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From Monday's Newsroom:
the Spanish government is challenging the declaration of Catalonian independence in the Constitutional Court; a Spanish general said the army would intervene to keep Spanish unity
from Eurointelligence
The intersection of nationalism and austerity in Spain

We have a number of stories this weekend illustrating the dangerous mix of austerity and nationalism in Spain.

After the Spanish Parliament rejected the Catalan Parliament's sovereignty declaration in a vote, the Spanish government decided on Friday to challenge the Declaration before the Constitutional Court, writes El Pais (English edition). The government's decision is backed by the consultative State Council, as well as the Attorney General's office.  

Last Autumn, the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) had agreed to lend outside support to a minority CiU government in exchange for a timetable for independence which included the above sovereignty declaration as a first step, subordinating its opposition to austerity policies to the 'national construction'. However, on Saturday, ERC's leader Oriol Junqueras laid down an additional condition for its party to support CiU's budget: that the budget cut be blamed officially by Artur Mas on Spain's PM Mariano Rajoy, ABC reports. Meanwhile, [according to] Europa Press the leader of CiU in the Spanish Parliament, Cristian Democrat Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida, worries that ERC is "capitalizing" on the sovereignty drive, and that the budget cuts make CiU "look right-wing".

We recall that the Catalan socialists PSC broke ranks with the national PSOE in the parliamentary vote on the Catalan sovereignty resolution (with the PSOE voting against, the PSC for, and some PSC deputies abstaining), and the resulting controversy included internal calls for the PSOE to sever ties with the PSC. ABC writes that [p]rominent PP member Esteban Gonzalez Pons attempted to drive a further wedge between the PSOE and PSC, by declaring that "for the good of Spain, the PSOE in Catalonia should be different from the PSC". So far, the PSC has been affiliated with the PSOE at the national level, while the PSOE does not contest Catalan elections.

In this context, in the middle of last week a Spanish reserve General made public statements at a forum on "Armed forces and constitutional arrangement" which were widely interpreted as suggesting the armed forces should intervene in Catalonia. Among other things, the General said "the fatherland is more important than democracy". Catalan political parties as well as the PSOE demanded that the government discipline the General, and La Vanguardia reported on Thursday that the Ministtry of Defence has started the procedures to determine whether the General's remarks broke the law.

And on Tuesday:
Spain's chief prosecutor is seeking to remove the chief prosecutor of Catalonia
Again Eurointelligence:
After the military, now it's prosecutors called out of order on Catalan independence

The chief prosecutor of Catalonia is facing disciplinary action over statements he made to the press over the weekend regarding the legality of an independence referendum, reports El Mundo. The Catalan prosecutor, in an interview with Europa Press, had said that a referendum was illegal, but that it was possible that "other forms of consultation with different questions" could be found, as well as referring to  a draft law on consultations currently being considered by the Catalan regional parliament. Finally, while "rejecting secessionist projects" he wondered whether the Constitution of 1978 could be reformed. All of these remarks are considered inappropriate by Spain's Chief Prosecutor, who has initiated the procedure to remove the Catalan Prosecutor.

The Catalan Prosecutor resigned yesterday.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 03:44:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the context rather than the catalyst that worries me.  Asinine statements from the Spanish military establishment as regards independence projects are nothing new.  After all it was that long ago that we had a socialist defense minister making veiled threats about the Ibarretxe Plan in the Basque Country, which was basically a milder version of what the Generalitat is promoting today.

Without the context of austerity and the social backlash it causes, this is basically just machismo. But when we being to talk about mass movements instead of inter-elite fights, that's when things get worrisome.  

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 Mar 6th, 2013 at 08:11:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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