Patrice Riemens on Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:29:08 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Catalonia


If the sign - as I interpret them - don't lie, Spain is sliding slowly but unmistakably, 
into civil war. But so is Catalonia.

Constitutionaly speaking, but then in the spirit of a constitution, not in its static state 
at a given time (of troubles), the position of the Spanish governement is laughable, and the 
arguments of Spain's foreign minister, meant for foreign, especially European consumption, 
beggar belief in their insanity. "The Spanish constitution does not provide for 
self-determination": well, even the constitution of the USSR provided for it, and any 
student of history knows that such an anti-sessecionist provision, and then its enforcement, 
the perfect illustration of the road to nowhere. Besides, the authoritarian, anti-democratic 
nature of this particular provision in Spain's 'modern, post-Franco, EU-conform 
constitution' cannot be better demonstrated than by reminding everyone that it was imposed 
in 1978 by the armed forces. This concession tot the bullwark of Spanish fascism, never 
repealed courtesy a.o., of the Partido Popular, now comes to roost like the proverbial chickens.

But if the Spanish State is firmly on the wrong side of the civil liberties, in Catalonia 
the situation is alas not much better, this time on the ground. Whereas Catalonian 
independence firmly lives in the heart of Catalonians, and this more in the country side 
than in the big cities, especially Barcelona, there two groups are ever more so bitterly 
pitted against each other. That the anti-independence constituencies in their good right to 
oppose secession from Spain, now endorse the measures taken by Madrid and put almost all the 
blame to the present Catalonian government parties under Puidgemont, is particularly 
unfortunate, and do not portent for a happy resolution of the stalemate.

As almost always in history, when a political situation comes to the boil, the outcome of 
the Catalonian crisis will devolve into a 'law and order' issue. Rajoy and his entourage are 
doing everything they can to avoid giving the impression that the tanks will be rolling over 
the Ramblas before soon, but preventing escalation is neither really in their power nor 
exactly derivable from the measures they envisage, in a so-calles chirurgical fashion, to 
enforce article 155. Another show of 'robust policing' as was witnessed during the day of 
the referendum, let alone fatal casualties, and, as the Dutch so nicely say, the bear will be 

Europe barely survived Sarajevo - and never really recovered from it. I very much doubt it 
will survive Barcelona burning.
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