Wednesday 4 October 2017

What now for Spain after State Brutality in Catalonia?

[Image description: Spanish state flag & Catalan regional flag flying side by side]

I read the Spanish newspaper El País because I find out news that never gets reported here in the UK. However, I am well aware that it is very right-wing. In their oped of events of the "illegal referendum" on 1st October, they naturally criticise the politicos in Catalonia for inciting the trouble - despite years of grievances between Catalonia and Madrid. Nonetheless, its prime minister Rajoy, and, thus as its representative, the Spanish State, which are blamed the most. This is quite surprising given the newspaper's usual stances.

Son injustificables en Rajoy su pasividad, su impericia y la delegación de responsabilidades.

One cannot justify Rajoy's passivity, his lack of authority and the delegation of responsibilities.

By failing to condemn the violence & brutality perpetrated by state forces against the Catalans, King Felipe may have condemned Spain & the Spanish monarchy to being inexorably broken up and diminished. El Rey lost an opportunity to really use the monarchy to bring all Spaniards together. By being so partisan he has sided with Rajoy: by not condemning his handling of the political situation nor the use of police brutality. The monarch ought to have tried to heal the rift and act as king of all Spaniards, whatever their political persuasions & allegiances.

By failing to condemn the violence & brutality perpetrated by Spanish state forces in Catalonia, the EU has once again shown itself to be incapable of stepping in to hold up European citizens rights - Article 7 must take precedence over Article 4 - and thus is yet again diminished in the eyes of its citizens who cannot understand its failure to stand up for its so-called democratic values. It looks as if the European Union is not going to be of any use to either Catalans nor Spaniards. (And yes I can say that: cf. English/Irish/Scottish/Welsh & British, one can be two different nationalities at the same time.)

The EU has tied its own hands. It cannot intervene in Catalonia

The International Community was and is appalled at the way the Spanish State has handled the issue and the state brutality it brought to bear. Rajoy and the Spanish police forces brought shame upon Spain's reputation. According to the opinion polls prior to Madrid's actions, the referendum would have been won easily by those who wished to remain in Spain. Rajoy's in/actions have pushed more Catalans into wanting independence and probably others around Spain. They appear to be the actions of a weak & very foolhardy person. To support Rajoy & the police, is to accept that international opprobrium is a price worth paying. If the majority of Spaniards believe they were the right and moral actions, then unfortunately the Spanish will lose their reputation for being some of the most affable folk in Europe. I hope, however, that if tempers are given the chance to cool, then reason will re-assert.

If you have read all that I have posted on Catalonia across social media, then you know that I believe it to be better for her to remain with Spain. But Madrid has to give here: not just to the Catalans, but to the rest of the Spanish nationalities and regions. El País - recall a right-wing newspaper - has been calling for years for Madrid to do the same and to renegotiate the Constitution.

Now it is Spain's only hope of holding itself together. Well, that is without a military coup - but who would want that?

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