dissabte, 30 de novembre de 2013

La Via Catalana - Pepet i Marieta #ElProcésCatalà

Pos, si, torna el moment de fer un petit "actualització" del procés català - directament en anglès :)
Afraid so, it's that time of month again, time for an update on the never-ending Catalan Independence Show. I will not go into the reasons for and against independence, or details of how the situation has evolved over the last few years as all this is to be found in previous posts. No, today's is just a brief note on where we are today - obviously Catalans would like to be in the same situation as the Scots, i.e., with the central government (UK / Spain) allowing a legally-binding referendum on their future. However, it's not the case. The Spanish govt, and chief opposition party, have made clear that the Spanish Constitution will not allow a referendum or independence.
However, over 80% of Catalans believe they should hold a referendum. Plus there is a similiar percentage of Catalan parliamentary support  for this. Sooooo, the Catalan President asked Spanish PM Rajoy about this before the summer and got a clear NO for an answer. Now, they are going to ask again. This time, even more formally. The idea is that the Catalan Parliament passes a proposal for the referendum question and its date, and takes this proposal to Madrid for the Spanish Parliament to decide on. Presumably the Spanish Parliament will say NO, and Catalonia will decide to hold a referendum anyway. After this point, nobody knows what will happen ...
Will the EU step in, to avoid unrest and political instability in such a key area of Europe? Will Spain order the imprisonment of the Catalan President for organizing an "illegal" referendum? What will the people do if their President ends up in jail? Will Spain use force, even military force, to physically prevent the referendum taking place?
If the referendum cannot be held at all, will the Catalan Parliament make an unilateral Declaration of Independence? Then what?

However, let's not get ahead of ourselves. To reach this point, first, as I said, the Catalans want to make a final effort at getting Spain's OK, and to this end, they want to present a referendum proposal to Madrid before the end of 2013. The problem is that this idea is one they have been telling us all year, and now we're about to enter December and they haven't finished arguing yet. The beauty of proportional representation voting systems means there are 4 or 5 different Catalan parties who want to work together on this, but each has a different idea on how to do it. Each party has their own idea on the question and timing, and possible future steps to take. To try to present a unified front to Madrid, the Catalan President is trying to take on everybody's ideas but they are getting nowhere. Will they get their act together? How can they lead us into independence with all the possible risks this involves if they can't even choose a referendum question? Watch this space ....
... but to finish on a positive note, here's the video of the 1.6 million people 400 km human chain for independence held on 11th September. 1.6 million people who DO know what they want!

3 comentaris:

  1. I enjoyed the music video but the people in it all looked healthy and happy, snapping photos on their phones, well-fed and dressed in their red and yellow Catalan shirts. They didn't look like downtrodden people desperate for change. And what would independence mean within the confines of the European Union? Why would it matter? Perhaps it would be best just to move on but I admit that if I were a Catalan I might not feel the same.

  2. Spain would perhaps be the poorer for 'letting' Catalana go... I guess that's why there is resistance?
    In a busy world where there is fast communications and world-wide trade, personal identity can get lost or mixed up. I think who you are is very important. I hope the independent-thinking Catalans can cooperate enough to organise their independence. And then, more importantly, coordinate the new government afterwards...

  3. YP - you're right, we're not talking Tibet here, but each place has its own problems and history and though Catalonia's are "First World Problems", they still need a solution. I will be answering your questions, and others, in a post I'm preparing (still in my head) where I deal with all the doubts and questions I've been getting from non-Catalans ... watch this space (if I don't get sent back to work this week!).

    Katherine - it would probably affect the Spanish economy, but more than that it would also affect their feeling of National Pride. They are an incredibly proud people and Franco's obsession with the unity of Spain was then entrenched in the post-Franco "democratic" constitution - points one and two make clear that Spain must never be split, and the military forces are responsible for making sure this happens. The constitution was written only a couple of years after Franco when it wasn't sure which way Spain would go (see 82's coup) and they tried to please the Franco nostalgists, military and other centralists.
    I agree with you, now more than ever, small efficient nations can best represent their people in this crazy world. Anyway, as I say, more to come ...

    Thanks to everybody for reading !!