Thursday, October 25, 2012

Catalonia looks to Scots for inspiration

We would like to recommend an article by David Gardner in the Financial Times about the independence process in Catalonia ("Catalonia looks to Scots for inspiration").

Foreigners may also help determine the outcome of the increasingly shrill struggle between Barcelona and Madrid over whether Catalonia has a future inside Spain – at least if the Generalitat, Catalonia’s autonomous government, has its way.

Mr Mas hopes to win a majority for his mainstream nationalist Convergencia i Unio party. But along with the surge in separatist sentiment, and with much of the Catalan left acknowledging the right to self-determination while defending a federal model, there is little doubt Mr Mas will have the democratic legitimacy to call a referendum. Barcelona will then seek Madrid’s constitutional authorisation to hold a vote. But Mr Rajoy’s centre-right Partido Popular government has already ruled this out, as both sides exchange volleys of bilious rhetoric. The new Catalan parliament is therefore expected to pass its own law, mandating a “consultation” – a referendum by another name. A chorus of PP leaders and ministers has warned that if it comes to that they will use the full force of the law to abort any vote, up to and including suspending home rule and banning Mr Mas.

Catalan strategists plan a campaign that is “peaceful, orderly, and impeccably democratic”, as one puts it. The feeling that the status quo is no longer tenable stretches well beyond the increasingly indistinguishable nationalist and separatist camps.
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