Monday, November 10, 2014

Catalonia: a case to answer

2.25 million Catalans voted in an independence "opinion poll" yesterday, and over 80% said both yes to becoming an autonomous state, and yes to being fully sovereign (breaking from Spain altogether).

That makes about 1.8 million for secession, out of a total of 5.4 million registered voters living in Catalonia. A third of all voters.

A 42% turnout is impressive, bearing in mind this was an unofficial poll organised by 40,000 volunteers - the UK's 2005 General Election turnout was only 61%.

But even if absolutely everyone voted in an official Catalonian referendum and two-thirds said no, that would still leave a deep division. I can't see that sticking your fingers in your ears is a viable strategy for Madrid.

Devo max for Catalonia?


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The Hickory Wind said...

Devo max? I don't know what form it might take, but I'm fairly sure the autonomy Cataluña already has is rather more than Stotland's. And I don't think in the current political climate the independence parties would accept what they would present as 'favours from Madrid.' I rather expect the separatist leaders to whither away, as they have little more to offer, and for a more moderate feeling to prevail. But I have been wrong occasionally...

Sackerson said...

Well, perhaps a rebate on the region's net contribution to national finances, and permission to continue teaching Catalan in schools?

Simon Harris said...

The current feeling here in Catalonia is that anything less than independence would be a massive let down.

The PSC option is called asymmetric federalism, which would give special status to the historic nationalities - the Basques and Catalans.

Very difficult to make direct comparisons with a concept like Devo Max. The big problem is Spanish govt interventionism, particularly in education and language. Also a €16 billion tax deficit makes Catalonia the most heavily taxed region in Europe ... we simply cannot survive under these conditions.

The Hickory Wind said...


I wonder how important the business of language in education is (as important as the politicians can make it, I expect). The new law has attempted to limit the time given over to studying Catalán in schools, but it won't be prohibited, quite the opposite, and in any case, the Lomce is a kind of framework document. All the autonomous communities (the only exceptions are Ceuta and Melilla) control their own education policy, and will pass their own version of the law. I imagine it will be reinstated.

The thing about the money is a bit complicated. The point of tax (rightly or wrongly) is that the wealthy subsidize the poor. On the other hand, England has long propped up the Scottish economy, and yet it was the Scots who made noises about leaving the Union.