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Barcelona protest

Shayah

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More than 1 million protest court ruling in Barcelona
By the CNN Wire Staff
July 11, 2010

More than a million people took to the streets in Spain to rally for greater regional autonomy, police said. The march in Barcelona on Saturday came after Spain's constitutional court ruled that the northeastern region of Catalonia could not refer to itself as a nation.

Protesters waved Catalonian flags and banners saying, "We are a nation. We decide." CNN sister network CNN+ showed images of regional leaders marching with a tennis-court sized flag. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, one of 17 regions in Spain.

Conservatives have said Spain needs to be unified, a condition that fascist strongman Francisco Franco tried unsuccessfully to impose on the country from the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until his death in 1975.
More than 1 million protest court ruling in Barcelona - CNN.com

Sounds ominous. How serious are Catalonian's about secession from Spain?
 

PeteEU

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Nothing new really, they been at it for centuries. Some are very serious but most (so far) dont want to leave Spain, but they do want more autonomy. Ironically they have considerable autonomy already.
 

Shayah

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Nothing new really, they been at it for centuries. Some are very serious but most (so far) dont want to leave Spain, but they do want more autonomy. Ironically they have considerable autonomy already.
What is meant by considerable autonomy? Like the Kurds now enjoy in Iraq?
 

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There are more on the streets of Barcelona right now supporting a Spanish win than there was the other day :)

As for autonomy.. like the kurds in Iraq.. no, not that defacto kind of statehood with very little ties to the central government. Catalonia shares legal systems (for the most part) and other key things with Spain but can set their own taxes (some what) and other rules.. pretty much like a US state.
 

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Many small countries that have successfully gained independence from a larger state discover that what they invested so much energy in achieving really achieves very little. Nationalist politics in Cataluña and in the Basque Country are more about the maintenance of political fiefdoms and the clientilist power that that gives to the leaders of the small parties that vie to be seen as the most nationally proud.

Cataluña is one of the richest regions in Spain, enjoys more autonomy than an American state and benefits from a strong international voice that the united Spain has on the World stage. I've really no idea what benefits the secessionist believe would acrue to them if they broke away from the rest of the country. But, if that's what the overwhelming majority want, then they should be allowed a binding referendum on it. I'd suggest a two-thirds majority (normal for constitutional changes in most democracies) and they can secede. I suspect that they would poll somewhere around the 50% mark. Recent poll suggest 56-62%, but I think that would drop significantly when the pen is hovering over the voting slip.
 

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Many small countries that have successfully gained independence from a larger state discover that what they invested so much energy in achieving really achieves very little. Nationalist politics in Cataluña and in the Basque Country are more about the maintenance of political fiefdoms and the clientilist power that that gives to the leaders of the small parties that vie to be seen as the most nationally proud.

Cataluña is one of the richest regions in Spain, enjoys more autonomy than an American state and benefits from a strong international voice that the united Spain has on the World stage. I've really no idea what benefits the secessionist believe would acrue to them if they broke away from the rest of the country. But, if that's what the overwhelming majority want, then they should be allowed a binding referendum on it. I'd suggest a two-thirds majority (normal for constitutional changes in most democracies) and they can secede. I suspect that they would poll somewhere around the 50% mark. Recent poll suggest 56-62%, but I think that would drop significantly when the pen is hovering over the voting slip.


Wow, even 50% is very high on something like this. (not that I know anything about it!! - but on speration in general)
 

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[/B]

Wow, even 50% is very high on something like this. (not that I know anything about it!! - but on speration in general)
Well, most of Catalonia is very well-off whereas large parts of Spain are very poor, especially here in the South. The nationalists appeal to prejudice against the poorer parts of Spain and their dog-whistle is that they'd all be much better off if it weren't for those Andalucians and Extremadurans sucking up their tax Euros. What they fail to recognise is that Catalonia has benefitted to a far greater extent than Andalucia from central government infrastructure investment over the decades. It also has an economy that rose to success on the back of two generations of cheap labour supplied by the migrant workers of the South.

The more rabid of the separatists now want to close the doors and reject the idea that the economic success of their region was a collective achievement of Spain as a whole. Think of it in British terms, it's like Londoners claiming that the economic prosperity of the Southeast has nothing to do with the contribution of the millions of the most hard-working Brits, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants being sucked down to London through economic necessity.
 
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alexa

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Well, most of Catalonia is very well-off whereas large parts of Spain are very poor, especially here in the South. The nationalists appeal to prejudice against the poorer parts of Spain and their dog-whistle is that they'd all be much better off if it weren't for those Andalucians and Extremadurans sucking up their tax Euros. What they fail to recognise is that Catalonia has benefitted to a far greater extent than Andalucia from central government infrastructure investment over the decades. It also has an economy that rose to success on the back of two generations of cheap labour supplied by the migrant workers of the South.

The more rabid of the separatists now want to close the doors and reject the idea that the economic success of their region was a collective achievement of Spain as a whole. Think of it in British terms, it's like Londoners claiming that the economic prosperity of the Southeast has nothing to do with the contribution of the millions of the most hard-working Brits, and hundreds of thousands of immigrants being sucked down to London through economic necessity.
It is not a good idea to have a large section of the country so much better off than the rest. Why do they have no feeling of a Spanish identity?
 

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It is not a good idea to have a large section of the country so much better off than the rest. Why do they have no feeling of a Spanish identity?
Principally because the idea of a united Spanish identity was one that was ruthlessly imposed during the years of Fascist dictatorship. Any hint of regional identity: Catalan, Basque, Galician etc was brutally suppressed. Some Catalans (perhaps more than even the Basques) see the denial of independence as a throw-back to the Francoist repression. Again, the Nationalist politicians shamelessly use this collective memory of the dictatorship to whip up feeling against the rest of Spain, to paint themselves as a victimised people struggling for self-determination.

I hate Nationalism, especially ethnic nationalism, but that's what we are dealing with here.
 

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Principally because the idea of a united Spanish identity was one that was ruthlessly imposed during the years of Fascist dictatorship. Any hint of regional identity: Catalan, Basque, Galician etc was brutally suppressed. Some Catalans (perhaps more than even the Basques) see the denial of independence as a throw-back to the Francoist repression. Again, the Nationalist politicians shamelessly use this collective memory of the dictatorship to whip up feeling against the rest of Spain, to paint themselves as a victimised people struggling for self-determination.

I hate Nationalism, especially ethnic nationalism, but that's what we are dealing with here.
Yea, and look at the Spanish flag. Before the world cup run and win by the national team, you rarely saw the national flag on any building but government buildings.. now it is everywhere, cars, buses and so on. The flag was a symbol of the Franco regime but that seems to have changed some what.
 

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Principally because the idea of a united Spanish identity was one that was ruthlessly imposed during the years of Fascist dictatorship. Any hint of regional identity: Catalan, Basque, Galician etc was brutally suppressed. Some Catalans (perhaps more than even the Basques) see the denial of independence as a throw-back to the Francoist repression. Again, the Nationalist politicians shamelessly use this collective memory of the dictatorship to whip up feeling against the rest of Spain, to paint themselves as a victimised people struggling for self-determination.

I hate Nationalism, especially ethnic nationalism, but that's what we are dealing with here.
Gosh I know so little about Spain's history but I do know that there has been a Spain for an exceedingly long time. Are you saying that before Fraco these areas were independent?

They would need to be able to produce their own defence. That might prove a problem.
 

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Gosh I know so little about Spain's history but I do know that there has been a Spain for an exceedingly long time. Are you saying that before Fraco these areas were independent?

They would need to be able to produce their own defence. That might prove a problem.
No, they weren't independent, but prior to Franco the power of central government was much weaker, even under the previous dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, in the 1920s. Effectively the regions had much more autonomy, but not as much as they currently enjoy. Scottish, Welsh and Irish Nationalists in the UK would think all their Christmases had arrived at once if they enjoyed the same level of devolved power that Catalonia or the Basque Country currently exercises.
 

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No, they weren't independent, but prior to Franco the power of central government was much weaker, even under the previous dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, in the 1920s. Effectively the regions had much more autonomy, but not as much as they currently enjoy. Scottish, Welsh and Irish Nationalists in the UK would think all their Christmases had arrived at once if they enjoyed the same level of devolved power that Catalonia or the Basque Country currently exercises.
So what are the plusses for them to stay as part of Spain?
 

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So what are the plusses for them to stay as part of Spain?
Well, clearly these are opn to debate and ARE being debated at the moment, but here are a few:
  • Economic - investment in infrastructure is greater if conducted at a national level. High-speed rail links to Catalonia were paid for by Spanish tax payers as a whole, not just Catalans.
  • Economic 2 - Spain continues to receive subsidies and investment from the EU based on its relatively low GDP. Catalonia's GDP would be much higher, hence they'd lose out.
  • Diplomatic - Spain is a major player at an international level, in the EU, UN, NATO. Catalonia would not be sitting at those tables.
  • Cultural - Catalonia is a melting pot of all Spanish cultures. Independence would see them develop a monoculture and poorer for that.
The main argument however, is that Catalonia is a functioning, integrated autonomous region of Spain. It is prosperous, has its own unique identity and this radical and contentious change would improve no one's economic, military, diplomatic security. It would be divisive and destabilising.

Then, of course, it would destroy FC Barcelona as they would only play Español, Taragona and Lleida week after week after week. That might be the issue that turns the Catalans away from secession. I kid you not!
 
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