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Why Spain And Europe Must Face Down Catalonia

By: Clive Maund

 -- Published: Tuesday, 10 October 2017 | Print  | Disqus 

Since the ballot in Catalonia over a week ago, which the Spanish authorities, contrary to the spirit of democracy, did their best to disrupt by the use of brute force, as any good old fashioned fascist State would, by sending in the "Brownshirts", the mainstream media have gone to work in an effort to present the pro-independence Catalans as a bunch of fringe wing nutters trying to turn the clock back to the Middle Ages. The pro-Spain demonstrations at the weekend were given big media coverage and made to look like an overwhelming endorsement of the Spanish State, rather like the "huge crowds" when Saddam Hussein's statue was pulled down in Iraq after the invasion, which turned out to be just a few hundred people herded into a square and then orchestrated and made to look like a large crowd by the careful use of camera angles. Of course, the pro-Spain crowds were big - what do you expect in a city the size of Barcelona even if only 30% of population are in favor of continued union with Spain? Having sent in the police with orders to act as thugs to disrupt the vote, the Spanish parliament than arbitrarily dismissed the vote as invalid because "only" 45% or so of the population voted, which was of course the result of their interference, and you don't have to be a genius to extrapolate that if about 90% of those who did vote were in favor of Catalonia becoming a separate State, if even 80% of citizens had voted, there would still be an overwhelming majority in favor of separation.

The Spanish parliament invoked the constitution in an attempt to deprive Catalonians of their democratic rights, and have used it as justification for violent suppression with the thinly veiled threat of the further use of force if the Catalonians persist, such as the arrest of their leader, cutting off of banks etc. The Spanish King and the European Union weighed in on the side of the Spanish government, as one would expect.

It is easy to explain what is going on here and what is likely to follow if the Catalonians do not back down. The Spanish government, having power over Catalonia, the richest region is Spain, does not want to lose a valuable part of its constituency or the tax revenues it generates, ditto the Spanish royal family. As for the European Union, they don’t care about the ordinary citizens of Europe and simply want to maintain and expand their power over them, and continue to live the high life on their taxes, with their massive salaries and privileged shopping areas etc. They therefore don’t want countries leaving the EU, or regions breaking off and forming separate countries, over which they might exert less or no power – they are doing their best to scupper the Brexit, by procrastinating and exploiting weak politicians who are possibly being bought off to water it down. A big reason that the Brexit vote was allowed to proceed at all was that the pro camp were not expected to win – but they did and the margin of victory was much less decisive than the Catalan vote.

Catalan independence – which way will it go?...

What we can therefore expect to see if the Catalans go ahead and declare independence is that the full force of the Spanish State – and the Spanish royal family and the European Union - will be brought to bear on Catalonia to make it regret that it ever tried to go it alone. They are going to make an example of Catalonia as a warning to the many other regions in Europe that are thinking of taking a similar line to Catalonia of what is likely to happen to them if they try it. Thus we can expect them to possibly try to arrest and imprison the Catalan leader, or perhaps arrange an unfortunate accident for him, and crush any revolt that follows by means of brute force – sending in the Brownshirts again. If they decide to adopt a softer approach, they will resort to blockading Catalonia and tearing it down economically – either way they are determined to make Catalonia pay a heavy price if it goes ahead and declares independence. Big banks, in league with the elites, will make problems for Catalonia and France has already stated that it will not recognize Catalonia – so much for democracy! Knowing this, it is possible that Catalonia will kneel before the powers in Madrid at the 11th hour and sue for compromise, meaning that it won’t fully leave Spain. Whichever way it goes, both Madrid and the EU will be able to proclaim “Behold, the price of Treason!” and other States and regions will think twice before they dare to challenge the status quo as Catalonia has done. They haven’t spent decades or even centuries gaining power over the local peasantry to go handing it back without a fight, and in the last resort they are much more heavily armed, although that doesn’t necessarily guarantee victory as the Vietnam War amply demonstrated. Thus what happens in Catalonia has major implications not just for Spain but for Europe and for the entire world.

Barcelona photos by Maund.

Posted at 10.35 am EDT on 10th October 17.


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