Spanish government announces plan to seize power in Catalonia, remove elected government


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/22/manifest-illegitimacy.html


#2

Archibald Macleish on the first Spanish civil war:

We too, we too, descending once again
The hills of our own land, we too have heard
Far off, ah que ce cor a longue haleine
The horn of Roland in the passages of Spain…[]…
and heard faint the sound
of swords, of horses, the disastrous war…

There is no need for this to repeat except for the egos of Madrid politicians.


#3

Some people just can’t deescalate. Does it occur to them those regions might be semi-autonomous for a reason? They probably could have been conquered in the 16th century if that was the solution.


#4

Granted I’m on the outside looking in. But every action taken so far by the central government in Madrid appears designed to escalate. One misstep might be an accident. It’s hard to believe they all have been.


#5

The Spanish government has already seized the public television TV3 and radio broadcasting Catalunya Ràdio, its workers have swear not to obey any order coming from the new Spanish and to continue informing about the conflict without the government supervision or censorship, so the conflict have escalated quickly.
Also, they have seized the Catalonian IRS and the Diary Oficial de la Generalitat de Catalunya, the official journal where laws and judicial rulings are published.

So… they toppled the Catalonian government, seized their money, the judicial system and the mass media. Franco’s wet dream coming true.


#6

Catalonia is one of the most independent regions of Spain. They have their own health system, their own education, their own taxes, even their own police. But the politicians want more, so many years ago they put in motion an independence movement, so they could get more money from the central government. Because this is mainly about money, of course.

Yes, the central government actions have been less than correct, but let’s not forget that in the (illegal) referendum, 2 million people voted yes to independence, but there are 7.4 million people in Catalonia. The regional government has choosen to ignore the 5.4 million people that don’t want the independence, and the central government has the legal obligation to do something about it.

This is an extremely complex problem, so please, try to stay informed and not swallow the propaganda of BOTH sides.


#7

That is totally incorrect. The senate still has to aprove the decision, and that is schedulled for the 27 of October (next friday).


#8

Yes. Also, concerning the talk of a “seizure of power by invoking the never-deployed Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution” - that article is there precisely to provide the central government with a tool against regional separatism (which would also include Basque country).

I’m not taking sides here - I don’t understand the situation on the ground sufficiently and I have no personal stake in the outcome - but automatically equating any efforts by the central government to prevent a dissolution of the country with fascism seems a… stretch.


#9

So does Andalucia, the Basque Countries, Galicia, etc, etc. And it’s not about money. Remember that this begun with the Popular Party taking “El Estatut” to the Constitutional Tribunal to deny Catalonia the same rights that other autonomous regions have, like… let’s say… Andalucía.


#10

The Senate is controlled by the Popular Party, they will just steamroll it like they always do.


#11

Doesn’t that basically mean: “The democratically elected representatives will use their legal and legitimate powers in accordance with their political platform.” ?


#12

Because the PP hate Catalonia (I really would like to know why).
That still doesnt give 2 million people the right to decide over the other 5.4 million that dont want the secession.


#13

In fact the local Popular Party candidate in the Basque Countries have threatened to invoke the 155 also there.


#14

No offense, but that math looks suspicious. How does not showing up to vote in a referendum that was declared illegal and where participation could result in punishment equal a no vote?

How would declaring independence get them more money? Do you mean this is about not paying taxes? My (possibly incorrect) understanding is that one of the grievances is that some Catalonians resent paying taxes that benefit less affluent regions.

I don’t think most people here doubt the complexity of the situation. It’s the militant crack-down by the central government that’s appalled many. It looks a lot like Madrid is pursuing strategies that can only end in either the total removal of self-governance or civil war. Surely there was a peaceful way to address this?


#15

That basically means that the Catalonian government, where the PP is the fifth party, gets replaced by PP officials.


#16

Well, if you disagree with the illegal referendum in the first place, you are not going to be super hot about wading through rubber bullets just to cast a “no” vote. Unlike those who really do want to declare independence. As far as I know, the long-term support for independence has been hovering somewhere around 40-45% which would be fairly consistent with the yes/no+not voting results.


#17

Catalonia’s population ≠ voter population.


#18

It doesn’t. But a 27% vote for the yes (over the total population) it’s crearly not enough for something so big as a secession. And the punishment was for organizig it, not for voting.

You are correct. This sign reads: “the subsidized Spain lives at the expense of productive Catalonia”.


#19

Correct, I’ll redo my math. 5.5 million people with right to vote, 2 million voted yes. That still gives only an 37% for the yes. Not enough for something so big and problematic.


#20

I can see that, but making a vote itself illegal seems extreme. From what I can tell, it looks like the central government did everything they could to invalidate the referendum. If they were confident the outcome would be in their favor, why not allow the vote with Madrid observers at the polls? Even if Madrid is in the right to deny the declaration of independence, their draconian actions seem designed to achieve the opposite of a peaceful democratic resolution.

That’s the part I understand. What I don’t understand is why Madrid has effectively resorted to what appears to be martial law in the region.

My understanding was that police used force to stop voting. Is that incorrect?

I don’t doubt there are two sides to this, and international news coverage has shown even Catalonians are divided on this. It’s the response from Madrid that’s been increasingly shocking.