Spain Imposes Direct Rule On Catalonia
The conflict between the Catalan people fighting for their freedom and the Spanish state is set to come to a head. On Saturday, Spain will impose direct rule and Catalonia’s autonomy will be ended. In response, Carles Puigdemont the Catalan President has threatened a formal declaration of independence.
Although the Spanish Constitution doesn’t permit a full suspension of Catalonia’s autonomy, the government in Madrid can take a range of measures under Article 155 to impose direct rule in a ‘crisis’. However, what specific action Spanish government will take is unclear. They could include taking control of the regional police, or even calling a snap election.
The EU which has been giving a nod and a wink of encouragement to the government in Madrid has decided at this latest delicate stage it is suddenly unable to get involved:
Member states are clear there is no room or space for any kind of mediation,” European Council President Donald Tusk told a news conference during an EU leaders summit in Brussels.
Across the EU nervous politicians are concerned that the Catalan bid for freedom could cause problems closer to home:
“There is not much to gain from backing Barcelona and a lot to lose from angering Madrid,” said a senior EU diplomat at the EU summit.
Equally germane you would fee is the fear of Eurocrats that a people fighting for freedom may start a domino effect that could consume and ultimately destroy the EU itself. It has managed to tie the feeble British government up in the knot the negotiation process but this situation is more immediate. The sight of a people asserting their democratic right to freedom is definitely one that the EU monolith has no interest in being seen to succeed after-all if the Catalans can do it what is to say many others cannot follow. Hopefully, the brave example set by the Catalans will be resonated across Europe and it will break the walls of the prison house of nations that the EU so clearly is.