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How will the Catalans in the army behave in such a case?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 4th, 2013 at 07:38:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru and I have had a running off-ET discussion about this, in which he appears to be trying to make me prematurely gray with the little tidbits, like the article above.

Back in December, something strange happened with the Center-Right Catalan independence party CiU.  They started to target austerity as the creation of Madrid, thereby linking  the idea of Catalan independence with that of opposition to austerity.  This happened at the same time as the CiU discovered it needed the support of the ERC, Left Catalan nationalists, to form a government.  The ERC demanded a firm timeline for an independence referendum as a condition of making a coalition.

In the event of some sort of standoff between Barcelona and Madrid, or pronunciamiento,  I don't think that Catalans in the Army are going to be a major factor.  The Mossos, the Catalan regional police, probably are.  And their director has stated that "in the case of conflict, the Mossos serve the Generalitat," that is the Catalan government.

When you start to gameplay the idea of a pronunciamiento it's not clear that the Spanish military have the manpower to simply lock the country down.  First, since 1981, the civil guards were moved from the department of defense to Interior.  This denies the adventurous general the articulation needed to put feet on the street in many places at once.   Let's talk now about forces on the ground.  

The Spanish military numbers about 127,000. Another 16,000 or so are in the reserves. There are no Spanish military facilities in Catalonia proper, although there is a major military presence (army/air force) in Zaragoza, and to a lesser extent Valencia and the Balearic Islands. In all reality, only the Army would be able to do the kind of work needed to occupy an urban area. In the event of a pronunciamiento you are probably looking at anywhere from 20,000-30,000 soldiers max that could be called up.  Compare this to the roughly 17,000 Mossos de Esquadra, and it's not clear that a head on military action is a winner.  Then again, one thing that is clear is that by the point at which the shooting has started, we aren't talking about a regular conflict.  We are talking about irregular, urban warfare.  In other words, Bosnia......

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 01:01:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
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 ]
Go visit wars in ex YU on the internet and you will find out about this...and more...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 08:20:43 AM EST
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