Patterico's Pontifications


Spanish Government Signals Harsh Response to Catalan Independence Declaration

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:07 pm

Yesterday, after the regional parliament of Catalonia voted to declare independence, the Spanish government said: allow me to retort.

Basically, the Spanish government asked the regional government: does Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy look like a b*tch?

Madrid reacted to the Catalan parliament’s unilateral declaration of independence on Friday by firing the regional government and dismissing the head of the local police force.

Puigdemont and his cabinet were formally removed from their posts, and their powers and responsibilities taken over by central government in notices posted to the official state bulletin on Saturday morning.

It’s escalating further than that, with threats of rebellion charges:

Spain’s top prosecutor will seek rebellion charges for those responsible for a vote in favor of declaring an independent Catalan republic, an official spokesman said.

The spokesman said the prosecutor is looking to determine if the charges should be limited to the Catalan cabinet, including President Carles Puigdemont and Vice President Oriol Junqueras, or if they should also include members of the parliament’s governing board and lawmakers.

The official, who spoke under condition of anonymity in line with internal rules, said the charges could be brought as early as Monday.

Puigdemont is responding with a message of peaceful defiance:

The Catalan leader has issued a defiant response to Madrid’s decision to take direct control of Catalonia, calling for “democratic opposition” to the takeover.

In a brief video message issued on Saturday afternoon, Carles Puigdemont vowed to continue working to build “a free country”.

“We must do so resisting repression and threats, without ever abandoning, at any time, civic and peaceful conduct,” he said, adding that his government did not have or want “the argument of force”.

I don’t think that is going to work. Whoever commands the most men with guns is going to win this fight, at least in the near term. And right now, that looks like the Spanish government.

Complicating the way all good people should view all this is the fact that what the Catalan public wants is a lot more mixed than it might appear on the surface. The vote in the Catalan parliament yesterday was 70-10. But the 10 votes were a symbolic number left behind by a much larger group. More than 50 members of parliament who opposed secession had left in protest before the vote. They were going to lose, but not by much.

This provides a parallel to the referendum. While voters cast ballots overwhelmingly in favor of independence, virtually all voters who favored continuing the union stayed home, agreeing with the Spanish government that the vote itself was unconstitutional. Only 43% of eligible voters actually voted.

The EU rejects the Catalonian declaration of independence and refuses to recognize Catalonian independence. Scotland, which had held its own independence referendum, was a lonely voice stating a willingness to take the declaration at face value.

It’s all a thorny mess, and it’s likely to get resolved with violence.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

18 Responses to “Spanish Government Signals Harsh Response to Catalan Independence Declaration”

  1. violence is usually the best way to handle these things if one hopes for a definitive outcome

    there’s no lack of historical precedent you know

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  2. “The revolution!? Don’t try to tell me about the revolution! I know all about the revolutions and how they start! The people that read the books, they go to people that don’t read the books -the poor people- and say: “Hoho! the time has come to have a change eh!” […] I know what I’m talking about when I’m talking about the revolutions. […] So the poor people make the change, eh… And then the people that read the books, they all sit around the big polished table and they talk and talk and talk and eat and eat and eat eh… But what has happened to the poor people? THEY’RE DEAD!!! That’s your revolution… So please, don’t tell me about revolutions.”

    The movie scene.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. I think the carlists in the 19th century were big on this sort of Catalan enthusiasms, enthusiasms.

    narciso (899c57)

  4. The population of the USA at the time of the American Civil War was 31,500,000 and 620,000 were killed. The population of Spain at the time of the Spanish Civil War was 25,000,000 and 500,000 were killed.

    The Spaniards killed slightly more of each other per capita than even you Yanks managed.

    I Have traveled a lot in both Spanish Spain and Catalonian Spain, and not just the touristy places, but small towns, Badajoz, Merida, little places way out of Barcelona whose names I can’t even remember. The people are wonderful and I was completely unable to distinguish any significant personal or cultural differences between them.

    If they start killing each other it’ll be another tragedy of stubborn hubris.

    Fred Z (05d938)

  5. True but that was a proxy for the big game, the Germans had the Condor legion, the Soviets had their comintern Allie who weren’t called up till 1941.

    narciso (899c57)

  6. it’s the holidays i can’t even imagine what kind of independence one achieves by gutting your neighbor like a trout at the holidays

    the sum of it being i don’t think these spanish catalonian whatevers are very bright or contributive to anything genuinely purposeful

    their silly drama is altogether for their own entertainment though I’m certainly open to drawing what amusement i can from it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  7. Add to that the republic had lost the parliamentary elections,in ’34, yet it didn’t effectively matter.

    narciso (364166)

  8. Building off of #3, I always wondered which Carlos the candy bar was named after.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  9. As I pointed out in an earlier thread, even were Spain to let them go there would be endless issues between Catalonians and other Spaniards living there. Do those other Spaniards lose their Spanish citizenship? Do they lose benefits the had been receiving? Who do they pay taxes to? Suppose the new government starts discriminating against them? Or dispossessing them if they won’t renounce their Spanish citizenship?

    Ireland broke away from Britain about a hundred years ago, save for a few counties which had pro-English sentiment. It took another 75 years for them to stop fighting.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  10. Then there is always this:

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

    Kevin M (752a26)

  11. Did some one say revolution?

    felipe (023cc9)

  12. you must be insane to want to start a revolution.

    felipe (023cc9)

  13. True but some people think its more like that film.that Eva green debuted in. About the may 68 protests. They don’t reakizr the downsides

    narciso (d1f714)

  14. Great stuff, felipe !

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. The other was very tongue in cheek in bananas, the scene about the dictator deciding that everyone should wear underwear on the outside, is much like the reign of Chavez, but then toilet pOwer becomes scarce and cats even more so. And these are the folks steering the independence movement for the most part. Barcelona is a declared antifa sanctuary like charlottesvillr.

    narciso (d1f714)

  16. It’s all a thorny mess, and it’s likely to get resolved with violence.


    Bryce (1e70a5)

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