Thread: Catalan Independence Movement

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  1. #1
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    Default Catalan Independence Movement

    I didn't see a thread on this and I figured it was worth discussing.

    The secessionist movement exposes the nature of the Spanish state through the latter's brutal crackdown on referendum participants and the move to suspend local Catalan government.

    Further, an independent Catalonia would not be part of the European Union.

    It's by no means inherently "a good thing", but it's worth keeping an eye on.

    Thoughts?
    "I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will." - Antonio Gramsci

    "If he did advocate revolutionary change, such advocacy could not, of course, receive constitutional protection, since it would be by definition anti-constitutional."
    - J.A. MacGuigan in Roach v. Canada, 1994
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  3. #2
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    It is in a sense just another example of petty nationalism but it has exposed some of the true nature of the liberal state. Anyway, anarchists stormed the Spanish embassy in Greece:

    https://www.rt.com/news/406353-spain...ns-anarchists/

    Modern democracy is nothing but the freedom to preach whatever is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie - Lenin

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    I don't know, Catalan is a separate language but its spoken by less than 10 million people. The catalan independence movement has been going on for awhile they've consistently voted in favor of independence with better turnout than most US presidential elections. We have to go back to francoist Spain to find the first support for an independent democratic Catalonia. However Catalonia is not some secluded mountain kingdom. Feudal kingdoms in this region slaughtered countless thousands. Aragon used to be a bloodthirsty kingdom that was at near constant war with muslims. They exterminated every non-catholic from the peninsula. Barcelona was at the gates of the muslim empire so to speak and christian kingdoms funded and created Catalonia to fight and exterminate Muslims in the Iberian peninsula .

    The reasons they're now giving today also aren't very convincing they are not saying "we are the victims of human rights abuses, rampant poverty, and neglect by the state". Just the opposite, they are claiming Catalonia is the wealthiest region in Spain and does not "need" the rest of Spain. It is the "victim" because it pays too much in taxes to pay for the rest of Spains welfare. That they would all be rich as kings if they didn't have to pay for those bums in madrid's welfare checks. Then they're saying by separating from Spain, they will be rich and the rest of Spain can go to hell for all they care.

    There is also question of "why just them"? Valencia, Aragon, Basque, Grenada etc all have just as much of right and reason to leave, could they all just decide to break away?
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    So they're a Spanish version of Atlas Shrugged? Interesting. The less we see of that, the better.
    It would obviously be better for people to understand how regional wealth inequality is rooted in capitalism just as much as international inequality.

    However justified the movement is, or is not, the Spanish state's response is just likely to exacerbate separatist sentiment.
    "I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will." - Antonio Gramsci

    "If he did advocate revolutionary change, such advocacy could not, of course, receive constitutional protection, since it would be by definition anti-constitutional."
    - J.A. MacGuigan in Roach v. Canada, 1994
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    I don't know, Catalan is a separate language but its spoken by less than 10 million people. The catalan independence movement has been going on for awhile they've consistently voted in favor of independence with better turnout than most US presidential elections. We have to go back to francoist Spain to find the first support for an independent democratic Catalonia. However Catalonia is not some secluded mountain kingdom. Feudal kingdoms in this region slaughtered countless thousands. Aragon used to be a bloodthirsty kingdom that was at near constant war with muslims. They exterminated every non-catholic from the peninsula. Barcelona was at the gates of the muslim empire so to speak and christian kingdoms funded and created Catalonia to fight and exterminate Muslims in the Iberian peninsula .
    I'm not grasping the relevancy. The history of class society is drenched in the blood of the innocent. And?

    There is also question of "why just them"? Valencia, Aragon, Basque, Grenada etc all have just as much of right and reason to leave, could they all just decide to break away?
    Yes! Destroying the political boundaries of the Spanish state would be a massive blow to the European Union and the German imperialists. That would be excellent. Not to mention the Spanish bourgeoisie and their shitty little king.

    Any Spanish/Catalan board members have an opinion?
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    Here's what the PCPE is putting out;
    What we are seeing since the beginning of the day, that is to say, a new violent intervention of the Spanish State in Catalonia, is nothing more than the expression of a deep crisis of Spanish State, which affects the ruling class in power and its mechanisms of legitimacy to its very foundations.
    In addition, also the intervention of Civil Guard and National Police is a new violation by the State of what is established in the Statute of Autonomy.
    The PCPE calls the people of Catalonia to resist united against this new aggression of the despotic government of Mariano Rajoy, making the broad and combative mass movement the tool that can defeat the mechanisms of violence of the bourgeois state.
    The PCPE also appeals to the working class of the whole state, and to the popular sectors, to be on the side of the working class and the people of Catalonia, uniting all forces to defeat the bourgeois state in crisis and its violent policies and antidemocratic. It is necessary to make the slogan of the resignation of the Government of Mariano Rajoy and of the defense of the right of self-determination the central axis of a new stage of labor and popular mobilizations to be developed immediately in a coordinated way.
    http://www.pcpe.es/index.php/compone...os-de-cataluna

    And here is the PCE:

    The Communist Party of Spain (PCE) supports the celebration of the Assembly of Institutional Representatives to be held tomorrow Sunday in Zaragoza, in defense of a democratic and agreed departure from the current situation in Catalonia that contemplates the right of the Catalan people to determine its future, and to denounce the dictatorial behavior of the PP Government, which is leading to a total degradation of democracy and coexistence, the de facto intervention of the Government of Catalonia, in practice means taking us to a situation of exception that suppresses Catalonia's self-government and civic liberties.


    Those who from the Franco regime equate the struggle for democratic and social rights, with the struggle for the national rights of the different peoples of the State, we deny that the PP wants to return us to the times of Spain, One, Big and Free.


    At the same time, we support the Zaragoza Assembly, because we consider that it is the time of the meeting, the negotiation and the search for a negotiated solution to the situation created in Catalonia, in the terms in which we have raised in other statements placing the responsibilities of different levels that have had both the State Government and the Generalitat.


    We endorse the declaration that is being debated in this Assembly of Zaragoza, in which various members of the Communist Party of Spain will participate, noting that among others and other institutional positions will attend, Isabel Salud, Institutional Officer of the Federal Government, Eva Solla S General of the Communist Party of Galicia-PCG, Jon Hernandez. S. General of the Communist Party of Euskadi-EPK.


    In the same sense, the PCE will continue to fight to avoid the authoritarian, antisocial and centralizing exit that the government of Rajoy intends to impose. The PCE defends an exit for the current crisis of social transformation and recognition of the national rights of the different Peoples of the State.

    http://www.pce.es/secretarias/secgeneral/pl.php?id=6177

    Here is the CNT:

    The events that are taking place these days are so momentous for the working class that CNT considers it necessary to issue a communiqué stating its position. It seems obvious to us that the impassion in which the Catalan sovereignty question is installed, after the Catalan governor has suspended the declaration of independence, is the beginning of a turbulent period, mainly as a result of the scourge of different demands. pressure groups of the 78 regime that seek the Spanish Government to apply without delay the sadly famous article 155.
    Of course, the fulfillment of these threats would be lethal for the rights and freedoms of a Catalan population, and especially for the workers, on whose backs would be charged, as in any capitalist society, government impositions. But even more terrible would be that all this occurred in a context in which the solidarity of workers and workers throughout the state was fractured. Hence CNT wants to alert about the pernicious of the narrative of the Catalan political crisis that are massively diffusing the media, from the fanatic "for them" to the fascist boycott of the Valencian Dada.
    In accordance with what he had already emphasized, CNT strongly supports the right to decide, in the hope that it will extend to the rest of the territories and areas of life, against any kind of blackmail, intimidation or apocalyptic oppose As the classic said, "we are not afraid of ruins because we carry a new world in our hearts ..." and productive classes are on our side.
    For this reason, CNT is still waiting, watching the interests of workers and workers are not affected by the news.
    http://www.cnt.es/noticias/cnt-ante-...n-en-catalunya

    Via Google Translate, caveats apply.
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    I'm not grasping the relevancy. The history of class society is drenched in the blood of the innocent. And?
    compared to the iroquois, or even the Irish, we might as well be talking about forming an independent Rome. You know like "the poor romans what did they ever do to anybody" lol


    Yes! Destroying the political boundaries of the Spanish state would be a massive blow to the European Union and the German imperialists. That would be excellent. Not to mention the Spanish bourgeoisie and their shitty little king.
    I'd love to see a dethrone the king or we will secede threat, but in fact Im more worried they will install their own. What right do the people living there today have to the land? it was all the caliphate at one point maybe we should support a return to muslim rule? That's when Spain was the most prosperous region in all of europe. Make Spain great again. Return it to the umayyad!

    who says they wont be joining the EU anyway?

    Any Spanish/Catalan board members have an opinion?
    I think there is but they dont speak english
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    who says they wont be joining the EU anyway?
    Polls show that only 35% of Spaniards "on the left of the ideological spectrum" favor the EU, and Catalonia is considered the most leftwing region of Spain.

    But Europe-wide, the Brexit was a tectonic shift. I wouldn't say that the EU is running on fumes per se but it is definitely up against the ropes. If Catalonia secedes from EU/Spain (or Greece gets out), things will snowball unstoppably -- think 1989. My crystal ball says so anyways.

    Brexit-EU-Favorability-WEB-version.png

    Source: http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/06/07/...-beyond-brexit
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    Polls show that only 35% of Spaniards "on the left of the ideological spectrum" favor the EU, and Catalonia is considered the most leftwing region of Spain.

    But Europe-wide, the Brexit was a tectonic shift. I wouldn't say that the EU is running on fumes per se but it is definitely up against the ropes. If Catalonia secedes from EU/Spain (or Greece gets out), things will snowball unstoppably -- think 1989. My crystal ball says so anyways.

    Brexit-EU-Favorability-WEB-version.png

    Source: http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/06/07/...-beyond-brexit
    Until they read the bill for the billions of dollar they'll lose by not joining them. Imagine if the EU took a hostile attitude toward Catalonia and sanctioned them like they do in North Korea. There's not alot of farmland in Barcelona how long do you think it would be before everyone starved to death?

    So what happens after the EU collapses?
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    The EU won't sanction Catalonia but they'll do everything in their power to punish independence movements within their borders - they'll do everything they can to prevent any disruption of business as usual. Part of the scare tactics arranged against Scottish independence was the threat of no longer being in the EU and, obviously, in response to Brexit the EU have got their claws out. Only semi-recently the EU's scare tactics in Greece essentially prevented Syriza from enacted the programme they had been elected to carry out. It's essentially in the EU's interests to maintain normal business and political channels.
    Modern democracy is nothing but the freedom to preach whatever is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie - Lenin

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    The EU won't sanction Catalonia but they'll do everything in their power to punish independence movements within their borders - they'll do everything they can to prevent any disruption of business as usual. Part of the scare tactics arranged against Scottish independence was the threat of no longer being in the EU and, obviously, in response to Brexit the EU have got their claws out. Only semi-recently the EU's scare tactics in Greece essentially prevented Syriza from enacted the programme they had been elected to carry out. It's essentially in the EU's interests to maintain normal business and political channels.
    Syriza is a good example. Everyone was practically calling varoufakis the new lenin.
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    Syriza is a good example. Everyone was practically calling varoufakis the new lenin.
    Not quite everyone. The KKE for example, warned of a Syriza sell-out. The majority of posters on RevLeft at the time were calling them dogmatic sectarians for their stance. Although quite frankly I don't think even the KKE expected the balloon to pop as quickly and pathetically as it did.

    Probably it is not so simple as craven political leadership though. What are the additional reasons why the UK pulled out of EU and Greece did not or cannot (yet)?
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    Not quite everyone. The KKE for example, warned of a Syriza sell-out. The majority of posters on RevLeft at the time were calling them dogmatic sectarians for their stance. Although quite frankly I don't think even the KKE expected the balloon to pop as quickly and pathetically as it did.
    What was really amazing was the diverse amount of opinions in such a tiny country, there's only 10 million people living in greece. About the same size as New york city.

    Probably it is not so simple as craven political leadership though. What are the additional reasons why the UK pulled out of EU and Greece did not or cannot (yet)?
    Greece was a much poorer country and the UK is arguably the richest in the euro. The UK pays extra money every year to the poorer countries. In the end they get more control over how money is spent and where. Greeks didn't feel like they were getting enough money, Brits felt like they weren't getting enough control on how the money is spent.

    This relationship exists in the US with the states. California and New York pay more money every year than they receive in benefits. While states like Mississippi and Montana receive extra money every year. The only difference is we are not talking about a national currency. Nobody ever talks about the state of California forming its own currency and breaking away from the US even though by itself its the 7th largest economy in the world. In fact most American secessionist movements come from debtor states like Mississippi and Greece.

    I just dont see Catalonia leaving the EU. they might break away from the weird federal autonomous union that spains under but they'll be eager to stay in the EU. They just simply can't afford it. I don't think Britain can afford it either, they might be the richest state in the EU, but the EU all put together is still much richer than them, so even they might backtrack as well
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    An alternative point of view -- this is from the CPGB-ML, whose tagline is 'Rebuild Britain', presumably from the ashes of Brexit.

    EU causes pain in Catalonia


    The separatist movement in Catalonia and the reaction to it have raised questions about the future of Spain. The EU pretends to stand to one side but the situation is of its making.


    For many decades the EU has had a policy of “A Europe of the Regions”, which leaches power away from national governments. EU regional policy provides funds for projects to be enacted by local officials at a regional level, largely bypassing national governments. This policy represents one of the key tools of EU governance, attracting more than a third of the EU’s overall budget.


    Power does not go to the regions, but instead to those who run the central EU institutions. More centralisation at the EU level and increasing diversity at regional level are parts of a single development, the weakening of the nation-state. This policy is designed to destabilise member nations, the better to impose a pan-European structure.

    The EU has in this way stoked internal disputes inside many of its member countries. When these disputes flare up, as now between the Spanish government and Catalonia, the EU then sits back and watches as conflict erupts.


    Spaniards who want to leave Spain are fighting the wrong enemy. The enemy is not Spain, nor other Spanish people. Nobody in Spain is suffering from national oppression. They are all suffering from capitalism, the euro and the EU. The last thing that the Spanish people need is another capitalist state on Spain’s territory.

    Millions and millions of Spaniards want to live together in peace and freedom. The majority in the region who oppose separatism would be outraged at having their nationality changed by this minority vote. This applies even more so to those outside the region.


    The EU is fomenting discord; it is the problem, not the solution. Nobody should interfere in matters that are the concern of the Spanish people.



    Source
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    What was really amazing was the diverse amount of opinions in such a tiny country, there's only 10 million people living in greece. About the same size as New york city.

    Greece was a much poorer country and the UK is arguably the richest in the euro. The UK pays extra money every year to the poorer countries. In the end they get more control over how money is spent and where. Greeks didn't feel like they were getting enough money, Brits felt like they weren't getting enough control on how the money is spent.

    This relationship exists in the US with the states. California and New York pay more money every year than they receive in benefits. While states like Mississippi and Montana receive extra money every year. The only difference is we are not talking about a national currency. Nobody ever talks about the state of California forming its own currency and breaking away from the US even though by itself its the 7th largest economy in the world. In fact most American secessionist movements come from debtor states like Mississippi and Greece.

    I just dont see Catalonia leaving the EU. they might break away from the weird federal autonomous union that spains under but they'll be eager to stay in the EU. They just simply can't afford it. I don't think Britain can afford it either, they might be the richest state in the EU, but the EU all put together is still much richer than them, so even they might backtrack as well
    It's my understanding that the EU is threatening to exclude an independent Catalonia, not that Catalonia is seeking secession in order to leave the EU.

    So, if they do break away from Spain, it seems this would entail breaking away from the EU. Those leading the independence movement seem to understand the impact of that as you describe it.
    "I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will." - Antonio Gramsci

    "If he did advocate revolutionary change, such advocacy could not, of course, receive constitutional protection, since it would be by definition anti-constitutional."
    - J.A. MacGuigan in Roach v. Canada, 1994
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    Any Spanish/Catalan board members have an opinion?
    I've been meaning to start an informative thread that covers background and historical context of current events and what has been transpiring recently aswell. I've had little time for anything as of late but I'll try to squeeze some time to get this done.
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    I think the most meaningful moment for the revolutionary left in this crisis is how the whole situation demonstrates that liberal democracies can't live up to their ideas, the conflict between liberal ideology and social-material reality is crystal clear and apparent. The brutal actions taken by the Spanish police, and how most of EU member countries don't support independence show this. If the EU and its members would want to live up to the democratic, liberal vision of 'Europe', it would be an imperative to condemn Spain for its actions and support a democratically seceding nation state. Yet everyone sided with Spain, because political pragmatism and the economic interests are in command, not liberal values.

    As for the 'content' of the whole crisis, nothing else really affects the revolutionary left. I mean yes, there is that old left-liberal and socdem ethos that Catalans were somehow always more "leftist", more "progressive" than the rest of Spain, which is mostly monarchist-traditionalist conservative, crypto-Francoist pile of garbage and all that. But what with see is just petty bourgeois nationalism rising once again with prime leading roles in the movement held by right-wingers. Of course one can or could relate to the struggles of the past, of ethnic oppression, etc. But the character of the Catalan secessionist movement is clearly dominated by (no matter how progressive and fancy and 'prole-friendly' and leftoid) bourgeois elements. Either way, whether Catalonia becomes independent after all or not, it will be the workers who will suffer (and who whave probably suffered before). The Spanish and Catalonian bourgeois elites play their games of national vanity, and whichever 'wons', the proletariat (the Spanish or the Catalonian proletariat) will suffer. As usual.

    Just another lesson for us to base our politics mainly and foremost with an indisputable rigor on class, and only secondly and only in the context of possible subversion of capitalism, identity-prostheses like nationality.
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    Any Spanish/Catalan board members have an opinion?
    I'm not Spanish nor Catalan but I live in Catalonia and my family are Catalans and I speak decent Spanish and Catalan. I would also say I am pro-independence with a healthy degree of skepticism about whether it will solve the problems faced by Catalans. (I used to post here extensively during my adolescence and came to see whether it was a topic on Revleft

    Overview/Opinion

    • Situation at the moment is still that we are under article 155 and elections have been called for December 21st. There are currently 10 high profile Catalan politicians and civil society leaders in prison who are facing 30 year sentences for sedition and rebellion (a charge that requires violence, despite the fact there has been none). The president of the generalitat remains in exile.
    • Polls at the moment show that independence will win the elections but the central government has said they will continue to apply 155 if independence parties win. The latest poll on the independence question showed 48% want it, 40% are opposed, and the rest are undecided. From an anecdotal standpoint I have seen lifelong unionists switch after the violence on 1st october, and a lot of apathetic people become very vocally pro-independence. The rallies in the streets that are pro-independence are much larger than anti- and also far more peaceful, since september there have been hundreds of cases of far-right violence, many times at unionist rallies, with very few charges laid.
    • There have been two large general strikes and the local branches of the unions are strongly pro-independence (the central office in Madrid which covers all Spanish workers is obviously not pro-indep.) The Catalan left, except for a few small maoist groups (sects like recortes cero) and the moribund PSC/PSOE, is pro-independence along with a large sector of the Catalan bourgeoisie.
    • Spaniards like to say that Catalans are money hungry and tight-fisted, and that the independence movement is money motivated, for some people this may be true but in general it is not a common feeling/motivator. The President has also said that an independent Catalonia will continue paying the national debt and contribute to the development of poorer regions like Andalucia and Extremadura.


    Overall it's a situation that is hard to solve, Catalans and the major independence organisations have chosen ultra-pacifism as a strategy (to retain popular support and because it is impossible to beat Spain without an army) and I don't see Spain respecting the popular will to leave.

    One of the most troubling things I have seen is the Spanish left turn truly chauvinistic and anti-Catalan. It is now not uncommon to hear racist words used to describe Catalans as rats or Xarnego which is used against Catalans with Southern/Andaluz origin (interestingly a large amount of the independence movement is led by 1st or 2nd generation migrants from other parts of Spain).




    Key players

    Independentistas

    CUP
    -Far Left
    These are the most radical pro-independence group. Anti-capitalist and socialist. They have around 8% of the popular vote and prefer to not enter into Coalitions with other indep. parties who they are opposed to ideologically. They will participate in the election on December 21 but like other parties have declared it illegitimate.

    ERC(Left Republican Party of Catalonia) -Left
    Socialist/Social Democratic party historically related to the Republican's of the Spanish Civil War, currently in a Coalition with PDeCAT/CiU, largest support base and likely to gain the most votes and seats in the upcoming election, Vice President is the head of this party and is currently in Prison.

    PDeCat
    (Catalan European Democratic Party)-Liberal
    A recently formed party that was created out of the remnants of the CiU/CDC. This party is very much a representative of the Catalan bourgeoisie and have only supported outright independence since 2010, prior to that they were happy to co-exist within the Spanish State but after the Statute of Autonomy was thrown out by the Spanish constitutional court after it was approved overwhelmingly by referendum they adopted the position that it was no longer possible to remain within the Spanish state. In coalition with ERC (Junts per sí-Together for yes). Party of the President.


    Unionist
    PP (Popular Party)-
    Far right
    Current party in government in Madrid, party of Mariano Rajoy, formed in the late 1970s by the interior minister of the Franco government and several ministers. Has been called the most corrupt party in Europe and I would not be suprised if it were true, the name M.Rajoy appears on bank receipts for hundreds of thousands of Euros of laundered money and nothing has been done. Extremely anti-Catalan. Very low popular support in Catalonia.

    PSOE/PSC - Social Democrat/Centre
    Historic socialist party that unfortunately has shifted very far to the right. The Catalan branch (PSC) has endorsed rallies organised by the Falange and has included far right figures in its electoral list. Recently voted against annulling Franco era judicial charges, there are thousands of socialists from the civil war and post-war rolling in their graves for that one.

    C's (Citizen's) - Right
    A party founded in Catalonia by some former PP members, more socially liberal than PP but still quite right wing. 99% of the time they vote the same way PP votes. Initially started as a party opposed to the teaching of Catalan in public schools. They have been calling for a more heavy handed approach from the central government are have been rising in the polls in other parts of Spain because of it.

    Podemos and allies-
    Left
    Podemos and their Catalan allies such as CSQP and Catalonia in common have expressedly said they are not an independence party but they have said they would support a pacted referendum, hard to see who in Madrid would agree to pact a referendum in Catalonia as PSOE, C's and PP have said no to the referendum and even if there was a referendum it would include all 45 million Spaniards, not just the 7 million Catalans. Podemos has had a lot of internal strife due to the independence debate and some members have quit to join independence groups.



    Anyway, long rambling post. Hopefully this gets solved quickly and the legitimate government is restored to power.
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    Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos has put the cost of the Catalan independence crisis at around $1.2bn according to BBC.
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    It is worth noting that Russians are fueling this fire. Catalonia is just another project for them. The Russian scheme is to cause division among any united peoples. To break up the powers of Earth.

    They're essentially gerrymandering the world.

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