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When The Economist begins to type sense, one really knows how far off Rajoy actually is.

It is not too late to stop the break-up of Spain

WHEN a democracy sends riot police to beat old ladies over the head with batons and stop them voting, something has gone badly wrong. Catalans say that almost 900 people were hurt by police in the referendum for independence on October 1st. Whatever the provocation from Catalan leaders in staging an unconstitutional poll, the reaction of Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, has thrown Spain into its worst constitutional crisis since an attempted coup in 1981.

....

Will Mr Puigdemont declare independence? That would be reckless and irresponsible but, if he does, Mr Rajoy should resist the temptation to arrest Catalan leaders and, for the time being, avoid using his power to suspend regional rule. Just now, either measure would only compound his mistakes.

Only a negotiation can restore calm and it should start immediately. Even now most Catalans can probably still be won over with the offer of greater autonomy, including the power to raise and keep more of their own taxes, more protection for the Catalan language and some kind of recognition of the Catalans as a "nation". Mr Rajoy might even take up the opposition Socialists' idea of turning Spain into a federal state.

Any settlement, though, must include the option of a referendum on independence. Separation would be a wrenching change for Catalonia and the rest of Spain, so should not be done lightly. A majority of Catalans eligible to vote should be the minimum threshold for independence. A follow-up vote on the terms of a separation might be wise, too.

by Bjinse on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 07:37:18 PM EST
seems a novel turn of phrase until compared with 'principality', likewise suzrainties, duchies, kingdoms through the ages. The territory known as Italy probably set the record per each per km2 ~420 CE. Then there's the US state of Georgia's "counties." BTDT. The barrier to dread monarchy a/k/a tyranny is not geographical area. It is conceptualization and praxis of a republican polity, firstly, how pple identify with "citizenship" and whether ppl accept delegation of democratic "principles" instituted in oligarchy. The extent to which arbitrary ("unelected") rule and rules ("laws") prevails over citizenship in any locality seems to me to recur in every dispute of exclusive authority to which ppl will submit "autonomy," or "empowerment".

Can an `EU of the regions' offer an alternative to Catalan secession?

It is enshrined in the principle of 'subsidiarity': that decisions should be made at the level - European, national, or regional - that is closest to citizens while still being effective. It was codified in 1985 and inserted into the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.

To this end, the EU's Committee of the Regions was created in 1994. Given that 70% of EU legislation needs to be implemented at the regional level, it was meant to give regional governments a greater voice in EU policy-making.

"The principle of subsidiarity is in the treaties, and if it's to be taken seriously, decision-making should take place at the level of governance which is closest to the citizen," said Michael O'Conchuir of the European Alliance group of regionalist-minded members of the committee.

So there's that homage to history.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Oct 9th, 2017 at 05:27:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here are two essays. The first "goes to," as the attys say, construction of EU policy titled "Europe of the Regions" and comparisons of revolt by "subsidiaries." You will find familiar subject matter therein, not least of which suspicious red tag of the author's name.

Catalonia: The Revolt of the Rich?

The second is a forlorn memoir which resurrects personae dramatis in England's war of borders against the Scots.
Buried History: the Legacy of Kett's Rebellion

Happy Black History D284 Y2

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Oct 11th, 2017 at 02:15:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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