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  • Catalonia and Spain

    Interesting stuff going on there.

    I don't come down firmly on either side. Catalonia has a distinct language and culture from Spain, and a lot of native and ethnic Catalans seem to want their own country, separate from Spain. The Spanish government in Madrid says that's illegal, and they're correct, but what's legal isn't always what's right, and what's right isn't always legal. Anti-secessionists, mostly ethnically Spanish, seems to me, say that it's about greed. Those greedy Catalans want to keep their money instead of supporting the rest of the country. On the other hand, the same could be said of the government in Madrid, which wants those juicy tax revenues from Catalonia to keep flowing into the national coffers.

    The Catalan independence vote was declared illegal by Madrid. Again, that is correct. It was illegal. So was our American declaration of independence. The vote went 90% for independence, but only around 40% voted, so well less than half of the Catalan electorate voted for independence. Those opposed to independence mostly stayed home, not voting, not wanting to lend an air of legitimacy to the illegal vote. The government in Madrid sent in the national police to prevent voting, beat those who did try to vote and confiscate votes cast. I think that caused a lot of people who were on the fence to lean toward independence from the Spanish, who were beating them in the streets. Who can blame them?

    Catalonia generates something like 45% of Spain's GDP, but it does so mainly via trade with the rest of Spain. That would go away with independence. Same with EU membership. The economic success of Catalonia has resulted in an influx of ethnic Spaniards, who appear to favor continued union with Spain. Again, who can blame them? On the other hand, some might argue that there is no good reason that Spaniards should have a say in the political future of Catalans.

    This article makes some interesting points, from a pro-Spain perspective: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...adlines&wpmm=1
    "The Web puts all of the world's knowledge at our fingertips; unfortunately it's mixed with all of the world's bull****************."
    -- Bob Parks

    "A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."
    -- Oscar Wilde

    "No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true."
    -- Oscar Wilde

    "It is a trap of history to believe that eyewitnesses remember accurately what they have lived through."
    -- Theodore White

  • #2
    Yes, it is an interesting situation. Spain historically is not naturally a single nation, but really three nations forced into a single set of map boundaries.

    Let's hope that whatever happens, the process is peaceful. Barcelona is a great city - it would be a shame for it to be torn apart over some stupid political arm-wrestling....JMO.
    "The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency." ------------------ Pope John Paul II

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    • #3
      Hard to say what's going to happen... but like SteinbergerHack said, let's hope it's peaceful. It hasn't been that long since the last time Spain had a civil war, and I'd like to hope they can avoid a repeat of that.
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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      • #4
        Same here. I still intend to visit Spain, perhaps in the next few years, and I'd prefer things be peaceful and stable.
        "The Web puts all of the world's knowledge at our fingertips; unfortunately it's mixed with all of the world's bull****************."
        -- Bob Parks

        "A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."
        -- Oscar Wilde

        "No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true."
        -- Oscar Wilde

        "It is a trap of history to believe that eyewitnesses remember accurately what they have lived through."
        -- Theodore White

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SteinbergerHack View Post
          Yes, it is an interesting situation. Spain historically is not naturally a single nation, but really three nations forced into a single set of map boundaries.

          Let's hope that whatever happens, the process is peaceful. Barcelona is a great city - it would be a shame for it to be torn apart over some stupid political arm-wrestling....JMO.
          What are the three nations? Castille, of course, and Catalonia. Aragon? Andalusia? The Basque regions?
          "The Web puts all of the world's knowledge at our fingertips; unfortunately it's mixed with all of the world's bull****************."
          -- Bob Parks

          "A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."
          -- Oscar Wilde

          "No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true."
          -- Oscar Wilde

          "It is a trap of history to believe that eyewitnesses remember accurately what they have lived through."
          -- Theodore White

          Comment


          • #6
            Catalonia's recent declaration of Independence was illegal under Spanish law. That means that Spain has no choice but to enforce the rule of law there. Sorry folks, but that's the way it is.

            The really stupid part is that Catalonia's has a legal path towards statehood written into the Spanish Constitution. This dangerous stunt by Puidgemont is likely to set that process back by 20 years, and lead to nothing but enmity between Spain and Catalonia. Welcome to the new Spanish police state of Catalonia.

            Regressive and stupid.

            And I support Catalonia's aspiration towards autonomy from Spain, within the EU.
            flip the phase

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            • #7
              Maybe. Depending on which account you read and what you believe, Catalonia has been trying to follow the legal path, and Madrid hasn't been cooperating.
              "The Web puts all of the world's knowledge at our fingertips; unfortunately it's mixed with all of the world's bull****************."
              -- Bob Parks

              "A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."
              -- Oscar Wilde

              "No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true."
              -- Oscar Wilde

              "It is a trap of history to believe that eyewitnesses remember accurately what they have lived through."
              -- Theodore White

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by isaac42 View Post
                Maybe. Depending on which account you read and what you believe, Catalonia has been trying to follow the legal path, and Madrid hasn't been cooperating.
                So, you get over that and continue to win concessions. There are higher courts in the EU than those in Madrid and Barcelona. Until now, Spain had no legal right to enforce a police state in Catalonia.

                Who wants to see a civil war in mainland Europe in 2017?

                Seriously.
                flip the phase

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                • #9
                  You're right. This is highly interesting.
                  But please, Spaniards, don't mess up northern, coastal Spain. I wan't to go there so badly.
                  George Washington was the man who never told a lie. Richard Nixon was the man who never told the truth. Donald Trump is the man who doesn't know the difference.
                  Venezuela is what happens when you have Trump without the Madison.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gubu View Post
                    Catalonia's recent declaration of Independence was illegal under Spanish law. That means that Spain has no choice but to enforce the rule of law there. Sorry folks, but that's the way it is.

                    The really stupid part is that Catalonia's has a legal path towards statehood written into the Spanish Constitution. This dangerous stunt by Puidgemont is likely to set that process back by 20 years, and lead to nothing but enmity between Spain and Catalonia. Welcome to the new Spanish police state of Catalonia.

                    Regressive and stupid.

                    And I support Catalonia's aspiration towards autonomy from Spain, within the EU.
                    Didn't the politicians in Catalonia who passed the independence declaration bug out to Belgium?

                    How does EU law work regarding that? Can Spain request their return? If you break a law in one EU country, will the other EU countries cooperate if the authorities in that original country request that they arrest and return the accused?
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

                      Didn't the politicians in Catalonia who passed the independence declaration bug out to Belgium?

                      How does EU law work regarding that? Can Spain request their return? If you break a law in one EU country, will the other EU countries cooperate if the authorities in that original country request that they arrest and return the accused?
                      To Brussels? Yes.

                      The Catalonian declaration of Independence broke Spanish law, period. That's illegal under EU law too. My point was that should Spain break its own laws, or those of the EU, in its dealings with Catalonia, then Catalonia has recourse to several higher courts - courts whose judgments with which Spain must comply, or face sanctions, fines, etc.

                      The referendum was illegal, period. Compare that to Scotland's independence referendum last year, which was totally legal. Had Scotland voted yes, the result would have been legally binding, under both EU and UK law.

                      Puidgemont just shot Catalonia's aspirations towards greater autonomy, and eventual statehood, right in the foot.

                      Puidgemont and other of his party members have been summoned to Madrid for an inquiry. They'll have to go. No other EU country can shelter them.
                      flip the phase

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gubu View Post
                        So, you get over that and continue to win concessions. There are higher courts in the EU than those in Madrid and Barcelona. Until now, Spain had no legal right to enforce a police state in Catalonia.

                        Who wants to see a civil war in mainland Europe in 2017?

                        Seriously.
                        I'd like to say no one, but some men really do want to see the world burn.
                        "The Web puts all of the world's knowledge at our fingertips; unfortunately it's mixed with all of the world's bull****************."
                        -- Bob Parks

                        "A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it."
                        -- Oscar Wilde

                        "No man dies for what he knows to be true. Men die for what they want to be true, for what some terror in their hearts tells them is not true."
                        -- Oscar Wilde

                        "It is a trap of history to believe that eyewitnesses remember accurately what they have lived through."
                        -- Theodore White

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by isaac42 View Post
                          I'd like to say no one, but some men really do want to see the world burn.
                          Far too cryptic
                          flip the phase

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gubu View Post
                            Catalonia's recent declaration of Independence was illegal under Spanish law. That means that Spain has no choice but to enforce the rule of law there. Sorry folks, but that's the way it is.
                            Somebody famous once wrote "When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another..."

                            Current global warming temperature trend: 0.05ºC per decade, plus or minus 0.1ºC (source: UN IPCC AR5) ...Yes, the error rate is higher than the estimated rate of change.

                            "Anthropogenic global warming is a proposed theory whose basic mechanism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain. The growing evidence that climate models are too sensitive to CO2 has implications for the attribution of late-20th-century warming and projections of 21st-century climate. If the recent warming hiatus is caused by natural variability, then this raises the question as to what extent the warming between 1975 and 2000 can also be explained by natural climate variability." --Dr. Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rbstern View Post

                              Somebody famous once wrote "When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another..."
                              That's absolutely true. And I agree wholeheartedly with it.

                              But Catalonia has a legal route towards greater autonomy, and eventually statehood, written into the Spanish Constitution. That process has been set back by 20 years in the last fortnight. The only option, once you've unilaterally declared independence, is war.

                              Or, effectively, a Spanish police state of Catalonia, stripped of the autonomy it already had, and backed by the institutions of the EU. Leaving the Catalonian nationalists with no other recourse than terrorist attacks.

                              Nice going, Puidgemont. The referendum result, although illegal, could have been used as leverage against Spain, with a bit more tact and diplomacy. Unilaterally declaring independence was just plain stupid.

                              See my comparison with Scotland's referendum earlier in the thread.

                              And consider a comparison with the greater Austin area deciding to unilaterally declare its independence from Texas. Would that end well?

                              Again, I support Catalonia's aspirations towards greater autonomy from Spain, and eventual statehood, within the EU. What they've just done is utter lunacy.
                              flip the phase

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