CATALONIA ELECTIONS: CATEXIT Closer?
Everyone is justifiably delighted that the pro-independence parties achieved an overall majority in yesterdays elections to the Catalan Parliament. Indeed, not only did they secure the needed 70 seats in the 135 seat legislature to return to government, but they also managed to score a vote share of 47.5%, beating the pro-unionist parties 43.4% and maintaining their vote share from the 2015 election despite a record turnout of 82%, something that was widely predicted to benefit the unionists.
So, it was a massive victory for the forces fighting for Catalan freedom and a massive blow to the hopes of Madrid and their Brussels puppet-masters who had hoped that at the very least Catalonia would be paralysed by the chaos of a hung parliament.
Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont also managed a significant comeback. A month ago his electoral list, Junts per Catalunya was in fourth position in the polls but it ended up winning 34 seats yesterday. Herein lies a potentially untold story. Mr Puigdemont is a outspoken critic of the EU. He slammed it as a:
club of decadent and obsolescent countries controlled by a small few and closely linked to increasingly debatable economic interests
Mr Puigdemont has also suggested an independent Catalonia could hold a referendum on EU membership similar to the one held by Britain in 2016. So, his electoral success should be seen as an indicator that even if Euroscepticism isn’t a virulent mood amoung the Catalans it has gained a political acceptability that it did not have before. It can also be said with certainty that the continued threat emanating from Brussels that Catalonia will not be even considered for membership did nothing to sway voters in the election – therefore losing their place in the EU holds no fear for them or at the very least it is something they are willing to trade for their freedom from Madrid.
This is hardly surprising given the fact that the EU at every conceivable opportunity has made its backing for the Spanish government abundantly clear. Catalonia has always been thought of as traditionally left-wing and heavily pro-European, however, it may well be that Mr Puigdemont will now return as President and that Catalonia’s road to freedom from Spain will also lead it out of the European Union.