The President of the Catalan cultural and civil organization Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, calls on the Catalans to “fill the ballot boxes” with pro-independence votes in the February 14th elections in response to the ongoing Spanish “state operation” against the pro-independence movement.
Jordi Cuixart affirms that the political prisoners are not “the visualization of any defeat but a further step towards victory” and also recalls that exiles continue fighting “to defend the ideals” that forced them to leave Catalonia.
“We will continue to defend the right to self-determination and the right to live in a Catalan republic of free citizens,” Cuixart says, adding that “enough is enough” in reference to political courts. “The solution to the repression will come neither from pardons nor from reforms of the penal code. We demand amnesty: there are more than 2,850 being repressed. We will not abandon anyone,” Cuixart insists.
While I believe that Catalonia should gain independence, if that is really what they wish for and therefore the leaders who pushed for that should not be hunted and then go through the Spanish legal system. Therefore I agree with the EU and feel it is correct that they have the right to be MEPsand be allowed to fulfil their roles.
However, this does conflict with the Spanish Constitution and their legal process, but this again is in conflict with the way the EU is proceeding.
For it is my belief that the EU commissioners wish to gain overall control of most of the governing powers of the member countries of the EU.
So, therefore I also have a conflict as I believe the EU should not be taking these powers and is one of the reasons that I feel the UK took the route of Brexit.
It is, therefore that if Spain wishes to be within the EU, then they need to retreat from their current stance on Catalonia, release all the former Catalonian leader whom they have imprisoned and remove all charges and controls on those former leaders they have not been able to arrest.
To not do so. should mean that Spain itself, needs to Spexit, otherwise there will and is Conflicts of Interest, in that they abide by EU processes when they wish to and not when they wish to, which in effect means they are totally committed to the EU and could mean other countries are not also, thereby making a mockery of the EU and shows that in reality it should not exist.
On Monday, the news that the exiled and jailed Catalan leaders Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Oriol Junqueras will be allowed to take up their seats as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) caused immediate political turmoil in Spain. The European Parliament officially announced that it will recognize the Catalan leaders as MEPs through a communique during the morning. This decision came after the European Court of Justice ruled on December 19 that the Catalans leaders have immunity.
While Catalan authorities celebrated the EU Parliament decision, the Spanish far-right and the right-wing, which had been attempting to prevent them from becoming MEPs, accused the EU Parliament of violating Spanish sovereignty and suggested that there had been an under the table agreement between the EU authorities and pro-independence forces, though no evidence was presented.
Regarding Spain’s Electoral Authority’s decision on barring Catalan President Torra from office and to veto Junqueras…
In my view the Spanish Government is acting as a ‘Tin Pot’ dictator, rather than a democratic country and is using the legal system for political motives.
Granted the current protestors are themselves not acting legally, but they are not being listened to . When listening breaks down the forces not agreeing with the Government stand either give up or extend their protests in other ways. So when you appear to have exhausted the legal processes, it may be that illegal is the only way forward to make your opinions even more heard.
The Spanish Government should be respecting the views of Catalonia and while the numbers now supporting Independence are some what lower, the original views should have been respected.
In a wy this is similar to the Brexit movement in the UK, where the power is with Remain factions, while the country is more to Leave or was in 2016.
Is this an EU prespective where if an opinion is raised against an EU view point, the powers request that it be looked upon again, but not when the views are in agreement with them.
The are doing it with the UK Brexiteers and some years ago with Ireland, when they had a referendum on some issue and the issue was not upheld but a further vote was held which reversed the initial result.
This is not democracy where a vote, no matter what the result should be respected, for not to do so, beggars the question ‘Why have a peoples vote in the first place’.
So, while I abhor violence, in some respects, it would appear to be justified, if only as a ‘freedom of expression’.
This is not to say violence should be resorted to in every instance where there are disagreements, as in some instances there is a pressure group who have not resorted to find the views of the public, but assume their own views should be acted upon.
While I agree that there is ‘Climate Change’ no referendum or other such facility has been sort, so with ‘Extinction Rebellion’, while their ideals may be right their current actions are not because there has not been a public vote.
But with Catalonia there was a public vote and Independence became the majority view of those that bothered to vote, so that result should have been respected by the Spanish Government and not discountit and even bring legal action against the main supporters. That is using the legal process for political motives.
The overarching objective is always independence, but this year’s Catalonia’s annual commemorative day reflected the internal divisions between the different regional independent parties at odds with Madrid.
The Diada, or national day of Catalonia, has been celebrated every September 11 since 1886 – and since 2012 has been marked by calls for independence.
The day was still marked by a push for independence backed by the current government with a protest around 16h CEST marking the day that Barcelona surrendered to King Philip V of Bourbon, after 13 months of resisting the siege of his troops in 1714.
The majority of protesters congregated in Plaza de España, in the centre of Barcelona, which the protest organisers want to make the centre of “strategic unity to achieve the common goal of independence.”
But participation was lower than in recent years, in part due to the strong independence pressure that has seriously shaken Catalan and Spanish society.
Local police in Barcelona said 600,000 people participated in the demonstration down from one million last year.
Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is forecast to win the most seats in the vote, but could need Catalan separatists’ backing to form a government. A unionist, rightist coalition winning a majority is another possible scenario.
The Catalan leaders’ call, made in a letter in Saturday’s edition of La Vanguardia newspaper, said separatists should enter talks with potential coaltion partners as long as they refused to rule out an independence referendum as a “possible solution” for the region.
That marked a softening of their previous stance and raises the possibility of compromise on an issue that has vexed past coalition talks.
People may have some form of disability, but why should this be a barrier in life, for is life not just what you make it to be.
People talk about ‘normal’ but what is ‘normal’ is this just a perception for what could be ‘normal’ for one may not be ‘normal’ for another.
Being with another, be it marriage or not, is creating a relationship to which both parties belong and relate to.
The two persons are the important factors in the relationship and others or Society should not be imposing any barriers to that relationship, provided both are consenting partners, they are of legal age and have the capacity to consent.
The country’s MP for Lapland Mikko Karna has said that he intends to submit a motion to the Finnish parliament recognising the new fledgling country.
Mr Karna, who is part of the ruling Centre Party, led by Prime Minister Juha Sipila, also sent his congratulations to Catalonia after the regional parliament voted earlier today on breaking away from the rest of Spain.
Should Finland officially recognise the new state of Catalonia this will be yet another body blow to the the EU which has firmly backed the continuation of a unified Spain under the control of Madrid.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned today that “cracks” were appearing in the bloc due to the seismic events in Catalonia that were causing ruptures through the bloc.
He said that the EU would continue to only speak with Spain.
Mr Juncker spoke in favour of unity. He said: “I do not want a situation where, tomorrow, the European Union is made up of 95 different states. We need to avoid splits, because we already have enough splits and fractures and we do not need any more.”
If Finland recognised Catalonia then this would make a mockery of the EU’s refusal to acknowledge the region’s new status.
A statement from the European Union on October 2 read: “Under the Spanish Constitution, yesterday’s vote in Catalonia was not legal.
“For the European Commission, as President Juncker has reiterated repeatedly, this is an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain.
“We also reiterate the legal position held by this Commission as well as by its predecessors. If a referendum were to be organised in line with the Spanish Constitution it would mean that the territory leaving would find itself outside of the European Union.
“Beyond the purely legal aspects of this matter, the Commission believes that these are times for unity and stability, not divisiveness and fragmentation.
“We call on all relevant players to now move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue.
“Violence can never be an instrument in politics. We trust the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this difficult process in full respect of the Spanish Constitution and of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined therein.”
Argentina could also formally recognise the Republic of Catalonia and reject the intervention of the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who has moved to implement Article 155 which will permit Madrid to take over control of the semi-autonomous region.
Socialist Left Argentine MP Juan Carlos Giordano, who represents Buenos Aires Province said that he would present a bill in parliament for the South American country to recognise Catalonia.
The Scottish Government has also sent a message of support, saying that Catalonia “must have” the ability to determine their own future.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “We understand and respect the position of the Catalan government.
“While Spain has the right to oppose independence, the people of Catalonia must have the ability to determine their own future.
“Today’s Declaration of Independence came about only after repeated calls for dialogue were refused.
“Now, more than ever, the priority of all those who consider themselves friends and allies of Spain should be to encourage a process of dialogue to find a way forward that respects democracy and the rule of law.
“The imposition of direct rule cannot be the solution and should be of concern to democrats everywhere.
“The European Union has a political and moral responsibility to support dialogue to identify how the situation can be resolved peacefully and democratically.”
It comes as Britain, France, Germany and the United States backed Madrid.
Downing Street said Britain will not recognise the Catalan parliament’s declaration of independence from Spain.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s official spokesman said the declaration was based on a vote which had been declared illegal and that the UK wanted to see the unity of Spain preserved.
The spokesman said: “The UK does not and will not recognise the unilateral declaration of independence made by the Catalan regional parliament.
“It is based on a vote that was declared illegal by the Spanish courts. We continue to want to see the rule of law upheld, the Spanish constitution respected, and Spanish unity preserved.”
French president Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that he was fully supportive of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, regarding the crisis taking place in Catalonia.
With Basques, Bretons, Bavarians and many more eyeing the outcome of events, could this be the moment to formalise various levels of autonomy?
The EU countries may be right that Catalonia is legally a matter of Spanish constitutional law. But they should also be frightened. Catalonia is Europe’s problem.
The imprisonment on remand of eight Catalan politicians, on blatantly political charges, and the Belgian asylum sought by its president, appears to be an engineered confrontation.
Two days ago, the Madrid government reneged on an agreement that it would not suspend the Barcelona government if it did not declare independence and agreed to new local elections next month. Madrid then proceeded with suspension, and Catalonia duly proceeded with declaration – though with no mention of implementation. Madrid immediately arrested those Catalan politicians (and officials) it could find, on charges of rebellion and treason.
So far, so absurd. No poll has yet delivered a clear majority of Catalans for independence. Barcelona has proceeded within accepted democratic norms and without recourse to violence – unlike Madrid in the government’s efforts to stop the recent referendum.
Never in the long and far bloodier fight of the Basques for independence was the Basque leadership ever imprisoned. Catalonia now faces an election next month with the prospect of its entire independence leadership in prison.
Catalonia is being watched, with varying degrees of intensity, by Basques, Bretons, Flemings, Scots, Bavarians, Silesians, Ukrainians, Transylvanians, Venetians, Corsicans and others. Its struggle resonates among increasingly nationalist Poles, Bohemians, Hungarians and Greeks, across Europe’s patchwork of regional sensitivities and long-harboured grievances. Old feuds are rekindled and jealousies revived. Hypocritical Britain cannot talk. It long opposed Irish separatism and denied devolution to Scotland and Wales, while it sent soldiers to aid the break-up of Yugoslavia.
It is hopeless to seek recourse from these woes in statute books and legal niceties. Self-determination has been the essence of Europe’s stability since Woodrow Wilson’s 14-point programme for Europe’s future in 1917. How such determination is defined may be moot: what of the self-determination of Spaniards against that of Catalans? But it is in Europe’s interest to seek that definition, to formulate protocols whereby separatism can be resolved into grades of autonomy. European statehood has long been a “vale of tiers”.
Since the EU itself is inherently centralist, it makes sense for the Council of Europe, the 47-nation organisation which deals with democracy and human rights across the European continent, to undertake such a task, urgently. The EU has worked itself into a political straitjacket, such that few of its member nations would dare hold a referendum on continued membership. This cannot be healthy for the EU or for Europe. The rising tide of identity politics is now the greatest threat to Europe’s free development. Catalonia is not a little local difficulty. It is an awful warning.
It would appear that the Spanish Government is exceeding its power and using some illegally. The court of law also appears to be controlled by the Spanish Government when in a democracy it should be independent.
The sensible way forward would have been for the Spanish Government to have allowed the referendum to take place legally and then the result would have taken into account those for and against. Whereas, by stating the referendum was illegal this ensured that those who wished to remain within Spain, most likely did not vote. So it was the actions of the Spanish Government that screwed the referendum verdict.
By further acting to quash the Catalonian Government Independence declaration this could backfire on the Spanish Government as it could persuade more Catalonian people to side with the idea of independence.
It could also reinvigorate other nationalistic movements within Spain being the Basques and Galicians to name but 2 more. While eventually even more regions could also wish for some form of independence. referenced from Nationalisms and Regionalisms of Spain.
The government of Catalonia has now declared independence from Spain, in a move that’s likely to shake Europe to its core. The vote for independence was by a huge majority of 70 for to 10 against; although the opposition boycotted the vote. Immediately after the announcement, the Catalan parliament was surrounded by thousands of people, celebrating.