Sunday, September 28, 2014

Catalonia calls independence referendum

Support for independentism in Catalonia per the 2012 elections
Yesterday at 10:30, Catalan President Artur Mas, backed by his cabinet and the parliamentary majority, solemnly signed the decree 129/2014, which calls for a referendum on Catalan independence on November 9th. 

After signing such a historical decree, Mas spoke to the press in Catalan, Spanish and English, emphasizing the broad majority that supports this decision and recalling the massive citizen mobilizations of the last years, which have gathered millions once and again, in support for the right of self-determination of Catalonia. 

Then he walked out to the street to personally greet members of the movements National Catalan Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, which have been impelling the movement for self-determination at grassroots level in a non-partisan way. 

These organizations installed a giant urn and a counter, which yesterday marked 42 days and 12 hours until the referendum. 

Meanwhile in the offices, Vice-President Joana Ortega was approving the technical aspects of the vote: the census that will be used (the population registry of the Catalan Statistical Office, Idescat), printing the ballots, organizing the urns, etc. An informative campaign on the referendum was also initiated. 

Most of the parties supporting the referendum already have clear that they will call for a YES vote. These are Democratic Convergence (CDC), Republican Left (ERC) and the Popular Unity List (CUP). Two other parties are still debating: Democratic Union (UDC), minor partner of Mas' CDC, will decide their position on a meeting this Sunday, while Intiative for Catalonia - The Greens will do so via an internal vote. 

Meanwhile the Spanish Nationalist parties PSOE, PP and the racist far-right seedling Ciutadans, have all decided to ignore the referendum altogether, as they consider it illegal.

For reference, this is the representation that each party or coalition has in the Parliament of Catalonia:
  1. Convergence and Union (CiU = CDC + UDC): 50 seats
  2. Republican Left (ERC): 21 seats
  3. PSC-PSOE: 20 seats
  4. PP: 19 seats
  5. Initiative for Catalonia - Greens: 13 seats
  6. Ciutadans: 9 seats
  7. People's Unity: 3 seats
Notice that in the European elections and opinion polls CiU has yielded much support to ERC, while the Spanish Nationalist parties have clearly lost support, among other reasons for their support and implementation of draconian EU pro-bankster anti-social policies but also because of the striking national awakening of the Catalan People. 

Madrid dead-set to veto democracy

With their usual imperialist arrogance and disrespect for democracy, the Spanish twin party PP-PSOE stands clearly determined to block the right of Catalans to decide on their own affairs. 

Today an emergency cabinet meeting will be held in Moncloa Palace, the see of the Spanish government. The cabinet will appeal the referendum to the Constitutional Court, which will meet on Tuesday. It is widely expected that the Spanish tribunal will veto the Catalan decree that very day. 

While this outcome is widely expected no matter what, as there is no real separation of powers in Spain nor effective judicial independence, from a purely legal viewpoint the reason seems to stand in favor of Catalonia. In this sense the preamble of the referendum decree clearly underlines that Catalonia has been transferred the right and management of popular consultations in order to gauge the opinion of the people. 

Technically the referendum is just consultative and the Catalan authorities have the power to promote Constitutional reforms and to ask Catalans on their opinion for this purpose. With the law on hand, the referendum is therefore absolutely legal. 

Even if the Spanish Constitutional Court vetoes the referendum, Mas has announced that he will keep the process rolling on the pretext that, if the decree is suspended and not directly declared null, this suspension can theoretically be removed at any moment, reason why the whole process must keep going. 

Source: Gara[es].

Spain on the eve of its dissolution

The very continuity of the State of Spain, as we have known it, presents every day more question marks. This is how Gara's cartoonist Tasio sees this critical moment:

... with the pen of the Catalan referendum decree being a torpedo that threatens to sink Ship Spain. 

No kidding: France, Spain and many other European and Mediterranean states built on the uniformist, assimilationist and hyper-centralist Jacobin (neo-Absolutist) model designed by the French bourgeoisie after the Revolution, have serious cohesion issues. 

The case of Spain is however paradigmatic: Catalonia, with 7.6 million inhabitants, makes up 16% of all the population of the state. Together with almost three million Basques, who are also fighting for our self-determination, that is more than 21% of the so-called "Spanish" population. In industrial and overall economic might, the share is even greater. And I haven't yet counted the other Catalan Countries or the other nations like Galicia where independentism is a strong force. Even in historical core areas like Andalusia or Aragon, nationalism, particularly left-wing nationalism with a strong social consciousness and revolutionary programs, is clearly growing as we speak.

Naturally not just Castile or "core Spain" will actively and even violently fight against the rights of the Catalan and Basque peoples to rule ourselves in democracy, but France particularly will do as well. By extension and design so will do all NATO. So shaking off the joke of Spanish and French occupation does not seem easy at all. 

But Spain is the weakest link in all this Western Imperial alliance bloc. It has been so historically and it is even more nowadays. Spain is economically and politically weak. Even in its recent apogee in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it could not manage to be accepted among the G7 powers, not even in the much wider G20, a clear sign of its dependency on other powers such as France, the USA, Germany and Britain. The weakness of its "economic miracle", based on real state speculation even more than in the USA or Britain, was revealed under the light of the global economic crisis that began in 2007 and shows no sign of abating.

It is of course very possible that Spain will, very provisionally, survive this ongoing process of self-determination in Catalonia and the Basque Country, thanks to its police and military might and its international alignment as vassal of the NATO Empire. But it is extremely clear that it is weakened to the marrow and that its chances of survival, in its current extension, in the mid term are very close to zero. Time and the will of the Peoples strongly work against this authoritarian monster created only by the power of military bullying. 

Today this military authoritarian only pillar of the Kingdom of Spain is clearly not anymore enough to keep the state together. We don't live anymore in the times of Absolutist nor Fascist tyrants: cohesion can't be produced only by military violence, the Peoples are not willing to swallow that anymore, the whole social paradigm has changed and, sooner than later, Democracy will prevail.

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