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Hundreds of thousands of Catalonians join hands for independence

Rainman05

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Hundreds of thousands of Catalonians join hands for independence | News | DW.DE | 11.09.2013

Hundreds of thousands of people have joined hands across Catalonia in a 400-kilometer (200-mile) long show of their desire to break away from Spain. The demonstration marks the region's growing support for independence.
People clad in yellow t-shirts joined hands across highways and towns on Wednesday in the northeastern region of Spain. Many independence supporters were draped in blue, red and yellow separatist flags.
Tough economic times
"Today is a historic day," said Carme Forcadell, president of the Catalan National Assembly – the group that organized the event. "The Catalan people have reaffirmed their determination to be a free state."
Catalans join hands in huge human chain for independence from Spain | World news | theguardian.com

Anyway.

I don't know how I feel about this, though my feelings don't matter. I can relate to both the separatists and the spanish people who don't want separatism.
I am a firm believer in the right of self-determination. I do think that Spain could do with some federalization to appease both the basque and the catalonians and maybe other ethnic groups, and hence, keep Spain united. Otherwise, there will be social disharmony and tensions.

I am against the idea of separatism NOW, when Spain is down because spain and the spanish people need the strong economic region that is Catalonia to not go bankrupt.... it is the strongest (or 2nd strongest) economic area in Spain. And let's face it, the reason these people want autonomy is because of the tough economic conditions more than the cultural differences.

I think someone is manipulating the catalonian people for political gain. But still.
 

Artevelde

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Hundreds of thousands of Catalonians join hands for independence | News | DW.DE | 11.09.2013




Catalans join hands in huge human chain for independence from Spain | World news | theguardian.com

Anyway.

I don't know how I feel about this, though my feelings don't matter. I can relate to both the separatists and the spanish people who don't want separatism.
I am a firm believer in the right of self-determination. I do think that Spain could do with some federalization to appease both the basque and the catalonians and maybe other ethnic groups, and hence, keep Spain united. Otherwise, there will be social disharmony and tensions.

I am against the idea of separatism NOW, when Spain is down because spain and the spanish people need the strong economic region that is Catalonia to not go bankrupt.... it is the strongest (or 2nd strongest) economic area in Spain. And let's face it, the reason these people want autonomy is because of the tough economic conditions more than the cultural differences.

I think someone is manipulating the catalonian people for political gain. But still.
Spain already is a federal country and Catalonia and the Basque country, as well as several other regions, enjoy quite extensive autonomy.
But that is not the point. Like any nation, the Catalans have an inalienable right to self-determination. It s up to them to decide whether or not they want to chose independence. And their choice (whichever it may be) should be respected by everyone.
 

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Hundreds of thousands of Catalonians join hands for independence | News | DW.DE | 11.09.2013




Catalans join hands in huge human chain for independence from Spain | World news | theguardian.com

Anyway.

I don't know how I feel about this, though my feelings don't matter. I can relate to both the separatists and the spanish people who don't want separatism.
I am a firm believer in the right of self-determination. I do think that Spain could do with some federalization to appease both the basque and the catalonians and maybe other ethnic groups, and hence, keep Spain united. Otherwise, there will be social disharmony and tensions.

I am against the idea of separatism NOW, when Spain is down because spain and the spanish people need the strong economic region that is Catalonia to not go bankrupt.... it is the strongest (or 2nd strongest) economic area in Spain. And let's face it, the reason these people want autonomy is because of the tough economic conditions more than the cultural differences.

I think someone is manipulating the catalonian people for political gain. But still.
That..

Catalonia is the engine of Spain.. it is where industry is and where innovation goes on. BUT! It is also the second worst region financially after the PP run Valencia (last I looked) and the most heavily indebted region of Spain. The independence parties have had power in Catalonia for years and are fully dependent on hand-outs from Madrid.

Of course they claim that if they did not have to move money to the federal system, then they could balance their budget and get rid of their debt.. and well that is doubtful since then they would have to pay for other things that they are at present not paying for.

So even if Catalonia would get independence, then it would go bankrupt overnight because of miss-management on a massive scale.
 

Rainman05

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Spain already is a federal country and Catalonia and the Basque country, as well as several other regions, enjoy quite extensive autonomy.
But that is not the point. Like any nation, the Catalans have an inalienable right to self-determination. It s up to them to decide whether or not they want to chose independence. And their choice (whichever it may be) should be respected by everyone.
It's not really a federal country in the same way that other federal countries are federal. This is true. It's one of the most decentralized countries in the world. It's basically the UK on autonomy steroids.

And that's why I find that the separatists in Catalonia are being pushy. I am not saying that they don't have the right to self-determination, I just think that this separatist movement that is now very strong comes from the economic situation, not so much the cultural divide that separates the people.And I think it's politically motivated by people who want to get some political prestige.
 

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It's not really a federal country in the same way that other federal countries are federal. This is true. It's one of the most decentralized countries in the world.

And that's why I find that the separatists in Catalonia are being pushy. I am not saying that they don't have the right to self-determination, I just think that this separatist movement that is now very strong comes from the economic situation, not so much the cultural divide that separates the people.And I think it's politically motivated by people who want to get some political prestige.
The fight for Catalionian independence is very old and long predates the economic crisis. Claiming that the independence movement results from the economic crisis is flat out wrong.
 

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That..

Catalonia is the engine of Spain.. it is where industry is and where innovation goes on. BUT! It is also the second worst region financially after the PP run Valencia (last I looked) and the most heavily indebted region of Spain. The independence parties have had power in Catalonia for years and are fully dependent on hand-outs from Madrid.

Of course they claim that if they did not have to move money to the federal system, then they could balance their budget and get rid of their debt.. and well that is doubtful since then they would have to pay for other things that they are at present not paying for.

So even if Catalonia would get independence, then it would go bankrupt overnight because of miss-management on a massive scale.
I actually think they would do fine as an independent country. But that is not the point. The point is it should be their choice.
 

Rainman05

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The fight for Catalionian independence is very old and long predates the economic crisis. Claiming that the independence movement results from the economic crisis is flat out wrong.
The fight for independence is not that "historical". True, Catalonia is more of a recent part of Spain than say... much of the rest of the Spain. But they've been part of Spain for centuries and have successfully been part of Spain.

Look, autonomy is one thing. And if the catalonians would be fighting for more autonomy, that's ok, that is their right. But they are already having huge autonomy.

Think about what Europe would look like if every individual cultural group would be able to have it's independence based on their motives. You'd triple the number of countries in Europe overnight.

You'd have 4 countries from Spain alone, at least, you'd have 3-4 countries instead of France, 3 countries instead of the UK, you'd divide Italy in 3 parts and the examples go on and on.
The ethnolinguistic cultural difference between the people of Spain is not big. That's why they can function as an united people, an united country, and the proof lies in the fact that they have successfully functioned as a country for a long time.

The reason this separatist movement is gaining ground now is not because of the cultural differences, but because of the economic situation.
 

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The fight for independence is not that "historical". True, Catalonia is more of a recent part of Spain than say... much of the rest of the Spain. But they've been part of Spain for centuries and have successfully been part of Spain.

Look, autonomy is one thing. And if the catalonians would be fighting for more autonomy, that's ok, that is their right. But they are already having huge autonomy.

Think about what Europe would look like if every individual cultural group would be able to have it's independence based on their motives. You'd triple the number of countries in Europe overnight.

You'd have 4 countries from Spain alone, at least, you'd have 3-4 countries instead of France, 3 countries instead of the UK, you'd divide Italy in 3 parts and the examples go on and on.
The ethnolinguistic cultural difference between the people of Spain is not big. That's why they can function as an united people, an united country, and the proof lies in the fact that they have successfully functioned as a country for a long time.

The reason this separatist movement is gaining ground now is not because of the cultural differences, but because of the economic situation.
I'm sorry but you are wong. The fight for independence did NOT start during the current economic crisis. And clearly you don't know much about 20th century Spanish history (in which the fight for Catalonian independence often turned quite violent and was alo very violently suppressed).

The Catalans are a nation with a much longer history than many of the countries that are now independent in Europe. Do you feel that it is wrong that Ireland is independent? Was it wrong for the Baltic countries to become independent? ...
 

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I actually think they would do fine as an independent country. But that is not the point. The point is it should be their choice.
Well some hurdles they would need to get over.

1) Their budget.. a total mess at the moment with a massive deficit and massive debt.
2) Not being in the EU at the start. This will be a massive problem for the industry in Catalonia, who could easily move internally in what remains of Spain.
3) Having to do things administratively that they did not do before... this costs money, money they dont have.. unless they raise taxes which has its own consequences.
4) Legal and administrative issues that would have to be solved between Spain and Catalonia..

But I agree that it should be up to the people if they want to be part of Spain or not.. but saying that all polls show that people DO want to be part of Spain and dont want independence. There has been one unofficial poll with very low turnout and of course that showed big yes for independence.. but how serious is that considering even local elections in the US have bigger turnouts..

It is a bit like Scotland .. the idea might sound interesting, but the reality is not always so rosey.
 

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Well some hurdles they would need to get over.

1) Their budget.. a total mess at the moment with a massive deficit and massive debt.
2) Not being in the EU at the start. This will be a massive problem for the industry in Catalonia, who could easily move internally in what remains of Spain.
3) Having to do things administratively that they did not do before... this costs money, money they dont have.. unless they raise taxes which has its own consequences.
4) Legal and administrative issues that would have to be solved between Spain and Catalonia..

But I agree that it should be up to the people if they want to be part of Spain or not.. but saying that all polls show that people DO want to be part of Spain and dont want independence. There has been one unofficial poll with very low turnout and of course that showed big yes for independence.. but how serious is that considering even local elections in the US have bigger turnouts..

It is a bit like Scotland .. the idea might sound interesting, but the reality is not always so rosey.
They do have serious budgetary problems, but their economic performance is much better than that of Spain as a whole.
As to them being outside the EU, that is your contention, not necessarily a fact. The EU has never been faced with such an event. But I would point out that many of the recent EU-member states only became member states after gaining their - very recent - independence: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia.
Also, last I heard Norway, Switzerland, etc weren't exactly economic disaster zones.
But again, this is not the point. The point is: do the Catalans have the right to democratically determine their own destiny or not?
 

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The fight for independence is not that "historical".
Bull****. The independence fight has been around since 1492 when the nation of Spain was formed.

True, Catalonia is more of a recent part of Spain than say... much of the rest of the Spain. But they've been part of Spain for centuries and have successfully been part of Spain.
What? Spain is based on the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Castile.. Aragon had Catalonia under it.

You'd have 4 countries from Spain alone
More like 8+ Every region in Spain is basically a "mini nation", and there are 19 regions.

you'd have 3-4 countries instead of France
Actually even more than that. France is originally more than 10 "countries".

3 countries instead of the UK,
Also more.. Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, England.. hell even more than that.

you'd divide Italy in 3 parts and the examples go on and on.
Again far more than that. If we go by the old kingdoms and areas.. it would be 10+ as well. Genoa, Venice, Milan, Ferrara, Pisa, Napoli, Rome and so on and so on...

The ethnolinguistic cultural difference between the people of Spain is not big. That's why they can function as an united people, an united country, and the proof lies in the fact that they have successfully functioned as a country for a long time.
Agreed.

The reason this separatist movement is gaining ground now is not because of the cultural differences, but because of the economic situation.
Agree only partly. Such movements along with racist and nationalist movements always gain power/influence during times of crisis. But the Catalonia independence movement has been around for longer than the crisis. They were a thorn in Franco's butt for decades and before that they were also highly independent minded. So unlike UKIP and Fremskritspartiet in Norway, who gain popularity based on niche issues during crisis.. the Catalonian independence movement have been around for a very long time.
 

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I'm sorry but you are wong. The fight for independence did NOT start during the current economic crisis. And clearly you don't know much about 20th century Spanish history (in which the fight for Catalonian independence often turned quite violent and was alo very violently suppressed).

The Catalans are a nation with a much longer history than many of the countries that are now independent in Europe. Do you feel that it is wrong that Ireland is independent? Was it wrong for the Baltic countries to become independent? ...
I never said that the fight for independence started during the economic crisis, I just said that they are becoming rather pushy now because of the economic crisis. Before the economic crisis though things weren't fine and dandy, they didn't have these demands. Autonomy was enough.

And I'm not including the franco era in these discussions or the pre-civil war era. That's a whole different can of worms. Just the past 10-20years.

The baltic countries became independent because they were under communism and communism collapsed. If the communist regime of the USSR had endured, the baltic states, as well as the rest of Europe, wouldn't have been freed and truly independent for years. And Ireland is a whole different discussion.

None of the examples you repoted have anything in common with the Catalan situation in Spain.
They have great regional autonomy, all of spain has great regional autonomy, and they are not oppressed. They are also not another ethnolinguistic group. Catalans are part of the same ethnolinguistic macrogroup as the rest of the Spanish people. The Baltic people are a whole different people, with their own unique culture, distinctly different than the Russian one. And even among themselves, estonian=/=lithuanian=/=letonian. That's why they have their own countries.

Let me put it this way. If Portugal was part of Spain and the Portugesse people would demand their own independence, that's fine, because they their own ethnolinguistic group, distinctly separate from other spanish ones. And so their demands are valid. If the Basque, who are their own ethnolinguistic group, very different from the rest of Spain, demand their independence, ok, I can get behind that and say that it's a valid claim. But catalans aren't. There are cultural differences between them and other Spanish people but no more than what other Spanish people have among each other in various regions like the galicians with the Andalusians. But they are all part of the same ethnolinguistic group. Get it?

This is why I am saying that their fight for independence doesnt' stem from a cultural divide that cannot be crossed. It stems from the economic divide that this current economic crisis brought. Look at their demands and their motives, their economic

Many people in Catalonia,feel they have been hard done by the Spanish government as it deals with the country's recession. Some say that were the long-wealthy but recently struggling region be granted independence, it could break free from the tough economic times affecting Spain.
 

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They do have serious budgetary problems, but their economic performance is much better than that of Spain as a whole.
Yes .. however the economic performance is due to its historical centre of industry and much better infrastructure than most parts of Spain.

As to them being outside the EU, that is your contention, not necessarily a fact. The EU has never been faced with such an event.
Yes it is my contention based on present day logic. Now unless Catalonia would some how be able to negotiate something before independence, then the logic dictates that they leave Spain and the EU and then can apply. Now this might take no time at all, but it could also take some time because budget and debt issues.

But I would point out that many of the recent EU-member states only became member states after gaining their - very recent - independence: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia.
It still took years.

Also, last I heard Norway, Switzerland, etc weren't exactly economic disaster zones.
They have a sweet heart deal with the EU no doubt about that.. but who says that anyone else can get such a deal? It is not automatic, and has to be negotiated and such things take time. In the mean time companies have no idea what the future brings, and insecurity brings doubt, and since it is easy to move companies then well.

But again, this is not the point. The point is: do the Catalans have the right to democratically determine their own destiny or not?
Yes.
 

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I never said that the fight for independence started during the economic crisis, I just said that they are becoming rather pushy now because of the economic crisis. Before the economic crisis though things weren't fine and dandy, they didn't have these demands. Autonomy was enough.
Do you see the manifest contradiction in what you write?
 

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Yes it is my contention based on present day logic. Now unless Catalonia would some how be able to negotiate something before independence, then the logic dictates that they leave Spain and the EU and then can apply. Now this might take no time at all, but it could also take some time because budget and debt issues.
Independence (if that s what they choose) will not come about through some sort of violent revolution but through a democratic and negotiated process. Your contention has nothing to do with logic. Catalonia joined the EU every bit as much as the rest of Spain when Spain joined. If we were to follow your logic, then the new country of Spain would have to reapply for membership too. This obviously is nonsense.
 

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There is no contradiction. This is not a black and white situation.
You write first that you don't argue that the demand for independence only came with the economic crisis. And then you write that before the economic crisis thy were satisfied with autonomy. You don't see the contradiction in that?
 

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It still took years.
Yes, and without their independence they would never have been able to join the EU. You now expect al these countries to decide that a nation that has been within the EU for longer than they have been should not have the right to this same independence?
 

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Bull****. The independence fight has been around since 1492 when the nation of Spain was formed.

What? Spain is based on the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Castile.. Aragon had Catalonia under it.

I am not counting the years when Spain was under some form of dictatorship, either monarchy (that had power) or totalitarianism. Just in the post-franco years, and more specifically, just since Spain got it's stuff together after the franco era. So basically at best, 20-25 years.

More like 8+ Every region in Spain is basically a "mini nation", and there are 19 regions.

Actually even more than that. France is originally more than 10 "countries".

Also more.. Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, England.. hell even more than that.

Again far more than that. If we go by the old kingdoms and areas.. it would be 10+ as well. Genoa, Venice, Milan, Ferrara, Pisa, Napoli, Rome and so on and so on...
I was being conservative in my statements. You can divide Europe according to every traditional duchy, county and city state that existed in Europe since the middle ages but how will that help make a logical case? It won't. I was going more for the cultural differences that exist in every ethnoinguistic group... so while you are true that you can chop Italy in countless city states, it's not like each city state has it's own etnolinguistic tradition. It has it's own history that adds to it's uniqueness, not some underlying ethnolinguistic difference difference.
 

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And I'm not including the franco era in these discussions or the pre-civil war era. That's a whole different can of worms. Just the past 10-20years.
Well the fight for independence has been going on for centuries and throughout the whole 20th century. Not just the last 10-20 years.
 

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You write first that you don't argue that the demand for independence only came with the economic crisis. And then you write that before the economic crisis thy were satisfied with autonomy. You don't see the contradiction in that?
There is no contradiction. You just fail to detect the nuances in my statements repeatedly.
The demand for independence came with the economic crisis but the roots are from historical reasons. But it was the economic crisis that was the catalyst and provided the needed motivation to move the public into large protests. Before the economic crisis, you didn't have the catalyst. The cultural divide was not enough, is not enough because they are the predominantly, the same people that belong to the same ethnolinguistic group.

Well the fight for independence has been going on for centuries and throughout the whole 20th century. Not just the last 10-20 years.
I told you that I am not including the totalitarian eras as part of the discussion. Only after Spain got its democracy back and had it's **** together can you start a truthful discussion on just what drives people to want independence.
 

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This is why I am saying that their fight for independence doesnt' stem from a cultural divide that cannot be crossed. It stems from the economic divide that this current economic crisis brought. Look at their demands and their motives, their economic
Who are you to tell which nation is "culturally distinct" enough and which isn't?

And again, you are the one refusing to look at their motives and history.

Have you heard about Slovenia? Croatia? Slovakia? The Czech republic? ....
 

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There is no contradiction. You just fail to detect the nuances in my statements repeatedly.
The demand for independence came with the economic crisis but the roots are from historical reasons. But it was the economic crisis that was the catalyst and provided the needed motivation to move the public into large protests. Before the economic crisis, you didn't have the catalyst. The cultural divide was not enough, is not enough because they are the predominantly, the same people that belong to the same ethnolinguistic group.
So now you are again arguing that the demand for independence didn't exist before the economic crisis. This is patently wrong.
 

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So now you are again arguing that the demand for independence didn't exist before the economic crisis. This is patently wrong.
Are you being like this on purpose to get me mad or what? Can you not read what I am saying? Do I have to start using pretty pictures and smaller words to make you understand?

I am arguing that the demand for independence didn't have enough support from the population before the economic crisis. Why? Because the only thing separatists had to motivate people to demand separation is a cultural difference between spanish people and catalans. That's it. And that wasn't enough to get people to want to be independent. The fact that Catalania is a very autonomous was good enough, separation was an overkill.

But the economic crisis gave the separatists another angle to support their case. There is a reason why Catalans are demanding independence now and say, galicians or andalusians aren't. Because Catalania is like Texas is for the USA. A region that is pretty good overall economically and that can stand on it's own two feet economically, and that feels that by being part of Spain, they are suffering economically.

On the other hand, Galicia isn't the economic powerful region in Spain that Catalonia is. And because of that, galician separatists don't have a case to make for Galician independence based on the fact that if Galicia was on it's own, it would be better off economically. Because it wouldn't. So for Galicia, it is economically beneficial to be part of Spain, even though Spain is in the trash economically. And the galician separatists can't demand independence due to cultural reasons because the cultural reasons isn't enough to demand independence. The fact that they have such large autonomy is good enough.
 

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Let them be. :)
I don't know if they will have to apply for EU membership. ;)
 
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