EU "dodges" question of Catalonia's independence

Helena

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Sep 2007
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#1
Some Catalan politicians – though not the Catalan government – have joined with the Green group in the European Parliament to call on the European Commission in Brussels to mediate between Madrid and Barcelona. The EU itself is not taking sides in the region's independence dispute.
"For the European Commission … this is an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain," said Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas, echoing numerous earlier statements from the bloc. But along with this legalistic formulation, Schinas warned, "violence can never be an instrument in politics."
"We trust the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this difficult process," he said, adding that Sunday's referendum was "not legal."
Seeing the rule of law in Spain under threat, the Greens in the European Parliament are urging the responsible EU commissioner, Frans Timmermans, to mediate between the central government and the Catalan independence movement. But the EU can hardly intercede against the will of Spain, a member state whose Supreme Court has declared the referendum illegal. EU diplomats in Brussels say an intermediary would have to be invited by both sides. And as a point of law, the structure of each member state is a matter for it alone.
I put "dodges" in quotation marks because I agree with the bolded part.

As far as the EU is concerned, the independence referendum in Scotland two years ago took place under completely different circumstances, as the central government in London had agreed to the vote. Before the referendum in Catalonia, the European Commission once again made it clear that an independent state of Catalonia would no longer be part of the EU and would have to apply for admission to the bloc. The same procedure would have applied to Scotland had the Scots voted in favor of independence.
If the Catalan government were to proclaim itself an independent state, based on its declaration that the referendum was valid, it would be highly unlikely that any EU state would recognize this independence. Such a direct attack on EU member state Spain would lead to a crisis within the bloc. That is why many EU diplomats in Brussels cannot imagine this scenario.
EU dodges Catalonia independence question | Europe | DW | 02.10.2017
 
Feb 2010
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Sunny Bournemouth, Dorset
#3
A plague on both their houses. The vote was rigged, and Madrid's fascist reaction gave it a spurious legitimacy.
 

Helena

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Sep 2007
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#4
A plague on both their houses. The vote was rigged, and Madrid's fascist reaction gave it a spurious legitimacy.
I agree, neither side seems to be the good guy here.

My brother, who 1) is a lawyer and 2) spent a year in Barcelona, thinks they should be let go if that's what they want, but he seems to be kind of overlooking the fact that the referendum was not legal, which sounds a bit strange coming from a lawyer (although he doesn't defend the referendum per se). My best friend who has lived in Madrid for about 12 years now and is married to a Spaniard thinks the movement for Catalonia's independence is more or less a fascist clique so she won't even consider the referendum or any referendum, legal or not (although she greatly dislikes the current Spanish government). So *I* am the dumbass not taking sides there.
 
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The Man

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Jul 2011
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Toronto
#5
I will put it like this to you, Helena. What your Czech people fought for in the Prague Spring (and eventually won, though quite a few years later), this is what the Catalan people fight for now.
 
Mar 2012
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New Hampshire
#6
I will put it like this to you, Helena. What your Czech people fought for in the Prague Spring (and eventually won, though quite a few years later), this is what the Catalan people fight for now.
Its kind of striking actually if you look back historically and see how many countries did it this way. If they all waited for it to be "legal" it never would have happened. Most countries don't want to be broken up and wouldn't allow a vote. This is pretty much how it got done. In fact I would say it was far worse hundreds of years ago.
 
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The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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Toronto
#7
Its kind of striking actually if you look back historically and see how many countries did it this way. If they all waited for it to be "legal" it never would have happened. Most countries don't want to be broken up and wouldn't allow a vote. This is pretty much how it got done. In fact I would say it was far worse hundreds of years ago.
I mean, I am from Abkhazia, originally. I remember the early 90s, when the Soviet Union ended, and then Georgia became independent, and Abkhazia declared own independence, but the fucking Georgians sent their army to attack us.

And Abkhazians, men and women, took up arms, to defend their homes, families, and independence of our republic

My family are not ethnic Abkhaz, but my relatives fought too.

All ethnic groups fought shoulder to shoulder

Abkhaz, my mom's fellow Armenians, and Slavic Russian Cossacks like my father (many of those came over from across the border too).

Young teen boys fought alongside old men with grey heads


The people of Abkhazia won and earned the right to proudly wave their flag


Thousands gave their lives for that, and their names and faces are now immortalized

Among them are relatives of mine and also friends of my family, on that memorial wall...

So... Of course I sympathize with Catalans and others in such situations...
 
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Helena

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Sep 2007
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#8
I will put it like this to you, Helena. What your Czech people fought for in the Prague Spring (and eventually won, though quite a few years later), this is what the Catalan people fight for now.
Hah! That's actually a good analogy in more ways than one, because I remember hearing a Czech lady who studied in Moscow in 1968 say that throughout the Prague Spring period, Soviet media regularly talked about how Czechoslovakia was being threatened or even taken over by "fascist hordes," meaning the Prague Spring reformists. Then on August 22, after the USSR-led invasion of Czechoslovakia (which, amazingly, was the largest military operation in post-WWII Europe, according to what I've heard), her Russian friends sincerely congratulated her because "now your country is free again."

But of course, we all know that "fascist" is a popular term to throw around.

[MENTION=19607]bajisima[/MENTION]You're right as well; it's probably been only a few countries who have won independence without breaking some laws, if not worse.
 
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Feb 2010
27,167
28,268
Sunny Bournemouth, Dorset
#9
I will put it like this to you, Helena. What your Czech people fought for in the Prague Spring (and eventually won, though quite a few years later), this is what the Catalan people fight for now.
That's what the fascist clique behind the "referendum" want you to think, but it's not true.

Catalunya already has independence in all but foreign affairs and defence. It's insane nationalism to burge=den themselves with the extra cost of being a country. (outside the EU)
 

Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
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So. Md.
#10
I did notice this event and wondered about the significance and about the different interpretations. So what's going to happen going forward?