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The Politics Thread

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43 minutes ago, MoTheGreat said:

 

I heard Putin is behind this too.

 

Wait. What do you mean? That he somehow backs Mariano Rajoy? I'm dubious about that.

No matter what side of the divide, both Catalonia and the rest of Spain want to remain a part of the European Union. The EU is Putin's nemesis. Putin only seems to be interested in countries where there is a faction that want to leave the EU. Catalonian independence is not that type of movement. 

 

IMO, these issues seem to have been in the making for several decades.  Catalonia has always been a semi-autonomous region.  I got a chance to visit once and even though Barcelona was more cosmopolitan (in the touristy areas), the areas outside of Barcelona seemed to staunchly identify as Catalan. Some even refused to speak Spanish, preferring to speak Catalan.

 

The Spanish economy is just beginning to emerge from a very deep and protracted recession. During their recession, the Catalonian area was one of the few economic bright spots (their proximity to the Mediterranean makes them a big producer/exporter of certain items). Also with tourism to the Barcelona area, Girona, Costa Brava and other surrounding areas, Catalonia provided (still does), a lot of wealth for the nation.

Catalonians have become embittered by the feeling that they have contributed enormous wealth yet don't have enough say in how they are governed and where their taxes go.

 

The mayor of Barcelona made an interesting point- she said that she believes that if only the government had held an actual legal, sanctioned referendum, they'd have probably discovered that the majority of people would've voted to stay with Spain.

The implication was that the Spanish government didn't need to use such a heavy hand, Rajoy's government caused the issue to escalate almost to the point of no return.

 

Still, even though it's been some years since I've been to Barcelona, I can't help but think that there can be a diplomatic resolution if cooler heads prevail.

 

 

 

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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Rajoy, more than anyone else at this time, is giving steam to the Catalan independence movement at the moment with his heavy handed approach. 

 

Catalonia (Cataluña) was always a semi-autonomous region and now they surely will feel that what autonomy they seemed to have has been yanked. If they couldn't get many Barcelonetans to coalesce around the issue, Rajoy's heavy hand might now provide the catalyst for it.

 

Having been to the region myself as a student in the 90s, I have to say that this issue was simmering long before Putin ascended the world stage. 

 

If people don't know about the Basques/ETA, it's worth reading about them. For over 40 years, they were known as a terrorist organization by the Spanish government while they were seen by others as a separatist and nationalist organization.

The Basques often used violent and extremist means like bombings.

Not to compare the two movements at all (ETA was a completely different organization with different aims) but just to show that

These type of movements are not new to Spain.

 

 

Spain Will Remove Catalonia Leader, Escalating Secession Crisis

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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