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Catalan scenarios

by Migeru Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 03:47:43 AM EST

Now that Scotland voted 'no' in its independence referendum, the focus should shift to Catalonia and its campaign to hold an independence referendum on November 9. The referendum is opposed by the Spanish government. The Catalan regional parliament petitioned the Spanish parliament for the right to hold an independence referendum but was rejected. The Catalan parliament has just passed a "consultation law" intended to legalize the vote, which will be challenged shortly by the Spanish government in the Constitutional Court, which is expected to strike it down, at which point all bets are off.

It is my opinion that Catalan Premier Artus Mas of CiU jumped on the independence bandwagon two years ago only because his government was on the verge of collapse from the independentist challenge from the street and the looming insolvency of his government brougth about by the crisis and his own austerity policies. The Spanish government took the chance to bail out the Catalan government with austerian strings attached.

Below the fold, an enumeration of possible scenarios for the coming autumn of discontent.

front-paged by afew


Scenario 1: disobedience
Artur Mas decides to flout the Constitutional Court and call a referendum on November 9. The Spanish government can then warn him to stop the referendum and then after a vote of the Senate, command regional government officials directly. This would be a Constitutional crisis of the first order because the Spanish government could initiate legal proceedings against any Catalan political authorities going along with the referendum or refusing to act to stop it.
Scenario 2: plebiscite
Artur Mas decides he cannot hold a referendum but if the Constitutional Court's injunction happens early enough he'd still be in time to call early elections for November 9, which would be "plebiscitary": the early election would be a proxy for an independence referendum and the Catalan parties would campaign primarily on their position on independence. Mas' party CiU would most likely lose the election to the Left independentist ERC, which are strongly committed to independence. If ERC gets to form a government, refer to scenario 1, with a vengeance.
Scenario 3: new elections
When the Constitutional Court rejects the Catalan consultation law, Mas is too late to hold an election on November 9. He interprets that the major project of his term in office has failed and he calls elections at the earliest opportunity. This may be forced by ERC explicitly withdrawing its support for Mas' government in the Catalan parliament. Refer to Scenario 2.
Scenario 4: (no-)confidence motion
Mas decides he doesn't need to hold early elections anyway, even after ERC withdraws its parliamentary support. Either Mas calls a confidence motion or ERC (or even the Catalan People's Party) a no-confidence motion, which he loses, triggering elections. Refer to Scenario 3.
Scenario 5: Socialists to the rescue
Mas avoids or wins a confidence motion with the help of the Catalan Socialists, who replace ERC as Mas' outside parliamentary support or even join the regional government. The joint programme of CiU and the PSC would become to lobby together with the Spanish PSOE for a constitutional reform satisfying the Catalan demands. ERC and the PP would both be very pissed off. A CiU/PSC aliance could also happen after elections, with CiU leaving the independentist camp to return to its traditional moderate position in order to retain power.

Poll
What do you think will happen?
. Scenario 1: disobedience 0%
. Scenario 2: plebiscite 0%
. Scenario 3: new elections 11%
. Scenario 4: (no-)confidence motion 0%
. Scenario 5: Socialists to the rescue 77%
. Other: please explain 11%

Votes: 9
Results | Other Polls
Display:
is my choice. As I explained in the Scotland thread
The Catalan thing will get nasty, if only within Catalonia (when Artur Mas betrays the hopes he has been stoking for the past 2 years and allies with the Catalan Socialists to avoid early elections (which he would resoundingly lose) after he's forced to cancel plans for a referendum.

There are other scenarios, but all involve "unrest".

There is no possible accommodation between the PP nationally and ERC in Catalonia at this point, and ERC is eating CiU's lunch in the polls as the grass-roots independence movement shows no sign of losing steam.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2014 at 03:10:01 PM EST
2-3-4 all involve Mas looking for support he won't get. So I'd agree on 5, an attempt to fudge a coalition to save his bacon.

But the key is the strength and depth of the Catalan independence movement. Artur Mas is a straw in the wind in comparison.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2014 at 03:29:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Haven't we seen this before?

The Basques did a go at a referendum in 2004 and 2008.  In both cases, the Basque government was forced to back down with little real harm done. I don't think that Mas wanted this mess from the beginning.  The 2008 ruling in the Basque made clear that all calls for referendums must come from Madrid. There are something like 7000 civil guards and national police in Catalunya, and Rajoy can always reinforce these from the rest of Spain.  There are over twice that many Mossos, but I imagine that nationalists are not well represented in regional police.  As the Civil Guards are now operating under the Interior Ministry, reinforcing them and locking down Catalunya doesn't have the sheen of a military occupation.

So #1 is off the table. Which brings us to a couple of scenarios revolving around elections.

The latest poll for the region, gives seat estimates at the following:


ERC 33-37
CiU 27-30
C   16-17
PSC 16-17
PP  13-16
Pod 9-11
ICV 9
CUP 5-6

ERC gets a boost, but no where near the 68 needed to form a government.  After having just been stabbed in the back by ERC, I don't think that CiU is going to work with them. Ciutatans, PP, PSC all are virtual impossibilities.

So you get ICV and CUP a maximum of 15 as possible partners.  That gets you to a maximum of 52 with ERC.

Podemos.  I doubt that Podemos wants to involve themselves in this mess. Even if they do, that's another 11 maximum, so we are still 5 short at 63.

Do the math.  Any scenario ends up with CiU as kingmaker, dependent on PSC and parties of the Left to take government.

My guess is that ERC and the rest know the count, and will deal with an announcement that the referendum has been cancelled. In the long term, Catalunya is going to become an ungovernable mess, but in the short term it's more of the same.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 12:28:20 AM EST
But compare with the current parliament:

       2012 2014(est.)
CiU	50    27-30
ERC	21    33-37
PSC	20    16-17
PPC	19    13-16
ICV	13	9
C	 9    16-17
CUP	 3     5-6
Podemos  -     9-11

The PSC continues its slide into irrelevance and the new parties Podemos, CUP and Ciutadans grow alongside ERC. What we're seeing here is the slow death of the traditional party system (CiU, PSC, PPC, ICV). The attraction of a CiU/PSC alliance is evident: it is their swan song.

And note that the old parties are the traditional class-based parties with a touch of green, but the new parties are all nationalist/populist.

C: created about 10 years ago as an antinationalist but decidedly Catalan party
CUP: left party created in the past 4 years as an offshoot of the grass-roots independence movement
Podemos: anti-austerity grass-roots movement

Evidently the CUP people didn't want to join ERC, and Podemos embodies the 15-M distrust of parliamentary politics.

ERC used to be a radical left party and has surged to being mainstream.

Now imagine a system in which C largely replaces PPC and PSC, CiU loses hegemony to ERC, plus CUP and Podemos. Ungovernable mess sounds about right.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 08:43:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For an alternative view, from 5 months ago, see
The first chart shows the current position: Catalan representatives have requested authority to hold a referendum and they have been rebuffed. They now have five options:

  1. End the referendum process and accept the status quo (the "Collaborationist Option");
  2. Hold an unofficial referendum (the "Veneto Option");
  3. Hold an unauthorized referendum (the "Crimea Option");
  4. Call for elections on a single platform of separation, which would serve as a de facto referendum;
  5. Unilaterally declare independence without further ado (the "Jefferson Option").

Some of these options are so improbable as to be beyond the realm of possibility, but I will present each of them in turn. Since I am as fallible as the next man, take these estimations for what they are worth.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 08:51:01 AM EST
What about 6: Hold an official vote to secede, vote Yes, and then have everybody forget about it (the "Staten Island Option")?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 08:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting breakdown.

I think the most critical number is the probability that the Mossos would comply with Madrid if ordered. The author of that piece has it at 20% for comply and 80% for ignoring orders. Is that about right?

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by A swedish kind of death on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 03:03:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
D for Draghi.

Preamble: some of these movements (not Scotland) are being expanded because of austerity. This seems to be the case in Catalonia.

With Mario Draghi at the ECB things enter anaesthesia mode: bad, but not bad enough to cause large unrest.

When one thinks at the broader picture this is profoundly dismal:

  1. People use the independence card when in stress mostly. In fluffy times then no problem. This kind of independence card is variation of the "hate the different" card used in times of stress [Do not get me wrong, I am all for small countries/city-states, just not in this fashion]

  2. The power to change things is really in the hands of an unelected bureaucrat sitting somewhere in Frankfurt. That is where the lovely EU/Euro arrangement got us.

I am writing this from the US, and for all its shortcomings, the local mess seems less disturbing around here.

AD: After Draghi. Unless he cannot hold the boat until then.

by cagatacos on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 11:57:24 AM EST
Draghi has reached the end of his rope: Draghi's attempt to jump start stuttering eurozone falls flat (FT.com, September 18, 2014)
Europe's banks borrowed €82.6bn through the first of the ECB's Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations, or TLTROs, out of a possible €400bn, much less than analysts had forecast.

That dealt a blow to Mr Draghi's ambitions to expand the ECB's balance sheet by up to €1tn, in order to boost lending to smaller businesses in the region and counter low inflation.

...

The TLTROs allow banks to borrow at a rate just above the ECB's main refinancing rate of 0.05 per cent until late 2018 so long as they meet targets for lending to businesses. If they miss the targets, they must pay the funds back in 2016.

The misdiagnosis continues. This has always been a demand-led recession made worse by a preceding asset bubble, and the misdiagnosis has been made worse by the choice of austerity. Now finally banks are mostly fixed, or at least they have behaved as if major stress is gone since 2012. But the weakness of the real economyy remains, as does the austerity.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 12:25:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have seen no substitute emerge for direct fiscal stimulus by the governments, supported by the 'central bank' - such as it is. Varoufakis' Euro bond proposal seems workable - German obstruction aside. There are plenty of 'self liquidating' projects that could be funded by bonds, starting with a higher capacity European grid and more wind energy. Politics obstructs.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 01:54:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Draghi has done what he can to counter deflationary fiscal policy, but there's only so much he can do.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 02:58:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rumour has it Draghi will be Italy's next PM, after Renzi's eventual inevitable dethroning.

Same tune, different orchestra!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Sep 22nd, 2014 at 04:11:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I heard that he might be President replacing Napolitano.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 22nd, 2014 at 04:22:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They still have QE left.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Sep 25th, 2014 at 03:03:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder how many of those bad loans are still on the books for the French and German banks?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Sep 25th, 2014 at 03:01:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any known relationship between Autus Mas and the Cuban-American politician Jorge Mas? And just how liberal are Autus Mas' politics?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 01:10:26 PM EST
There is no relation between Artur Mas and Jorge Mas Canosa that I know of. It is a fairly common surname in Catalonia.

Artur Mas is an European-style economic "liberal", i.e., a right-wing liberal or market liberal. He's the leader of the senior partner of the CiU coalition, Convergència, the junior partner Unió being Christian Democrat.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2014 at 02:57:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If we follow the Scotland model, the only constitutional way out of this mess is for separatist parties in Catalonia and elsewhere to gain sufficient seats in the Madrid Parliament to hold the balance of power and force the Government of the day to authorize the holding a referendum.  Most probably this would end up offering not full independent statehood, but some form of enhanced devolution/autonomy with more regional tax raising/spending powers.

PSOE, as the party most under threat from separatist trends might be amenable to such a compromise, but would it satisfy anybody and resolve anything? (Was it not Labour who agreed to devolution to head off nationalist sentiment in Scotland, and Conservatives who insisted on a full in/out referendum in the expectation that this would take the independence option off the table "for a generation" and crush nationalist sentiment?).

It didn't quite work out that way in Scotland, and I would now expect the Nationalists to win the vast majority of Scottish seats in Westminster next year giving them the balance of power or at least greatly enhanced influence and a means of keeping the Independence option on the table - especially if there is any backsliding on devolution.

Overall I would expect the EU to make current state boundaries increasingly less important, and paradoxically giving calls for more local/regional autonomy a boost. The gamechanger could be if a member state were to leave the EU, but I see this prospect as increasingly unlikely notwithstanding a resurgence of UKIP voting - now driven also by English resentment at special privileges for Scotland under Devo-Max.

To an outsider this might all look like one big mess, but increasingly I expect this to become "politics as usual" within the EU as the political systems seek and fail to counterbalance the increasing centralization of power and markets within the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 22nd, 2014 at 05:10:23 AM EST
I think that the greater parallel with Scotland is that the ERC has been able to convert frustration with austerity into support for separatism, the logic being that an independent Catalunya would be to the left of Spain as a whole. The factor which distinguishes Spain from Scotland is that you have an insurgent part of the left, in the form of Podemos.

This is key because it provides a direct way to attack the austerity agenda instead of mounting a proxy effort through an independence referendum.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon Sep 22nd, 2014 at 11:46:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yet another scenario: 7: Have an approved referendum, lose, and then declare independence anyway. Salmond in today's Scotsman.
ALEX Salmond has raised the prospect of Scotland becoming independent without going through another referendum.

The First Minister, who is due to step down in November, said that a vote like last week's is "only one of a number of routes" that could be taken.

He said that although a referendum was his preferred option, achieving a majority at the Scottish Parliament was another way of reaching his party's goal.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 22nd, 2014 at 08:32:36 AM EST
I happened to be in Barcelona for the 11th September. The demonstration was impressive in size. I think Madrid are dreaming if they think they can use physical force to stop a vote. This is not the Ukraine.

I would go with the author of the linked piece - some kind of unauthorised referendum seems most likely. Perhaps Madrid's smart move would be to allow it and then use the legality to ignore it for now.

Of course, the danger for Madrid is that if it is unauthorised then turnout amongst "No" supporters will be lowered. "Yes" are the motivated ones at the moment.

Madrid's best hope is to pressure Mas...

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Sep 22nd, 2014 at 09:05:52 AM EST
At the General Policy ("State of the Region") debate last week, Artur Mas told the Catalan Parliament that the vote "must be legal" so that its result will be "understood in Madrid and Brussels". ERC has also been toning down their rhetoric. Although ERC leader Oriol Junqueras spoke recently of "civil disobedience", his deputy later said that ERC is not going to advocate civil disobedience because "if may scare people off".

I don't think Rajoy in Madrid is thinking of using "force" to stop a vote. But if an unofficial referendum takes place he won't feel obliged to recognise its result, especially if turnout is limited to pro-independence voters.

The problem is not that Rajoy will use force to stop a referendum, but that if he fails to stop an illegality he may be removed by his own party base and Spanish nationalists will be strengthened in Madrid. I al also worried about the possibility that "uncontrolled" forces may take the defence of Spain's unity into their own hands.

To sum up, I see lots of potential for extremists to do something stupid.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 22nd, 2014 at 02:55:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that's a reasonable fear. Especially given the right-wing history in Spain. So if Rajoy is removed, who stands to benefit?
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 04:19:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is not that Rajoy will use force to stop a referendum, but that if he fails to stop an illegality he may be removed by his own party base and Spanish nationalists will be strengthened in Madrid. I al also worried about the possibility that "uncontrolled" forces may take the defence of Spain's unity into their own hands.

What is "force"?  This matters because depending on how we define it, I think that we get very different answers about the willingness of the Rajoy government to use it.

I know that I'm repeating myself from above, and I don't mean to be pedantic.  But ... There is a huge difference between deploying civil guards and sending in the military. I would count both as instances of "force" being employed, but they really represent entirely different outcomes.

I suppose the question I'd ask, is whether you question whether Rajoy is willing to use Civil Guards to prevent  a vote.  I tend to think that he is willing to do so. Cataluna already has had a series of unofficial referendums. In order to change the status quo, you'd really have to be talking about Mas agreeing to hold an illegal referendum.  This seems unlikely.

In the unlikely case that Mas did hold a referendum, I think that this would provide a basis for banning under the 2002 Law of Parties.  Do this, and the next time that CiU or ERC meet, they can swoop in to arrest those present.  Snag enough setting members of the regional parliament, and you can force a new election.  In which neither ERC nor CiU can participate, offering up the prospect of additional PP seats in Catalunya as CiU supporters flow to them.    

No matter what bipartidismo is dead in the 2015 national elections. The current spread looks like PP will end up with about 100-120 seats, PSOE with 90-100, Podemos/IU 60-70, and a scattering of others.  

While still theoretical that joining of Podemos and IU seems like a strong possibility, and I'd venture that the performance of the party in union is superior to the performance apart in terms of seats, allowing them to rack up 1-2 seats in a number of more rural provinces that they would otherwise lose. On the other side, I think that UpyD and Ciutadans are likely to run together stripping off support for PP. So electoral chaos come 2015, and a good reason for Rajoy to call snap elections.  I digress.

On the more immediate issue of the Catalan referendum, my feeling is that Madrid has it under control.  Sending in the civil guards, and even invoking the law of parties, would ruffle feathers.  And if Madrid acts,  any rogue elements from Madrid are silenced.  As for some sort of militant action from Catalan nationalists, I just don't buy it.  I don't think that Cataluna has been policed as heavily as the Basque Country and Navarra.  There isn't a hard core of Catalan militants who are going to hold fast when gassed, and there certainly isn't the entire underground infrastructure you have with Basque nationalists.  There is no Catalan ETA, so I just don't see there being a bang.  More of a sad whimper.

My guess is that Spain is headed to much mar jar-jar, not the political equivalent of war.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 01:41:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ManfromMiddletown:

In the unlikely case that Mas did hold a referendum, I think that this would provide a basis for banning under the 2002 Law of Parties.  Do this, and the next time that CiU or ERC meet, they can swoop in to arrest those present.  Snag enough setting members of the regional parliament, and you can force a new election.  In which neither ERC nor CiU can participate, offering up the prospect of additional PP seats in Catalunya as CiU supporters flow to them.    

But would arresting those politicians properly be the job of the Mossos or Guardia Civil? Does Rajoy first need to try and order the Mossos and then find them in disobidiance or can he just send in Guardia Civil? And if Guardia Civil is sent in and the Catalan government gets wind of it and calls in the Mossos to defend their meeting, who will the Mossos obey?

(None of these questions are rethorical)

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by A swedish kind of death on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 02:48:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(with apologies to Uganda)

You can't arrest sitting members of a regional parliament except if caught red handed in the commission of a crime, and this would be stretching very thin the definition of crime.

Come on, people, I know we're talking about Spain but this is not a banana republic (yet).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 03:31:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not endorsing it, just saying that I think that it's something that Rajoy and the PP are capable of. In their eyes, and I don't think that there has been an effective challenge to the law yet, and they just may view an illegal referendum, one which is treated as binding rather than consultative, as a crime.

I don't think that it will come to this, because there is no way that Mas allows an illegal vote.  In the unlikely case he does, this is the equally unbalanced response Rajoy can take. Will the rest of the EU/NATO really speak up for an illegal referendum?  Or does illegal referendum sound a shade to close to Crimea for comfort?

 

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 04:06:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Political Parties Law may allow the arrest of members of political parties, but it doesn't allow the arrest of sitting parliamentarians which would be unconstitutional (section 71) or contrary to the Catalan statute of Autonomy (which is a law of the Spanish Parliament of equal rank to the Law on Political Parties).

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 04:31:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, I think it highly unlikely that Mas agrees to hold an illegal referendum (meaning all this discussion is moot), but the article you reference refers to members of the Cortes, not regional parliaments.

Arrests aside, it would provide a basis to ban ERC and CiU, which would lock them out of future parliaments, and start up the sort of "change the name" game that Batasuna got very good at in the last decade.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 07:19:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rajoy and the PP are trying to take the legalistic high road in this case. That would be defeated by arresting sitting parliamentarians.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 04:32:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My suspicion is that this would all take a sort of kabuki theater form with each party acting out their role with little actual passion.  It's about sticking to character.

I don't think that there would be an issue with the Guardia doing the leg work rather than Mossos, but that may not be the case.  I just don't see active resistance.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Sep 23rd, 2014 at 03:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rajoy may be willing to do it - but the consequences could be much uglier than you think, esp. in Barcelona.

I can't see the crowds I passed through on 11th Sept. sitting by idly while the Guardia swoop in. I think rather things would get very ugly very quickly.

Rajoy may be too stupid to see it, but it would be the end of him internationally - and likely domestically.

A "vote" may be "illegal" but it's not the kind of thing you can suppress in this manner without looking like a Fascist.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Sep 24th, 2014 at 04:36:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you look to the behavior of the Spanish government in the Basque Country and Navarra, I think that you will find that "ugly" is something that has happened there dozens of times with little or no consequences.

If you think I'm exaggerating, read up on GAL, which operated during the PSOE government of the late 1980s. Once you've operated a death squad, cracking a few skulls in the course of a kettling operation sort of pales in comparison.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Sep 24th, 2014 at 06:20:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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