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It's incredible...you'd think in a country like Spain, all parties involved would find a civilised way to solve such a conflict (after all, in Scotland all sides agreed on the terms to hold the indyref). Instead, the stubbornness of both Rajoy and his gang and the Catalan government (which knew that a majority was opposing independence!) has resulted in this disaster.

Of course, pro-independence is getting much more support now with such behaviour from the Spanish government, but I think in the end there will only be losers on all sides.

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If the will of the people is unconstitutional, then the government should simply ignore it. Attempting to suppress the will of the people with violence legitimizes the desire of Catalan nationalists for political independence. (As opposed to social and cultural independence.)

I despise nationalism. But if the Spanish government continues with this then even I will admit that they have lost Catalonia.

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23 hours ago, Nacre said:

If the will of the people is unconstitutional, then the government should simply ignore it. Attempting to suppress the will of the people with violence legitimizes the desire of Catalan nationalists for political independence. (As opposed to social and cultural independence.)

I despise nationalism. But if the Spanish government continues with this then even I will admit that they have lost Catalonia.

Agreed on all counts. The video footage is what the riot police inflicted in Barcelona is just downright disgusting with no small flashback or reminisces towards Franco's oppressing Catalonian culture. Like it's going backwards. No need whatsoever for this heavy-handedness from them and the government. About three generations have thrived with Catalan since his death there, and they will fight to the bitter end to preserve it. 

It's all the Spanish High Court's damn fault and whoever wanted to take the case to court against the Catalans; things were better when Catalonia's legal autonomy was recognized before that. Makes me wonder if Spain hadn't fallen under economic duress in recent years would it kept things status quo.

Glad Quebec and Scotland never reached to this level.

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There are mechanisms in Canada and the United Kingdom for peaceful separations. Spain is hell-bent on the idea of one indivisible 'nation'. Honestly the idea of another new nation in Western Europe that wasn't named Flanders or Wallonia was unthinkable a year ago. The appetite for an independent Catalonia was never there to a tipping point. Now you have a situation were the central government is creating an us-vs-them situation, pushing Catalans to pick sides. The majority of Catalans in that situation will pick their own side and not the side of the unreasonable Spanish state. If Madrid had accepted a referendum a year or two ago, allowed it to happen and it failed there would not be this issue now. because a year or two ago the referendum would have failed. Now, Catalonia and Spain are edging towards an ugly armed conflict. 

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It’s devastating. Sure the referendum had been suspended by court and the outcome couldn’t be legally recognised, but what happened on Sunday is embarrassing.

I think Spain needs major changes urgently, especially regarding territorial organization and political division, but that’s not what any of the sides involved is looking for. On the one side, many Catalans already feel disconnected from Spain, they only want independence and although many of them once asked for a different relation between Catalonia and Spain, they have given up and won’t do so anymore. On the other side, many Spaniards (many more than I would have ever thought and I find that worrying) immediately reject any kind of proposal to change the current status quo, even if it doesn’t mean independence for Catalonia, and accuse the rest of hating Spain and being unpatriotic.

It’s sad. I don’t know where this will take us but I don’t like how things are going so far. There is a problem, that can’t be denied. How is it possible that a negotiated peaceful solution seems so unlikely?

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Sad, embarassing, and devastating indeed. King Felipe VI went on live TV and puts the pro-Catalan independence supporters on blast, calling them "disloyal", "irresponsible" and "divisive" with his stern face seemingly aimed right at them. The King normally speaks to the nation only with an annual Christmas message. Obviously this was different. And this is the guy who led Spain in last as hosts during the Opening Ceremony in Barcelona with the Spanish flag 25 years ago! His dad may have been more supportive of Catalan autonomy having grown up when Franco cracked down on the Catalan culture and was sympathetic. Who really was the "irresponsible" ones with the us-versus-them stance? The Spanish government including you! Kings unite but not here:

 

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It‘s complete failure on all sides: Rajoy and the PP with their hardline stance to not even negotiate changes to the autonomy statis (i.e. taxes in particular) or the constitution. Puigdemont and the Catalan government knowingly pushing ahead despite the lack of a clear majorityfor independence, increasing rifts within Catalan society. Felipe for failing to trigger a national dialogue. The EU for declaring this an internal Spanish matter when it was already obvious that the trains were hitting each other full speed (and that in a crucial country for the EU and Eurozone stability).

Nobody will come out as winner, independence will be a poisoned chalice and it will take both Spain and Catalonia decades to recover. Is that really worth it? Where is the loud voice of obviously large parts of Catalans who don‘t want independence? Ah right, Rajoy‘s actions don‘t leave them space to argue for unity. Where are the non-PP parties in Madrid? Rajoy has a minority government, they could kick him any moment, but they‘re probably also too fixated to the „national unity“ idea to come to their senses.

Dark times ahead.

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Mostly agreed. Rajoy, the secessionists, the police, and the King have all made things worse in stupid, stupid ways. Not quite sure what the EU is expected to do without coming across as heavy handed and messing too much in another country's internal affairs though.

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1 hour ago, Rob. said:

Mostly agreed. Rajoy, the secessionists, the police, and the King have all made things worse in stupid, stupid ways. Not quite sure what the EU is expected to do without coming across as heavy handed and messing too much in another country's internal affairs though.

Well, of course it's a thin edge for the EU, but Catalonia even called for Brussels to act as mediator. And at the very least a clear statement about the violence on Sunday should have come, but pretending that it's a Spanish affair is a bit of a lame excuse given that they actively interfered in Italy and Greece before in government matters. The EU can simply not afford to see Spain going down the drain (and at the same time providing - metaphorical - ammunition for other separatist movements within its member states or on the Balkans). So they should pressure Rajoy and Puigdemont to finally sit together and work out a solution.

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To call it a lame excuse is being far too kind to them. It is shameful. For certain European politicians to think calling for the sacking of the British foreign secretary is more of a priority than this shows those individuals up for the good for nothing wastes of space that they are. For pity's sake, what we saw in Catalonia at the weekend made the kind of puerile behaviour some politicians endured in the Scottish referendum look like a bloody tickling competition. Rajoy has lost every bit of moral authority he ever had by sending in the state thugs (sorry, apparently they're police) to do his bidding and proven he is unfit to hold office. Similarly, the king has politicised himself to an extent that I am very grateful our head of state would not do. And the hypocrisy of Western leaders, who are looking the other way when they'd condemn exactly the same behaviour by a dictator makes me want to vomit. Shame on every last bastard one of them.

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I wish most Spaniards agreed that the problem should be solved through dialogue. Perhaps many of us do and aren't as noisy, but still there are more obstinacy and confrontation than I think there should be.

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Spain has a  written constitution that presumably Catalonia signed up to? Rajoy has maybe been a bit heavy handed - he should have let the referendum go ahead unopposed  - he didn't need to send in state police when constitutionally the vote was illegitimate before it started. There was some rough treatment of protesters but it wasn't exactly Tienanmen Square and no-one died. My point is that if you you want to remain in the list of civilized nations then Catalonia's only option is to do this legally and Spain should hold its breath and let it get on with it.

Surely there is a role for the King here, he's the head of State...I don't see anything wrong in the King choosing the side of Spain - the country he represents. I don't think there was any ambiguity on the part of the Queen that Scotland should remain in the UK although she wasn't involved in any campaigning of any sort.

Isn't it the case that an independent Catalonia will be waiting decades to get into the EU because Spain would block any attempt by it to become an EU member - there was a similar discussion around Scotland - the Nationalists there said various different versions of Scotland being able to leap into the arms of the EU post independence, while the point was made that it would be a 3rd country and would need to apply and join the queue. Surely Catalonia's economy would be utterly destroyed outside the single market - Barcelona would become a ghetto.

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7 hours ago, Ripley said:

 Surely Catalonia's economy would be utterly destroyed outside the single market - Barcelona would become a ghetto.

Catalonia could join the single market without joining the EU, provided it was willing to accept the conditions and pay the fees.

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The dictionary defines CATALON, err, "Catatonia" as "the abnormality of movement and behavior arising from a disturbed mental state (typically schizophrenia). It may involve repetitive or purposeless overactivity, or catalepsy, resistance to passive movement, and negativism." 

CATALONIA = CATATONIA = same thing. 

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On 07/10/2017 at 11:23 AM, Ripley said:

Wouldn't Spain have a veto about Catalonia joining the single market? 

On close inspection, yes it would. Because not all EFTA members signed up for the European Economic Area scheme, joining EFTA could not give Catalonia any EEA access without EU approval.

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On 06/10/2017 at 3:29 PM, Ripley said:

Spain has a  written constitution that presumably Catalonia signed up to? Rajoy has maybe been a bit heavy handed - he should have let the referendum go ahead unopposed  - he didn't need to send in state police when constitutionally the vote was illegitimate before it started. There was some rough treatment of protesters but it wasn't exactly Tienanmen Square and no-one died. My point is that if you you want to remain in the list of civilized nations then Catalonia's only option is to do this legally and Spain should hold its breath and let it get on with it.

Surely there is a role for the King here, he's the head of State...I don't see anything wrong in the King choosing the side of Spain - the country he represents. I don't think there was any ambiguity on the part of the Queen that Scotland should remain in the UK although she wasn't involved in any campaigning of any sort.

Do "civilised nations" suppress the rights of their citizens to self-determination through such means? Rajoy had all the cards in his favour and chose to throw them away through his own utter stupidity. If he could not see how badly that would backfire, he should go and find a job more suited to his intellect. As for the King, his role is not, or should not be, to publicly denounce those of his subjects who disagree with him, whatever he thinks in private. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Man, this is getting very hairy now, isn't it. Can one just imagine if Madrid had actually won 2020 & what this mess would've meant for them now. Or maybe it wouldn't have gotten this far, who knows. Still a total hash, nontheless, & maybe a civil resolution can be found at some point.

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