Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Catalonia, Andalusia... drift away from Spain

The two largest autonomous communities and, per their statutes, historical nationalities, of the Kingdom of Spain, are in direct confrontation with the central State on matters of financing. While the state has achieved better conditions from Germany and the ECB in the end, it is reserving all those benefits for the central state it is giving no truce to the embattled autonomous communities, which manage healthcare and education in many cases.

By means of that the creepy conservative government of Spain seems to have two things in mind: (1) to erode the autonomies and (2) to force them to apply the same kind of draconian cuts that they are applying in Madrid and elsewhere. 

But by means of that they may end up without a state. 

Today there was a key meeting of the autonomous communities under the state of Spain meant to dictate the ceiling of regional spending, which is being determined by the conservative PP, which controls most regions of clearer Spanish identity. 

Catalonia (second largest and first wealthiest community) simply decided to be absent.

Andalusia (largest community), ruled by the social-democratic opposition, arrived but left soon after knowing the new impositions. 

Canary Islands and Asturias also voted against. But even two communities ruled by the conservatives broke voting discipline and abstained.

The arrogant Minister of Finance, Mr. Montoro, unable to get the parties to agree, unable to make any concession, unable to rule with any minimal element of legitimacy... declared that "coming or not coming, the law is compulsory". 

The details are not clear yet but the conditions seem tailored for the communities ruled by the PP: while Andalusia saw its debt target reduced from 15.1% to 13.2%, the conservative and extremely corrupt Valencian Community was allowed 23% instead of the previous 22%. 

While the Andalusian government seems only able to conceive an appeal to the Constitutional Court, the Catalan institutions are demanding the creation of a separate Catalan financial system. While at the moment it is just a demand, it is clear that the feeling among Catalans is secessionist and I believe that the Spanish government is setting the basis for the disintegration of the state. 

Disintegration that I would welcome as something good, of course, but that may be troublesome and painful.

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