Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Financial Times: Catalan National Day Demonstration Will Be 'massive and massively separatist'

'The demonstration on the Diada (Catalan National Day) will be massive and massively separatist.' says the Financial Times in an article published last week titled Separatism threatens the future of Spain, signed by journalist David Gardner.  


The article stresses that independence is strongly registering in the political radar amidst a severe economic crisis and highlights that the demonstration will stress demands of sovereignty. The article also points out that Mariano Rajoy's government is taking advantage of the crisis to push for recentralization. It also speaks of of the Basque economic agreement in comparison with Catalonia's lack of real power to control it economy.

Here is a very telling excerpt from the article:
 
"Next Tuesday, Catalans celebrate their nacional day or Diada, in a year when the clamour for independence for the first time commands the support of more than half the population – including figures such as Jordi Pujol (...) and Pep Guardiola.”

"Catalonia is thus the new frontline in Spain’s eternal battle to fashion a home for its plurinational peoples. The Diada demonstrations next week look set to be massive and massively separatist. Not just the Scots (or the Québécois or, indeed, the Flemish) will be watching, but the Basques – whose separatists now see the intransigent Rajoy government as an invaluable ally for their cause.'.
"Devolution has been a cornerstone of Spain’s democracy. But self-government was awarded to all regions in order to disguise the restoration of historic rights to Catalans and Basques, peoples with a deep sense of nation, culture and language that Franco’s dictatorship sought to expunge. For rightwing Spanish nationalists, this dilution of the indissoluble unity of Spain remains anathema. The centre-right government of Mariano Rajoy evidently aims to use the present financial crisis not just to shrink the state but to recentralise it."

"The genteel nationalists who run the Catalan government are in a quandary. The Rajoy government is ideologically opposed to any extension of fiscal federalism. But any government in Madrid will need the Catalan subsidy to meet the health and pension liabilities of an ageing population. The conditions attached to Madrid’s rescue money, moreover, imply a loss of self-government, just as EU bailouts dilute national sovereignty."

Today we will check.

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