Spain Hurtles Towards Civil War


The declaration by Carles Puigdemont, President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, last night that he will ‘assume the mandate of the people’ has taken Catalonia to the brink of independence and left Spain on the precipice of a civil war. This route to achieve the breakaway from Spain is not a democratic way. the Catalonian government is using more weapons than just the votes from a referendum. On the other hand, the central government, led by Mariano Rajoy, is using archaic methods to keep the whole country together. And, in the middle of this fight, we have the people trying to understand how they came to this pre-war situation.

Rajoy could have avoided this situation one month ago. Puigdemont passed a motion in the Parliament of Catalonia that allowed the go-ahead of the independence referendum. The issue is that the vote was one minute before midnight to avoid reactions from the other political groupings. In that moment the Spanish president could have invoked article 155 from the Constitution, that means the annulment of the autonomy of Catalonia, then arrested Puigdemont, removed him from power and called new elections. But it never happened.

One month without a response from the central government until the day of the referendum, October 1st. The action taken against the illegal referendum was to send 10.000 police and civil guards with the duty of confiscating the ballot boxes, ballot papers and stopping people from voting. On the other hand, Los Mosos d’Escuadra, guards from Catalonia, who are supposed to obey the judges, stayed quiet. The passivity of the Catalonian guards is a total act of rebellion ordered by the Catalonian government. This sedition from the Catalan authorities should have been punished severely but Spanish government is not able to make a step that does not risk conflict with people on the streets, so there is no punishment.

Finally, the massive number of police did nothing to stop the referendum taking place. However, this vote was a totally fake, out of control and not a fair electoral process; people could vote more than once. Violence by the police and not a reliable result from the vote makes the day a total disaster.

The national police were chucked out of their accommodation in Catalonia and threats were made by the local authorities to the hotel. The national authorities are worried and indignant about the nonsense situation that they are in. They do not understand why Mariano Rajoy sent them to Catalonia and then left them alone, because he is still in silence, no making a step.

As a result of the Spanish governments’ incompetence, a new state is being born. No authorities to set the calm. Pro-independence people are more furious and they have definitely more reasons to fancy the break. No pro-independence people are afraid to go outside and they are not afraid to express themselves. Normal life is stuck in limbo. The rule of law sleeps. Ilegal and forced strikes at the schools and universities, supermarket assaults, rowdyism…

At the end, a response came on Sunday. A massive protest march calling for peace, calm and union trying to stop this nonsense situation. A little hope for the population who is tired of the fights. Anyway, the issue is still far away from being solved.

The democratic way is possible but the chaos in Catalonia was calculated and deliberately exploited by Puigdemont government. Sending in the army as Mariano Rajoy did it was never a solution. It was a big responsibility to give the army in a volatile situation and anything could have happened and then what would the price of independence have been? If they need to use violence to get an aim they are necessarily bad leaders.

Society is pro-independence but is still a big group and the tensions between pro-independence and against independence are very difficult to manage. Maybe this situation has been positive and made the people open the eyes and join together for a change. Then, let’s see the independence issue but, nowadays, the problem is with the politics and is urgent to be fixed before they rush the country to a war.

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2 Responses

  1. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    I have been all over Europe, with the exception of Spain, which is not the usual way round for the British. I started travelling in the 1960s, by car and by air, but Franco was still in office in Spain, and I cannot abide anything fascist. When at last a Spanish King wore the Spanish crown, I thought that their history was well and truly cleansed. It seems that I was wrong. Franco has gone, but Spain’s way of dealing with Catalonia, just proves that his ways are still within the Nation. The EU could have offered to step in between the two factions, and taken the matter off the boil, but instead they went against the call of the people for freedom and Democracy. – We all need to learn from that. Catalans holding their own referendum was counter productive, and stupid, because without agreement from Madrid, no action would be taken for Catalonia. Although I am aware that many parts of Spain are beautiful, it seems that my own point of view upon that country, was correct, and still is !

  2. John Clague says:

    So if the Catalans want independence why are they not allowed an honest referendum. Just like we were granted a referendum to allow the UK to leave the dictatorship calling themselves the EU, they should be allowed a referendum to allow them the choice to be independent from Spain. Parts of the old USSR got their independence and I see no reason why the Catalans should not be given the vote to get out from under the rule of Spain.

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