A few days ago, a week ago, the unilateral and seditious declaration of independence in Catalonia seemed to be on the cards, almost inevitable in fact. But the King’s speech last Tuesday and the demonstrations in Barcelona and other cities involving both Spaniards and Catalans have changed the dynamic of the process.
Articles by Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja
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The Catalan government and its parliamentary majority have gone the whole hog to achieve their final objective: a unilateral declaration of independence which brings the Spanish government to their knees to accept their requests with very favourable conditions to construct this new state, whatever it takes.
A British newspaper asked this question this morning and it’s very pertinent. What has been happening in Catalonia recently puts Spain, a member of the EU, at risk of failure. Essentially what has taken place in Catalonia is the violation of the constitutional order and the rule of law.
What’s happening in Catalonia? The narrative put together by those in favour of independence is quite incredible: how is that so many Catalans feel so badly treated in a democracy like Spain’s? The crisis in Catalonia threatens the stability of Spain and even the European project.
The recession has produced one clear victim and it’s called salaries. Starting with those lost by the jobless and by those who have used up all their unemployment benefit. But those workers on lower salaries, have also suffered, seeing their purchasing power diminished.
For a few hours on June 7, Banco Popular had three owners: the previous shareholders, the FROB and Banco Santander; a quick trip, with a stop in between for a bit of a respite, before changing its skin. The Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM), in other words the ECB, decided on Tuesday that Popular was inviable and immediately started the liquidation process which begins with a bail-in.
After successive defeats in the general elections over the last four years, the socialist party has ousted its leader. This time round, the dismissal was carried out by force, with an agonising voting process via a show of hands after 12 hours of debate over how and what to vote.
Yesterday Spaniards voted again six months after the last general elections on proposals which had changed very little; the only relevant novelty was the integration of Izquierda Unida (IU) and Podemos which in the end turned out to be irrelevant. The new/old left has not gained anything obtaining the same number of seats and votes as in December, when IU ran on its own.
The fourth corner of Spain’s new political chessboard is called “Ciudadanos,” a social movement born in Catalonia 10 years ago and fostered by Catalan independence. Their slogans are: liberty, equality, laicism, bilingualism, Constitution. They elected Albert Rivera, a young lawyer from Barcelona, as their leader in a jam-packed meeting held in that city’s Tivoli theatre in July 2006.
In January 2014, dozens of people got together in the Teatro del Barrio in Lavapies, (in the centre of Madrid), to form a political party to participate in the European Parliament elections to be held in May of that year. They needed 50,000 signatures to formalise their candidacy. Within in few days, they had the signatures and the embrio of what is now (920 days later) PODEMOS was born