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Thread: The Catalan Independence Process

  1. #1
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    Default The Catalan Independence Process

    As most people interested in politics are aware there are several 'regions' around europe who have historically been seeking independence. Currently, there is a huge push for this in both Scotland and Catalonia, as well as the well known cases of the Basque Country and Flanders.

    In the case of Catalonia, there are parliamentary elections (Catalan Parliament or Generalitat) this coming sunday (25th November). So I think its necessary to cover this historical process.

    First of all, the elections this sunday are snap-elections, called only 2 years after the last ones. The reasons for this are multiple but the main one being the historic march of over 1.5 million people on the streets of Barcelona the past 11th of September. In a country of on 7.5 million people that march for independence was an earthquake. Since then, the catalan government has called for and attempted to get more fiscal autonomy from Madrid, but, to no avail. Thus, CiU, (the minority-governing nationalist and right-wing party) have called these elections while at the same time openly and clearly calling for a mandate to call a referendum on independence.

    There is one banana skin in the way though; referendums on self-determination are illegal in Spain, as well as article 4 of the constitution invoking the military as the protectors of the unity of the state.

    So then, there appear to be two trains on a collision course and as with 1936, european reaction will key.

    Back to the elections. The main parties who will most probably get representation are CiU (pro-independence), PSC (socialists- dont know what they want) PP (right wing unionists) ERC (left wing socialists, pro-indpenedence), ICV-EU (left-green coalition, pro referendum, SI (just for independence), Ciutadans (right-wing unionists) and the CUP (direct-democracy left wing, pro-independence).

    Current standings are CiU 62, PSC 28, PP 18, ERC 10, IVC-EA 10, SI 4, Ciutadans 3.

    At first people thought that CiU would win an overall majority (68) but after a particularly dirty campaign and the general strike on the 14th past (terrible police brutality included) they have gone down in polls to around where they are already at (62).

    ERC and ICV-EA are on the up and it looks like ERC could become the second party with 20-23 seats. After that there is the free-fall PSC who are looking at less than 20 seats (down from 28 two years ago and 38 six years ago). Then the vitriolic PP staying the same or increasing (18). ICV-EA will increase to between 13 and 16 seats according to the polls.

    The polls also say that SI could either lose all their seats or stay the same (4), Ciutadans look like increasing to up to 7 seats and the CUP (who have decided to stand in parliamentary elections for the first time after concentrating on local election up to now) will enter the parliament, be it with 2 or up to 7 seats according to the polls.

    Anyone with a knack for maths will realise that this give the pro-independence parties a solid majority of over two thirds, something which is broadly in line with direct polls on independence which all put the yes' on 50-odd% with the no's varying between 26 and 34%.

    More updates to follow, and for anyone interested in following the campaign in english then the guardian has a section devoted to the elections with videos and interviews.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0Xv0J8yD3Y"]Alexis Tsipras, of SYRIZA[/ame] fame, weighed in on the campaign yesterday, when he attended and spoke excellently at a meeting of ICV-EA.

    The video is in catalan and spanish and greek, no english or irish as of yet

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Mary Lou also expressed her support, on behalf of Sinn Féin, in the campaign for ERC (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya) with this [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkzguJaqWUQ"]short video[/ame].

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    As most people interested in politics are aware there are several 'regions' around europe who have historically been seeking independence. Currently, there is a huge push for this in both Scotland and Catalonia, as well as the well known cases of the Basque Country and Flanders.

    In the case of Catalonia, there are parliamentary elections (Catalan Parliament or Generalitat) this coming sunday (25th November). So I think its necessary to cover this historical process.

    First of all, the elections this sunday are snap-elections, called only 2 years after the last ones. The reasons for this are multiple but the main one being the historic march of over 1.5 million people on the streets of Barcelona the past 11th of September. In a country of on 7.5 million people that march for independence was an earthquake. Since then, the catalan government has called for and attempted to get more fiscal autonomy from Madrid, but, to no avail. Thus, CiU, (the minority-governing nationalist and right-wing party) have called these elections while at the same time openly and clearly calling for a mandate to call a referendum on independence.

    There is one banana skin in the way though; referendums on self-determination are illegal in Spain, as well as article 4 of the constitution invoking the military as the protectors of the unity of the state.

    So then, there appear to be two trains on a collision course and as with 1936, european reaction will key.

    Back to the elections. The main parties who will most probably get representation are CiU (pro-independence), PSC (socialists- dont know what they want) PP (right wing unionists) ERC (left wing socialists, pro-indpenedence), ICV-EU (left-green coalition, pro referendum, SI (just for independence), Ciutadans (right-wing unionists) and the CUP (direct-democracy left wing, pro-independence).

    Current standings are CiU 62, PSC 28, PP 18, ERC 10, IVC-EA 10, SI 4, Ciutadans 3.

    At first people thought that CiU would win an overall majority (68) but after a particularly dirty campaign and the general strike on the 14th past (terrible police brutality included) they have gone down in polls to around where they are already at (62).

    ERC and ICV-EA are on the up and it looks like ERC could become the second party with 20-23 seats. After that there is the free-fall PSC who are looking at less than 20 seats (down from 28 two years ago and 38 six years ago). Then the vitriolic PP staying the same or increasing (18). ICV-EA will increase to between 13 and 16 seats according to the polls.

    The polls also say that SI could either lose all their seats or stay the same (4), Ciutadans look like increasing to up to 7 seats and the CUP (who have decided to stand in parliamentary elections for the first time after concentrating on local election up to now) will enter the parliament, be it with 2 or up to 7 seats according to the polls.

    Anyone with a knack for maths will realise that this give the pro-independence parties a solid majority of over two thirds, something which is broadly in line with direct polls on independence which all put the yes' on 50-odd% with the no's varying between 26 and 34%.

    More updates to follow, and for anyone interested in following the campaign in english then the guardian has a section devoted to the elections with videos and interviews.

    Thanks for posting, Ogiol.
    That's the best short guide to the Catalan elections that I've seen.

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    \
    PSC (socialists- dont know what they want)
    Firstly, thank you for the excellent summary.

    With regard to the PSC this appears to be their position:

    After having gradually marginalised its more pro-Catalan-identity members in the last year, the PSC is defending Spanish unity but also supporting a great Constitutional change that would transform Spain into a federal and pluri-national State, recognising Catalonia’s nationhood. However, Navarro is aware that about three quarters of Catalans support the organisation of a self-determination referendum (while around 57% would nowadays support independence). For the PSC the solution lies in this Constitutional change, which should also include the possibility of holding a self-determination referendum. Therefore, the PSC defends what they call “a legal independence referendum”, after the required reform of the Spanish Constitution. The problem is that the PP does not want this constitutional change, neither a large part of PSOE members throughout Spain.

    http://www.catalannewsagency.com/new...en-smaller-par


    It is quite cunning. They are supportive of the status quo but at the same time, realising that people want independence, floating the idea of a "legal referendum' after constitutional change ... change that wil never be sought nor supported by Madrid.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    As most people interested in politics are aware there are several 'regions' around europe who have historically been seeking independence. Currently, there is a huge push for this in both Scotland and Catalonia, as well as the well known cases of the Basque Country and Flanders.

    In the case of Catalonia, there are parliamentary elections (Catalan Parliament or Generalitat) this coming sunday (25th November). So I think its necessary to cover this historical process.

    First of all, the elections this sunday are snap-elections, called only 2 years after the last ones. The reasons for this are multiple but the main one being the historic march of over 1.5 million people on the streets of Barcelona the past 11th of September. In a country of on 7.5 million people that march for independence was an earthquake. Since then, the catalan government has called for and attempted to get more fiscal autonomy from Madrid, but, to no avail. Thus, CiU, (the minority-governing nationalist and right-wing party) have called these elections while at the same time openly and clearly calling for a mandate to call a referendum on independence.

    There is one banana skin in the way though; referendums on self-determination are illegal in Spain, as well as article 4 of the constitution invoking the military as the protectors of the unity of the state.

    So then, there appear to be two trains on a collision course and as with 1936, european reaction will key.

    Back to the elections. The main parties who will most probably get representation are CiU (pro-independence), PSC (socialists- dont know what they want) PP (right wing unionists) ERC (left wing socialists, pro-indpenedence), ICV-EU (left-green coalition, pro referendum, SI (just for independence), Ciutadans (right-wing unionists) and the CUP (direct-democracy left wing, pro-independence).

    Current standings are CiU 62, PSC 28, PP 18, ERC 10, IVC-EA 10, SI 4, Ciutadans 3.

    At first people thought that CiU would win an overall majority (68) but after a particularly dirty campaign and the general strike on the 14th past (terrible police brutality included) they have gone down in polls to around where they are already at (62).

    ERC and ICV-EA are on the up and it looks like ERC could become the second party with 20-23 seats. After that there is the free-fall PSC who are looking at less than 20 seats (down from 28 two years ago and 38 six years ago). Then the vitriolic PP staying the same or increasing (18). ICV-EA will increase to between 13 and 16 seats according to the polls.

    The polls also say that SI could either lose all their seats or stay the same (4), Ciutadans look like increasing to up to 7 seats and the CUP (who have decided to stand in parliamentary elections for the first time after concentrating on local election up to now) will enter the parliament, be it with 2 or up to 7 seats according to the polls.

    Anyone with a knack for maths will realise that this give the pro-independence parties a solid majority of over two thirds, something which is broadly in line with direct polls on independence which all put the yes' on 50-odd% with the no's varying between 26 and 34%.

    More updates to follow, and for anyone interested in following the campaign in english then the guardian has a section devoted to the elections with videos and interviews.


    There is ample evidence that there is a lot of support for independence but do you think in anyway that its being done more for financial benefits rather than for independent reasons and identity as money talks? While the country wants independence there is a lot of evidence that points to money does the talking as far as the economy is concerned. They are pissed off in Catalonia (and rightly so) that their taxes are supporting the rest of Spain . Roads for example are being built in the rest of Spain but Catalonia sees none of this (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...n-independence). The principle railway line that runs through Spain to France comes right through Catalonia so they know that finanially Spain is over a barrel and Catalonia is the economic powerhouse or one of the economic powerhouses in Spain.
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    There's a bit of dirty tricks type stuff going on as well. The rightwing newspaper El Mundo last Friday claimed to have access to a police report into offshore bank accounts related to kickbacks to Catalan President Artur Mas.
    Problem with the report is that it is unsigned, unwitnessed and unstamped and the police force involved deny that it came from them.
    Not that it is beyond the bounds of possibility that there are off shore accounts but carefully timed faked leaks to the media don't help Madrid's case.

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyJoe View Post
    There's a bit of dirty tricks type stuff going on as well. The rightwing newspaper El Mundo last Friday claimed to have access to a police report into offshore bank accounts related to kickbacks to Catalan President Artur Mas.
    Problem with the report is that it is unsigned, unwitnessed and unstamped and the police force involved deny that it came from them.
    Not that it is beyond the bounds of possibility that there are off shore accounts but carefully timed faked leaks to the media don't help Madrid's case.
    Backfires on them if anything, smells of a huge dirty tricks campaign..
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    Firstly, thank you for the excellent summary.

    With regard to the PSC this appears to be their position:




    http://www.catalannewsagency.com/new...en-smaller-par


    It is quite cunning. They are supportive of the status quo but at the same time, realising that people want independence, floating the idea of a "legal referendum' after constitutional change ... change that wil never be sought nor supported by Madrid.
    Unfortunately for them, this hastily arranged conversion to federalism and their yes-but no-but yes-but no attitude has been seen through by the electorate and are looking at a historical hiding in the elections tomorrow. It doesnt help that internally the party is a shambles with their new leader not being able to unify it.

    As a consequence there have been high profile defections (Ernest Maragall, ex-mayor of Barcelona) and disparite opinions on policy and the national question.

    I dont think they will break 20 seats tomorrow.

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by fluffybiscuits View Post
    There is ample evidence that there is a lot of support for independence but do you think in anyway that its being done more for financial benefits rather than for independent reasons and identity as money talks? While the country wants independence there is a lot of evidence that points to money does the talking as far as the economy is concerned. They are pissed off in Catalonia (and rightly so) that their taxes are supporting the rest of Spain . Roads for example are being built in the rest of Spain but Catalonia sees none of this (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...n-independence). The principle railway line that runs through Spain to France comes right through Catalonia so they know that finanially Spain is over a barrel and Catalonia is the economic powerhouse or one of the economic powerhouses in Spain.
    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyJoe View Post
    There's a bit of dirty tricks type stuff going on as well. The rightwing newspaper El Mundo last Friday claimed to have access to a police report into offshore bank accounts related to kickbacks to Catalan President Artur Mas.
    Problem with the report is that it is unsigned, unwitnessed and unstamped and the police force involved deny that it came from them.
    Not that it is beyond the bounds of possibility that there are off shore accounts but carefully timed faked leaks to the media don't help Madrid's case.
    Firstly fluff. Any honest comentator will admit that the surge in support for independence in Catalonia can be traced very simply back to the spanish high court resolution of 2010, when they brough down the new catalan statute of autonomy, as well as continued attacks on the catalan languages status.

    Before then there were only about 25% of the electorate firmly in favour, but since then it has risen dramatically to over 50%. Another piece of background is the fact that that new statute of autonomy had been passed by the Spanish parliament as well as by referendum in Catalonia. Unsurprisingly, that court has a PP majority.

    (the judicial system in post dictatorship Spain is high politicised and judges are appointed by the two main parites).

    Also, money of course has a lot to do with it but that issue in itself is a result of a more deeper, psycological divorce between the catalans and the spanish (castillians).

    PaddyJoe, that dirty play by El Mundo seems to have done more harm to the unionist cause than to Mas. The ridiculousness of it is just shocking. The anonimous report didnt even mention Mas, and is clearly a quick fabrication done under pressure.

    I dont like Mas one bit, and Im sure he's corrupt to the hilt but no dirt has been found as of yet.

    All in all, it looks like pro-referendum parties will increase their share of seats but Mas and CiU will not reach their coveted overall majority (phew). And look out for the irruption of the CUP, who seem to me to be a real direct-democracy alternative. (Something you might like fluff!)

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    Firstly fluff. Any honest comentator will admit that the surge in support for independence in Catalonia can be traced very simply back to the spanish high court resolution of 2010, when they brough down the new catalan statute of autonomy, as well as continued attacks on the catalan languages status.

    Before then there were only about 25% of the electorate firmly in favour, but since then it has risen dramatically to over 50%. Another piece of background is the fact that that new statute of autonomy had been passed by the Spanish parliament as well as by referendum in Catalonia. Unsurprisingly, that court has a PP majority.

    (the judicial system in post dictatorship Spain is high politicised and judges are appointed by the two main parites).

    Also, money of course has a lot to do with it but that issue in itself is a result of a more deeper, psycological divorce between the catalans and the spanish (castillians).

    PaddyJoe, that dirty play by El Mundo seems to have done more harm to the unionist cause than to Mas. The ridiculousness of it is just shocking. The anonimous report didnt even mention Mas, and is clearly a quick fabrication done under pressure.

    I dont like Mas one bit, and Im sure he's corrupt to the hilt but no dirt has been found as of yet.

    All in all, it looks like pro-referendum parties will increase their share of seats but Mas and CiU will not reach their coveted overall majority (phew). And look out for the irruption of the CUP, who seem to me to be a real direct-democracy alternative. (Something you might like fluff!)
    This sounds and reads sooooo familiar. you even have your own PASOK! As long as you don't end up in the same excrement as we did. Nobody wants them, but we've got them, thanks to the one-election wonder of DIMAR and their double-speaking leader Kouvelis.
    Any dirty international media tricks going on, telling you how to vote, or else...?

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    And look out for the irruption of the CUP, who seem to me to be a real direct-democracy alternative.
    A totally different style of political party (?) based on local assemblies from what I have read. Their new type of democracy seems very interesting and I would like to learn more about how the assemblies are organised.
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by Ephilant View Post
    This sounds and reads sooooo familiar. you even have your own PASOK! As long as you don't end up in the same excrement as we did. Nobody wants them, but we've got them, thanks to the one-election wonder of DIMAR and their double-speaking leader Kouvelis.
    Any dirty international media tricks going on, telling you how to vote, or else...?
    I would definitely agree the the PSC are similar to the PASOK and, like them, they are also in electoral freefall. Going nowhere but down, and very fast.

    Ive been reading the international press today and loads of articles on catalonia. Mainly, they pitch the line that an independent catalonia would not be a viable state. i.e. the normal rubbish propaganda from the empire loving news corporations.

    One glaring piece of tripe stood out. It was an article in the much loved Washington post (this one goes out to the count ) which contained the blatent lie that pro independence parties are losing support, whereby all polls suggest they will gain an extra 10-20 seats and possibly 100 of the 137 member parliament.

    The talk by Tsipras was extremely interesting. He mentioned that the periphery is being destroyed by debt in order to convert it into a giant factory for cheap labour within the EU. I think that a successful, rich and independent Catalonia would not fit in with that plan (They dont want the words, rich, dynamic, prosperous to be associated with southern europe as that would ruin their simplistic stereotype) therefore they, along with Madrid, have launched a media campaign with apocolyptic messages as to what would happen if Catalonia did become independent. Its all hell-fire and brimestone from the media.

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Lord View Post
    A totally different style of political party (?) based on local assemblies from what I have read. Their new type of democracy seems very interesting and I would like to learn more about how the assemblies are organised.
    Im not sure how they work, but here's their webpage . Its only in catalan but with a basic knowledge of french or spanish you could understand most of it. (Or just use google translate )

    Interestingly, they've been around for a while already with over 100 local reps., but just took the decision to stand in the general elections after an extraordinary assembly...

    During the campaign, they were the only party to highlight the plight of 3 Telefonica workers on hunger strike. I think i like them a lot!

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    Default Re: The Catalan Independence Process

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogiol View Post
    I would definitely agree the the PSC are similar to the PASOK and, like them, they are also in electoral freefall. Going nowhere but down, and very fast.

    Ive been reading the international press today and loads of articles on catalonia. Mainly, they pitch the line that an independent catalonia would not be a viable state. i.e. the normal rubbish propaganda from the empire loving news corporations.

    One glaring piece of tripe stood out. It was an article in the much loved Washington post (this one goes out to the count ) which contained the blatent lie that pro independence parties are losing support, whereby all polls suggest they will gain an extra 10-20 seats and possibly 100 of the 137 member parliament.

    The talk by Tsipras was extremely interesting. He mentioned that the periphery is being destroyed by debt in order to convert it into a giant factory for cheap labour within the EU. I think that a successful, rich and independent Catalonia would not fit in with that plan (They dont want the words, rich, dynamic, prosperous to be associated with southern europe as that would ruin their simplistic stereotype) therefore they, along with Madrid, have launched a media campaign with apocolyptic messages as to what would happen if Catalonia did become independent. Its all hell-fire and brimestone from the media.
    sounds familiar also. One of the first things Syriza wanted to do was nationalize the Helios project (not the military communications system, the solar panel system) and have it up and running by 2015. Make Greece energy independent. It was the first thing that was privatized, now in control of a German lead consortium. All grant-aid for solar panels withdrawn and prices up with 25-30%. Same crew who just pulled the plug on "deserttec", the North African solar energy system, leaving Egypt high and dry for millions of investment and 1000s of jobs.
    Wish you all the independence you deserve, starting tomorrow!

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