Rajoy - what a pillock!

I really should not watch the news over breakfast but I do. On Euronews this morning we see Rajoy trying to justify sending riot police to Catalan with orders to use force to stop people from putting a cross on a bit of paper. now I do agree that laws should be enforced but the enforcement should be measured. What this idiot has done is send in snipers to take out a parking offender!
Quite which laws have allegedly be broken is not clear to me. Obviously the people have a right to vote so it can’t be that. Perhaps it is down to the right of the regional government to hold a referendum? But then cannot that regional government poll its people for their opinion?
All that Rajoy has done is reinforce the determination of the region to gain independence from the rest of Spain when all he had to do was let the vote go ahead then ignore the result. Another complete bozo politician straight out of the Trump school of government.

2 Likes

This is all such a bally mess, isn’t it? The referendum was illegal as the courts declared it so, on what grounds, I am unsure but as Spain is a soveriegn nation that determines its own laws, I’ll let the legal bods argue that one.

What the Catalans should have done is complained to the EU that they were being denied their right to self determination (as detailed in the EU articles), Madrid should have done the decent thing and let them hold their vote.

What happened after the vote would then be up to Spain, but again, if there was a Yes vote and it was ignored by Madrid, it’s back to appealing to the EU.

Using police to attack civilians is reprehensible and has been rightly widely condemenned. That’s really not going to win hearts and minds and has likely caused irrepreable damage between Madrid and Barcelona.

And just to add to things, you’ve now got the rabid Anti EU brigade saying how it is all the EU’s fault for not defending the Catalans. How were they supposed to do that? This isn’t Schrodingers EU and they can’t be simultaneously a bunch of power hungry, interfering technocrats that refuse to get involved directly in the democratic processes of member states.

1 Like

The Catalans have been trying to be independent since 1830.
They have not resorted to violence like the Basques, but have now been met with extreme violence themselves.
The Spanish government is defending its actions as upholding the law, which puts it in the same bracket as Franco.
Madrid wants to keep the revenues it obtains from Catalonia and it does not seem to mind how it does it.
May I suggest that people do not go on holiday to Spain until this violence situation has been solved.
People are complaining that they are stuck in Turkey because of the collapse of Monarch, but I think that they should not have been in Turkey at all.

1 Like

What might not be easy to understand is that Europe is made of small regions, each with their own identities - sometimes very old and string - and gathered with nations. There had been many, many wars in a not so distant past due to independence willingness, but also from external pressures aiming at weakening nations.

What would happen if suddenly an illegal referendum was organized in Scotland or Wales, with a majority winning independence ? Certainly total chaos. As an example, see the consequences of a probable Brexit - which was legally organized, and which many of British voters do not agree with.

Also: What would happen if Catalogne becomes independent and decides that the French Catalan area should be independent too… and then Wallonie would split from Belgium, then Bretagne and Corsica from France etc … and so on and so on. Just a detail: Apparently, in some cities, the number of voters was four times the number of inhabitants: http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2017/10/04/referendum-en-catalogne-dans-70-communes-il-y-a-eu-plus-de-bulletins-oui-que-delecteurs-inscrits_a_23232837/

All regions in Europe have been trying to be independent since the Roman Empire :slight_smile:

The issue for me is not so much the legality of the referendum as the reaction to it by the central government. The holding of a referendum might well be outside the remit of the Catalan government & the result may have no legal standing but I don’t think that expressing one’s opinion (& that is what a vote essentially is) breaks any law. A referendum does not have to be acted upon - the Brexit one is a case in point, there was no legal need for the government to impliment it except that not to do so would have made the government very unpopular. The Spanish government could refuse to recognise the result. To send in Riot police to physically stop normal people from peacefully expressing their opinion is madness! You might as well imprison car park overstayers for ten years. The action has only made those who might not have held any strong feelings suddenly fear the central government. After all, it was just a vote, not an angry protest!

2 Likes

Exacly. Very well put Mark.

Hi Mark

Thanks for your answer. I absolutely agree but it seems the context must be taken into account. As an example, I was in UK during the Scottish referendum and Brexit vote and could admire how calmly and legally things happened, everyone was listened to etc… This was a great lesson of Democracy.

Of course, I have no right nor capability to say who is “right” or “wrong” here, but I tend to believe that the Spanish context is explosive, in a way. After the Civil War, Spain had https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23-F in 1981 etc… Europe is not an island and such vote might trigger a domino effect, and Brussels would certainly not accept that :slight_smile:

Now, beyond the fact, indeed, that this violence are absolutely regrettable, and probably, as you suggested, a political mistake, the question is, to which I have no answer: Was it a poll with the intent to expose people’s opinion, or a provocative illegal referendum, with the intention to split from Spain as soon as the results are ‘official’ ? Monday will give the answer.

Kind regards and have a nice week-end.