Catalonia

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Puigdemont to dissolve Parliament and convene elections for 20 Dec

The Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, has decided to dissolve Parliament and to summon new elections on Wednesday 20th December, faced with the threat of the Spanish government intervening in the autonomy with article155 of the Constitution, El Nacional has been able to confirm.

Puigdemont will appear at the Palau at 1.30pm to make public the decisions taken after meetings held during the last hours with his government and representatives of the sovereign entities.

There will not be a plenary session of Parliament, that had been summoned this afternoon for 5pm to respond to the activation of article 155, in parallel with the Senate, where the measures proposed by the government of Mariano Rajoy are being studied. The Catalan president has communicated it to the president of the Parliament, Carme Forcadell, who has been summoned in the Palau.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..15 min newscast.

25-Oct-17 TV News: 'Catalan pro-independence coalition committed to declaring independence'

Rev Pesky

Catalonia president rules out snap election

Hopes of a possible solution to the Catalan independence crisis have been dashed after the regional president, Carles Puigdemont, ruled out a snap election...

Reports earlier on Thursday that he was preparing to hold elections and abandon his pledge to declare independence brought a swift and angry response from many of his allies.

The Catalan Republican Left (ERC) party, part of Puigdemont’s ruling coalition, said it would abandon the government if the president called elections.

Gabriel Rufián, an ERC MP in Madrid, implied that Puigdemont had betrayed the independence movement, tweeting: “155 pieces of silver,” while Adrià Alsina, the press secretary of the grassroots Catalan National Assembly, tweeted: “Frau, Fraude, Fraud.”

Meanwhile, the far-left CUP party said it would not support elections, adding that the unilateral independence referendum held on 1 October had yielded a popular mandate.

I suspect that if those parties in favour of independence thought they could win an election they wouldn't be quite so opposed to one. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..here is why the pull back from elections occured

Puigdemont will not call elections as Rajoy will not suspend intervention in Catalan autonomy

Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, has finally decided to drop plans to dissolve the Catalan Parliament and call early elections given the refusal of the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, to stop the intervention in Catalan autonomy planned via article 155 of the Spanish Constitution. "It's up to the [Catalan] Parliament to move ahead with whatever the parliamentary majority decides in relation to the consequences of the application against Catalonia of article 155," said Puigdemont today.

The president made the announcement from the Gothic gallery of the Catalan government palace in a speech this afternoon. Puigdemont started by assuring that, as president, he has the responsibility to exhaust all possible paths to find a negotiated, agreed-upon solution to the political, democratic conflict.

"Nobody will be able to reproach, nobody has the right to reproach the Catalan side for its will to negotiate and do politics, nobody will be able to say that I've not been open to making sacrifices to give all possible chances for dialogue. Nobody," said the president....

eta:

Live Blog

2100 HOURS

  • Cristina Cifuentes, PP premier of Madrid, says that Puigdemont can no longer call elections even if he wants to because he is now "illegal".

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Catalan parties announce declaration of independence for this Friday

After this evening's speech by Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who finally declined to call regional elections and put the next step in the hands of the Catalan Parliament, Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes) and CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy) have announced a declaration of independence for this Friday. Junts pel Sí is the currently governing alliance, of which Puigdemont is a member, a government installed thanks to CUP's support.

"Tomorrow we will finish setting a new course for our country". That was the statement from the president of Junts pel Sí, Lluís Corominas, at the start of today's Parliament debate. Corominas defended the mandate they take from the 1st October referendum and strongly criticised the response from the Spanish state which has culminated in the planned usage of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to intervene in Catalan autonomy. He started his speech making reference to the leader of pro-independence organisations, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, who remain in prison awaiting trial, accused of sedition for organising demonstrations in the run-up to the referendum. This comment was greeted by a long standing ovation from the JxSí, CUP and CSQP (Catalonia Yes We Can) deputies.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Article 155 will give Spanish government powers to ban demonstrations

New details on the application of article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, intervening in Catalan autonomy. It's emerged that it will give the Spanish state powers to authorise or prohibit demonstrations, and, as such, free reign to decide for what reasons people can take to the streets. The power was first reported by the Catalan public radio broadcaster's morning show: El matí de Catalunya Ràdio. They added that the Spanish Interior minister would have the last word over the approval of any gathering, once he takes over the role of the Catalan Interior minister via article 155.

The power to authorise (or not) demonstrations currently resides with the Catalan Interior department, who notes that, in agreement with Spanish law, they have to be informed in writing of any planned demonstration. They can "only prohibit them when there are reasons based on the disturbance of public order, with danger for people or property".

Article 21 of the Spanish Constitution says that "the right to peaceful, unarmed assembly is recognised", and that "this right will not require prior authorisation", as repeated by article 3 of the law Ley Orgánica 9/1983, de 15 de julio, which regulates the right to assembly.

Moreover, the same article decrees that the "governing authority will protect gatherings and demonstrations in the face of those who try to prevent, disrupt or impair the legitimate exercise of this right".

bekayne

So it's all settled then.

lagatta4

Hardly. The Spanish State is planning to suppress Catalonia's autonomy, but many social groups including teachers, firefighters and municipal governments refuse to go along with this.

Rev Pesky

I'll just point out that the Spanish state is acting in accordance with the constitution. It is the Catalan separatists who have acted against the constitution.

lagatta4

Pesky, you don't agree with the right to self-determination?

The Spanish State's constitution is still burdened with concepts inherited from the Franco brand of fascism.

Remember that the UK and Canada didn't try to prevent referenda in Scotland or Québec.

By the way, although I doubt they will seek full statehood, I agree with self-determination for Indigenous nations as well. Remember, self-determination does NOT necessarily mean a nation is seeking full sovereignty and statehood. Many other arrangements are possible and can be mutually beneficial.

There are many Catalans, especially on the left, who aren't particularly nationalistic, but who believe very strongly in the principle of autonomy and popular sovereignty. Republicanism is also important to several among this cohort.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Celebrations in St James Square, Barcelona.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..it was pointed out in another piece i read that rajoy will use his power to control who runs in those elections.

Rajoy fires Catalan government, dissolves Parliament, calls elections for 21st December

The Spanish cabinet, in an extraordinary meeting this evening, has agreed to remove from office Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and all members of the Catalan government after the declaration of independence approved today by the Catalan Parliament. The announcement was made by prime minister Mariano Rajoy in a press conference after the cabinet meeting this evening. He also made the surprise announcement of the dissolution of the Catalan Parliament ahead of early elections on 21st December.

With this, the Spanish government starts enacting the measures it has planned based on article 155 of the Spanish Constitution after receiving approval from the Spanish Senate this Friday.

Sean in Ottawa

Rev Pesky wrote:

I'll just point out that the Spanish state is acting in accordance with the constitution. It is the Catalan separatists who have acted against the constitution.

The Spanish central authority is following the laws it created. Regional voices did not desire this framework and it was not meant to serve them.

iyraste1313

 I could use some help on this one...does not the UN Declaration guarantee the rights to autonomy?

In the case of Canada, the Supreme Court, presumably based on the UN Declaration, specifically outlined the conditions for the right to sovereignty.

Was not the Rajoy´s governments decison to suspend the rights guaranteed to Catalunya by the previous PSOE Government, grounds for conditions to guarantee the right to sovereignty?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..this is interesting. on the advice of the right wing of the party and the socialist party puigdemont threw in the towel on independence and called elections. i posted that call for elections up thread. then puigdemont faced a huge backlash from those supporting independence which caused his reversal and declared independence. according to this 13 min newscast.

26-Oct-17 TV News: 'Independence declaration back on the table'

Rev Pesky

From lagatta4:

Pesky, you don't agree with the right to self-determination?

Self determination by whom? People have fastened onto Catalonia as a separate part of Spain, but Catalonia itself has many different adminstrative divisions. Where do you draw the line as to who gets to choose independence?

Rev Pesky

Sean in Ottawa:

The Spanish central authority is following the laws it created.

Constitution it created. A constitution which was created with the input of Catalonia, and was agreed to by Catalonia.

Sean in Ottawa

Rev Pesky wrote:

Sean in Ottawa:

The Spanish central authority is following the laws it created.

Constitution it created. A constitution which was created with the input of Catalonia, and was agreed to by Catalonia.

Actually this is not as simple as you make out. Constitutions can be changed and Catalonia's referendum resulted in a request to talk -- this escalated to a declaration when that was refused.

When you speak about the agreement of Catalonia, you are leaving out a lot of history since regionalism was a key cause of the Spanish Civil War and was oppressed severely by Franco. We are a generation away from 1978. The desire then was to leave the Franco regime and move to a new regime that offered greater autonomy. It must be remembered that the Spanish Constitution that recieved the approval you speak of gave more autonomy to Catalonia than they had in the previous regime and was seen as openign the door not closing it in that regard.

Self determination is also not about a previous generation making a decision either. Many things have changed as well including the EU Spain is part of.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..a real news report

Catalonia Vows to Resist Madrid's Direct Rule

Expect to see acts of civil disobedience, resistance from public servants, and election boycotts in the weeks ahead, says Sebastiaan Faber of Oberlin College--as well as criminal persecution of Catalonia's political leaders

Rev Pesky

From epaulo13:

Catalonia Vows to Resist Madrid's Direct Rule

I think what you meant to say was 'a minority of Catalonians who are in favour of independence from Spain vow to resist the majority desire to stay within Spain.

Rev Pesky

From Sean in Ottawa:

It must be remembered that the Spanish Constitution that recieved the approval you speak of gave more autonomy to Catalonia than they had in the previous regime... 

Yet the Spanish Supreme Court ruled the referendum to be illegal according to the constitution. I think if there was general disagreement with the constitution perhaps the best way to deal with it would be to first change the constitution, then do the other things you want to do.

After all, would you accept that a government of Canada could act outside of the constitution? 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..all this phony piety about the constitution. look at the state of the world look at the state of spain. all the war all the hunger all the repression all done with constitutional governments in service to a minority elite.  all done in spite of what the populations want. your arguments are empty rev and argue for the status quo. all you have are word games directed against people struggling to make change when in fact you don't give a fuck about the spanish constitution.

lagatta4

What on earth is "a government of Canada"? The "Government of Canada" (the Federal  state), or for example, the government of Québec or of an Indigenous nation, just for example?

And what particular brief do you hold for the heirs of Franco? There are many democratic deficits in the Spanish State - things couldn't change entirely overnight after the fall of the fascist régime - and the Catalans and Basques are not the only people within the Spanish State who are aware of that.

I've lived in Italy. I love Italy, but there are many legal and other holdovers from the fascist régime, even though it was legally dead by the end of the Second World War, and the 1946 referendum on the Republic got rid of the monarchy (on the basis of its complicity with the fascist régime, in particular with the antisemitic "Racial Laws" of 1938.

NDPP

Rev Pesky wrote:

After all, would you accept that a government of Canada could act outside of the constitution? 

 

NDPP wrote:

It happens all the time. 

Occupiers Justice, Canada's Broken Constitution and Ongoing Genocide

https://dissidentvoice.org/2015/11/occupiers-justice-canadas-broken-cons...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

He didn't ask whether it happens, he asked whether you accept it.

bekayne

Is Catalonia supposed to be the socialist utopia or the libertarian utopia? 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..constitutions are not written by and for the people. they are written by governments and then..maybe..in some rare cases are they ratified in an open, full disclosure process by the population. even then constitutions are administered/interpreted via the current administration. it wasn't the population that ratified the canadian constitution nor the patriation. 

"Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich." Noam Chomsky

Sean in Ottawa

Rev Pesky wrote:

From Sean in Ottawa:

It must be remembered that the Spanish Constitution that recieved the approval you speak of gave more autonomy to Catalonia than they had in the previous regime... 

Yet the Spanish Supreme Court ruled the referendum to be illegal according to the constitution. I think if there was general disagreement with the constitution perhaps the best way to deal with it would be to first change the constitution, then do the other things you want to do.

After all, would you accept that a government of Canada could act outside of the constitution? 

 

I would expect the government of Canada to hold talks with a part of Canada that held a vote on independence and not refuse them -- even if that vote were illegal.

Talking is not against any consitution.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Live Blog

1800 HOURS

  • What happens on Monday? Or how to resist the article 155 onslaught (main points of NacióDigital report)
    Main points of the passive resistance being planned against article 155:
    - Ministers and senior executive to go to work as normal, challenging the Spanish administration to remove them physically;
    - Puigdemont to continue to work from the main government building (the "Palau") in St James Square, Barcelona, protected by special group of Catalan police;
    - Parliament to meet as usual (with meeting of speakership panel set for Tuesday);
    - The main public sector union, USTEC, has voted not to accept instructions from executives imposed under aricle 155 intervention. Workers Commissions (CCOO) will not offer disobedience. However, many workplaces have had all-in mass meetings and voted that they will not accept orders from executives imposed from Madrid.. The minority unity confederation Intersindical-CSC has already held over 30 mass meetings to impart methods of peaceful resistance.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Spanish vice president to lead attempt to impose direct rule over Catalonia

The Spanish government is set to carry on its attempt to impose direct rule over Catalonia on Saturday, a day after the parliament voted on a declaration of independence bringing the political crisis between executives in Madrid and Barcelona to new heights. With Catalan pro-independence leaders no longer recognizing orders from Spain, the question now is whether Article 155 of the Constitution can effectively be put into effect.

After announcing the removal of the Catalan government, the dissolution of the Parliament, and fresh polls for December 21, Spanish president Mariano Rajoy delegated the task to assume the main responsibilities  of the Catalan executive to his vice president and right-hand woman, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría.

Rajoy’s ministers will try to seize control of their Catalan counterparts. In a move to secure control of the Catalan police, the Spanish Home Affairs Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido ordered the removal of its chief, Josep Lluís Trapero. "We assume the responsibilities of the Catalan Home Affairs Ministry in order to protect legality," Zoido tweeted. 

Trapero's dismissal is due to his "judicial situation," said Zoido. The Catalan police chief is accused with sedition charges in relation to the October 1 referendum and the demonstrations that took place prior to the vote. The public prosecutor asked the judge to send him to prison, but the latter opted instead for less drastic measures and confiscated his passport.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..this real news report gives an important insight into why this independence movement is happening now. well worth the 13 min video.

Catalonian Independence: What are the Economic Stakes?

The conflict has a lot to do with Spain's economic failure since the world financial crisis of 2008 and its impact on young people and the long-term unemployed, says Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

quote:

MARK WEISBROT: Yes. Well, I think you have ... The economy is a big factor, here, and unemployment is the biggest thing, because you have 18% unemployment in the past year, and twice that for youth. More than 40% of that is long-term unemployed, people who have been out of work for a year or more, and even the ones who are lucky enough to get new jobs ... And the IMF says that the prospect for the long-term unemployed is very dismal, but the ones who get new jobs, they're not permanent jobs, and so there's a whole generation there that doesn't have much of a future in Spain. There's nothing the government is offering. In fact, the government is not offering anything but more austerity, actually, and they're not going to do anything to really reduce unemployment. They've accepted it, and you can see this in the paper that the government does with the IMF, so it's not just speculation about their intentions. This paper actually ... Again, a joint paper from the government of Spain and the IMF, says that Spain is going to reach its full potential output sometime within a year, and yet unemployment will still be 16%. They're defining 16% as as good as it gets. 16% is, for them, full employment, and that means just really a whole generation doesn't have much of a future.

quote:

MARK WEISBROT: There's no doubt that Catalonia contributes more to the tax base of the economy than it gets back, and that's a grievance of some people there, but I think the big thing is the economy itself. You have this failed experiment. Since the world financial crisis and recession, you've also had a huge increase in inequality. The ratio of income from the top 20% to the bottom 20% is, like, 7.5, which is the third worst in the whole European Union. So, you have the unemployment and the inequality, and this is something that, again, they're not offering any solution. This is something that Spain shares with the rest of ... Or Catalonia, you could say, shares with the rest of Spain, and Spain shares with most of the rest of Europe, including France, and Italy, and Portugal, and most of the Eurozone countries, because they don't have any real control over their most important economic policies. It so happens that Spain has a right-wing government, so they go along with this austerity and the policies of the European Union, but the ones who don't want to, like Greece, who tried not to, they were crushed by the European authorities. It really shows that there's a fundamental democratic, prices of democracy, I think Professor Faber has talked about on your show a couple of times, and it really, the economics is a huge part of that. I mean, before the creation of the Euro, you could say that Europe was generally more democratic, or had a more advanced democracy than the United States. Now it's quite the opposite, and that's one of the reasons why Europe has more than twice the unemployment rate of the United States, because they've taken away any ability, or most of the ability, of the members of the Eurozone especially, and to a lesser extent the European Union, to control the most important economic policies.

Rev Pesky

epaulo13 qouting Noam Chomsky:

"Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich." Noam Chomsky

That is quite true, and that is why there is a higher authority than governments, that is, a constitution, interpreted and enforced by the judiciary.

When governments, such as the government of Catalonia, ignore the constitution they are laying the groundwork for others to do the same.

voice of the damned

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

From Sean in Ottawa:

It must be remembered that the Spanish Constitution that recieved the approval you speak of gave more autonomy to Catalonia than they had in the previous regime... 

Yet the Spanish Supreme Court ruled the referendum to be illegal according to the constitution. I think if there was general disagreement with the constitution perhaps the best way to deal with it would be to first change the constitution, then do the other things you want to do.

After all, would you accept that a government of Canada could act outside of the constitution? 

 

I would expect the government of Canada to hold talks with a part of Canada that held a vote on independence and not refuse them -- even if that vote were illegal.

Talking is not against any consitution.

So, a few thousand inhabitants of the Mormon and bible-belts of far-southern Alberta hold an unofficial referendum about joining Montana, and vote by whatever majority to do so. The federal government is obligated to recognize this as legitimate, and fly representatives in to negotiate with their leaders?  

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Rev Pesky wrote:

epaulo13 qouting Noam Chomsky:

"Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich." Noam Chomsky

That is quite true, and that is why there is a higher authority than governments, that is, a constitution, interpreted and enforced by the judiciary.

When governments, such as the government of Catalonia, ignore the constitution they are laying the groundwork for others to do the same.

..the constitution is a construct of the government of the time and is a problem. that is what the judiciary ruled on. 

..from post #82

quote:

MARK WEISBROT: Yes, and I think Professor Faber mentioned this, but it's worth emphasizing that the popular party, and Mariano Rajoy, the Prime Minister, they have deep roots in the fascist dictatorship, and when you have a dictatorship like that for 36 years, it really does something to the country that doesn't go away right away, and they didn't intend for it to go away.

The constitution was written in 1978, the constitution that Rajoy is claiming to uphold, and that wasn't a constitution. That was much more a product of dictatorship than it was of the democratic aspirations of people at that time. Rajoy is really showing the people of Catalonia why they might want to get out of Spain. He's really making it much, much worse. There has to be a negotiated solution, and the government is doing everything to try and make that impossible.

 

Rev Pesky

From an interview posted by epaulo13:

MARK WEISBROT: Yes, and I think Professor Faber mentioned this, but it's worth emphasizing that the popular party, and Mariano Rajoy, the Prime Minister, they have deep roots in the fascist dictatorship...

​This is nothing but rank slander. Mariano Rajoy was born in 1955, and is hardly old enough to have deep roots in anything from 1978 or earlier, but in addition to that, he is a grandson of one of the architects of the Statute of Autonomy of Galicia, Enrique Rajoy Leloup, who was removed from his teaching job by the Franco dictatorship in the 1950's.

Rajoy, and the party he is leader of, are right-wing, but it's a long way from right-wing to fascist, not the least of which is the difference in viewpoint about electoral politics, and constitutions.

NDPP

Catalonia's 'Silent Majority' Descend on Barcelona

https://t.co/b3mUNhkXNp

"Opinion polls show independence supporters are a minority in Catalonia..."

That lib-left establishment honeypot The Guardian hard at work.

Sean in Ottawa

voice of the damned wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

Rev Pesky wrote:

From Sean in Ottawa:

It must be remembered that the Spanish Constitution that recieved the approval you speak of gave more autonomy to Catalonia than they had in the previous regime... 

Yet the Spanish Supreme Court ruled the referendum to be illegal according to the constitution. I think if there was general disagreement with the constitution perhaps the best way to deal with it would be to first change the constitution, then do the other things you want to do.

After all, would you accept that a government of Canada could act outside of the constitution? 

 

I would expect the government of Canada to hold talks with a part of Canada that held a vote on independence and not refuse them -- even if that vote were illegal.

Talking is not against any consitution.

So, a few thousand inhabitants of the Mormon and bible-belts of far-southern Alberta hold an unofficial referendum about joining Montana, and vote by whatever majority to do so. The federal government is obligated to recognize this as legitimate, and fly representatives in to negotiate with their leaders?  

So we are comparing Catalonia to a few thousand bible thumpers? Sometimes you are  funny.

2 million people voted yes 177,ooo voted no.

If 2 million Canadians voted to leave, I would expect the federal government to want to talk to them about why they did so. The conversation can include a discussion about voting rates, questions, legality and legitimacy. But when that many people want to leave the country, the correct answer is not to crack down and avoid the discussion.

In terms of the percentage of the size of the area where the vote was held with a 97% yes result, it is closer to the population of the entire province of Alberta in Canadian terms than some far off corner of Southern Alberta.

43% of that part of Spain voted 97% in favour of independence. Any analysis would suggest that they may represent a majority given that you cannot presume everyone who did not vote would have voted the same way. Catalonia is bigger than 10% of Spain in population and more than that in economic power. This is not some new bible thumping division, but a very old nation.

Spain is being stupid if it thinks that this will go away by a refusal to discuss.

Spain's position is that its ancient nations do not have the right to self determination and cannot be divided no matter what the local populations want. This is an untenable position in the long term. It comes from a mentality that predates democratic process and is founded on intimidation rather than will.

Living in a country is like living in a marriage -- both must agree. One cannot out-number the other and say they had a vote (This adresses comments here that the entire population of Spain decides the future of a part of it. In Canadian terms it is like asking the Province of Ontario to decide if another part of Canada could be allowed to leave.

And good logic includes a number of variables-- scale is one of them.

Rev Pesky

Great article on recent Spanish elections, and the results thereof in Wikipedia:

Spanish General Elections

On 22 January, Mariano Rajoy turned down King Felipe VI's invitation to form a government after Podemos offered a coalition proposal to the PSOE, also including IU, with Sánchez as Prime Minister and Pablo Iglesias as his deputy. This offer shocked the PSOE—which suddenly found itself at the mercy of Iglesias' party—with prominent PSOE figures describing the proposal as an "insult" and "blackmail".

The next day, Sánchez also declined to run for the investiture until Rajoy had clarified whether he would make his own attempt at government formation or step back definitely. Corruption scandals concerning the PP caused other parties to reject them and withdraw from negotiations with Rajoy. This situation lasted for a week until, on 2 February, the King invited Pedro Sánchez to form a government.

After several weeks of negotiations between parties, the PSOE announced a surprise government deal with C's on 24 February. However, the form and content of the agreement met with criticism from parties both on the left and right of the spectrum, including PP and Podemos. The PP stated its opposition to the PSOE–C's pact, refusing to cede to C's demands to abstain in the investiture on an agreement they described as "a farce". On the other hand, Podemos and other left-wing parties felt betrayed and broke off negotiations with PSOE, viewing the deal as an unholy alliance between the two formerly opposed parties.

Other minor parties, such as the ERC, DL, PNV and EH Bildu, also announced their opposition. As a result, Pedro Sánchez's investiture was rejected on 4 March by an overwhelming majority of 219 to 131 in the Congress of Deputies, Sánchez thus becoming the first candidate ever to fail an investiture vote.

Negotiations continued throughout March and April, but antipathy between Podemos and C's made any three-party pact between PSOE, Podemos and C's impossible. The PP pressured the PSOE to join a grand coalition, a scenario which the latter rejected.

A final round of talks on 25–26 April proved inconclusive, with King Felipe VI failing to nominate a candidate for Prime Minister. On 3 May 2016, the King exercised the constitutional mandate and triggered an election—with the endorsement of President of the Congress Patxi López—by issuing a royal decree dissolving the Parliament. This marked the first time since the transition to democracy that an election was called under Article 99.5 of the Constitution, wherein initiative for the Cortes' dissolution belonged to the King and not to the Prime Minister.

The two Catalonian nationalist parties snagged 4.7% of the vote between them, in this 'make every vote count' election, leaving them out of the running as far as forming a government. Subsequent actions indicate some Catalonians don't feel the election gave them the representation they wanted. Strange, here I thought PR voting systems obviated all that regional angst.

From Josh:

And good logic includes a number of variables-- scale is one of them.

Okay, but who decides what the scale is? What percentage of registered voters is required to make a 'logical' argument?

The number of Catalonian voters who voted for independence were roughly 40% of registered voters in Catalonia, but only 6% of registered voters in Spain. I've asked this before, and so far not received an answer, but what of the 50%+ of Catalonians who don't want to separate? Would you allow different administrative divisions within Catalonia to opt in or out of independence? Who decides what would  be reasonable?

lagatta4

May I ask what is your beef against Catalonia?

What is the relevance of the number of registered voters within the Spanish State? That is as if you think people from Ontario or Alberta have the say in a referendum here in Québec? In other words, a "prison-house of nations".  In terms of Catalan sovereignty, that has to be worked out there. It is none of my business or yours how they decide.

WWWTT

epaulo13 wrote:

..constitutions are not written by and for the people. they are written by governments and then..maybe..in some rare cases are they ratified in an open, full disclosure process by the population. even then constitutions are administered/interpreted via the current administration. it wasn't the population that ratified the canadian constitution nor the patriation. 

"Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich." Noam Chomsky

ahh good point here! But the devils in the details isn’t it!  If you look at the Portuguese and Chinese charters, clearly they were written by the government with the input from the people’s. You simply can’t look at just a few. 

WWWTT

Seen a clip about the pro Spanish unity rallying on CCTV4. Looks like there’s a good chance this is going to get ugly with police/ military taking sides. Arrests and detentions are very possible!!!

Guaranteed the Spanish economy is going to take a good solid hit from this instability. My fellow Iberians better figure this one out peacefully or it’s gonna fucking hurt hard soon!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

President Puigdemont, other Catalan ministers are in Belgium

quote:

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Puigdemont will appear in Brussels to explain the reasons for the trip. Some media outlets suggest that the president might request political asylum.

Puigdemont's journey, first reported by El Periódico, coincides with the Public Prosecutors' Office announcing two lawsuits, one against the president and government, the other against the Board of the Catalan Parliament. They are charged with crimes of rebellion, sedition and misappropriation of public funds. According to El Periódico, the president and ministers first went to Marseilles by car, before catching a flight to the Belgian capital.

The journey also comes shortly after a diplomatic dispute between Belgium and the Spanish state over statements by the Belgian Immigration minister, Theo Francken, who suggested on Sunday that his country might grant political asylum to president Puigdemont, if this was so requested given the possibility he might not receive "a fair trial" if arrested after the proclamation of the Catalan Republic.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

A New Stage Opens in the Spanish State's War on Catalan Self-Rule

quote:

The Establishments Mobilize

However, that conclusion underestimated the huge pressure that the Catalan, Spanish and European political and economic establishments would bring to bear on the Catalan government. The 72 hours between October 23 and October 26 saw a near-panic mobilization of these powers-that-be.

Nonetheless, their offensive failed for two reasons: the resistance of the Catalan independence movement and the refusal of the PP to drop what it sees as a precious chance to liquidate Catalan self-rule as part of its long-held recentralization agenda for the Spanish state.

The mounting pressure on the Catalan administration, which included an ongoing campaign to scare companies to register themselves outside Catalonia and stern statements from European Union spokespeople, severely shook up the Puigdemont ministry and the ruling JxSi parliamentary fraction.

At the same time, it had no impact on the CUP that had been insisting that the overwhelming Yes vote be ratified by the proclamation of the Catalan Republic.

quote:

October 26, 10am. Puigdemont informs his ministers, JxSi MPs and representatives of the two main parties in JxSi – the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDECat) and the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) – that he has decided to call early elections and dissolve parliament. All he is waiting for is confirmation that the Rajoy government will call off its 155 intervention and thus avoid “extreme violence.”

Revolt

Puigdemont's announcement left the independence camp aghast. First to comment was CUP MP Carles Riera: “Up until now the Catalan independence movement has had one enemy, the Spanish state. Now it has a second, the Catalan government.”

Next to react were three PDECat MPs, who along with JxSi independent MP Germa Bel, tore up their party cards.

The ERC, while “respecting” Puigdemont's decision, said it disagreed with it and, after an emergency meeting of its national council, advised that if Puigdemont went ahead with his plan it would leave the government. Both the ERC and the smaller force, Democrats, called on Puigdemont to reverse his decision.

The ANC and Omnium Cultural reaffirmed their commitment to respecting the October 1 result. Sumate, the organization of Spanish-speaking supporters of independence, tweeted: "We don't accept Catalan elections, you have a mandate from the Catalan people and you must fulfil it.“

At the same time, the square outside the government building began to fill with angry protesters. They were led by the university students who had gone on strike that day in support of the Catalan Republic.

The students were halfway through their march when the news started to spread that Puigdemont wanted to call early elections. The chants of the demonstrations changed effortlessly to "Not a step backwards!", “Those who are in prison don't want elections!" [a reference to imprisoned ANC and Omnium Cultural leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart], "Betrayal" and "No independence without disobedience".

Silence

In the hours after Puigdemont's announcement, the noise of revolt continued to grow, but it was accompanied by total silence from a Rajoy government that was supposed to commit to suspending 155.

When PP spokespeople were finally heard from, it was to say that “we have to re-establish statutory and constitutional legality with decisions of the Senate” (Javier Arenas, in charge of regional government policy) and “stopping the application of article 155 doesn't depend on the calling of early elections in Catalonia but on a clear renunciation from the Catalan government of independence aspirations.”(Galician premier Alberto Nunez Feijoo).

By 4pm, six hours after Puigdemont had dropped his bombshell, the media were still waiting for him to make a public statement that had originally been scheduled for midday.

Finally, it was clear the PP was not interested in giving any undertaking to Puigdemont and that, in fact, they were gunning for him.

At 5pm, Puigdemont announced that because he had not received any guarantees, the offer of going to early elections was off the table and the decision on whether to respond to the threat of article 155 intervention with an independence declaration was to be taken by parliament.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Building a Catalan Republic

As the crisis has escalated, Catalan anticapitalist party Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP) has found itself playing an increasingly important role. Lluc Salellas, a member of the party’s national executive, discusses the latest developments.

quote:

You have written a book called El Franquisme que no marxa [The Francoism that Does Not Leave], where you analyze what is left of Francoism in the Spanish state. To what extent do you think that the attitude that the Spanish state has toward this conflict is a necessary consequence on how it was constructed since the end of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship?

LS

It is necessary to analyze how Francoism ended, to look at the basis of the 1978 regime, to understand where we are today. It was said: “Okay, there will be a formal liberal democracy, but there will be some totems that cannot be touched,” which are the unity of Spain and the impossibility of questioning the forty-year-long Francoist dictatorship. The proof of this are the ditches [thousands of victims of the Spanish civil war and the dictatorship remain unidentified and buried in ditches all around the country] and the policy around historical memory. The same happens regarding the unity of Spain. This leads us to a complacent political culture. Insofar as this is the basis of the state, these topics cannot be dealt with in ordinary political debate. It must be recognized that Podemos and Izquierda Unida challenge this when they defend the right of self-determination for the peoples of the Spanish state. However, the unity of Spain remains their project.

Reflecting on the dictatorship, we live in a place where the police, judiciary, and Popular Party (PP) elites have never had to apologize. There has never been a statement apologizing for the role they played during Francoism. They are now sixty, seventy, or eighty years old — what have they taught their daughters and sons? They have taught them that you can do all that and there will be impunity. Therefore, what is happening now is normal in the context of our history.

Rev Pesky

From lagatta4:

May I ask what is your beef against Catalonia?

What is the relevance of the number of registered voters within the Spanish State?

I have no beef with Catalonia. I do have a beef with self-proclaimed leftists who think Balkanizing states will lead to some progressive state that will overthrow capitalism. It is also true, in this specific case, that it's not clear that a majority of Catalonians want independence from Spain. At the very best, perhaps half of the population are behind the separation, the other half are not. Hardly a recipe for a smooth transition to statehood.

​The relevance of the voter registrations was specific to a post in which was made a reference to ignoring one set of voters because of the small numbers, while accepting the other set of voters because of large numbers. My point was strictly about who decides what size of voting block is required to move from 'ignore' to 'accept'.

Rev Pesky

From an article posted by epaulo13:

Reflecting on the dictatorship, we live in a place where the police, judiciary, and Popular Party (PP) elites have never had to apologize. There has never been a statement apologizing for the role they played during Francoism. They are now sixty, seventy, or eighty years old — what have they taught their daughters and sons? They have taught them that you can do all that and there will be impunity. Therefore, what is happening now is normal in the context of our history.

I'll just point out that the history of the PP is well-known to Spaniards, also the current history which includes many different scandals in the run-up to the 2016 election.

In spite of all that, the PP still received 33% of the popular vote in the election, the largest block of any party.

​One can say whatever one wishes about the voters, but you can't deny that in spite of the PP's history and corruption, the largest single block of voters still felt they were the best party to run the country.

​That should tell us all we need to now as to how the other parties are seen by the electorate.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Live Blog:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 30

0800 HOURS

  • [October 29]. Catalunya en Comú to stand in December 21 Catalan poll. Statement below.

At its meeting this Sunday the Executive Committee chose to participate in the elections to Parliament to defend its project for sovereignty and change

The National Coordinating Committee of Catalunya en Comú will be asked to confirm next Sunday, November 5, the decision to participate in the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia convened for December 21. This was agreed by the Executive Committee today, which met to assess the current political context and the calling of the election, and has chosen to participate in the December 21 poll.

The leadership of Catalunya en Comú considered it essential to defend its project for sovereignty and change at the ballot box and not leave this space empty in the electoral fight in Catalonia. The decision was relayed this evening to the members of the National Coordinating Committee of Catalunya en Comú  so they can vote on it at the next meeting of that body.

The Executive Committee of Catalunya en Comú will meet next Friday, November 3 to prepare a proposal for the ticket and code of ethics, which will also have to be endorsed by the Coordinating Committee on Sunday. Subsequently, all persons affiliated to Catalunya en Comú will be able to ratify the candidacy and the code of ethics at a mass meeting.

  • [October 26]. Quebec Committee of Solidarity with Catalonia launched. Statement:

The behavior of the Spanish Government towards the people of Catalonia, which has exercised its right to self-determination by voting for their independence, is an outrage to all those who care about democracy. Brutality and repression, which have been the Spanish response to this legitimate democratic exercise, are unacceptable. The peaceful and courageous actions of millions of Catalans and Catalans are an inspiration for all. But this movement still needs concrete actions of support.

Civil society and human rights organisations in Catalonia have called for international solidarity. That is why we are launching the Quebec Committee of Solidarity with Catalonia.

In addition to the imprisonment last week of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, presidents of the Catalna National Assembly and Omnium Cultural, this Friday the Spanish Senate will apply Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to suspend the autonomy of Catalonia. With this gesture, the Madrid government aims to dismiss the president and all his government, control the public media and the Catalan police and dissolve the Parliament of Catalonia so as to trigger elections where the separatist parties could even be deprived of the right to stand.

The times are serious, but the determination and capacity of mobilisation of the Catalan people are unshakeable. Let's show our solidarity with Catalonia from Quebec. We will see you this Thursday evening, in the middle of a crucial week for democracy where, as the poet Miquel Martí i Pol said: "Everything remains to be done and everything is possible".

lagatta4

Pesky, Bush, Harper and Trump have been elected. That proves nothing.

What the f is a "self-proclaimed leftist"? There is no academy that awards certificates of leftyness. We are pretty much all "self-proclaimed".

Rev Pesky

From lagatta4:

Pesky, Bush, Harper and Trump have been elected. That proves nothing.

What the f is a "self-proclaimed leftist"? There is no academy that awards certificates of leftyness. We are pretty much all "self-proclaimed".

Of course it proves something. It proves that, with the full history of the PP known to the public, 33% of the electorate still felt the PP was the best party to govern the state. Bear in mind this observation was made in response to  someone who was speaking as if that history was unknown, and the electorate were fooled into voting for them.

​As far as 'self-proclaimed' anything, I suppose it's true that anyone could call themselves leftist or progressive. At the same time, I have a right to ask what leftist principles they're defending or proposing in their arguments.

​Perhaps someone could tell me what bedrock left principles are at stake here?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

‘Issue of popular sovereignty is front and centre’: Podemos anticapitalists

Following the Catalan Parliament’s declaration of independence on October 27, Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias tweeted: “We are against repression and for a negotiated referendum [which the Madrid government refused to Catalonia] but the declaration of independence is illegitimate and favours the strategy of the PP [People’s Party, headed by Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy].”

However, the Anticapitalists current in Podemos (spokepersons MEP Miguel Urban and Podemos Andalusia general secretary Teresa Rodriguez) issued the following statement recognizing the result of the October 1 referendum. Text translated by Dick Nichols on his excellent and informative live blog from Barcelona.

Anticapitalistas communiqué on the situation in Catalonia

1. On 27 October, in fulfilment of the mandate of the referendum of 1 October in which despite police repression more than two million people participated, the Catalan Parliament proclaimed the Catalan Republic. In a Spain with a monarchy that is a direct successor of the dictator Franco, a Republic that opens up  a constituent process is without doubt a proposal that breaks with the 1978 regime, with its political consensus and with a constitutional order that serves the elites. This proclamation occurs in a context of constant threats to apply article 155 and impose an authoritarian outcome on a conflict that demands an eminently political and democratic solution. In fact, in recent days the application of 155 had come to be threatened  no matter what happened. We call for the application of article 155 to be rejected and for democratic, peaceful and disobedient defence of the will of the Catalan people and of their right to decide.

2. In these times of exacerbation of patriotic passions it is important to
correctly define those responsible for events. The People's Party, spurred on by Citizens and with the support of the PSOE and under pressure from the state apparatus, had decided to apply article 155 of the Constitution. The goal of this measure was to prevent a dialogue between Catalunya and the rest of the State, criminalising the Catalan people, refusing to entertain the solution of a negotiated referendum and justifying the use of force to solve a political problem. An irresponsible operation, which seeks to reorganise the unity of the State along authoritarian lines.

3.  We are aware that many unknowns and uncertainties now opening up. To dope the people with easy slogans is typical of a conception of politics that shies away from democratic debate and considers itself lead actor in a story that is actually the work of ordinary people. The new Catalan Republic faces internal challenges that cannot be ignored in a country where a significant section of the population does not feel represented by the pro-independence movement. The first challenge for the process is to work to overcome this division, integrating the popular sectors not supportive of independence into a project for the country, avoiding the social confrontation that only benefits the forces of reaction while at the same time organising a movement capable of resisting the repression of the State. The constituent process must be a instrument operating in that direction, integrating the demands of the popular classes that go beyond the national question, putting social issues in the centre and radically democratising Catalonia......read more

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