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re: "the Spanish government is violating the constitution in order to protect it"

As it happens, Counterpunch published this morning an essay that accomplishes two tasks, (1) furnish Spain's legacy in Catalunya; and (2) refute the ambivalent intentions of Spain's constitutional letter.

Whatever post-Franco party has been in power, Madrid has always done everything possible to suppress Catalonia's attempts to claim the right to self-determination but, this time, as October 1 looms, the response against a peaceful citizen movement has been much rougher than anyone imagined, including measures like police and Guardia Civil ships in the harbor, water-cannon trucks roaring along the highways, helicopters clattering overhead, taking control of Catalan finances, raiding the offices of the government's IT center, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Catalan government offices, detaining fourteen officials, impounding close to ten million ballot papers (so activists took printers into the streets to make off new ones), shutting down websites about the election (swiftly restored with mirror sites), and placing the Catalan police (Mossos) under the command of a colonel from the Guardia Civil (who, from a long lineage of Franco supporters, was charged with torture in 1992).

"The Rule of Law Such As Ours" (And as Imposed in Catalonia)

Article 155 was damningly described by Pedro Cruz Villalón, none other than a former President of the Constitutional Court of Spain, as the most aggressive and unfortunate exponent of a conception of state unity which is latent in Article 2 as something preexisting, prior to and, accordingly, superior to the Constitution itself as well as the whole legal system. This absurd situation of a constitution that annuls itself in the name of the unity it hallows signals serious legal problems which, affecting Spain as a whole, date back to the "Transition" (from the Franco regime). This was actually a non-transition, or continuity dressed up as a formal, legal break with the past, and aiming to restore the monarchy and leave the hegemony of the dominant social group unscathed.

For my part I think, Orwell's and Chomsky's authority over English-speakers' image of Catalan revolution within Spanish Civil War of the '30s finally hit its nadir. I note with interest that Podemos is not mentioned here with Cuidados. It is as if for the authors political groups' dominion were indeed redundant and dissolved in unity of the bourgeois and "proletariat" sentiments since Colau's election. We shall see. We shall see how far civil disobedience can carry their cause.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Sep 29th, 2017 at 05:30:49 PM EST
Verfassungsblog: The Catalunya Conundrum, Part 3: Protecting the Constitution by Violating the Constitution by Andrés Boix Palop (27 September 2017)
Article 155 CE, if activated, would have offered to the Spanish government a legal tool to take control of Catalan institutions on the terms decided by the Senate after a public debate. Article 116 CE, if activated after a debate in Congress in a situation of violence that could create a risk for public services or a sufficiently serious threat to public order, is to be used in order to limit fundamental rights, invoking a state of emergency.

Lacking legitimacy in Catalonia because of the absence of solutions to Catalan democratic claims within the Spanish legal framework, the position of Spanish institutions is badly weakened. Therefore, they do not to want to take the risk of creating even more political unrest in Catalonia with public and explicit debates on the suspension of autonomy or on the necessity of limiting fundamental rights. Instead, Spanish government is pushing other institutions, such as the Constitutional Court, prosecutors, police and judges, as well as their own executive powers, beyond their ordinary limits.

There is already an increasing list of abnormal situations that are creating deep concern among some Spanish legal scholars and civil servants and getting more and more attention among European media and European Union institutions. The logic followed in all these cases is the same: The Spanish government wants something to be done that could have been easily obtained throughout arts. 155 CE or 116 CE but do not want to pay the political costs of doing it openly and with public debate and democratic control. Therefore, Spanish authorities go ahead using alternative ways to achieve their goals, at the cost of distorting some procedures or institutions or posing fundamental rights at risk. Here is a provisional quick list of some of the most blatant examples:

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 Oct 2nd, 2017 at 12:29:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mig ... just saw a piece on Catalonia on today's (Monday's) Democracy Now ... thought of you ... GREETINGS!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 02:54:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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