Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 01, 2017

On Catalonia's Referendum

Some people in Catalonia, a rich and culturally distinct area in north-east of Spain, want to secede from the larger country. According to polls (pdf) less than half of the people in the area support the move. The local government prepared for a referendum and called for a local vote.

Polling stations were set up for today. But Spanish laws do not allow for such polls or a separation. Catalonia, like other Spanish regions, already has a good degree of autonomy. If Catalonia were to secede the Basque areas in the north would likely follow. Spain would fall apart. Under Spanish law the referendum is illegal. The central government sent police to prevent the procedure. Street melees ensued.

A lot of mistakes have been made by the central government. It was stubborn in negotiations. It reacted too late to - at least partially - reasonable demands. Its insensitivity only incited resistance to it. But it is also responsible for the country as a whole. The behavior of local government is not much better. It is just as conservative, in its own way, as the government in Madrid.

Catalonia has a GDP per capita of some $33,580/year. For Spain as a whole the GDP per capita is $26,643/year. Many factors account for the difference. Catalonia has an advantages in climate, in the vicinity of the French border, the high attractiveness for tourists with its capital Barcelona and its beaches. It has a well developed industry. But the "rest of Spain" is also, by far, its biggest market.

A richer part of the country does not want to subsidize the poorer ones. But it still wants to profit from them.

In general the splitting off of sub-states from the bigger, established nations weakens both. It is easier for outside forces to manipulated smaller states than larger ones. While the motives in this or that case are understandable, they are also, in my view, shortsighted.

During the Spanish civil war in the 1930s Catalonia and Basque areas were the last Republican strongholds against the winning right-wing Nationalists. That history lives on in today's conflict. No one should wish to repeat it.

Posted by b on October 1, 2017 at 10:16 UTC | Permalink

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Its interesting to watch western MSM and western politician doing everything to smear the right of local people to establish their own state.

And of course, Putin is blamed for this event also!

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1 2017 10:22 utc | 1

French gov radio explaining as if it was just a light joke that "pictures of people with bloody faces started to circulate on social media" and that the police shot rubber bullets.
at 2'
Imagine if it was in Russia or Syria..

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 10:36 utc | 2

It is easier for outside forces to manipulated smaller states than larger ones.

I respectfully disagree. If memory serves, places like Switzerland, which is not in the EU, or tiny Cuba defend themselves very well. And don't see that Russia has been particularly easy to manipulate after the general plundering that followed the break-up of the Soviet Union was stopped by Putin.

On the other hand, the EU countries bloc, which would count as one large country, is mercilessly manipulated by its non-elected bureaucrats, corporate lobbies, and exterior influences (see the recent CETA, which was imposed without any democratic process whatsoever).

But yes, at least momentarily, the breaking-up of a country is bound to economically weaken its seceded parts, which is something different. IMHO.

Posted by: Lea | Oct 1 2017 10:49 utc | 3

What ever you think about the issue, the way Spnish government is handling it is a catastrophe

Posted by: OldWolf | Oct 1 2017 10:51 utc | 4

It's contradictory and ridiculous. Propagating for "independence" while staying within the gargantuan Borg-collective EU doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

One also has to wonder were the usual suspects are in this case. Soros?

Posted by: mia | Oct 1 2017 10:57 utc | 5

Unfortunately Madrid's reaction to the referendum - which the Spanish government should have foreseen as early as the Scottish independence referendum back in 2015 - has probably helped to legitimise the Catalonian referendum and made it look more important than it actually is to the Catalonian public. Madrid should have advised the public that the referendum was illegal under Spanish law, explained its case as to why, and left targeted would-be voters pondering the consequences if they had chosen to participate.

I would like to say also that it's not like B to simply say that Madrid sent the police in to disrupt the referendum and leave it at that, and that nations splitting into two or more smaller states become more open to outside interference and manipulation. It is possible that Madrid has sent in the police because other countries in Spain's neighbourhood (hint, hint) fear that Catalonian independence may be a precedent for moves towards self-government and separation in their own territories and are leaning on the Spanish to stop the Catalans. It is possible also that austerity programs adopted by governments in various European countries are helping to drive separation and independence movements. These movements potentially threaten EU unity.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 1 2017 11:10 utc | 6

Separation and holding a referendum are two different things. Separation may not be allowed according to the Spanish constitution, so the Spanish government could simply ignore the result, just like referendum results are nearly always ignored by the government in my own country (the Netherlands). But how can the mere act of placing pieces of paper in a box itself be considered illegal, to be answered with by police batons and rubber bullets?

Posted by: 0use4msm | Oct 1 2017 11:13 utc | 7

There were two interesting programs on France24 about the Catalan referendum. From what i gathered, the president of Catalunya said the latest polls they had were not even giving a majority to the yes, but the refusal of Madrid to let a democratic referendum was worsening the situation. Catalunya has been trying to beg Madrid for discussions for years on several issues but it seems that the king and the Madrid gov are just so corrupt they refuse to open files normally.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 11:14 utc | 8

"Catalonia has an advantages in climate, in the vicinity of the French border, the high attractiveness for tourists of its capital Barcelona and its beaches." ???
oh really, you mean the Costa Brava etc do not attract millions of Brits/Germans/Scandinavian countries? Not to mention the Saudis who land with a dozen of planes each year?
But where is the money going?

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 11:22 utc | 9

Don't believe the hype.

Madrid (PP) and Catalunya (CiU) are equally corrupt. In fact CiU no longer exists as all it's party offices have been embargoed by the judges.

But jolly useful for distracting people from austerity programmes. (People who lose jobs, on average, earn 12% less in their new jobs in Spain).

The NWO plan is to bring down the nation states. Worked jolly well in Yugoslavia, nearly worked in Syria.

Glued to the telly, so can't give links, but recently Thierry Meyssan reported on a speech by Princeling Macron. In the future we will no longer have nation states, just city states.

Germany and Italy became Nation States in the 19th century because they realised that city states had no future, no defence, no "sovereignty".

Posted by: el sid | Oct 1 2017 11:39 utc | 10

constitutional crisis is the new global malignancy,

and it's a lumpy one,

like hemorrhoids.

Posted by: john | Oct 1 2017 11:56 utc | 11

That's it now. It's really serious.

The Catalan Football Federation has cacelled all matches.

Posted by: el sid | Oct 1 2017 11:59 utc | 12

One of my favourite places in the world to hang out is a former fishing village about I dunno, 60 Kilometers north of Barcelona, a town called Cadaques and a staunchly Catalan village. Many of the tourists who have flooded the joint speak better Spanish than the locals who still prefer the Catalan language in their day to day conversations.
When I first visited, sometime in the 80's, France still banned Catalan festivals (Catalonia per se is divided pretty much in half on the Mediterranean coast between France & Spain), so French Catalans would come south to towns like Cadaques to celebrate their culture. The locals ripped them off blind and took great amusement in doing so. Most of the French Catalans had lost their language, so for many of them it was sorta like the way the Scots families in Aotearoa celebrated "the Highland Games" a sort of dedicated hobby, whereas for Catalans still held captive by the Madrid/Castillan oppressor who they last fought less than 50 years before, this was no hobby, it was their life.

The similarities between england's conquest of Scotland Wales and Ireland, and Castile's butchery and oppression of Catalonia and the Basque Country is strong.
The chief difference being that Culloden was fought 200 years ago and the Spanish Civil War less than 100 years. The wounds are still fresh and as Catalans describe it, the portion of the Constitution which prevents their self determination is thanks to General Franco who was meant to have retired by then, but his meglomania had him insist the new constitution which he was not meant to be involved in drafting, included provisions to keep Basque and Catalan kissing Castile's arse.
The Catalans have always been more, shall we say indirect, when it comes to resisting than the Basques, but they are no less determined, I have no doubt that Rajoy's stupidity in cranking up opposition to the ballot in order to distract from investigations of widespread corruption in the People's Party will guarantee an independent Catalonia sooner, rather than later.

Just as I have no doubt that the englander's crazy decision to bolt from the EU rather than fight to alter it will actually precipitate many of the changes the EU needs to make. A reformed EU will mean that many of the artificial nation states put together by greedy euroroyalty will wither and reduce to their constituent parts - because well run smaller states are always more likely to provide a better more humanist way of life than the mega nations with populations closing on 100 million, where even those states which claim to be 'democracies' are controlled by a political elite who rarely interact with those outside their clique. Trying to communicate with functionaries of a mega state makes attempting to get human service outta Microsoft, Apple or Google, a piece of piss in comparison.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 1 2017 12:02 utc | 13

if this would be some ex-soviet county or Asian or African country all the hell broken loose for "right to vote" and for "independence". The world master's would call emergency meeting for the Security Council and unanimously vote in for demand of that "people".

But the country in case is Spain, NATO member, EU member. The country that belong to the Western and Cristian "civilization". Secession is no-no either as a word or an event.

Someone posted that this would jeopardize the EU. I would say to hell with EU if this going to do harm to blood suckers that I am for Catalan independence.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 12:06 utc | 14

el sid | Oct 1, 2017 7:39:18 AM | 10

Difference PP is Franco's party. It is fascists party.

Second thing, that "B" posted about the Spain's GDP $33,580 is just nonsense. Globalist love to post these figures as a measure of (fictional) wealth.

Hey, B go and ask youth in Spain (~25%) what's their "GDP".

"B" also mention the Constitution. I wonder who wrote that and when?

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 12:15 utc | 15

It'll be interesting to see if all the trolls agitating for Barzanistan independence will be out again in force here...and with the same level of hysteria...

I wager they will be conspicuous by their absence...

When it comes to secession movements, the key word is 'targeted'...

Good for Kosovo...bad for South Ossetia and Abkhazia and Crimea...

Good for Iraqi and Syrian Kurds...bad for Turkish Kurds...

Good for Bosnia splitting from Yugoslavia...bad for Serbs splitting from Bosnia...

Is anyone still fooled...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 1 2017 12:18 utc | 16

Actually it is 38.6% according to this

but you would not that from Eurostat.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 12:20 utc | 17

Franco was a great man. Killed a lot of commies.

Posted by: Lemur | Oct 1 2017 12:26 utc | 18

@flankerbandit | Oct 1, 2017 8:18:35 AM | 16

You are typical AngloZionist Leftist.

Idiot, plain and simple. Get some books from history and learn what's happened.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 12:28 utc | 19

"Then the U.S. came down like a sledgehammer again on Yugoslavia when on November 5, 1990 Congress passed the 1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations Law 101-513. A section of this law, without previous warning, cut off all aid, credits and loans from the U.S. to Yugoslavia within 6 months. Also, the law demanded separate elections in each of the republics that made up Yugoslavia, requiring State Department approval of election procedures and results before aid to the separate republics would be resumed. In February 1991 the Council of Europe also demanded that Yugoslavia hold multi-party elections or face an economic blockade."

Death sentence has been made the US.

Need more?

But you have no brain since you read and "understand" selectively.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 12:32 utc | 20

you said:
"During the Spanish civil war in the 1930s Catalonia and Basque areas were the last Republican strongholds against..."

you are falling into the independentist rethoric.
Pais basco was in the hands of nationalist as early as 1937 at the end of the first year of war (more than half of the Pais Vasco was Pro Nationalist because of religion and ideology) please inform yourself better before write thing like this.

Catalonia lasted till the end, because of geographical consideration (it was in the rearguard, deep into Republican lines) but with its typical nationalistic ideology it just made thing quite complicated for the republic to defend itself. Not to mention a a civil war inside the civil war (see "sucesos de Mayo")
confronted with national troops it simply couldn't stand and fell apart after the Ebro Offensive.

Catalonian independence Referendum it is Ilegal (against the spanish constitution) have no warranties of any kind, and will be cooked as needed in order to get more subsides and money from the government in Madrid. It is used by nationalistic politicians as a smoke curtain to hide behind in order not to be put to jail after 30 years of corruption. They are not called unoficially the 3% comission Party for nothing.

Also say that Catalonian GDP it is actually 17% of Spain's GDP, with about 15% population of Spain. Who's subsidizing who's it is not clear. But related to Spain's External Debt, Catalonia account for about 25 % of it, not to mention 1000s of business have left (and are leaving the region every year) for other parts of Spain since at least 20 years.

Things are not that clear, once you put an eye on the facts. Off course the Nationalist rhetoric is that with independence will come a Golden Age for Catalonia, but when did a politician tell the truth?

Posted by: F.MAN | Oct 1 2017 12:46 utc | 21

Before talking of secession check facts. The Catalans don't want to be out the EU, just to have a different relation with Spain. No big deal if not for big money.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 12:53 utc | 22

Ah, yes, than to support "independence" of the Yugoslav republics BND and CIA started to ship weapons trough Austria and Hungary. The Serbs had been already armed to the teeth from depot of ex army.

Helmut Kohl and Genscher (US puppets) actively participated and hastily recognized independence of Slovenia. The US' puppet Milosevic (via Lawrence Eaagleburger) and Serbian establishment was all the way to dismantle Yugoslavia.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 12:53 utc | 23

That exactly is the problem.

Either there is a EU where countries redistribute income within the EU (as countries do within as in richer regions supporting poorer ones), then Catalonian and others independence is no problem. Or, as is, the exit of a region takes money out of the rest of the country.

The current mood in Germany for a common EU economy is "no way".

Posted by: somebody | Oct 1 2017 12:58 utc | 24

What I don't understand is why the Catalans did not apply a B plan since yesterday. Assange say they blocked apps etc but why not distributing an envelope with a stamp, addressed to the Brussel Commission or any other international party. A few millions envelopes cannot be hidden under a carpet.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 13:03 utc | 25

@F.MAN | Oct 1, 2017 8:46:34 AM | 21

"Catalonian independence Referendum it is Ilegal (against the spanish constitution)...."

It is funny word "legal" or "illegal". According to the west political philosophy, Vox Populi is Vox Dei so what is legal or illegal it is matter of the power and who has monopole on power (security forces), who interpreting the law.

Second thing since the PP is typical capitalist party with only aim to serve foreign financial centers and looting own people I very much doubt they are into legality of any kind. This is power struggle, where perception and rhetoric and emotions are very important in order to "win".

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 13:10 utc | 26

The Spanish government has overreacted to the referendum. The question is why? They should have let it go. The vote may have been no, and even if yes, it was unconstitutional and the Catalan gov't could do nothing. No one would recognize them.

Obviously, the vote was/is a negotiation tactic for more autonomy, not separation. The fascists in Madrid have made it a referendum on European democracy.

Posted by: Blue | Oct 1 2017 13:12 utc | 27

The economic driver is there, b. But not only. Spain is a complex nation of nations, that has been hold together by force. The last time the Spanish people tried to deal with democratically, through the Federal Republic of 1931 the army started a civil war whose effects, in terms of murder, torture and prison lasted way long after they won the war. People in Catalunya, Basque Country or Galicia were harassed and humiliated because of having a different language and culture other than Spanish. The Constitution of 1978, that opened the way to have a democratic Spain, was agreed between some formerly illegal political parties and the Franquista establishment, leaving to the king and to the army the protection of the unity of the country.

Since the politically-contral Constitutional Court mutilated the Catalan Stature if Autonomy, the Spanish government has kept its door closed to all Catalonian REI indications. Indeed, the Catalan government is plagued by corruption, as the Spanish ruling party is. But the bottom of the question is the right of the people to decide who should be ruling them. One can agree or not on the decision taken, but this right, to me, is undeniable and there always be people ready to fight for it

Posted by: Kuerbovich | Oct 1 2017 13:19 utc | 28

Rajoy is ex Lehman Brothers executive.

Need to say more?

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 13:20 utc | 29

B response seems disappointing. Completely ignores that Spain is a Catholic fascist country since Franco coup and civil war ended in 1939 only because Hitler support and German Luftwaffe , bombing civilians, before Nuremberg committing a war crime. should we forget about it Orwellian style?

It is even more disturbing considering direct similarities between Crimea and Donbass events of 2014 where Nazi central government violently suppressed local authorities responding to local people demand for autonomy or independence, freedom from fascism.

Regardless of political advantages right of people to self determination is in the UN charter and unfortunate moral relativism expressed by b is not serving over all goal of ending global western hegemony of oligarchic class.

Well, suppose defenders of democracy in the west and worshipping elections to the level of going to war in MENA to assure democratic elections and democratic rule , now eat their feces of gigantic hypocrisy.
Police thugs beating up elderly people waiting to vote, Trump is silent, DEMS are silent, MSM is silent.
What possible crime requiring police violence is casting a ballot?

Spain was and is a fascist state so is EU fascist emporium, those election looks identical to April 1933 election under Hitler emergency rule, tens of thousands voters were beaten or arrested by police at polling stations and that included various party members as well as the very candidates running in the election who were beaten and arrested while trying to cast a vote.(most still were elected while in prisoner)

All those phony defenders of democracy choked, only deafening silence, no word, no condemnation of police violence, no defending right to vote revealing themselves all of stooges of deep state run by oligarchic class set sim for mass extermination of population and terror.

And all of that what for? When simple declaration of illegality of the vote by Madrid would have suffice, why so desperate violent move that only will increase the number of Catalonians voting yes.
Here is the answer.

What most are missing is the fact that Madrid panic response is not about Catalonia it is about Basque country.
The Catalonia issue in fact stems more from 2008 crisis and their carrying most of cost of Spanish recovery, they want to get better share of they money they send to Madrid and have been utterly ignored and disrespected by Madrid de facto fascist regime.

In fact like Scotland, [what killed their referendum] they want to stay in EU and probably last year referendum would have failed anyway so why not done then and got over with it last year.

It is because it would set a precedent of region leaving the Spain peacefully while Basque country was not able accomplish it for over several decades, as the only Spanish anti-fascist force to fight Franco fascists [liberation struggle continued by ETA] before and after WWII until 1975 and later fascists who just changed uniform for democrats.

The famous Picasso painting Guernica is about a Franco defiant Basque city leveled by German Luftwaffe [air force, killed hundreds] sent by Hitler to destroy democratically elected Republican government of Spain just a year or so before WWII stated in Sept 1939 while west was watching.

Posted by: Kalen | Oct 1 2017 13:25 utc | 30

For those of you who wish to hear an opinion that maybe somewhat different than the left leaning thing you read here. I offer this post from bionic mosquito

Posted by: Dave S | Oct 1 2017 13:43 utc | 31

Why would any legal system centered around ensuring oligarchic control ever contain within it a "legal" means from exiting that system?

Calling people to respect such laws is calling them to respect the rule of the master.

Posted by: Out of Istanbul | Oct 1 2017 13:46 utc | 32

politico has a potted recent legislative history while i’m not up on all the details it looks ok:

Yes b, the Central Gvmt. has been singularly rigid, disdainful and all-out dumb. Creatitivity zero. They seem to have made many mis-steps, no doubt escalating the pro-independence crowd.

Ex. A non-binding referendum is always a good idea, but was suspended by the Const. Court, as was a new form of the same, called some “participatory process”.. but … it went ahead anyway. (36% turnout, v. low, 80% for independ. 2014 see link.) The oppo to get some ‘real’ numbers on board, and have all the issues ‘aired’ was lost.

Catalonia indeps. seek to become a ‘new country’ that would replicate the EU model: the rich country loves its folklore - language, costume, habits, etc.- and does not pay for the poor elsewhere through taxation, only thru negotiated contribution to ‘solidarity’ or other voluntary participatory funds. — See e.g. in EU, Germany and Greece.

At the same time, the EU has always had the aim of ‘regionalising’ areas for them to come under the remit of the new Central Command (EU Brussels), thus gradually diluting the power of the ‘old’ Nation-State(s), for now a stealthy process.

The Catalan indeps. are not radical pre-cursors here, prob. they were encouraged by the ‘seeming’ impact, success, of some color revolution play-books, the engineered identity or ‘community’ politics to split ppl, groups.

Rajoy is a Merkel pet and there is no way the EU will get involved with this potential regional break-away. Were Catalonia to become independent, it would have to apply to join the EU. Ouch.

see mia @ 5, jen @ 6, poster @ 7, mina, and el-sid @ 10 on city states.

Imho the breakaway impulse, like in many places, is fuelled in a large part by HIGH youth unemployment. Another topic for another day.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 1 2017 13:51 utc | 33

The Spanish (Fascist) Deep State:

All those false flags operation in Spain have a mark of a fascists.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 13:52 utc | 34

In the name of democracy I will not let you vote.

Posted by: Victor J | Oct 1 2017 13:57 utc | 35

Now the French Prime Minister has waded into the debate and suggested an independent Catalonia could signal the end of Europe.

He said on the radio channel La Ser: “It means in a certain way the end of what Europe is, which is a federation of nation states.

“If one of these states decides to change its borders, the consequences can be very important at a time where Europe is fragile.”

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 14:02 utc | 36

I read the other day that Valonia (Belgian federal unit) send the best wishes to Catalans.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 14:04 utc | 37

Huh...according to ex French PM ramifications and consequences of Catalan independence are way far reaching than the one would assume.

That's might explain extreme and repressive measure from Madrid.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 14:08 utc | 38

Also, the EU has not said a word since one year that the referendum has been announced for this month.(Initially for September and postponed)

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 14:14 utc | 39

1. I think that the Madrid government saw this as something they had to do in order to save Spain from "being destroyed" (as they would see it, as if they did allow the previous referendum a few years ago but this time the Catalan authorities had said they would essentially declare independence and take control of borders if the vote was in favour of independence).

2. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some pressure exerted by the Spanish military on the Madrid government. The military is acutely aware that it is heir to a state which was once the most powerful in the world (Charles V etc) and at its height ruled more territory than the current Russia occupies. Spain lost the Americas but the Spanish state in Madrid was always acutely aware of the fact that the part of Iberia which they ruled, excluding Portugal, was comprised of different ethno-linguistic groups which could, like Portugal, seek to secede.

This insecurity is what drove Franco's anti-Catalan policies of the mid-20th century.

A figure from the Spanish military did allude to military intervention a few years earlier.

3. The EU is clearly supporting Madrid with its conspicuous silence, whereas (as others had correctly pointed out) if it was in some ex-Soviet or non-white region, they would have been the foremost champions of "freedom" and "the right to democracy".

France also has Catalans (though their identity has been heavily diluted) in its borders but not only that Catalan is very similar to Occitan which was widely prevalent in the south of France and would get strengthened with the emergence of a Catalan state.

France's separatist issues also extend to Brittany and Corsica.

4. Most Catalans are opposed to independence because whilst they view themselves as a separate nation (culturally-linguistically) they still view themselves as part of Spain. They holiday in other parts of Spain, have Spanish (non-Catalan) relatives, friends, spouses, have studied and worked in other parts of Spain. However this issue is not merely about abstract and altruistic concepts of freedom and self-determination it can also be seen as dirty politicking by corrupt politicans from both Barcelona and Madrid.

The Catalan politicians most likely want to have the same sort of fiscal independence that the Basques have and are using the threat of independence/secession as a bogeyman with which to exact concessions from Madrid.

5. This doesn't detract from the fact that Madrid has been very irresponsible and due to its insecurity about the dissolution of Iberia's largest state has been very insensitive and harsh towards legitimate Catalan demands for greater freedom/autonomy which Catalans have actually tried to acquire within the framework of the Spanish legal structure.

Catalan separatists have never used violence.

6. What will happen?

I think ultimately Madrid will be forced to speak to Barcelona and some sort of agreement will have to be made whereby the Catalan region may get the same or slightly the same powers and status as the highly decentralized Basque region.

7. The US (CIA) media seem to be somewhat sympathetic towards the Catalans, hence possibly indicative of the often perceived US desire to weaken its EU rival.

Posted by: Muslim Dude | Oct 1 2017 14:16 utc | 40

“At least half of the members of my party are members of the Catalan Friends of Israel Association. Israel is a democratic state, and we support the steps it takes for survival, and the survival of the Jewish people. We have no intention of criticizing what its government does. We seek cooperation with Israel, and we hope it will support our independence movement. It is clear that an independent Catalonia will be a close friend of Israel – there’s no doubt about that.”
read more:

Posted by: pio | Oct 1 2017 14:18 utc | 41

But I doubt that Rajoy has made such decision on its own. I doubt he has guts for it, nor strength. He is just apparatchik. In addition he doesn't have loyalty except to globalists and money. Barcelona is too lucrative and rich to be leave alone.

Some foreign factor must be involved in his decision making process.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 14:19 utc | 42

Valls is not French Prime Minister but former FM, and a Catalan binational.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 14:23 utc | 43

houps, maybe i've foreseen something and some ppl might become "Catalan bi nationals"; just to say he is Catalan.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 14:26 utc | 44

" Most Catalans are opposed to independence because whilst they view themselves as a separate nation (culturally-linguistically) they still view themselves as part of Spain."

See this before write anything of that sort:

Maybe your translation is different. ;)

It seems to me that Madrid doing exactly what Barcelona need.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 14:28 utc | 45

Mina | Oct 1, 2017 10:23:47 AM | 43

The point is?

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 14:29 utc | 46

answering Chauncey Gardiner and comment 26
the questions is ...
1.- Do we live in a Country under the Rule of Law? or are we living in the Jungle...

if the answer is yes, there is a rule of Law, under which all citizens have equal rights and are equally accountable for their acts, then the Referendum is Illegal, and the politicians promoting it should be in jail.
if the answer is that the rule of the Jungle is the good one, then there would be no referendum because they would have been in Jail long time ago.

Posted by: F.MAN | Oct 1 2017 14:47 utc | 47

The actions in Catalonia today show the true colours of the EUSSR.

They also show why the UK was so wise to vote for so-called "Brexit".

I predict a Catalan declaration on Tuesday - and that is when the fun will really start.

First thing to look for would be La Liga expelling all Catalan clubs from the League effective immediately - which will throw European football into chaos for a start!

Then the markets will likely start going a little crazy - particularly in Spain obviously!

Posted by: Julian | Oct 1 2017 14:53 utc | 48

After reading b's bit, I knew there would be comparisons to other "breakaway" attempts especially from areas that are doing better economically or with resources like the Kurds in Iraq or the Benghazi area of Libya. Flankerbit caught the double standards at play. It's funny when some in the US suggest secession of either California or Texas or some other state.

Posted by: Curtis | Oct 1 2017 15:01 utc | 49

"....which will throw European football into chaos for a start!"

Which would be an excellent thing. Hope for better.

Misnomer, it is not European football, it is football of the five western states that have monopolized that sport on the worst possible way. Thus, preventing everybody else's to go ahead. UEFA and FIFA are like mafia organizations.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 15:05 utc | 50


Catalan referendum will probably yield a "NO" so why would they claim a declaration?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1 2017 15:15 utc | 51

The point was that reading your post one believes he is the current FM and speaks about a political issue, while the reality is that he spoke/was asked because he often mention his roots (and is no longer FM)

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 15:18 utc | 52

Good twitter accounts to follow in this live

some of the security forces have refused to attack the people and have protected them against the guardia civile

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 15:30 utc | 53

This statement shares the skepticism about this secessionist movement:

Oppose the state crackdown on the Catalan independence referendum!
For working class unity! No to separatism in Spain!
Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International, 30 September 2017
On the eve of the October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia, Spain is in the throes of its deepest political crisis since the fall of the fascist Franco regime.

and do the subjects of this article:

"In Catalonia’s ‘red belt’ leftwing veterans distrust the separatists"
"Nationalism is not the answer to Spain’s problems, say an older generation who fought against General Franco."

Excerpts (link at bottom):

"All four [interviewees] dismiss the independence movement as a distraction from more pressing social issues, claiming it has proved a useful smokescreen for the Catalan government’s spending cuts.

"“What’s happening now is that everyone has been told that Spain is the origin of our problems,” says Salas. “They are being fed a version of Catalan history that has nothing to do with reality and this has radicalised young people around independence...”

"“It’s about class. I don’t have a problem with the person standing next to me, it’s the one above me who’s the problem.”"

Posted by: Bob Beal | Oct 1 2017 15:39 utc | 54

Disturbing video of the police brutality:


Personally I cant watch that from start to finish...

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1 2017 15:56 utc | 55

Chauncey Gardiner @19 and 20...

What's your problem...?

As Curtis @49 observed, my comment @14 was about the double standards quite visible now...

As for Yugoslavia...I do not need to be lectured on that topic...see my comment 123 on the Barzanistan thread...also my 114 on same thread...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 1 2017 16:15 utc | 56

They have announced this referendum for a year, have been supported by major figures (Savall, the Barça); it is normal that the consultation can be held and the Spanish gov could simply have said "we won't recognize the results". This demonstration of violence shows the real face of the EU and will be one more nail in the coffin.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 16:25 utc | 57

@ Lemur

'Franco was a great man. Killed a lot of commies...'

I can't think of a better 'handle' than the one you have already given yourself...Lemur, a lower-order primate...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 1 2017 16:26 utc | 58

b, you spend a lot of your time shitting on the US. Where is the outrage at the fascist gestapo tactics of the EU? Contrary to your claim, the last poll shows a huge surge in support for independence.

The Catalans were peacefully exercising their right to self-determination by coming out to vote today. The Spanish national police behaved like the goons they are at the behest of the EU & Spanish establishment. Yes, they are concerned that their precious EU project may fall apart! It will. It is only a matter of time.

What happens if the Catalan government announces that the majority voted to secede and declares independence? Are the EU goons gonna suppress it with military force?

Posted by: ab initio | Oct 1 2017 16:27 utc | 59

Julian @48

Exactly! Since the Spanish national guard created the chaos by attacking voters and stealing ballot boxes, a proper referendum with control of voting was not permitted. The Catalan authorities were consequently forced to inform the people that they could print the ballots at home and vote in any voting station. They can announce whatever result they want now as all the counting systems have been disabled by the Spanish national guard.

What does anyone think the Catalan authorities conducting the referendum are going to announce?

Posted by: ab initio | Oct 1 2017 16:33 utc | 60

Dear arseholes,
Learn how to use the fucking " a href =" tag .
That way you complete and utter arseholes wont keep fucking up the page layout, you fucking incompetent arseholes.

Thanks in advance, you morons

Posted by: Just Sayin | Oct 1 2017 16:36 utc | 61

The proponents of the Catalonia referendum and independence present themselves as forces of democracy but they are the opposite. They have consistently failed to get even 50% support for independence and so they have proceeded with an illegal referendum on independence. Who is going to vote on that and who is going to count the votes (the independence movement and its supporters). The referendum is illegal and does not meet an criteria for fair voting.

They are opposing democracy because they consistently lose when they go the democratic route.

That puts the Spanish government, which itself screwed up and handled this quite poorly, in a very difficult position but i think many will disagree with the course the central government has taken. Many Spaniards hate the catalan independence seekers precisely for what they are doing today and because at the basis of the independence movement is the same consistent message: "We catalan have more money than Spain so screw you Spain." Ah yes screw you Spain but keep paying us. That seriously pisses off a lot of Spanish and many would love to see Catalonia leave but sans the very beneficial relationship that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain now. Net: i doubt there will be an outpouring of sympathy for those participating in the referendum today from the rest of Spain.

Posted by: alaric | Oct 1 2017 16:57 utc | 62

This is how the EU thugs behave.

Posted by: ab initio | Oct 1 2017 17:06 utc | 63

@31, Libertarianism is a euphemism for Gangsterism. What's to stop someone seeking "self-fulfilment" or "self-realization" from deciding that organizing and arming his own militia is the path to enlightenment? Erik Prince comes to mind. Jim Jones, another eg. Bibi Netanyahu fits the bill too.

And what the heck is bionicmosquito? toohipformyshirt?

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 1 2017 17:11 utc | 64

ab initio

Assange have called on EU to condemn Spain's human rights violations. Silence is the answer.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1 2017 17:21 utc | 65

@ab initio

"This is how the EU thugs behave."

I would guess that most of those troops are from outside of Catalonia and as i posted many and perhaps most Spaniards are a wee bit annoyed with Catalonia's behavior which is seen as rather self centered, arrogant and illegal (cause it is illegal). Tensions are running high and the troops are probably going to behave in a less than kind manner. I really doubt the voters are just allowing the troops to close down polling stations and take voting machines sans a fight so I would ask what happened before the scenes in the video. The referendum is Illegal and the vote lacks impartiality and validation. Nonetheless, the Spanish government is handling this very, very poorly.

The best thing for the government would be to film what happens to police as they try to peacefully close down polling stations and to completely refrain from violence. That takes a pretty strong man to do because i bet the cops would get beaten up.

The Spanish press reporting on this is, as you might expect, very anti catalonia and they are listing the numerous violations and lack of transparency in the vote. The government should have allowed them to vote and refused to acknowledge the results.

Posted by: alaric | Oct 1 2017 17:23 utc | 66

Why has Spain has been so heavy handed?

Perhaps because of what happened during the Greek crisis? Recall that Tsipras called a referendum whose result was surprisingly anti-EU.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

"There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties"

- Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Commission President

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 1 2017 17:36 utc | 67

oh really, you mean the Costa Brava etc do not attract millions of Brits/Germans/Scandinavian countries?
Posted by: Mina | Oct 1, 2017 7:22:24 AM | 9

The Costa Brava is in Catalunya.

Posted by: Guy Thornton | Oct 1 2017 17:37 utc | 68

the tourist view (Rick Steve's)

quick referendum analysis (CaspianReport)

Posted by: Curtis | Oct 1 2017 17:43 utc | 69

Mina @ 57

OR the Spanish government in Madrid could have followed Canada:

Quebec twice voted to separate, in 1980 and 1995. Canada allowed the vote; National politicians and notables participated in the Quebec campaigns, presenting the case to remain in Canada.

Madrid takes its orders from the Technocrats in Brussels. Today’s brutality to stop the vote guarantees Catalan's urge for independence won’t go away.

Voting on Independence, Quebec Style.

Posted by: likklemore | Oct 1 2017 17:47 utc | 70

Alaric @66

The Boston Tea Party was illegal too!

Unlike the UK or Canada which allowed the Scots and Quebecois their right to vote, Spain did not. What should the Catalans have done? This did not happen overnight. They repeatedly asked the Spanish government to allow them to vote. If the referendum was open then it is quite possible the majority of Catalans would have voted to remain in Spain. With the authoritarian response of Spain hiding behind "legalism" they have now screwed the pooch and enabled Catalonia to claim the majority voted to secede.

Posted by: ab initio | Oct 1 2017 17:50 utc | 71

Whomever supports the Catalan "independence" should think long , and hard, about its purpose, as there a several Russian regions that could be instigated into doing the same. Also, if Catalonia has a democratic right to secede, then what about the "Kurdish" regions of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria ?

Democracy is longer what it seems, as people can be goaded into voting for their own suicide. It has proven itself to be a easily manipulated, failed system of governance. Be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: Mieszko I | Oct 1 2017 18:09 utc | 72

@ab initio

I would have allowed the vote and I expect it would have failed.

Posted by: Alaric | Oct 1 2017 18:18 utc | 73

Spanish FM terms police actions in Catalonia ‘proportionate,’ number of injured rises to 760+

These people are insane, Franco lives?

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1 2017 18:19 utc | 74

Chauncey gardiner 20

If I remember correctly the U S was inclined originally to help keep Yugoslavia together but it was German pressure, largely on Croatia's part that tipped the U S - I suspect grudgingly - into her actions with Germany on the Balkans .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Oct 1 2017 18:33 utc | 75

Dear arseholes, Learn how to use the fucking " a href =" tag . That way you complete and utter arseholes wont keep fucking up the page layout, you fucking incompetent arseholes.

Thanks in advance, you morons

Posted by: Just Sayin | Oct 1, 2017 12:36:04 PM | 61

Learn how to use escape characters, darling:

"<a href="your-http-link-here"> your-link-label-here</a>"

Oh, Catalonia. A cat alone in a what? Are they "alone"?

Cognitive dissonance is a bitch. If Hemingway was a CIA asset, then for whom the bells toll?

My advice to the barflies is to focus on local issues and your civil rights while the histrionics play out on the world stage.

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1 2017 18:34 utc | 76

If I remember correctly ...

Posted by: ashley albanese | Oct 1, 2017 2:33:01 PM | 75

How would you know if US succumbed to "German pressure"?

What I remember is the "international community" gave Yugoslavia an offer they could not possibly accept. Typical Mafia governance, per the Judeo-Roman (the actual correct term for the Western civilization, an not the incoherent Judeo-Christian) Regime.

There is a saying in Iran: A fool throws a stone in a well and 40 wise men can't take it out.

And here we are ..

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1 2017 18:43 utc | 77

A few years ago I attended a big Catalonian demonstration in Barcelona. This consisted of a line, about 1000 miles long that snaked through Catalonia but the big demonstration was in Barcelona. Very very impressive. What was very conspicuous was a large contingent of Basques right in the middle of the main square, with about 500 of them. They were flying their flags and most definitely supporting Catalonian independence. It was very inspirational. I joined them with their chants.

I did so for a very simple reason. The European nations had in the previous 25 years destroyed the nation of Yugoslavia. Then in 1999 NATO went to war against Serbia to give the province of Kosovo independence. Not only that but the Spaniard Javier Solana was the one who pushed NATO into attacking Serbia because it would not give independence to Kosovo.

My reaction to Javier -- eat dirt asshole, what goes around comes around. Now it is Catalonias turn to gain independence.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 1 2017 18:45 utc | 78

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 1, 2017 2:45:48 PM | 78

You are right, of course, that it is all a big heaping steaming pile of global hypocrisy. It is pervasive and it is clearly the m.o. of Mb>every single one of these mafia regimes ruling over us in the planet.

Some "Grieved" barfly the other day was moaning about "god bothered" folks like me. Permit me to clear up the situation for you, dear grieved one:

There is a subset of humanity [presumed] that claims a "Natural Right to Rule". We the "god bothered" assert, on the contrary, that "Only God Rules". We do not deny the uneven distribution of Gifts, such as beauty, intelligence, capability, will power, discipline, physical prowess, artistic ability, etc. We accept all that.

What we do NOT accept is that a certain class of [so-called] Humans on this planet have an Inherent Right to Rule.

You, "grieved" one, are they one who drops all his weapons and armour before entering a battle. Boo hoo for you and your lot.

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1 2017 18:55 utc | 79

"If I remember correctly the U S was inclined originally to help keep Yugoslavia together but it was German pressure..."

Very laughable, so client state an issue order to hegemonic power. Germans FP is not run by Germans, when we are talking about political strategic decisions that have affect on international order. Germany is not the creator it is followers. Secondly, Germany is no such power that can cause calamity of such proportion either in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, Libya. Anywhere.

As for US help, god help those who US is helping. The US started with dismantling of Yugoslavia in 1984 (or immediately after Tito death), and by cultivation of the Serbian elite (by Zimmmeran, Eagleburger, Scowcroft), investment in Serbia and exporting Yugo cars, handguns from Zastava etc. in the US. And wide "cooperation" of Universities from US with Serbian one.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1 2017 19:00 utc | 80


In fact, the utterly defeated, occupied, and civilizationally lobotomized Germans, needed permission from that bitch Thatcher before they could reunify Nato-fatherland with Stasi-fatherland.

Rusty-Bucket-Lady on German unification..

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1 2017 19:08 utc | 81

i should take holidays more often.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 1 2017 19:12 utc | 82

Does this equation hold?

NATO + Stasi = NWO

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1 2017 19:23 utc | 83

An ignorant post B. You should stick with what you know. I'm starting to wonder if this forum has been taken over by some agency.

If you live with Catalans, you know that they are a distinct people. I know the French side but they share the same distinct culture. Their wealth comes from a culture of hard work and excellence, similar to the wealth of Northern Italy.

If Spanish Catalonia separates they will exceed all expectations. French Catalonia, The Basques, and Spanish Galicia will follow. If French Catalonia goes the whole of Languedoc and probably Brittany will become more restive.

Large governments are inherently parasitic and increasingly obsolete. We see this everywhere.

Regarding the Kurd comparison: the Barzani mafia are crypto Jews and work for Israel. The Catalans do not share this fatal defect.

Posted by: mireille | Oct 1 2017 19:37 utc | 84

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 3:43:05 PM | 85

"The Yezidi believe that after man’s creation, God ordered the angels to pray for Adam, but that one angel refused - there is a similar belief in Islam. But the Yezidi believe that instead of becoming the fallen Satan, the recalcitrant angel was forgiven by God. They do not call this angel Satan - they will not say the word, and are deeply offended by it -- but Malek Tawwus, or the Peacock King, and they pray to him. As a result, the followers of other religions have condemned them as Devil-worshippers."

What an amazing fun house of a universe we live in.

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1 2017 19:50 utc | 86

request for open thread, or update on Syria. Seemed like WW3 was getting started and then no news for days.

Posted by: perimetr | Oct 1 2017 19:51 utc | 87

Posted by: mireille | Oct 1, 2017 3:37:42 PM | 84

I wonder how you will decide on Catalonyan citizenship, ius sanguinis or ius solis? Can the "destinctive culture" be preserved by ius solis? Catalan language courses? Citizenship for speaking the language? How will you draw the borders? By civil war?

My guess is that politicians on both sides are doing what they do best - stay in power by wipping up nationalist feelings.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 1 2017 20:13 utc | 88

"Seemed like WW3 was getting started and then no news for days. thanks"

Did you check your wallet? Have you checked the stat of your civil rights? Reduced for redacted reasons? Well, that's indeed not news.

Here is the news:

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1 2017 20:23 utc | 89

I am not uninformed about banksters, civil rights, etc. I was hoping to hear what was happening after the Russians built the bridge over the Euphrates to allow the SAA to move towards the SDF/US forces. The thanks was sincere, as I appreciate this blog.

Posted by: perimetr | Oct 1 2017 20:33 utc | 90

"The Yezidi believe that after man’s creation, God ordered...

Do you still believes in that XXX or any other XXX (self censer respect MoA readers)

Posted by: OJS | Oct 1 2017 20:40 utc | 91

Well, I certainly don't belive I am a hydrocarbon chain twisting in the thermodynamics winds.

I an inhabit a Universe of Meaning.

What is your condition, evolved ape?

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1 2017 20:43 utc | 92

I am not uninformed about banksters, civil rights, etc. I was hoping to hear what was happening after the Russians built the bridge over the Euphrates to allow the SAA to move towards the SDF/US forces. The thanks was sincere, as I appreciate this blog.

Posted by: perimetr | Oct 1, 2017 4:33:06 PM | 90

I get it, brother. >> "__Ghetto news__, everyone, __ghetto news__. There is gonna be a big disaster. There's gonna be world war 3!. Really, really, big disaster".

Get out of the ghetto, is what I am telling you. Focus on your local condition, disregard affinities promoted by the handful of "alternative" pundits, and rise above their bullshit script.

Your primary focus should be educating your children.

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1 2017 20:58 utc | 93

@64 "What's to stop someone seeking "self-fulfilment" or "self-realization" from deciding that organizing and arming his own militia is the path to enlightenment? Erik Prince comes to mind. Jim Jones, another eg. Bibi Netanyahu fits the bill too."

All of those used the power of the state via taxation to achieve their goals. Without the ability to socialize (ie. force the little guy to pay) the huge costs of their "path to enlightenment", they would be greatly limited in their ability to be major assholes. EP's business is based on gov't contracts. JJ was a see-i-eh op, and old Bibi decides how to spend those tax yuans. Remove the state and those types won't have the funding to go very far with their psychopathic plans.

Posted by: lurker | Oct 1 2017 21:00 utc | 94

Posted by: Quintus Sertorius | Oct 1 2017 21:14 utc | 95

Re: nobody | Oct 1, 2017 4:58:27 PM | 93
I don't think you get it at all.

Posted by: Perimtr | Oct 1 2017 21:42 utc | 96

Posted by: Perimtr | Oct 1, 2017 5:42:17 PM | 96

I respect your right to form your opinions.

Posted by: nobody | Oct 1 2017 21:46 utc | 97

Rajoy is ex Lehman Brothers executive.
Need to say more?
Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 9:20:14 AM | 29

I dunno where you get that information, but he has nothing to do with Lehman Brothers... please read his profile in Wikipedia, which is quite accurate.
I don't like him, I think he is one of the worst presidents ever Spain had.

But seriously, he is no ex Lehman Brothers. he can not speak English for starters.

Posted by: F.MAN | Oct 1 2017 22:10 utc | 98

What is your condition, evolved ape?

Aren't we at time behave like apes? In fact many even worst than apes!
In fact I know one ape talk to his father in heaven and NOT his father on earth
and regime changed.

Posted by: OJS | Oct 1 2017 22:13 utc | 99

The easiest way to discern a weak argument is when a non-sequitur such as "it's illegal because it's against the law" is dragged out and that is all I see from those hunting around for an excuse to decry a bunch of people, totally unaided by any external support arguing for freedom from oppression.
Once again as is becoming far too apparent on this board we many posts from people arguing for what suits them personally. amerikan posters whose slow indoctrination against a united europe is from amerika's hypocrisy in enjoying the advantages of a simple market whilst fearing the huge economic and political power a truly united europe will eventuate in, support Catalans because like Agent Orange they feel more secure when europe is weakened.
On the other hand euros who like united europe in principle but rightly resent the neoliberal monolith the EU has morphed into, oppose the Catalan seccession because they are concerned about further EU destabilisation. That is foolish Catalonia would stay part of the EU and any reformed EU must decentralise some decision making to better reflect the local circumstances, while it does a much better job of becoming more 'unitary' in other ways.
Yes many Germans hate that idea because they have been enjoying the German imperialism by stealth which is the current EU model, but unless they do become much more understanding of the economic injustices that current EU policies exacerbate, there will be no EU and if that happens these issues will stop being sorted by ballot and go back to the 'old way' of europeans killing each other in the pursuit of economic advantage.

It can never be wrong or illegal for people to seek change through ballot - if the 'law' says it is then the law is an ass.
It is that simple especially in these circumstances when Catalans are voting in spite of the external forces lining up against them - not because of them.

A truly united europe is the best way forward by far but there must be real change throughout the 'sovereign states' and the unprincipled Brussels gang to accomodate this.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 1 2017 22:13 utc | 100

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