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Acceptable from Spain or are they repressing the will of the Catalan people? Very interested to see how this pans out.

 

https://www.ft.com/content/b12e5fde-a521-11e7-9e4f-7f5e6a7c98a2

 

Quote

It was the sight of armed Spanish national police last week storming Catalan government offices and arresting officials that convinced Jordi Herrera that the region needed to be separate from Spain.

 

“I was never sure we needed to be independent until then,” says the 36-year-old bank worker, on the edges of a rally on Friday. “It made me so angry … I realised that Spain really owns us and can do what they like with us.”

 

With thousands of Spanish state police set to flood the streets of Catalonia this weekend to stop Sunday’s vote on independence, which the courts have ruled illegal, there are fears that the clampdown risks bringing moderates over to the independence cause.

 

“We have to uphold the rule of law,” says one senior official in Madrid. “But we know it could add to future problems in Catalonia if we allow this false narrative of oppression to take hold.” While the majority of Catalans support the right to vote on their future, the last Catalan government poll in July show that only around 40 per cent support independence — down from almost 50 per cent four years ago.

 

The Spanish authorities have taken drastic measures to impede the referendum: arresting officials, confiscating ballot boxes, taking back powers over public finances, and cordoning off schools that might be use as polling stations. But even if Madrid succeeds in disrupting a vote it will in any case declare invalid, more Catalans may already have been converted to the secessionist cause.

 

“Using force to prevent what is a peaceful democratic vote is only going to add to the number of Catalan people who want to see an independent state,” Artur Mas, the former president of Catalonia, told the FT. It is not just moderate Catalan nationalists who could be radicalised by the events of coming days, seen as one of the greatest threats to the Spanish political order since the country’s return to democracy in the 1970s. The vote has driven a cleaver through Catalan society, with many of the roughly 50 per cent of people who say they are against independence growing irate at some of the extreme antics of the separatists.

 

“I’ve been told that I’m a sold-out politician, a coward, a wimp and a traitor ... that I’m never going to wake up again, that I’m a bad Catalan, an imbecile, unworthy of my post,” said one anti-independence mayor, Jordi Ballart, on Facebook this month. Several officials have complained of harassment, while a media watchdog this week said pressure from the Catalan government and social media abuse by “hooligans” was making for a suffocating atmosphere for journalists to work.

 

Inés Arrimadas, the leader of the main opposition party in Catalonia, Ciudadanos, on Thursday said that the pro-independence government, which won elections in 2015, has sought to “criminalise” those who do not want a vote. Ferran Brunet, the founder of Societat Civil Catalana, an anti-secession campaign group, says: “Independence is is not the choice of Catalans, but the Catalan government … We are indignant because they are setting on fire our country, our region and our institutions.”

 

Using force to prevent what is a peaceful democratic vote is only going to add to the number of Catalan people who want to see an independent state. With passions running high, arguments over the vote have ripped through Catalan society. Families wage ideological warfare over the dinner table; verbal fights are breaking out between shopworkers and clients; harassment on social media is commonplace.

 

“Me and all my friends are pro-independence, we don’t feel Spanish at all,” says Helena Marín, an 18-year-old student protesting on the streets of Barcelona this week. “But my father says it would be bad for the economy … we have terrible fights.” The chief executive of one large Spanish company told the FT that they are having to impose special measures to stop heated arguments ahead of the vote and ensure people get on with their jobs.

 

“We have been trying to make sure our people are not arguing with each other or with clients about the referendum, but that instead they are focused on the job,” he said. He added that he was worried about police action on Sunday making the situation worse. “The situation is going to be pretty emotional and tense. From a public [perception] point of view it will not be good as it would be pretty odd to see police preventing people from voting.”

 

In rallies all across Catalonia, the rhetoric is becoming increasingly extreme, with separatists equating Madrid’s attempts to uphold Spanish law with dictator Francisco Franco’s brutal crackdown on Catalan language, culture and autonomy. “Francoism is coming back to Spain,” Jordi Sanchez, leading pro-independence activist told a recent rally in Barcelona.

 

Incendiary views run both ways. Earlier this month death threats were levelled against Anna Gabriel, a member of the Catalan parliament from the anarchist pro-independence CUP party. On the pavement outside a university where she was set to give a talk was written: “Shoot Ana [sic] Gabriel,” with a crosshair below her name. With opinion split, the Spanish government can only hope that the police action on Sunday does not push the moderate middle further towards the separatist cause, said Lluis Orriols, professor of political science at Carlos III university in Madrid.

 

The events of the last few weeks suggest the opposite, he added. “We can wait to see what happens after Sunday, but so far the moves to stop the vote seem to be adding to the anti-Madrid feeling in Catalonia.”

 

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1 hour ago, kingofsurrey said:

Catalan's first.... then the Basques  next.

 

 

After that Republic Srpska, Donetsk, north Kosovo, Sandzak, CRHB, Tatars in Crimea, Albanians in Macedonia, Flanders, Northern Ireland, Scotland etc.

By the time that is all done, we might have lot of countries over there.

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As a second generation Canadian.... I always found it weird that many people want to have countries purely based on ethnicity, religion, etc.  

Not saying they're all bad... especially when the population numbers are high (Japan, Italy, etc).... but when a geographical area has barely more than 7 million people and they want independence... eventually you'll just have countless mini-countries everywhere. 

Most of them will probably lack sufficient economic infrastructures, military power, etc.  There's a reason why nation states were founded.  

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1 hour ago, CBH1926 said:

After that Republic Srpska, Donetsk, north Kosovo, Sandzak, CRHB, Tatars in Crimea, Albanians in Macedonia, Flanders, Northern Ireland, Scotland etc.

By the time that is all done, we might have lot of countries over there.

No actually i think it will be Kurdistan, Catalan, then Basques

 

Those other guys will have to wait their turn. 

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28 minutes ago, Lancaster said:

As a second generation Canadian.... I always found it weird that many people want to have countries purely based on ethnicity, religion, etc.  

Not saying they're all bad... especially when the population numbers are high (Japan, Italy, etc).... but when a geographical area has barely more than 7 million people and they want independence... eventually you'll just have countless mini-countries everywhere. 

Most of them will probably lack sufficient economic infrastructures, military power, etc.  There's a reason why nation states were founded.  

Everyone thinks that the grass is greener on the other side.

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2 hours ago, CBH1926 said:

After that Republic Srpska, Donetsk, north Kosovo, Sandzak, CRHB, Tatars in Crimea, Albanians in Macedonia, Flanders, Northern Ireland, Scotland etc.

By the time that is all done, we might have lot of countries over there.

Global feudalism?

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3 hours ago, DonLever said:

Never heard of this group.   Fine with me if they want to separate if they do it peacefully through referendum.

Not sure if serious?

 

Anyway they do want to do it peacefully however so far Spain has said any referendum/vote on independence would be illegal.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_independence

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17 minutes ago, Lancaster said:

Yes.... because people living in Catalonia, in Spain, a first world country, in the European Union.... are totally oppressed :picard:

I was actually referring more to my Kurdish friends and Basque friends.  Face palm yourself cowboy. :goat:

 

But you also may want to educate yourself about what has happened in Spain  / Catalonia...

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/11893734/They-banned-us-speaking-Catalan.-Now-they-want-us-to-disappear.html

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20 hours ago, kingofsurrey said:

Many people just wish  they had equal rights in their own country...

 

We are pretty spoiled here in Canada. 

It's the same old story, Catalonia contributes almost 20% of Spain's GDP but feel they don't get as much in return.

There are other reasons like culture, history, language, the fact they had their own country etc.

 

But finances are the main point just like everywhere else.

Blue states support red states in the USA, northern Italy supports southern Italy, western and southern Germany support east etc.

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