Spanish parliament blocks Catalonia referendum

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This topic contains 89 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Chopera Chopera 4 years ago.

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  • #57095
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/09/us-spain-catalonia-idUSBRE8981GO20121009

    Although I am not surprised in the least by this action it does beg the question has democracy really grown up in Spain? What are they afraid of?

    If there is a strong majority in Catalonia for independence from Spain it should happen by any measurable standard. If they go ahead anyway will Rajoy send in his tanks?

    The spirit of Franco still haunts that troubled land.

  • #111291
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I really don’t understand why they give so much power to each area anyway. Rajoy should just say ‘I’m the boss and I rule from Madrid’ and that should be it. A central Gov. controlling the whole of Spain and actually start to tell them what to do rather than letting them rule themselves in such a bad way. It’s destroyed the ‘country’.

    Why have so many Presidents, Mayors, and all their hangers on…..?? Each one with their snout in the trough and three ‘paga extras’ each year?!

    Or else let them all become independent and ‘Spain’ as a whole ceases to exist?

  • #111287
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes send in the tanks. Don’t get into the mess UK is in. South of the Pyrenees is SPAIN Gibralter is an historical anomaly -but all in the EU. Catalonia -lovely area – but when you get off the train at Port Bou you are in Spain. When I first did it a cup of cofee in the train station 7 pesetas and delicious -if only I had the money then to buy a little place in Spain. And in those days there was Casa Nebo around Barcelona Termino Station with big pans of Zarzuela bubbling away – not many hundred pesetas -on one hand.

  • #112698
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Yes there are some very valid points in that post mgspain. However it misses the point by a wide margin.

    If modern Spain is a grown democracy it should have the confidence to rule all their provinces with and by the consent of the people. That is the nature of democracy. The people rule their country not governments who can only effectively administer power by that consent. The alternative is anarchy.

    A referendum is simply asking the people who actually rule in that democracy who and how they want to govern them. I realise that the old parliament argument is the people ruling by proxy but we all know that is a smoke screen for maintaining total power over a diverse and culturally fractured nation state.

    An independent Catalonia will not go away. If the people feel disenfranchised they resort to armed struggle sooner or later.

  • #112699
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    SPAIN IS THE NATION Catalonia is only a province. SPANISH IS SPOKEN BY SPANISH ALL OVER SPAIN IT HAS A KING and he is KING OF SPAIN. The only reason Catalonia thinks of breaking away is because they are the most affluent province – they suck in the most investment and spending from other European countries. They think they will save money by ratting on their loyalty to their Nation.Yes Spain has too much corruption -that is where peoples demands should be concentrated IN MADRD not by sinking a beautiful country

  • #112704
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    I’m with Logan on this one – it doesn’t really matter whether the reasons for the Catalan desire for independence are valid or not, the fact is the desire is there and it is a big enough area to be considered an independent nation, should they so choose, which means they deserve the chance to choose.

  • #112707
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
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    Fine, it will be interesting to see how well their economy survives for a few years while they apply for EU membership.

    But I assume Spain will veto their entry.

    If they do enter the EU I expect they would be expected to contribute a lot more to pay for the rump Spain’s reduced payments.

  • #112708
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Edward Hugh had a great post about this:

    In an interesting development, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has formally written to the EU asking them for clarification on the legal situation according to the EU Treaty – not on bailouts, or Eurobonds, or ECB bond buying – but on whether or not an independent Catalonia would be a member of the EU and the Euro Area. The issue has arisen because one EU vice president (Joaquin Almunia, Competition Commissioner, who is of course Spanish) has said an independent Catalonia would have to apply for EU membership, while another EU Vice President Viviane Reding (Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, who is from Luxembourg) stated in an interview with the Diario de Sevilla that existing international law could not be read as implying that a new state that emerged from one of the existing member states would need to apply for entry to the EU.

    Naturally Mariano is as unlikely to get the clarification he is requesting on this issue as he is to get it on the issue of direct ESM recapitalisation of the Spanish banks. Following a now well trodden path the EU will attempt to avoid saying anything until the results of the Catalan consultation are know. Should the vote for independence should not obtain a large enough majority, then the EU will back the territorial integrity of Spain, and if it should, then Catalonia will form part of the EU and the Euro Group. If people are worried about an uncontrolled Greek exit, just imagine the panic on the morning after should the Catalan financial system (around 500 billion euros, or 2.5 times GDP) be threatened with going under due to lack of liquidity from the ECB. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

  • #112709
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I understand all the reasons why Spain does not wish to test a populist vote on Catalonia. A separatist yes vote would also open the Basque question once more and Spain would end up a damaged rump state.

    However in a globalised world of interdependence, especially in Europe separatism is really just a word meaning very little. Catalonia as a state would be very dependent on the rest of Europe including Madrid in the same way it is now. It may possess the trappings of a separate state but in practice it would end there.

    Spain had an opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of Europe that it has moved on from it’s past and joined the family of democratic pluralist nations, willing to tolerate dissent and listen to all it’s people.

    They blew it. 🙁

  • #112720
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    Maybe the solution is for the rest of Spain to declare itself independent of Cataluña, therefore leaving Cataluña with the euro and all it’s “benefits” while the rest of Spain goes back to the peseta!

  • #112729
    Profile photo of kgpoc
    kgpoc
    Participant

    Chopera/Logan – you guys love to blur the line between majority rule and democracy. Majority rule will and does tear itself apart (we have examples daily in Spain with all things ‘laboral’ with hours worked and retirement age) – if majority rule is followed we would have ‘puentes’ between every weekend.

    mgspain – your points are dead on! As we can see by the latest round of people that CTV3 is putting in the news, people born in Asturias, etc that moved to Barcelona and have integrated into society. These people are now coming out saying yes to independence from Spain. How absurd! The very rights and ability that let that person move there, and both Catalonia and they benefited from, they want to stop…. Or at best they want to choose how and who they will stop, so it is only a 1 sided trade. So our blood in mixed, our culture is mixed, our heritage is mixed, but you feel you have the right to choose to separate from me, because of a line from 300 years ago.

    Right pull the other one it plays jingle bells!

  • #112731
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    What is absurd kgpoc is nationalism on both sides of the fence either Catalonian or Spain. Nationalism means war and conflict.

    Enfranchising people on the other hand with a right to choose gives people a real belief in their society, the feeling they belong and can make a difference. This even if the popular vote chooses to remain part of Spain. It’s the process that matters the most.

  • #112733
    Profile photo of kgpoc
    kgpoc
    Participant

    Logan – I agree Nationalism unchecked breeds problems.

    Giving a vote to a rioting mob, just to give them the benefit of the doubt, is a risk so high no governing body could ever allow. Basically everyone is mad at the central government (even the Police and firemen). So it takes nothing (as Mas is showing) to take pain and suffering and focus it on an item that has nothing to do with a cure. It just happens to be an easy as hell time to call.

    I lived in BCN in 2006/2007 and there was a referendum (i cannot remember exactly) but it was basically on whether classification of Catalonia should be changed to be a nation or something to that effect. Now 2006 was still boom time, and still only 50% of the people turned out to vote the Separatists won with 54%. It was hailed as a victory, to Catalonia and separatists with effectively only 28% of the majority. So in essence the Ciu came away with a lose, they have now waited for the economy to go down and want to do it again with higher stakes.

    If we give them the benefit of the doubt, how often do we do it? Each year, they loose, they change something, then they come back again and try 5 years again. What do you tell investors in the country, every 5 years (or what ever a region wants) we can loose one of our engines?

    Like a parent, you do not make massive life altering decisions when you are mad.

  • #112734
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
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    I do agree that during desperate economic times political extremism flourishes. The nineteen thirties in Germany is a perfect example.

    However I don’t believe Catalonian separatism is extreme. Self determination is surely an understandable aim for a region who believe they have a separate identity. I have no idea if a majority do. Why then prevent it being tested?

    If governments don’t trust the people they forfeit the moral right to rule. That’s a corner stone of democracy.

  • #112735
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
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    Governments don’t trust or like the people as far as I can tell…. they just want our votes to feel powerful and line their own pockets.

    Elections should be like X Factor, we should be allowed to boo and jeer…. and vote them out!

  • #112745
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Logan brilliant post. I totally agree with you there. Logically when people are allowed more freedom society as a whole will flourish from it.

  • #112752
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    “Self determination is surely an understandable aim for a region who believe they have a separate identity. I have no idea if a majority do. Why then prevent it being tested?”


    I have the same question and am surprised to know the parliament blocked it! That gives me an idea about Spain and what Spain is still!
    Logan, I like your postings a lot. Sometimes I learn from you and other times I totally agree with you!

  • #112756
    Profile photo of kgpoc
    kgpoc
    Participant

    Logan – in a perfect world I agree with you! But I asked a serious question if you allow this perfect world scenario to exist. If a region gets to vote (as they did in 2006) and it does not go their way, because they did it once, do they get to do it every time they feel like it?

    And the idea of loosing faith in governments is a valid concern, but lets remember which government this anger is being directed at. Not the Catalan government at the Central government. So again, in this instance it is not a moral government vs. people choice they have just decided who is their problem forgetting it is the Catalan government that controls 90% of their day to day life and at least 50% of their Strategic direction, yet that is ignored if we say this is a choice of people vs government.

    If someone tells me that, a larger portion of the GDP of Catalonia goes to Spain, that is a mute point, it occur all over the world, it occurs in taxes EVERYWHERE. Rich people and rich regions pay more, deal with it! The Catalan government knew that at the time they were making their budgets and still could not get it right.

    If you want to debate should there be a federal system, I will back that all the way through. Face up to what you did, present how Spain actually helps (75% of all products sales come from Spain and the largest people inflow is from Spain), now start your debate – but starting at the vote will revert back to my first question.

  • #112757
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
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    When the Catalans banned bullfighting, they were ridiculed by the rest of Spain. Spain is a country that cannot embrace it’s own diversity.

    Catalunya is a cash-cow for Spain, and yet it is constantly berated and abused by the Spanish central government.

    As an outsider, I refuse to say if the Catalans should have independence or not. But it is easy for me to observe that Spain has treated one of its own provinces very badly.

    And that should be easy to change, but not under PP.

  • #112761
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    kgpoc – you make some good points regarding referendums. However you’ve got your facts wrong regarding the referendum in 2006: firstly it was not a referendum on Catalan independence, secondly it did go the way of the separatists/nationalists/whatever you want to call them in the sense that the result was a “yes” to greater independence. So it’s not as if there was a “no” vote and they want to repeat the referendum in order to get the result they want (a tactic only worthy of nobel peace prize winners). The fact is the 2006 referendum did indicate a trend towards independence (albeit with a low turnout) so it’s quite acceptable to test again how far that trend goes.

  • #112762
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @mgspain wrote:

    agreed “kgpoc”: Money transfers are present in every country, not every region can be the most productive. The budget is set every year so they know what they have but they still go crazy with over spending. Here in Catalonia everything that is wrong is conveniently blamed on Madrid. I remember many years ago asking my Catalan girlfriend why it was only Catalonia that had the road toll system, the answer was because Madrid did not give them enough money.
    In Catalonia;
    When Nadal wins in the tennis everyone is Spanish.
    When Alonso wins in the F1 everyone is Spanish
    When the basketball team wins everyone is Spanish.
    When the football team wins everyone is Spanish. (yes I know there are several Catalans in the team)
    When the country is bankrupt everyone is Catalan.

    I do like the Catalan people but the politics being played out here is like that of a petulant child.

    Note: I am getting the sense that this is a bit of an idealistic OAP forum.

    These is my experience of Catalans as well. However the question of whether they should be independent or not is up to them, not us. It’s about self determination – if you think that’s just being “idealistic” then you’e got serious problems

  • #112763
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    When the Catalans banned bullfighting, they were ridiculed by the rest of Spain. Spain is a country that cannot embrace it’s own diversity.

    Catalunya is a cash-cow for Spain, and yet it is constantly berated and abused by the Spanish central government.

    As an outsider, I refuse to say if the Catalans should have independence or not. But it is easy for me to observe that Spain has treated one of its own provinces very badly.

    And that should be easy to change, but not under PP.

    I think the ridicule came because they banned bull fighting due to “animal cruelty issues” but then refused to ban the practice of attaching burning torches to the horns of a bull and then chasing it around the local village before slaughtering it because that was deemed part of Catalan culture

  • #112765
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    ” If you think that’s just being “idealistic” then you’ve got serious problems” – Very well said!

  • #112773
    Profile photo of kgpoc
    kgpoc
    Participant

    It seems so easy to say the ‘idealist’ thing but someone please tell me who is the ‘them’ in this discussion? That is the practical real world problem. Them who is different from me to declare their province a country. Who is THEM?

    The majority on the right side of the Catalonia line TODAY (regardless of how they came, when they came, what language they speak, whose culture they grew up with). Seriously is that all it takes to decide I am my nation? Hell London would have to be calved up into Little India, Little Pakistan, Little Russia, Little Romania.. Oh wait, they do not have a 300 year old line to point at every time they don’t like something.

    No one likes many things occurring in Spain right now (it is a recession, half depression), there is a lot of anger but reading everyone who ‘likes’ for the idealist belief, in fact just wants to point at THE LINE. No debate on benefits for the whole country or solutions for the issues, just keep pointing at the line guys. What a great ideological victory it will be when you turn a line into a boarder and separate 2 almost identical cultures, mixed blood, mixed family..

    Sorry if I sound short on ideology of rights or being spoken to about it: As many of you know I am a Zimbabwean, so I have a good case test for your ideology. The west in its infinite wisdom pass free of charge the best AIDS drugs to African mothers with AIDS to stop them from passing the disease on to their fetus. The drug prolongs her life for a while and stops AIDS being transferred. It does not stop death, it just prolongs her life to have 2-3 more children but she does still die early leaving 3-4 orphans.
    Ideology on human rights has consequences, very bright, smart, good willing, righteous people came to the quick fix decision to save lives (2 for 1) and send the drugs but it seems no one is around for the catastrophe we have with the children for 20 years.

  • #112774
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @mgspain wrote:

    agreed “kgpoc”: Money transfers are present in every country, not every region can be the most productive. The budget is set every year so they know what they have but they still go crazy with over spending. Here in Catalonia everything that is wrong is conveniently blamed on Madrid. I remember many years ago asking my Catalan girlfriend why it was only Catalonia that had the road toll system, the answer was because Madrid did not give them enough money.
    In Catalonia;
    When Nadal wins in the tennis everyone is Spanish.
    When Alonso wins in the F1 everyone is Spanish
    When the basketball team wins everyone is Spanish.
    When the football team wins everyone is Spanish. (yes I know there are several Catalans in the team)
    When the country is bankrupt everyone is Catalan.

    I do like the Catalan people but the politics being played out here is like that of a petulant child.

    Note: I am getting the sense that this is a bit of an idealistic OAP forum.

    I know a few catalans and they never cheer for when “spaniards” wins but an exceptions is team sports where catalans are playing. Some of them even go so far as to cheer for Iniesta but not Cassillas etc.

  • #112792
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @kgpoc wrote:

    It seems so easy to say the ‘idealist’ thing but someone please tell me who is the ‘them’ in this discussion? That is the practical real world problem. Them who is different from me to declare their province a country. Who is THEM?

    THEM is the 7 million people who live there. Who else do you think should decide on their independence?

    @kgpoc wrote:

    The majority on the right side of the Catalonia line TODAY (regardless of how they came, when they came, what language they speak, whose culture they grew up with). Seriously is that all it takes to decide I am my nation? Hell London would have to be calved up into Little India, Little Pakistan, Little Russia, Little Romania.. Oh wait, they do not have a 300 year old line to point at every time they don’t like something.

    Are you really suggesting that Cataluña is equivalent to a minority community living in a part of London?

    @kgpoc wrote:

    No one likes many things occurring in Spain right now (it is a recession, half depression), there is a lot of anger but reading everyone who ‘likes’ for the idealist belief, in fact just wants to point at THE LINE. No debate on benefits for the whole country or solutions for the issues, just keep pointing at the line guys. What a great ideological victory it will be when you turn a line into a boarder and separate 2 almost identical cultures, mixed blood, mixed family..

    If you want to debate about that then fine, but this thread’s about whether Catalunia should be allowed to have a referendum or not. There’s a difference between debating the merits of Catalan independence and debating the merits of allowing the people who this primarily affects decide on the matter.

    @kgpoc wrote:

    Sorry if I sound short on ideology of rights or being spoken to about it: As many of you know I am a Zimbabwean, so I have a good case test for your ideology. The west in its infinite wisdom pass free of charge the best AIDS drugs to African mothers with AIDS to stop them from passing the disease on to their fetus. The drug prolongs her life for a while and stops AIDS being transferred. It does not stop death, it just prolongs her life to have 2-3 more children but she does still die early leaving 3-4 orphans.
    Ideology on human rights has consequences, very bright, smart, good willing, righteous people came to the quick fix decision to save lives (2 for 1) and send the drugs but it seems no one is around for the catastrophe we have with the children for 20 years.

    Your argument seems to be that sometimes good intentions don’t have good consequences and therefore 7 million people living together in a particular region shouldn’t have the right to decide on whether they should become an independent nation or not. I don’t really follow this.

  • #112793
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    I think finding the funding for a new currency, dealing with life outside the EU will be far bigger issues than language or customs.

    A small independent nation, bankrupt and with a junk bond rating is going to need an immediate visit to the IMF, who would be in their rights to refuse a bailout to a non-member.

    The concept of independence, now, is idealistic claptrap.

  • #112795
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    The concept of independence, now, is idealistic claptrap.

    Yes but people need hope and need a cause to believe in and a future.

  • #112799
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    South of the Pyrenees is Spain. The union was fought for with Spanish blood. The Islamists once tried to take it. Spain recovered their Nation. They must stand together with other Nations in the West to survive the challenge again.

  • #112802
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @Ptr wrote:

    South of the Pyrenees is Spain. The union was fought for with Spanish blood. The Islamists once tried to take it. Spain recovered their Nation. They must stand together with other Nations in the West to survive the challenge again.

    That sounds very much like Falangist propaganda to me Ptr. You seem to have forgotten Portugal also inhabits the Iberian Peninsular.

    No nation is set in stone. Countries evolve democratically. Governments have to respond to a majority choice or face conflict.

    The UK has been one nation since the Union of Crowns in 1634 but that does not mean Scotland or Wales cannot have a vote of choice for independence.

    History is littered with smaller countries gaining independence. France only became one nation relatively recently.
    An independence referendum is only a political process and a desire for self determinism and cultural expression.

    Your’s and the Spanish government’s belief is to to deny the Catalans even that.

  • #112803
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @mgspain wrote:

    Chopera: do you live in Catalonia or have you ever lived in Catalonia?

    No I live in Madrid. I lived in Barcelona for a few months10 years ago. Why is this relevant?

  • #112804
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @Ptr wrote:

    South of the Pyrenees is Spain. The union was fought for with Spanish blood. The Islamists once tried to take it. Spain recovered their Nation. They must stand together with other Nations in the West to survive the challenge again.

    Are you suggesting that the Visigoths were responsible for driving out the Moors? I mean it was the pagan Visigoths who occupied Spain before the Moors “took it”, so it seems you are saying that it was the Visigoths who recovered Spain.

  • #112805
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    There will always be disagreement on an issue like this. Devolution ought to be enough. In the EU the only other alternative comparison I can find is the that of Germany and Austria -both german speaking. But Austria had a long independent history and Germany is not of its essence now an enlarged Prussia -geographically Austria being very substantially an Alpine country. Catalonia is Spanish speaking -territorially and culturally closer to its neighbouring regions than neighbouring Nation States. Catalonia’s claim is little more than a naive selfishness ! Indeed the problem is in Madrid -Spain claims to be a Democracy wheras its a really a combination of decayed Totalitarianism and Anarchy as amplified in the numerous frustrations in the posts on this forum. Rahoy shows rather more teeth than one might ever have believed him capable of in opposition but it is in the matters of reform of legal financial and of petty bureacracy only that will diminish the urge for some segments of the Nation to chance it on there own by getting up and leaving .

  • #112817
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    Ptr – Cataluña is a Catalan speaking region with Castillian Spanish spoken as a second language by many (but certainly not all). Catalan is also spoken by some people across the French border and dialects of it spoken along the Spanish Mediterranean coast all the way down to Alicante. But that’s beside the point anyway – it’s the will of the people that counts, not the language they speak (you can ask the Irish about that if you like)

  • #112818
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    I think finding the funding for a new currency, dealing with life outside the EU will be far bigger issues than language or customs.

    A small independent nation, bankrupt and with a junk bond rating is going to need an immediate visit to the IMF, who would be in their rights to refuse a bailout to a non-member.

    The concept of independence, now, is idealistic claptrap.

    Absolute shite independance would bring a far faster recovery for the region of catalonia weather inside or outside the euro.It is like the south east of england far more productive than the rest of the country in financial terms.I would rather invest in catalonia than any other region of spain and i am sure most of the money men would see it that way too

  • #112822
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    There is not a lot of difference between Catalan and Castillian Spanish -you cannot tell me that a Spaniard from Madrid cannot understand a Spaniard from Gerona or Barcelona. They can perfectly well if they want to! Words can be used to misrepresent meaning Chopera . South of the Pyrenees is Spain ! Catalonia wants independence for selfish unpatriotic reasons ! It has been a good region to buy property in the past and some places have boomed with the gay trade like Sitges. Not been there for ages -remember when it was 400 pesetas a day for half board at the Cspri before the gays arrived. But looking up Benidorm recently noticed how many gay bars are up for sale -things must have dropped off !

  • #112824
    Profile photo of kgpoc
    kgpoc
    Participant

    Chopera – Well I tried every angle, the them, a line, how come now in the whole of history (when a similar vote meant nothing 5 years ago to the majority) and last I went with whole flaw in the best application of rights, oh well. You see the majority call in this exact situation as black and white. I only see gray!

    I have just been vindicated though, seeing as Mas declared yesterday, he does not give a damn about the vote he just wants an independent country in 4 years. So again, it has nothing to do with him believing majority vote he just wants to make a separate state regardless. Also the fact that many successful friends of mine from BCN who 6 years ago called the sepratistas scum, and now they believe these people were right all along. I smell a large rat!

    Nuff said!

  • #112826
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Tomorrow the British and Scottish governments will announce they have reached an agreement to have an independence referendum in 2014. This will be the third vote in my lifetime.

    I see no difference between the Catalonian question and Scotland except grown up governments willing to cooperate on democratic principles.

    The majority of English don’t wish to see an independent Scotland. However more than that they understand the peoples right to self determination should take precedence.

    I would be surprised if the Scottish voted in majority to leave the United Kingdom. Just as I don’t believe the majority of Catalans would either. However the principle of free choice in a process is just as important.

    I do not understand why the Spanish government cannot see that. It does not give me any confidence that Spain has moved forward from it’s past into the modern community of nations.

  • #112827
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    peterhun
    Participant

    @dartboy wrote:

    Absolute shite independance would bring a far faster recovery for the region of catalonia weather inside or outside the euro.It is like the south east of england far more productive than the rest of the country in financial terms.I would rather invest in catalonia than any other region of spain and i am sure most of the money men would see it that way too

    They would be outside the EU and Euro, as such the attractiveness of investing there would be significantly reduced. Their new currency would, presumably, be much stronger so reducing the attractiveness of investing there.
    Who is going to provide bailout funds, new countries start with junk bond status, especially as they are already part of a near junk bond country.

  • #112831
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    A new state brings new opportunity released from the burden and baggage of Spain. I would expect a very long queue of institutional investors willing to support a new country, especially one with all the geographical advantages of Catalonia.
    I believe it would be eventually a win, win future for the Catalans.

  • #112837
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Whether or not you liked Franco he was a good patriot. Any doubt what he would do about this ? ! But Franco knew Spain had to move on and left a foundation in restoring the monarchy. Perhaps he should have founded a new republic that would habve reformed the Spanish state more thoroughly and quickly. The referendum in Scotland is a result of the treachery of the British Labour Party led by two incompetent Scots who have left our country with a huge amount of debt. Unfortunately we have a weak Coalition. Any true blue would have Salmon dragged to the Tower and hanged for treason. The Union was fought for with British blood. Spain was fought for with Spanish blood. All Spaniards should rally together and drag the traitors in Catalonia to the scaffold.

  • #112840
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I am English and a Unionist. My second loyalty is to Spain . Its amatter of first principles. You cannot have regions for purely selfish reasons just wandering off because they think they can rat on their obligations to the Nation – even if they lose this referendum it will not stop there – any future excuse that comes upthat gives a better chance -it will come back and you cannot go on like this. Hopefully both these referendums will be lost the two nations will get their acts together and sort out the underlying issues that are causing these schisms. No referendum should be valid WITHOUT THE NATIONS AS A WHOLE HOLDING NATIONAL REFERENDUMS TO VALIDATE WHETHER CATALONIA OR SCOTLAND CAN SECEDE FROM THE UNIONS. WITHOUT SUCH VALIDATION regional referendums must be deemed INVALID !

  • #112841
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    @Ptr wrote:

    Whether or not you liked Franco he was a good patriot. Any doubt what he would do about this ? ! But Franco knew Spain had to move on and left a foundation in restoring the monarchy. . .Spain was fought for with Spanish blood. All Spaniards should rally together and drag the traitors in Catalonia to the scaffold.

    Yours is the most disgusting post I’ve seen anywhere. By your standard, Hitler, too, was a good patriot and bin Laden was a thoughtful leader.

    And your wish for the violent death of people with whom you disagree is despicable.

  • #112844
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Maybe that was over the top Gary but i felt very strongly about it as I do about the two Scotch traitors -leaders of the Labour Party who gave Alex Salmon a foot in the door -even if as they may say was only to give devolved representation within the Union and whsat Salmon is doing is HIS TREACHERY. Franco did not believe in gassing Jews -no Spaniard would respect you for the comparison . Bin Ladenwas a terrorist. the comparison not sensible-he was a dissident with a grudge against his own country and against America. Franco was a good patriot. He lived in other past times and was a soldier and he did what he did for the best -in the same way as many Chinese respect Mao -and that is much more difficult for outsiders to go along with because of all the deaths he caused unnecessarily. But do consider Gary my point about having a Referendum, of the whole Nation to validate or reject the proposed secession of Catalonia if it a vote in favour from that region .

  • #112845
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Sorry, ptr, except for dimwitted Opus Dei members, Franco is universally condemned in Spain for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Spaniards, for his oppression and human rights violations, and for his corruption which allowed him to acquire enormous wealth. The comparison with Hitler had nothing to do with Jews and everything to do with the brutality of dictators.

    But do consider Gary my point about having a Referendum, of the whole Nation to validate or reject the proposed secession of Catalonia if it a vote in favour from that region .

    Because of your skewed perceptions about Franco, I cannot “consider” anything you write as being rational. And you didn’t even bother to apologise for wishing the violent death of those with whom you disagree.

    Disgusting and repulsive.

  • #112851
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The Belgium’s are at it now. Flemish nationalists made sweeping gains across northern Belgium in local elections on Sunday, a success that will bolster separatists’ hopes for a break-up of the country.

    I have never really understood Belgium. I know how and why the country was created but it’s always seemed to me a sort of bastard nation not belonging and rejected by France or Holland.

    The Flemish in the north are much richer than the French speaking Walloon’s in the south and resent having to constantly bail them out. Very similar situation to Catalonia. Except the freedom to express their wishes in a vote.

  • #112852
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @kgpoc wrote:

    Chopera – Well I tried every angle, the them, a line, how come now in the whole of history (when a similar vote meant nothing 5 years ago to the majority) and last I went with whole flaw in the best application of rights, oh well. You see the majority call in this exact situation as black and white. I only see gray!

    Referendums are never black and white. However at times they are better than nothing. This is one of those times.

    @kgpoc wrote:

    I have just been vindicated though, seeing as Mas declared yesterday, he does not give a damn about the vote he just wants an independent country in 4 years. So again, it has nothing to do with him believing majority vote he just wants to make a separate state regardless. Also the fact that many successful friends of mine from BCN who 6 years ago called the sepratistas scum, and now they believe these people were right all along. I smell a large rat!

    Nuff said!

    That’s irrelevant to the debate as to whether Cataluña should be allowed to have a referendum. They might even vote against independence. They might vote for independence and it might turn out to be a terrible mistake. But it’s their mistake to make. France recently voted in a socialist who I think might well destroy their economy. Do I think they’ve made a mistake? Yes. Do I think they should be denied the ability to choose their president? No, I think the French should be left to decide what’s the best for them, and suffer any consequences. Same goes for the Catalans.

  • #112855
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @mgspain wrote:

    I see we are back to “this should happen, that should happen” thinking.

    Well the subject being debated is whether Cataluña should have a referendum or not. How else would you like it to be debated?

  • #112856
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The philosophy of political independence could not be put better than this wonderful extract.
    Could such strong language be equally applied to the Catalans grievances with Spain? I have no idea. However in order to find that out a referendum is surely an obvious choice if the Spanish government and it’s people care a fig how the Catalans feel.

    IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpation’s, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • #112857
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @mgspain wrote:

    Its a nice idea isn’t it;
    1) Spain accepts that democracy must rule.
    2) Catalans vote for independence.
    3) Catalans stay in the EU or not (it’s their choice)
    4) Catalans stay with the Euro or not (same as above)
    5) Catalans walk away from their share of the national debt and start from scratch.
    6) Investment rushes into Catalonia. (to “support” them, not to fleece them of course)
    7) Spain continues to function normally even with the increased debt burden.
    8) No bloodshed on the streets.
    9) Everybody sings Kumbayah.

    The only point I’m interest in the first point, the rest is speculation.

  • #112861
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    A referendum is required of all the Spanish people in the Nation State of Spain to decide if any region can be allowed to secede and upon what terms -that must include the matter of financial obligations and debts and all the advantages that region has imbibed including from the EU by virtue of its place in the Nation State of Spain that would not otherwise have been its due. The desire for separation is the selfish interest of materislly motivated malcontents who put this before their compatriots in an act of treachery when their country is weakened by a financial crisis. The only motive is personal gratification.

  • #112872
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” Samuel Johnson

    It is unfortunate that the very strong surge in desire for independence co-incides with what appears to be the culmination of a period of perhaps not the most prudent financial management (throughout Spain) as well as a series of misdemeanours that have not left many areas untouched by fraud.

    All of a sudden, the root of a problem isn’t Catalan politicians or institutions, it’s Madrid and the rest of Spain.

    Surely it would have been better for this intense wish for independence to have been acted upon during the good times. But then, there wasn’t time, as everyone was too busy on a feeding frenzy!

    ps I agree that if sufficient people of a defineable culture wish for independence, they should be allowed to vote on it. It’s just the timing that I find suspect.

  • #112873
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Surely it would have been better for this intense wish for independence to have been acted upon during the good times. But then, there wasn’t time, as everyone was too busy on a feeding frenzy!

    The push for independence predates the financial crisis by several years. That said, the crisis has provided a platform for opportunistic politicians to push for independence, in part, to cover their own limitations. I believe that Mas has backed-away a bit, saying that because EU membership is not guaranteed, independence from Spain is very difficult to obtain at this time.

  • #112948
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    Surely it would have been better for this intense wish for independence to have been acted upon during the good times. But then, there wasn’t time, as everyone was too busy on a feeding frenzy!

    The push for independence predates the financial crisis by several years. That said, the crisis has provided a platform for opportunistic politicians to push for independence, in part, to cover their own limitations. I believe that Mas has backed-away a bit, saying that because EU membership is not guaranteed, independence from Spain is very difficult to obtain at this time.

    Catalan will not be allowed into the EU, period. No other country will be willing to allow countries to sub-divide and dump the liability for the country’s debts onto them.

    For instance, the UK could decide to split into 50 counties and demand a vote for each one. All the debt could be piled onto say, Humberside and the rest of the un-united Kingdom of Counties can declare themselves debt free states.

    Its fantasy land, countries like Finland will not accept Catalans pulling a stunt like this.

    Remember, EU entry of a new member can be vetoed by any single state and I doubt they have to publish who vetoed. Turkey spent a decade trying to gain entry and it simply never happened. Most countries have seperatists who will try and pull the same stunt so they will veto anything that allows it.

  • #112951
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    @garysfbcn wrote:
    Surely it would have been better for this intense wish for independence to have been acted upon during the good times. But then, there wasn’t time, as everyone was too busy on a feeding frenzy!

    The push for independence predates the financial crisis by several years. That said, the crisis has provided a platform for opportunistic politicians to push for independence, in part, to cover their own limitations. I believe that Mas has backed-away a bit, saying that because EU membership is not guaranteed, independence from Spain is very difficult to obtain at this time.

    Catalan will not be allowed into the EU, period. No other country will be willing to allow countries to sub-divide and dump the liability for the country’s debts onto them.

    For instance, the UK could decide to split into 50 counties and demand a vote for each one. All the debt could be piled onto say, Humberside and the rest of the un-united Kingdom of Counties can declare themselves debt free states.

    Its fantasy land, countries like Finland will not accept Catalans pulling a stunt like this.

    Remember, EU entry of a new member can be vetoed by any single state and I doubt they have to publish who vetoed. Turkey spent a decade trying to gain entry and it simply never happened. Most countries have seperatists who will try and pull the same stunt so they will veto anything that allows it.

    Cataluña could take it’s debt with it, leave the euro, re-denominate the debt into it’s new currency, and then devalue. It it wants, Cataluña could then join the euro later on when the debt has been devalued. In fact all the autonomas could do this and solve Spain’s debt problem. Spain’s central government will still be left with some debt, but then again, Spain would no longer exist as a state so they could just walk away. Economically it’s feasible. Politically it isn’t.

  • #112952
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    Fantasy..

    Reality-

    If Mas pushes the issue and holds a referendum without any legal substance, “huge economic” challenges would lie ahead for Catalonia, Cominetta added.

    Although an independent Catalonia would have a gross domestic product (GDP) to debt ratio of 20 percent and its fiscal surplus would stand at 4 percent, Catalonia’s economic prospects would be “gloomy, possibly even disastrous.”

    The region would not be in the European Union and the euro zone and would therefore lose access to its predominant export market. It would have to introduce a new currency “in an already troubled economic environment, with public debt fully denominated in a foreign currency, without access to bond markets and without [European Stability Mechanism] and [European Central Bank] protection,” the report said.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/49459644

  • #112953
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    Fantasy..

    Reality-

    If Mas pushes the issue and holds a referendum without any legal substance, “huge economic” challenges would lie ahead for Catalonia, Cominetta added.

    Although an independent Catalonia would have a gross domestic product (GDP) to debt ratio of 20 percent and its fiscal surplus would stand at 4 percent, Catalonia’s economic prospects would be “gloomy, possibly even disastrous.”

    The region would not be in the European Union and the euro zone and would therefore lose access to its predominant export market. It would have to introduce a new currency “in an already troubled economic environment, with public debt fully denominated in a foreign currency, without access to bond markets and without [European Stability Mechanism] and [European Central Bank] protection,” the report said.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/49459644

    It’s the “public debt fully denominated in a foreign currency, without access to bond markets and without [European Stability Mechanism] and [European Central Bank] protection” bit that I’m not convinced by.

    If Cataluña becomes an independent state then it has every right to denominate its debts in the Catalan currency – that’s exactly what sovereignty is about. And as for ECB protection – for crying out loud – it’s precisely because there isn’t any ECB protection that this crisis has escalated. With its own central bank and its own currency Cataluña will have its own lender of last resort and be able to genuinely protect itself. There’s no reason at all to think they’ll be shut out of the bond markets because with their own currency they will always pay their debts. They could even buy their own bonds if push comes to shove – just like the UK. As for exports – devaluing their currency will give a boost – especially to tourism.

  • #112954
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Bond markets are about risk assessment. They are not politically motivated. Catalonia would represent a decent risk for investors because it has a strong, dynamic separate economy.

    If independence was arrived at democratically and with agreements from Spain then an independent Catalonia state would not necessarily be shut out of the EU. There would be a transition period that’s all. Since that’s not likely to happen particularly whilst the the PP hold power, I doubt the Catalans will ever get a lawful vote for generations.

    Politics in Spain is polarised and stagnating. The two ruling parties simply share power when it’s ‘Buggins Turn’. Neither have any new ideas or forward vision for the nation state. The voters are fed up and disillusioned.

    With that backdrop there is no wonder separatism flourishes. Something similar brought Franco to power when the people turned to the communists and republicans for salvation. As this terrible economic situation continues extremists will seem more and more attractive.

    Fascists seek to unify their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people through national identity. Sound familiar?

    Quote from CNBC:
    The latest poll from the Centre d’Estudis d’Opinion shows that for the first time since 2005 a majority of Catalans (51.1 percent) would vote in favor of such a move. In 2007, before Spain’s debt crisis, only around 15 percent of Catalans were in favor of independence.

  • #112959
    Profile photo of Igurisu
    Igurisu
    Participant

    Although there may be a vote in Catalunya for independence, it won’t be possible to achieve with the agreement of the Spanish government, whatever the catalans may think or wish. Even without thinking of civil unrest, apart from the french border spain could basically isolate catalunya from the rest of Spain, closing roads, rail, air transport.

    I don’t have any opinion for or against the separate state, but to think it can be achieved without agreement from the Spanish government is naive in the least.

  • #112960
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @igurisu wrote:

    Although there may be a vote in Catalunya for independence, it won’t be possible to achieve with the agreement of the Spanish government, whatever the catalans may think or wish. Even without thinking of civil unrest, apart from the french border spain could basically isolate catalunya from the rest of Spain, closing roads, rail, air transport.

    If Spain did this (and I can think of quite a few reasons why it wouldn’t) then it would actually leave itself “isolated” from the rest of the world apart from the route to France via the Basque country. I can think of a few more reasons why Spain wouldn’t want that.

  • #112965
    Profile photo of Igurisu
    Igurisu
    Participant

    @chopera wrote:

    @igurisu wrote:
    Although there may be a vote in Catalunya for independence, it won’t be possible to achieve with the agreement of the Spanish government, whatever the catalans may think or wish. Even without thinking of civil unrest, apart from the french border spain could basically isolate catalunya from the rest of Spain, closing roads, rail, air transport.

    If Spain did this (and I can think of quite a few reasons why it wouldn’t) then it would actually leave itself “isolated” from the rest of the world apart from the route to France via the Basque country. I can think of a few more reasons why Spain wouldn’t want that.

    I disagree with you on this point chopera, lets not forget that the spanish government is the globally officially recognised representive of all spanish people (including catalans) and it was democratically elected. How different would a break away catalan state really be from basque separatists for example. Do you really thing the world would support or recognise an independent catalunya if it was declared null and void or illegal by the government?

    I find that hard to believe, national governments would be storing up trouble for themselves in their own countries in setting such a precedent. I guess there are other similar examples of potential break away states/regions in many countries in the world.

  • #112966
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @igurisu wrote:

    @chopera wrote:
    @igurisu wrote:
    Although there may be a vote in Catalunya for independence, it won’t be possible to achieve with the agreement of the Spanish government, whatever the catalans may think or wish. Even without thinking of civil unrest, apart from the french border spain could basically isolate catalunya from the rest of Spain, closing roads, rail, air transport.

    If Spain did this (and I can think of quite a few reasons why it wouldn’t) then it would actually leave itself “isolated” from the rest of the world apart from the route to France via the Basque country. I can think of a few more reasons why Spain wouldn’t want that.

    I disagree with you on this point chopera, lets not forget that the spanish government is the globally officially recognised representive of all spanish people (including catalans) and it was democratically elected. How different would a break away catalan state really be from basque separatists for example. Do you really thing the world would support or recognise an independent catalunya if it was declared null and void or illegal by the government?

    I find that hard to believe, national governments would be storing up trouble for themselves in their own countries in setting such a precedent. I guess there are other similar examples of potential break away states/regions in many countries in the world.

    I disageed with your point about Spain blocking land routes to Cataluña, because the result may well be that Spain ends up with all its land routes blocked instead. Regarding the issue of Cataluña declaring independence without recognition from the Spanish government then I think you make some good points. However these things tend to snowball: the more the Spanish government ignores Catalan calls for a referendum the more they will encourage Catalan seperatism.

    The advantage of holding a referendum is that it will force Catalans to actually think about what kind of independence they want, because if they stay in the euro they ain’t going to get fiscal independence. It will just be a question of semantics and bureaucracy – getting their own flag, their own passports, paying for their own head of state to have no say whatsoever in the euro-federation that the EU is desperately trying to build. Maybe that’s what they want – even if it means their beloved football team will effectively disappear overnight. The only way to find out is to ask them.

  • #112992
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    because if they stay in the euro they ain’t going to get fiscal independence.

    They are not going to get the choice in the matter, just as they will not be a member of the EU. Spain is in the EU, not Catalan.

    If Cataluña becomes an independent state then it has every right to denominate its debts in the Catalan currency – that’s exactly what sovereignty is about. And as for ECB protection – for crying out loud – it’s precisely because there isn’t any ECB protection that this crisis has escalated. With its own central bank and its own currency Cataluña will have its own lender of last resort and be able to genuinely protect itself. There’s no reason at all to think they’ll be shut out of the bond markets because with their own currency they will always pay their debts. They could even buy their own bonds if push comes to shove – just like the UK. As for exports – devaluing their currency will give a boost – especially to tourism.”

    Defaulting on their debt (forcibly converting it to a Catalan currency), money printing (resulting in hyperinflation).

    You think that is a route to open the bond markets and boost their economic credentials? You are not Spanish are you?

    If bond holders refuse to accept the new worthless currency in place of their Euro debt they can not be forced to accept it – ever. Catalonia could be pursued by bondholders for the next 100 years.

  • #112993
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    This debate is all academic. It’s not going to happen either in my lifetime or yours. The Catalans should be given a choice at the very least to choose but Spain’s sense of democracy and fairness will never stretch that far.
    Self interest rules. It is still a young country democratically, it takes centuries to grow up.

  • #112994
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    because if they stay in the euro they ain’t going to get fiscal independence.

    They are not going to get the choice in the matter, just as they will not be a member of the EU. Spain is in the EU, not Catalan.

    If Cataluña becomes an independent state then it has every right to denominate its debts in the Catalan currency – that’s exactly what sovereignty is about. And as for ECB protection – for crying out loud – it’s precisely because there isn’t any ECB protection that this crisis has escalated. With its own central bank and its own currency Cataluña will have its own lender of last resort and be able to genuinely protect itself. There’s no reason at all to think they’ll be shut out of the bond markets because with their own currency they will always pay their debts. They could even buy their own bonds if push comes to shove – just like the UK. As for exports – devaluing their currency will give a boost – especially to tourism.”

    Defaulting on their debt (forcibly converting it to a Catalan currency), money printing (resulting in hyperinflation).

    You think that is a route to open the bond markets and boost their economic credentials? You are not Spanish are you?

    If bond holders refuse to accept the new worthless currency in place of their Euro debt they can not be forced to accept it – ever. Catalonia could be pursued by bondholders for the next 100 years.

    Soft default through devaluation is perfectly acceptable to the bond markets provided it is a one off emergency measure and not some policy regularly carried out by governments unable to control state spending (every country has devalued at one time or another so if it wasn’t acceptable, there wouldn’t be a bond market). I only suggested QE as a last resort – I doubt Cataluña would need to do it, but even if it did, it doesn’t necessarily lead to hyperinflation (ask the Japanese)

  • #112997
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    The Catalans should be given a choice at the very least to choose but Spain’s sense of democracy and fairness will never stretch that far.

    As Spain under PP continues to march towards fascism, that ‘sense of democracy’ will be increasingly farcical:

    Spain considers banning photos of police on duty

    Spain is considering a ban on photographing, filming or reproducing images of police and state security forces who are on duty, officials said Friday.

    Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said the government is considering prohibiting the capture, playback and processing of images, sounds or data of security forces while “in the exercise of their functions.”

    Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said after months of television and Internet scenes of sometimes violent clashes between police and demonstrators, a balance had to be struck “between citizens’ right to protest” and the need “to uphold the integrity of state security forces.”

    The government’s plans were unveiled a day after Spain’s director general of police, Cosido Ignacio, said efforts are under way to secure such a ban.

    More here http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/10/19/3057631/spain-considers-banning-photos.html

    PS: Any government or state that does this should be considered an oppressive entity.

  • #113000
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    @chopera wrote:

    @peterhun wrote:
    Defaulting on their debt (forcibly converting it to a Catalan currency), money printing (resulting in hyperinflation).

    You think that is a route to open the bond markets and boost their economic credentials? You are not Spanish are you?

    If bond holders refuse to accept the new worthless currency in place of their Euro debt they can not be forced to accept it – ever. Catalonia could be pursued by bondholders for the next 100 years.

    Soft default through devaluation is perfectly acceptable to the bond markets provided it is a one off emergency measure and not some policy regularly carried out by governments unable to control state spending (every country has devalued at one time or another so if it wasn’t acceptable, there wouldn’t be a bond market). I only suggested QE as a last resort – I doubt Cataluña would need to do it, but even if it did, it doesn’t necessarily lead to hyperinflation (ask the Japanese)

    You are living in cloud cuckoo land. Debt holders do not have to accept a devaluation, they do not have to accept funny money instead of Euro debt and they do not have to buy bonds denominated in funny money. They can demand a very high interest rate for bonds issue in Euros from newly formed, untrustworthy economies that have just been separated from their main export market.

    Very few countries can issue bonds in their own currency, certainly not newly defaulted states, because nobody will be allowed or willing to buy junk bonds.

    @logan wrote:

    If independence was arrived at democratically and with agreements from Spain then an independent Catalonia state would not necessarily be shut out of the EU. There would be a transition period that’s all

    So you think there will be not a single country in the EU who would object to Spain doubling its voting power, simply as a mechanism to dump Spains debt on the other Euro members? There will be no transition period, Catalan will have to apply for EU membership and they will be rejected, even if its dragged out over a decade like Turkey’s application.

    Iceland’s ‘fast track’ application is a couple years old now, still years to go.

  • #113004
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    You are living in cloud cuckoo land. Debt holders do not have to accept a devaluation, they do not have to accept funny money instead of Euro debt and they do not have to buy bonds denominated in funny money.

    Debt holders (that also includes anybody with credit in their bank account) accept devaluation every day. It’s called inflation. In return they charge interest, which they hope will compensate for inflation and then some. And no, they generally don’t have to accept funny money (although I believe certain institutions are obliged to hold a certain amount of government bonds, but that’s an aside) which is why it’s not a good idea to make it a policy of devaluing your currency. If you’re not careful you can get into an inflationary spiral. But why would debt holders consider an independent Cataluña an untrustworthy economy?

    @peterhun wrote:

    They can demand a very high interest rate for bonds issue in Euros from newly formed, untrustworthy economies that have just been separated from their main export market.

    If Cataluña left the EU then a) it won’t issue bonds in euros and b) it won’t be separated from it’s main export market. Certain things might be harder to export but people in Europe won’t suddenly stop going on holiday there, and they won’t suddenly stop buying Catalan produce.

    @peterhun wrote:

    Very few countries can issue bonds in their own currency, certainly not newly defaulted states, because nobody will be allowed or willing to buy junk bonds.

    But with it’s own currency Cataluña won’t default – not in the hard sense of not paying up – and that’s the kind of default the bond holders really worry about. With the euro Spain might very well default – which is why Spanish yields have gone up – but the UK with all it’s funny money still has a AAA rating (for now) Why? Because being paid in funny money is better than not being paid at all.

  • #113009
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    Chopera, tell me why I should invest money knowing that I won’t make a profit and be guaranteed to recover less than I started with?

  • #113014
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @peterhun wrote:

    Chopera, tell me why I should invest money knowing that I won’t make a profit and be guaranteed to recover less than I started with?

    You shouldn’t, but then again with any investment you don’t “know” anything

  • #113025
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    Some data from the Catalan News Agency (yeah, I know):

    http://www.catalannewsagency.com/news/politics/catalonia%E2%80%99s-debt-increased-96-while-spanish-government%E2%80%99s-grew-14-last-year

    Cataluña’s debt: 22% of GDP
    Cataluña’s deficit: 1.5% of GDP

    (assuming I’ve read this correctly)

    If this is the case then it raises a few issues: if they left the euro they wouldn’t need to devalue – if anything their currency would be quite strong. Secondly if they somehow remained in the EU they’d probably end up being a net contributor to the EU budget (as they are anyway towards the Spanish economy) the difference being that they wouldn’t have the troika breathing down their necks. If they somehow remained in the EU and also within the euro then they might do quite well because, like Germany, they’d have an undervalued currency.

  • #113098
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    “LONDON: Spanish bond prices fell on Tuesday after Moody’s downgraded five of the country’s regions including economically important but deeply indebted Catalonia, while safe-haven German bonds gained.”

    http://www.brecorder.com/markets/fixed-income/europe/87537-spanish-yields-rise-as-moodys-downgrades-regions-.html

    Junk status.

  • #113169
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    [youtube:35njxm3m]taCH_jMLNEU[/youtube:35njxm3m]

  • #113179
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Interesting video, Mark. I think Cataluyna has a case to make about the percent of fiscal deficit.

  • #113203
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Interesting article in the New York Times:

    Immigrants Have Helped Set Catalonia Apart in Spain

    Catalonia’s gathering drive to separate from Spain has been a mixed blessing for Enrique Shen.

    It has been good for business. Last month, before a giant rally in neighboring Barcelona to support independence, Mr. Shen ran out of the Catalan flags he sells as a wholesaler because customers had snapped up about 10,000 of them in just a week.

    But as an immigrant who moved here from Shanghai 20 years ago, he is worried by the way separatists advance their case for nationhood with claims to a distinct Catalan national culture, language and identity that set it apart from Spain. “It’s always best to be part of a larger country, just like having a bigger family to help you,” Mr. Shen said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/31/world/europe/catalonias-immigrants-add-to-separatist-debate.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y&pagewanted=print

  • #113433
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/19/catalonia-vote-future-spain

    “People talk about Catalonia as if it was a limb that could be amputated and the rest of Spain would survive,” the justice minister, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, told the ABC daily in an interview. “But what the independence of Catalonia really means is the disappearance of Spain as a nation.”

  • #113435
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    From the polls I have read it’s unlikely the electorate will give a mandate for independence. I believe that’s largely because of the ugly threats Madrid has been dishing out in recent weeks.

    I am struck by the entirely differing attitude by the British government towards Scotland’s claim to be a separate state.

    Spain has a very long way to travel politically before it becomes a mature democratic nation.

  • #113462
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    and the fact that Mas has a swiss bank account with a couple of million in it, and Pujol (a previous premier) had aswell. All earned from commission from civic projects.

    And the fact that EU has said no automatic admission to EU.

    Also from my (distant) perspective, talking to friends of mine and my parents (ageing from 30 to 70), a lot of people don’t seem that bothered. Although my uncle who is a member of one of the nationalist parties claims otherwise.

  • #113463
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    Spain has a very long way to travel politically before it becomes a mature democratic nation.

    of course it does. It has only been at it for 33 years.

  • #113465
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    I don’t know if this is relevant, but here’s a interesting page from history that has some parallels to today’s strife in Catalunya and Barcelona. In case anyone should think otherwise, I am in no way an anarchist. But I am studying the political history of Spain and Catalunya because I really don’t know much about it.

    http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/n8pm38

  • #113476
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Interesting interactive history map showing how Catalonia became part of Spain.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2012/nov/20/europe-spain-catalonia-history-interactive

  • #113551
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    Majority of Catalans vote for independence parties, but not for the current leader who is pushing for the referendum. Good thing – Mas and his party being too far to the right.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/26/referendum-spanish-breakaway-catalan-president

  • #113554
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I think these regional elections were in every sense an independence question and the Catalans have now shown they are luke warm on the idea. Otherwise Mas who gambled away his relationship with Rajoy would have romped home with a large majority.
    His gamble failed and the future of Catalonia seems firmly a Spanish one.

    Mas looks finished.

  • #113556
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    His gamble failed and the future of Catalonia seems firmly a Spanish one.

    For me the biggest surprise of all is that Rajoy is still in power. Are we all under-estimating him?

  • #113558
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    I think these regional elections were in every sense an independence question and the Catalans have now shown they are luke warm on the idea. Otherwise Mas who gambled away his relationship with Rajoy would have romped home with a large majority.
    His gamble failed and the future of Catalonia seems firmly a Spanish one.

    Mas looks finished.

    Difficult to say – I think the biggest gainer was the left wing seperatist party Esquerra, so overall the seperatist vote might have increased, but it has been split between two parties. Mas has obviously screwed up his tactics on this and if this was the UK he would be expected to resign. Many commentators accused him of using the independence issue to not only mask other problems with the way Catalonia has been governed, but also to bump seperatist voters of other persuasions into tactically voting for him in order to get a referendum. He tried to manipulate the issue for political gain and got found out.

  • #113588
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    It was pointed out to me that Mas might have been rather cunning in calling a snap election. If he hadn’t called it he would now have to call the next regional election in two years time – probably when the Catalan economy is (at best) no better than it is now, and he’d likely lose even more seats than he did on Sunday. But now they’ve had their snap election he doesn’t have to call another one for another 4 years. He has basically bought himself more time at the cost of a few seats.

  • #113772
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Are things really this bad between regions in Spain?

    We went to dinner last night to friends and they told us that recently they’d had supper with a couple who’d invited a few other friends too. One girl was from Malaga and one girl came from Barcelona and apparently they didn’t speak a word to each other all evening, didn’t make eye contact with each other, and the evening was very tense, just because they were from different parts of Spain. 😯 😮 😕

  • #113773
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

  • #113775
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    Are things really this bad between regions in Spain?

    We went to dinner last night to friends and they told us that recently they’d had supper with a couple who’d invited a few other friends too. One girl was from Malaga and one girl came from Barcelona and apparently they didn’t speak a word to each other all evening, didn’t make eye contact with each other, and the evening was very tense, just because they were from different parts of Spain. 😯 😮 😕

    i think that just shows that you can find fools in both malaga and barcelona

  • #113795
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    Are things really this bad between regions in Spain?

    We went to dinner last night to friends and they told us that recently they’d had supper with a couple who’d invited a few other friends too. One girl was from Malaga and one girl came from Barcelona and apparently they didn’t speak a word to each other all evening, didn’t make eye contact with each other, and the evening was very tense, just because they were from different parts of Spain. 😯 😮 😕

    I’ve met young people from both regions who seemed fairly indoctrinated against certain other regions (usually without ever having visited the regions they were so set against)

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