of Spain, such as Catalonia or Valencia, supported the Austrian candidate. In September 1711 the Bourbon troops conquered Barcelona, capital of Catalonia, winning the war 3 years later.

The Bourbon kings changed the country organization to the French model merging the old kingdoms of Aragon (which included Catalonia) and Castilla in a single organization under a single law. All of this happened 300 years ago, well before concepts such as citizenship, democracy or popular sovereignity were even dreamed.

As most Spanish I feel Catalonia as my country, not unlike the Germans see Bavaria or Americans Texas. I work routinely between Madrid and Barcelona and my family has lived there for many years. Separatism was clearly in minority until ambitious (and notably corrupt) politicians and our huge economic crisis have brought it to the fore. On the other hand there is nothing more Spanish than this love for internal protest and struggle.


How about the Basques, too?

And Scotland, and Wales, and Flanders.

Time for a federal EU with these smaller states in it?


In September 1711 the Bourbon troops conquered Barcelona, capital of Catalonia, winning the war 3 years later.

So, about the same time as the Acts of Union (1707). We’ll see how long that lasts, eh?

Yeah. History builds strange solidarities. In both countries there is a lot of talk around the similarities and differences of both cases.

The thing that separatists of all stripes don’t seem to get that is minorities are fractal – that is no matter how small you want to make a section out of nationalist fervor, there will still be other peoples there – what happens to them? Are they forced to move? Assimilate? And that’s what causes wars for a large part.

I just want a Cornish passport.


There was hope that the European Union would allow transnational cultures to thrive-- no pesky border controls interfering with people of differing states sharing a common language, culture and economy.

1 Like

And somewhere the former Grand Duchy of Scmalzberg, population 250 will regain the sovereignity it lost in 1196 to the Boroggravian Empire.

This endless Balkanization eventually becomes silly and counterproductive. Italy and Greece reduced to their microscopic and endlessly bickering city states.

People pining for some mythical golden paradise of a half millenium ago usually lack and real knowledge of history and groups trying to gain country status for something that would be a good sized office block in New York probably do not have the least idea how their “country” will run itself and almost always expect the international community (or the nasty, evil country they just liberated themselves from) to fund their little hobby since many of these nascent states have the tax base of a homeless shelter.

Why not go back even further.? Find out what your culture was before the evil Imperialist Romans came in and forced their language onto yours (Catalan is a Romance language or very heavily influenced by it…(Cutlural Imperialism at it’s finest isn’t it?)

As an American, I’ve odd notions that in unity there is strength and if our original 13 very independent states had tried to wing it each on their own, we’d have fallen over about 30 years after we started.


Quite a few nationalist movements denigrate the cosmopolitan, and cities in general.


In the case of the Scots, I think they might well be better off being part of a large economic power than as a tiny independent state, though it’s not for me to decide. It the case of Catalonia, on a practical level, Spain has nothing to offer, and on a moral level, their vicious oppression at the hands of the Spaniards went on until well within living memory, even for middle aged people, so think they’ve got good reasons to want nothing to do with Spain, and I fully support them in that.

First, this is not about the USA or about historical precedent. It’s about political systems inside the EU in 2014. And maybe it’s about appropriate scale for political governance within the EU. It’s at least possible that groupings of 5 million people or so tied together by a shared social background would work better than some of the historical groupings of 50 million or more that span what used to be called countries consisting of diverse social and geographical groups. It’s also about the 50 year future of the EU as it simultaneously expands and fragments.

Even if Scotland, Catalunya and so on don’t break away into separate countries there is considerable pressure from within those communities for more self rule. Their parent countries need to understand that and accommodate it.


Anecdotally, I’ve met a few people from Barcelona and none of them considered themselves Spanish, and every single Scot I follow on Twitter is voting Yes.

I see no reason why Scotland and Catalunya couldn’t exist as independent states (without or within the EU).

Hell, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, Andorra, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg all do, and they’re all (much) smaller.

As an (expat) Brit, I think I’d prefer Scotland to remain in the UK, but if I were Scottish I’d vote Yes. The No campaign has been a horrible series of threats and worthless appeals to tradition. They’ve offered nothing positive. Clever of Salmond to phrase the question to make the other guys be the 'No’s.

Personally, I think Devo Max sounds like a good way to go, but if the Scots would rather be totally independent, good luck to them. The politics north of the border is so far to the left of England (or SE England/London at any rate), I can see why they’d want no part of it. Also, it’s complete bullshit that Westminster was offering nothing like Devo Max until they thought they might lose - its a bullshit offer and I’d treat it with the contempt it deserves.

Regardless, the UK (or rUK) needs a Federal system - which means that England needs to be split into regions, because you can’t have 3 or 4 states combined where one of them dominates to the extent England/London does. The level of democracy in the UK is, to be frank, pathetic and desperately needs improving. It probably would have helped if the referendum on either the English regional assemblies or voting reform had gone the other way, but both were deliberately half-arsed and/or sabotaged by the Government to get them off the table and to keep the Westminster old-boys club going nicely. I’m all for devolution of power as low as it can/needs to go, and FPTP really, really needs to be jettisoned.

As an aside, I look forward to the BoJo 2020 campaign, assuming that the good people of Uxbridge don’t mind that their likely new MP has spent most of the last few years trying to close their major employer. Can’t stand Johnson and his awful fake bumbling personality, but Miliband is going to be a trainwreck as PM on the scale of Hollande.


I get this, for the same reasons, but language forms as much of a barrier to civil society as a border. Whether you want to advocate 'Muricanness to the level of the wingnuts or not, the U.S. is integrated between regions in how populations live and work in language, tools, expectations, etc.

If the Eurozone countries begin committing to a common fiscal authority with Western European standards of a welfare state, they have a chance of having the benefit of a large state. Until then, they’re just going to have the worst of all worlds. Right now, the good thing about Scottish secession is that it is a partial move in the right direction. What needs to happen is for the entire island of Britain to secede from the financial Kleptostaat of central London. And the Eurozone needs to simultaneously gain fiscal power and become much more democratic.