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Catalonia in turmoil

by kcurie Sat May 13th, 2006 at 02:51:22 AM EST

The first left-wing government in more than 60 years in my little beatiful Catalonia is in disarray...and I hate to say it: another left-wing government is going to hell. If there is any place where this should interest someone is here.

Surprisingly enough nobody seems to care about it outside of Spain. It has gathered   all the headlines of Spain : La Vanguardia  El Periodico or El Pais   talk about it. But barely a blip outside the borders.

Since it has deep implications for the Catalan Statute (the law fixing the relations between Catalonia an Spain) and for the future coalitions of PM Zapatero, it is the only thing people are talking about..... in Spain.

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob


Yesterday night the president of Catalonia Pasqual Maragall announced that the Statute approved by the Spanish Congress will be set to a referendum (compulsory) on June 18th. At the same time he announced that all the ministers belonging to ERC (left-wing catalan separatist party of Catalonia) were dismissed. He also announced that elections will be called before the end of the year, two years before required.

It may seem a simple news for any foreign journalists. But as always this news represent a huge shift not only for Catalonia but also in the relations between Spain and Catalonia and inside the government of PM Zapatero.

Why?

As always, some perspective is needed.. and it is not a short history. It reads like a fascinating narrative...but it could bore any...well it may be boring as hell...nahhh it is really interesting!!

The present left-wing government of Catalonia was born after the last catalan elections two years ago. It is (was) composed by three left-wing parties. The main party -PSC- is just the Federal-Catalan party directly linked with the national PSOE (presently in government with Zapatero as his leader). The president of Catalonia was the head of PSC-PSOE Pasqual Maragall (former major of Barcelona during the Olympic Games of 1992), one of the main supporters of Zapatero when he got the presidency of the national party PSOE...and later on the Spanish government. The second party is the green party IC. The third party in the coalition was ERC, the left-wing separatist party. You could imagine the screaming in the Spanish right when "the" friend of Zapatero and member of the social-democrats made a deal with an "independentist" party..a party advocating not for a federal Spain (as the green party or even some sectors of PSC propose) but a complete independent Catalonia.

Even more surprisingly ERC (which is also present in the Spanish Congress with a small but important representation) voted for Zaptero as Prime Minister and supported each one of his laws.

And then the Statute came. The governemnt and the main oppsotion party in Catalonia (CIU, a coalition of catalan nationalistic center and center-right parties but against independence) agreed on a new Statute for Cataloniafixing the relation between the central government and the Autonomous government of Catalonia (called Generalitat). All parties in Catalonia agreed on this new Statute except for the Popular Party (yes, the right-wing centralistic Spanish party has a 10% of votes in Catalonia...more than I would like but 30 points less than any other region of Spain)...and from then on everything has been downhill for the catalan government.

The Statute approved by the Catalan Parliament has to be accepted by the Spanish Congress and then approved by the citizens of Catalonia in a referendum...(call it what you like but the Spanish constitution was very smart..they really believed in different powers balancing each other..actually they were balancing each other since the beginning). Problem was that the new Statute stablished a complete and full federal-confederal Spain (if extended to other Spanish Autonomies). Competences, justice system, taxes and symbols were all typical of a strongly federal state. Compare this with the present situation were depending on the topic at hand Spain can be central, federal or even confederal.

The new Statue generated a federal-confederal system of taxes, a confederal use of symbols and set the role of the central and the autonomous govern in each one of the relevant issues: health care, education,environment.... The number of competences purely in hands of the central government was reduced to a minimum and, correspondingly, very important competences were regarded as shared. Another important chunck became absolutely federal. Furthermore..Catalonia was defined as a nation inside the constituionl system of government of Spain, a complete confederal symbolic system: a nation constituted as Autonomous Region (something that could very well had been unconstitutional)

And all hell broke loose in the right-wing elements of Spain. Boycott campaigns against Catolonia. Econmic interests crying foul against the possibility of Catalonia collecting their own taxes (and sharing the money afterwards). The tax system in the Statute could not sustain the poor regions of Spain and the huge windfall of money that the capital Madrid (I insist Madrid city not autonomous region) receives. If the contributions of Catalonia (and another two or three rich regions of Spain) are diminished because the money is now controlled in each region (and MAdrid can not trick the numbers)...either the poor of Spain or Madrid city would be hit..and the corporate power started a huge propaganda campaign, they knew who would lose...and all the Madrid-based media followed  suit with one voice.

But worse than that, Zapatero has an important base of left-wing people on the economy but with an ideology about Spain as a heavily centralized State which has been somehow convinced that some Autonomy was a good idea... as long as Spain remained unique and strong. Zapatero was losing them.

And then ZP shifted and showed that he is here to stay. He made a deal with CIU, the opposition party in Catalonia and opposition of his (now former) fella in Catalonia. This was exaclty the same thing that former president F. Gonzalez had done, only that at that time, CIU was also ruling Catalonia. The deal was simple. "I leave the federal structure intact except for the symbols AND taxes". So Catalonia becomes a federal state but with no prospect of becoming an independent-confederal symbolic entity whatsoever. And the tax system.. "sorry I have to calm down the economic powers around here. So we scrap your proposal but improve the present system in a way that satisfies another very important region (nation?) of Spain. Andalucia ". Andalucia is probably a future powerhouse with very strong economic growth. "Catalonia can not beat Madrid city but Catalonia and Andalucia ...you bet".

But that was not all, Zapatero promised a complete and continuous improvement of the Catalan tax system until reaching a purely federal system (no way confederal as the Basque country has of course) if CIU supports Zapatero in the future. Zapatero would slowly shift power from Madrid to Andalucia and Catalonia.

The picture of the two leaders hand in hand was a complete shock. As the details of the agreement became clear everybody was shaking his heads. Zapatero had not only dodged a bullet (from the spanish perspective) but he had also became much more strong. He had decided to leave a very left-wing party for a center, center-right party. Some people even talked about a future government where CIU would hold government positions in Spain for the first time in history....Zapatero would retain the Spanish "intelligencia" with his civil right laws, the economic center outside of Madrid with the new tax system and also those with an idea of a centralized Spain...after all the new Statute was an improvement of the present status (and Statute), wasn't it?.

Pasqual Maragall had to support the new Statute although he would have liked a little bit more...on taxes. Pasqual Maragall is the most federal (even confederal) element of the social-democrats. He believes that a fully federal Spain is the best thing for Spain, and that it should be called as such. The majority of PSOE does not agree (not even PSC). But here he had a federal Statute except for the taxes...so shouldn't he be happy? well, not really. The agreement with Zpataero with his opposition meant that PSOE would support his oppostion party in the future!!! Yes...next time around he would better win with a complete majority, otherwise PSOE could force him to..resign in favour of the oppostion.

Everything was wild enough as it seemed... The president of Spain in love with the head of the opposition of his own party in Catalonia (called Artur Mas) wishing that his old friend got out of the scene in the next election.

And of course everything got worse...due to ERC.. the separatist party. Given that the confederal symbols (Catalonia was no longer nation but something that the Catalan Parlament thinks it is a nation- no, I am not kidding.) were out of the main articulate of the Statute and the  taxes would not have a federal structure (and they would only become federal if their nemesis the CIU would regain power) they could not vote for the Statute...so they decided to propose the people of catalonia, well his supporters, to abstain (or null vote) in the future referendum. In this way, the Catalan government would keep his face and ERC would decide what to do in Madrid supporting Zapatero (or not) on a daily basis. CIU on its way could attack the catalan government for not having one voice...so everything had a kind of balance and (dis/un/in)equilibrium: everybody expected the referendum and then two more years of left-wing government...a little bit tricky and precarious but sort of Ok... until...

..things got worse....ERC last week changed his opinion, broke all his promises (promises done to Maragall and Zapatero) and they decided to support a NO vote in the referendum...It was the end.

ERC is not a normal party.. it must do as the "raw" supporters tell them in regional associations across Catalonia (it is called "partido asambleario".. I doubt something similar exist in Europe nowadays)...so they listened to the "militants" as the card party members ar called. All of them were for a big NO...exactly for the same reasons described by leader of ERC tos upport a null vote: it was a very bad and completely mutilated Statute. "You really think that way..so vote NO!!". And the leader of ERC (named Carod-Rovira) did not resign nor tried to convince anybody...nup, they broke the promise.

And yesterday Maragall dismissed ERC from government duties...now a minority government is in place.. supported until the referendum by CIU in the Catalan Parlament...with a referendum next month about the most important law for Catalonia in decades.  And of course, with elections just behind.

If the Catalan Statute is approved everybody loses except for PM Zapatero (and somehow CIU leader).. if it is rejected..everybody loses except for the right-wing PP and his neocon supporters. Surprisingly enough(does it ring a bell to anybody?) a left-wing separatist party has given PP a powerful weapon when the neocons were almost K.O. in the corner...

Catalonia in disarray.

Display:
What happens with the Entesa Catalana de Progrès in the Senate? [PSC, ERC and IC-Verts ran together in the senate elections in Catalonia and swept them (12 out of 16 Catalan Senators are ECP)]

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 10:25:38 AM EST
Since it is the Senate nobody really cares...but if they abstained in the Statute vote in the Senate expect the same thing in any important legislation. Entesa members will not split with Yes and No votes but Yes and abstantions will be the order of the day.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 10:29:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but a place to recall that Spain is not only Madrid Catalonia, Andalucia and Basque Country...

There is also
Asturias for example....

And in Catalonia the gossip continues....today the President of Catalonia will be interviewed in public catalan TV....to repeat the same things.

Will your party kick you out?
Well, this is not the proper momenr to dicsuss this, now we must be focus to get a YES for the new Statute..on and on and on

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 10:26:50 AM EST
Fear not, with PSC and CiU both in favour of the estatut, it will pass. And the PSC-CiU coalition government after the new elections will have such a huge majority in the regional parliament...

When both (but only) ERC and PP oppose the Statute, it must be a great Statute.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 10:38:46 AM EST
It is not clear at all that Pasqual Maragall will resign and allow for a PSC-CIU coalition int he catalan government.

It is indeed possible a Tripartit II the comeback...

By the way I have kept my opinion about the Statute out of the analysis although you know that I love every single article except the taxes one. Again money will be discussed in the shadow because you can not upset certian people and say certin things loud enough.. The tax system I want is the tax system that CIU and PSOE will agree if CIU wins...and I want that in the open...I want Extremadura, Madrid, Andalucia Baleares and Valencia to know how the money goes...
I want to know how much money Madrid recieves because of the huge public servants in the city, and the big corporations with formal office in Madrid city. I think Andalucia also deserves to know how the transition beteween the receiving end and the donor end is going to happen...and...well

Nobody is perfect...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:02:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Madrid needs a Ley de Capitalidad and, honestly, all the money Madrid gets is wasted by the successive PP mayors with pharaoh-like road works for the benefit of someone or other's cousins who own construction companies. It's quite annoying.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:06:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another Amen...???

Because giving the money to the badly needed outskirts outside Madrid city....impossible isn't it? Jesus.

Amen Amen

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:08:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gallardon did build Metrosur when he was Madrid Community President. But now that he's mayor... same old, same old...

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:13:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hate to be the advocate of a right-winger, but actually, aside from the pharaonic M-30 road project, Gallardon does continue the metro expansion into the outer suburbs. The current (2003-7) four-year plan (which is already half-finished) puts even the previous one to shame, with 53.1 km new metro and 27.8 km new tramway lines (part of the rest in tunnel too):

Read PowerPoint presentation at tunnelbuilder.com.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 01:26:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Couuld you please not put salt in the wound!!! :)

In Barcelona we are dreaming with this kind of underground...but simply there is not central government for it and there is not enough money for doing it due to the present finantial system!!!

Why do you think the Statute was supposed to be so important and heavily about taxes. Barcelona suburbs have also high degradation... and no underground...

sniff sniff sniff..:)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 02:01:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Barcelona has a great cercanias network serving the suburbs, and you could get a lot of mileage out of light rail [trams], for a fraction of the cost.

I wish they stopped digging tunnels for car traffic in Madrid and really pushed buses and brought trams back. Although I have to say they have eliminated the hideous 1960s flyovers for car traffic and Atocha and Cuatro Caminos are much better places for it.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 02:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cecanias.. not any more.

Completely crowded due to underinvestment in the  last ten years...it is now quite shameful....

We have lost 10 years in infraestructures iNnbarcelona and Catalonia. Ten  years with an investment three or four points less than any other community of Spain (having 3 point more pouplation adn sis point more in GDP)...No wonder average peole like myself were very pissed off and the promise of Zapatero of compensate the investment was so celebrated. I hope th money to the Catalan public transport system comes.. and fast.

I want the Madrid underground!!! je ejjeje..

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 02:15:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about the slew of investments for Barcelona 92 (and Sevilla) when the rest of Spain got nothing?

I realize that was 14 years ago, so that's consistent with your 10-years complaint...

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 02:17:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
During the investment of Seville and Barceloan 92 the level of investment that Barcelona and Seville received was the same per capita than Madrid at this time. three cities received investment slightly higher thatn their own rich GDP.

Of course since Seville and Barcelona got the same level of investment than Madrid during some years, any other region of Spain suffered heavily n infraestructure (except for basque Country).

Valencia, Zaragoza and Palma were heavily hit by underinvestment during those years.

The next ten years was another flip. Madrid kept and increase the level of investment but Barcelona suffered heavily because Valencia, Zaragoza and Palma had to catch-up (rough numbers)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 02:23:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where can one get reliable figures on infrastructure spenditures?

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 03:14:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very difficutl to get because the government does not publish themfor Regions. All the informs are made by private industries and are always partial and local.

In any case I trust the Cambra de Comerç de Barcelona  for the numbers about Catalonia.I will absolutely believe the figures.. is something they really track... the money.

The numbers previous to 1992 were in another report, I hardly can recall.. I think it was in La Vanguardia...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 03:42:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was in catalan!! Sorry. can you read it without problems?

I actually do not agree with the exact number for the deficit in infraestructures, I think it is a litlle bit less than what they say because a) you should not count the AVE infraestructure (since it is  completely national) b) you should not demand infraestructure according to GDP but according to population. All in all I think that the deficit is slightly lower (but not much) when you substract AVE and consider population. Around 3% of Catalan GDP

A pleasure


I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 03:55:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I can read Catalan without problems.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 06:06:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Barcelona's Cercanías problem was not only due to underfunding. What will be the central artery of the system (the tunnel between Sants and Sagrera tunnels) was delayed for just these same ten years, due to a combination of political tussles in Barcelona, technical and building-protection (re-routing at Sagrada Familia) issues.

I also note that Barcelona's subway network is expanding fast, too. According to UrbanRail.net, since 1995 extensions almost every year, and some 80-100 km is to be built in ten years (with four projects underway right now).



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 03:13:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only that, but the ratio of people per train got awful becuase no new platform for dealing with the heavy traffic was created.No new control system, no increase in the ratio of train per hour. No investement in a badly needed circular train..

Indeed the underground is supposed to increase in the following years but only if Zapatero fulfills its promise. Otherwise it will have  a lot of delays...and we will end up again 10 years behind. As now....as you may guess I hope ZP delivers....I  trust him...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 03:46:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An update: Line 12 has been cancelled for lack of money.

It will be considered again in 2010-2015 and only if the present programe is finished and with heavy modifications.

Believe me, something equivalent to line 12 is almost already badly needed...but there was no money and I think the money transfer from Madrid in the next seven years is badly needed on Inter catalan cities rail connections, airport and Port..so not even then ther is money for line 12. Maybe in 2015...when people will start asking for it desperately they would get the money somehow.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 04:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is Barcelona's total budget for these constructions, BTW? I'd like to get some costs per kilometre numbers established. For, another specialty of the Madrid expansions is how they managed to keep cost/km low.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 04:21:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here PDI Barcelona. It is in catalan but Point 4.5 has all the items of the budget.

By the way.. if the extra money comes the Catalan Govenment decided to build Line 12  from 2012-2015 as a train. One of the last projects to finance with the new money.

New Line 12 version will cost 850 million euros..which typically doubles...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 04:31:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gallardon is a cool guy, right-wing and all, he's just in the wrong party. And he has to carry heavy burdens, like Aznar's wife for #2 in the party list for the local elections, and now city councillor for social services (gaaa). She has moved the HQ of the social services department from the old town to the posh Barrio de Salamanca, so she doesn't have to see any of the people who use her department's services, and has the upscale retailers within walking distance. Gaaaa.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 02:09:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His project of underground is just great. He had a loto f money and he used it wisely on this. Chapeau...everybody was asking for more highways...and he said..no way.

And yes, he is not really that much right-wing
He is like Solbes a standard problem-solving guy heavily in the center of the political spectrum..although with some left-wing ideas sometimes. The present PP is not really his party (UCD would have been HIS party...)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 02:18:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The ideal set-up would be a Madrid Federal District and the province of Madrid as part of Castilla-La Mancha.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:15:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now.. how can you force the president of the Federal district to invest the windfall of the public servants and big corporations on the outskirts? Indeed the Federal district allows a solution.. but a possible solution doesnot mean a solution. A good chunk of the poorest people in spain live there..and they hardly know...anything.. evne less voting...how are they going to force the president to invest there?

Soemthing completely impossible. Set the Federal District to the core (rich) area. Set the rest to castilla-La Mancha and give half of the windfall of Madrid city directly to Castilla-la Mancha...what about that?.. je jeje impossible I know.. just dreaming.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:31:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not clear at all that Pasqual Maragall will resign and allow for a PSC-CIU coalition int he catalan government.
Interestingly, Maragall is now hinting that he might not run for reelection...

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 06:34:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am trying to get te interview. Yesterday the server of TVC was somehow blocked and I could not watch the interview.

Will he run ..wll he not run.. will they let him run..will he force them to run.. je jejeje

I doubt they really know...but Maragall could indeed win the elections and then...what would CIU do?? and Zapatero....? You can not have a CIU-PSC government with a PSC lead by Maragall and with more seats and votes...no way....

It will be interesting to watch

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 13th, 2006 at 04:16:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the referendum passes, Maragall can retire saying he's been the Mayor of the Barcelona olympics,and the President of the reformed Estatut. He's 65, too, he could retire from front-line politics, or go to the Senate, or to the EU Parliament.

The question is, who in the PSC could take over, and how would they do electorally?

I am thinking Manuela de Madre or Jordi Sevilla. Who are you thinking?

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 May 13th, 2006 at 04:45:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Montserrat Tura o Manel Castells.

Manuela is very (very) ill. Jordi Sevilla has half PSC against him.

So I would say that they will pick someone slightly known in Catalonia but completely unknown in Spain.
In any case, someone who CIU considers he/she should lose to keep with the agreement. Besides being sick Manuela could win.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 13th, 2006 at 05:33:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is Montserrat Tura related to Jordi Sole Tura? (All those political dynasties...)

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 May 13th, 2006 at 05:45:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We are a family....come all brothers and sisters with me...je jeje

Lovely aunt and niece....

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat May 13th, 2006 at 06:16:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When both (but only) ERC and PP oppose the Statute, it must be a great Statute.

But what if they create a growing center that accepts the   Statute, and fringe groups that reject the democratic status quo.  And you allow the  recreation of groups like Terra  Lliure, and the whole range of groups on the Spanish right.

If the Estatut passes in a  referendum, which I imagine it will, this means that these groups can't used the mythology of oppression to legtimize their actions.  But is Spain prepared for the developement of paramilitary politics akin to the Basque country (Euzkadi) in Catalonia?  What would be the effect if a recontructed Terra Lliure started a bombing campaing, or worse tried to assasinate Zapatero?  And the Spanish right, remember the attack on Santiago Carrillo, the rumblings from Melilla, the comments by Tejero.

In an evironment as explosive as this, all it takes is a spark.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:28:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No way ERC is going to radicalize and go back to Terra Lluire. Not when they are strong, as they now are.

The Catalan PP under Pique has a very different character as it did under Aleix (now Alejo) Vidal Quadras. Reportedly, he almost resigned but Catalan entrepreneurs talked to him before he came to Madrid to speak to Rajoyand convinced him to stay (to pre-emp Alejo's return). After Rajoy gets routed in the 2008 general elections, there may be a better PP.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:32:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not saying that the ERC will revert, I'm saying what happens if overzealous youth decide to blow something up, or occupy a building (Somthing not entirely unknown in Barcelona, which is the best city in Spain :)

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:47:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing happens. Like you point out, it would just be handled as your garden-variety anarchist riot or squat.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:52:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You seriously think that if ERC youths stormed the Generalitat in the middle of the night, and occupied the building, sending out a press release declaring that they are the vanguard of an independent Catalonia wouldn't have an impact?  You think that the Spanish right wouldn't react badly, and want Spanish special forces to storm the building (or bomb it to the ground?)

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:56:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I also think that ERC would disavow them if they did something stupid like that.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:58:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would that make any difference?

Would that sort of action on the part of overzealous youth lead to calls to ban ERC?

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:07:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are hyperventilating. Catalonia is not the Basque country, ERC is not Batasuna, and overzealous youth which can plausibly be denied to have been endorsed by the party leadership are not a problem (exhibit A: the recent kale borroka incidents which the PP was not able to use to derail the peace process).

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:09:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not hyperventilating.  I'm asking questions.  Most likely nothing of the sort will happen, but things can spin out of contrl quickly.  And when afraid people do really stupid things (exhibits A-ZZ, USA 09/11/2001-present)

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:15:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exhibit B: Spain March 11-14. We're a little more mature. Just a little.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aha! But you gave into the terraists.

(Sorry, couldn't help it.)

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:18:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And we're in the process of "giving in" again and so freeing the Spanish people from the scourge of domestic terrorism for the foreseeable future.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:22:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nearly as bad as the Brits...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:23:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah, worse. We actually give our peripheral regions home-rule worth the name.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:26:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
España se desmiembra... or as the great Brit would say Spain is dismembering itself.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:31:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're a little more mature. Just a little.

It's not about the US, it's about human nature.  

The asisine response to Batasuna.  And the situation in the Basque country.  Wandering into the philosophical why did ETA and Batasuna develop in the Basque country, while the same didn't happen in Catalonia?

Part of this is just rolling dice.  Random outcomes that are not the logical outcome of the events that preceded them.  Allison Graham an American political scientist wrote that:

Political science and the study of international relations were saturated with rational expectations theories inherited from the field of economics. Under such a view, the actions of states are analyzed by assuming that nations consider all options and act rationally to maximize their utility.

Let's call this the that's fucking nuts theory.  

The problem is that political actors make short term decisions that on their own are rational, but in their totality are fucking nuts.  You can have a mature nation taking actions that are on their own rational, but in the long term lead to unexpected consequences.  Being mature, and making rational choices doesn't help.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:40:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is not wandering into the philosophical. It is a question amenable to historical and sociological analysis.

You know this better than most as you understand the importance and uniqueness of Carlism, and of the fueros.

The 19th century Basque nationalism of Arana was of a quite different [and more uncivilised] nature than the Catalan Renaixença.

For sociological reasons, there was a weaker ferment in Catalonia and Galicia for violent independentism, and Franco repressed the Basque most strongly.

Terra Lliure and Exercito Guerrilleiro do Pobo Galego Ceibe arose after Frenco's death, not before, as ETA copycats, and petered out. There is even less likelyhood today that a social movement would coalesce around terorrist groups in either region, especially because ERC and BNG are at their strongest politically in their respoective regions.

There is no real disenfranchisement in Spain (other than the counterproductive law tailor made to ban Batasuna) any longer.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:51:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like the Irish Easter rising 1916 scenario. A militarily hopeless gesture of blood sacrifice to radicalise the population (particularly if the survivors are treated harshly by the government after the failure of the rising).
by Gary J on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:33:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that Spain is not at war, this is the 2000's not the 1910's and Barcelona is not really up to blood sacrifices especially since the Hipercor bombings.

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:38:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I deeply think that things will calm down dramatically once the referendum has passed. Catalonia and Spain will not tolerate any other thing.

Four years from now (and less) PP will love the Statute (as they know love the Constitution they hated so much) and ERC will be scremaing for the full implementation of the "flexible" and great Statute if it is interpreted in broad terms (namely the new provisions for the tax system)...

That's what I think....

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:35:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a recent poll of voter intent geared towards the upcoming regional elections...
31.5% CiU
31.5% CiU
15.5% ERC
11.3% PP
  7.5% ICV-EA
Because the PSC's vote is concentrated in Barcelona and Tarragona, and CiU's is more evenly spread out including Lleida and Girona, CiU is projected to get more seats that PSC, like in 2003 [then the PSC got more votes, but less seats].

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:21:48 AM EST
<whew> Trying to get my head around all this...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:41:02 AM EST
I know, we all catalans know.. it is bizarre...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:43:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is catalonia... It's all about money </snark>

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 Fri May 12th, 2006 at 11:47:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wish...but I think is more like some young separatists getting angry and spoiling for a fight because Catalonia is not a one single great nation under the Sun...of the new Statute

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri May 12th, 2006 at 12:02:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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