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Thread: Spain fears break-up as Catalonia votes

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    Default Spain fears break-up as Catalonia votes

    Hat tip to Rebellion blog for posting the story. http://lsrebellion.blogspot.com/2012...nia-votes.html



    Published: Saturday, Nov 24, 2012, 15:19 IST
    By Fiona Govan | Place: Madrid | Agency: The Daily Telegraph













    Something is missing at the top of the flagpole outside the town hall in Arenys de Munt. Despite a law requiring it, the red and yellow of la Rojigualda - Spain's national ensign - is nowhere to be seen. Something else is missing inside the building itself. On the walls of Josep Manuel Ximenis's office a blank space marks the spot where a portrait of King Juan Carlos would normally hang.

    But both these absences are a badge of honour for Mayor Ximenis. Instead he proudly displays a certificate declaring his town to be a "free and sovereign territory of Catalonia", independent of the Bourbon crown and the symbols of the Spanish state.

    It may not be legally binding or even recognised outside of the municipal limits but it represents the strength of the desire for nationhood that is growing across Catalonia and has set the wealthy region on a collision course with Madrid this weekend.

    Three years ago last September, Arenys de Munt, a picturesque town of 8,500 people 28 miles north of Barcelona, held an informal referendum on whether Catalonia should secede from Spain. Forty-one per cent of residents turned out to vote and an overwhelming 96 per cent of them said yes.

    "At the time we simply wanted to start the debate, to show it wasn't just a minority of extremists calling for the impossible," explains Mr Ximenis. The plebiscite - emblematic, partial and unofficial - was repeated in the months that followed in 553 towns and villages across Catalonia. Although marked by a low turnout, it showed overwhelmingly the appetite for independence.

    "We started the ball rolling, it gained momentum, and just look at where we are now. An independent Catalonia isn't just an impossible dream, it's going to happen and it's going to happen soon."

    On Saturday, Catalans goes to the polls to choose a new parliament, but with the expectation that a referendum on independence for the region will be swift to follow. Artur Mas, the incumbent regional president and leader of the centre-Right Convergence and Union Party (CIU), called the snap elections with the promise that if re-elected, he would see it as a mandate to hold a vote on secession within his term of office.

    Emboldened by a pro-independence demonstration that saw 1.5?million people take to the streets on Catalonia's national day on September 11, Mas shifted his party's official position on independence and said, "Let the people decide".

    His speeches at campaign rallies across the region in the lead-up to the vote have been greeted by supporters with feverish choruses of "Independence! Independence!" It is music to the ears of Ximenis, who says such separatist sentiment has been simmering in the hearts of Catalans for centuries.

    "Catalonia is a nation, we have our own language, our own culture, our own history," said the 50-year-old as a preamble to a brief precis of the repression of the Catalan people from the 1714 War of Succession to the years under Francisco Franco, when just speaking Catalan could result in a jail term. "Yet still we are treated as an occupied colony by Madrid and our resources exploited," he said.

    Indeed, it is the current economic climate that has fuelled the independence movement and the conviction that Catalonia would fare better on its own. The long-held bone of contention is that Catalonia, the wealthiest of Spain's 17 semi-autonomous regions, whose industry accounts for a fifth of Spain's GDP, is taxed unfairly by Madrid.

    The Generalitat, as Catalonia's government is known, calculates that it pays about euros 15billion more than it gets back from the national treasury every year. Catalonia wants to collect its own taxes, to control how they are spent and it seems prepared to break away from Spain to do so.

    But with a clear road map yet to be outlined, the process of separating from Spain promises to be burdened with hurdles. While Catalans prize their role as citizens of Europe, EU officials have warned that membership of the union would not be automatic.

    Instead, Catalonia would have to gain admission, joining the queue of a list of new European nations seeking membership, and the process would likely be blocked by a vengeful Spain.

    There are also fears that big businesses and multinationals within the region could relocate, unprepared to risk a change in trade terms. Critics warn of a damaging boycott of Catalan goods by Spain if independence were to go ahead. For the Catalans, like the Scots, who will vote on independence in 2014, it's unchartered territory.

    In Madrid, the central government of Mariano Rajoy has pledged to fight any move towards independence. There are fears that fellow separatists in the Basque region and even Galicia will follow suit, provoking a constitutional crisis. One association of retired and active members of the military even warned that war should be declared on Catalonia if the region broke away and others have suggested Mas should be tried for treason.

    Sunday's vote comes at a time when Rajoy is trying to show stability and fiscal responsibility in his fight to keep Spain in the euro currency zone and avoid an international bail-out, while the nation suffers a double-dip recession and a 25% unemployment rate. But the trials of central government are its own problem according to many in Arenys de Munt, where scarlet and gold striped flags of Catalonia flutter from balconies.

    Sonia, a 35-year-old meeting a group of other mothers for a coffee before picking up their children at the school gates, summed it up. "We're sick of being robbed. We'll be better off on our own."

    There is some dissent. One middle aged man would not allow his name to be used when interviewed. "The independence issue is a nonsense and a distraction," he said. "We should be discussing how we are going to stop the flood of unemployment, survive deep spending cuts and promote economic growth."

    But his is not a popular voice here. That of Jeroni Mayne, 63, a retired financial consultant pushing his nine-month-old twin granddaughters, is. "In my heart I've always felt Catalan, never ever Spanish," he said. "We are on the verge of an important and proud moment in our history." Nodding towards the sleeping girls he added: "They will grow up in Catalonia, an independent country recognised across the world, and it will be great."

    http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report...-votes_1768905
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    PARTIAL RESULTS:

    http://news.yahoo.com/separatists-le...204318845.html

    BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) - Four separatist parties in Spain's Catalonia looked set to win a majority in regional elections on Sunday, partial results showed, but the main one was on course to lose some seats, possibly undermining its bid to call an independence referendum.

    With a quarter of votes counted, the ruling Convergence and Union alliance, or CiU, was winning 47 seats in the 135-seat local parliament, well down from its current 62 seats.

    The separatist Republican Left, or ERC, was winning 21 seats, with two other smaller separatist parties taking a total of 15 seats, giving the four parties 60 percent between them.

    (Reporting by Fiona Ortiz)
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    I for one am supporting pretty much any separatist movements.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
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    The central government is going to do everything possible to block a referendum on independence. Even if there is one, it will most likely not pass. Catalans aren't even a majority in Catalunya.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    I for one am supporting pretty much any separatist movements.
    Werd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Confederate View Post
    The central government is going to do everything possible to block a referendum on independence. Even if there is one, it will most likely not pass. Catalans aren't even a majority in Catalunya.
    They have a struggle no doubt.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
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    Nationalists Take Election Lead in Spain’s Catalonia



    Posted November 25th, 2012 at 5:55 pm (UTC-4)



    Exit polls from elections in Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia show the majority of local parliamentary seats will go to nationalist parties that favor independence from Spain.

    Early returns from Sunday's vote show the national alliance of incumbent regional president and pro-independence candidate Artur Mas has taken at least 48 seats in the 135-seat parliament, down from its current total of 62. The separatist Republican Left (ERC) doubled its share to around 20 seats.

    Both parties have pledged to hold a referendum asking Catalans if they wish to split from Spain, a move the central government says would be unconstitutional.

    The Socialist party (PSC), which does not favor independence, took 25 seats in the vote.

    The Mas government called early elections as part of a power struggle with the central government run by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

    Catalonia, which is home to factories, banks and other industries, is responsible for around one-fifth of Spain's economic output.

    Many Catalans believe the central government gives back too little, considering the region's contributions.

    http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-ne...ins-catalonia/

    Now if Americans could only get this excited about independence from central authority.....

    Last edited by Origanalist; 11-25-2012 at 04:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    I for one am supporting pretty much any separatist movements.
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Origanalist again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Origanalist again.
    Don't you wish teh gubmint was as stingy with the free money as RPF's?
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Fuck sakes, if you shoved a lump of coal up AmeriKa's collective ass, it would shit out a diamond.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    Don't you wish teh gubmint was as stingy with the free money as RPF's?
    No shit!

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    If Catalonia gains independance, Spain will face the ugly task of asking the ECB for even more money after 20% of its GDP got up and walked out. These are things they should have considered before making a deal with the devil, who goes by the name EU over there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulbot24 View Post
    If Catalonia gains independance, Spain will face the ugly task of asking the ECB for even more money after 20% of its GDP got up and walked out. These are things they should have considered before making a deal with the devil, who goes by the name EU over there.
    They could survive even if they lost 20% of GDP, the problem is that Catalunya gives over 8% of its GDP in taxes to other regions that it doesn't see back, it amounts to more than $21 billion per year. THAT would crush Spain.

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    I wish only the best for them.
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    If Catalonia can secede from Spain... We can secede from the union too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Confederate View Post
    The central government is going to do everything possible to block a referendum on independence. Even if there is one, it will most likely not pass. Catalans aren't even a majority in Catalunya.
    If it does pass, can the Catalans ethnically cleanse all of the non-Catalans? It is a Catalan state isn't it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    If it does pass, can the Catalans ethnically cleanse all of the non-Catalans? It is a Catalan state isn't it?
    It is, and I would hate to see a great thing get ugly. I don't really think that is what this is about, but it's not exactly unheard of is it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    It is, and I would hate to see a great thing get ugly. I don't really think that is what this is about, but it's not exactly unheard of is it?
    Yes, it seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Often, the first thing that people decide to do with their new found separatism is to attack other groups. Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Kashmir and portions of the ex-Soviet Union are all examples. Of course that strife may be just as much by design (by outside forces) as by human nature. Hopefully violence will not occur in Catalonia for any reason.
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    Perhaps it is time for us to pay homage to Catalonia.
    ...but when the trumpets blew again and the knights charged, the name they cried was "Stannis! Stannis! STANNIS!"

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    Secession makes the other EU states nervous because they have their own regions that could take it up. Bretony and Corsica in France, the Po region of Italy, Flanders in Belgium.
    Last edited by MozoVote; 11-25-2012 at 07:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MozoVote View Post
    Secession makes the other EU states nervous because they have their own regions that could take it up. Bretony and Corsica in France, the Po region of Italy, Flanders in Belgium.
    Don't forget South Tyrol of Italy where there are lots of Germans there who wants it to go to Austria and then there is Scotland where they are holding a referendum in 2014.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MozoVote View Post
    Secession makes the other EU states nervous because they have their own regions that could take it up. Bretony and Corsica in France, the Po region of Italy, Flanders in Belgium.
    Of course, nothing will fuck up a good statists day like serious talk about Secession.
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    There's an independence movement or autonomy movement or unification movement in every single European country. That's what happens when bloodshed/conquest determines the borders of countries rather than individual peoples.

    and let's not forget the Kurds, Assyrians, southern Arabs of Iran, etc in the Middle East, or the hundreds of possible new African nations, or better yet - a free and independent QUEBEC!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smart3 View Post
    There's an independence movement or autonomy movement or unification movement in every single European country. That's what happens when bloodshed/conquest determines the borders of countries rather than individual peoples.

    and let's not forget the Kurds, Assyrians, southern Arabs of Iran, etc in the Middle East, or the hundreds of possible new African nations, or better yet - a free and independent QUEBEC!
    My French professor supports independence for Quebec.
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    ...Catalonia would have to gain admission [to the EU], joining the queue of a list of new European nations seeking membership, and the process would likely be blocked by a vengeful Spain.
    What the hell is wrong with people? "I want my small country to be run by a large group of other countries! Hurrah!"

    (the queue of a list? Editor, puhleez!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    What the hell is wrong with people? "I want my small country to be run by a large group of other countries! Hurrah!"

    (the queue of a list? Editor, puhleez!)
    Leaving the EU isn't part of any independence movement in Europe AFAIK. The independence parties actually are the most pro-EU parties, just look at the SNP in Scotland.
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    That's one way to shrink the size of government, shrink the size of the country. Keep dividing it up till it's the size of a county or smaller.
    Last edited by Henry Rogue; 11-26-2012 at 07:41 AM.
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    Have they stated that they wish to join the E U if successful?
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
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    Love it! A string of peaceful secessions around the globe, followed by an economic crisis in the US that hobbles Federal power, and we just "might" be able to split off a few free republics from the evil empire without a civil war.
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    Go Catalonians!

    This does, however, raise interesting questions.

    Would a seceded Catalonia still be party to any agreements and treaties to which Spain is?

    Will and independent Catalonia bear some proportion of Spain's national debt? If not, why not? If so, why, and more importantly, how much? How is it calculated?

    Were I the Catalonians, I would tell Spain to take their debt and shove it. I would tell the world bankers to fuck off.n Dangerous, but that's never stopped me before.
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    The monster saw my determination in my face and gnashed his teeth in the impotence of anger. "Shall each man," cried he, "find a wife for his bosom, and each beast have his mate, and I be alone? I had feelings of affection, and they were requited by detestation and scorn. Man! You may hate, but beware! Your hours will pass in dread and misery, and soon the bolt will fall which must ravish from you your happiness forever. Are you to be happy while I grovel in the intensity of my wretchedness? You can blast my other passions, but revenge remains--revenge, henceforth dearer than light or food! I may die, but first you, my tyrant and tormentor, shall curse the sun that gazes on your misery. Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful. I will watch with the wiliness of a snake, that I may sting with its venom. Man, you shall repent of the injuries you inflict.”

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