Sunday, October 1, 2017


The current struggle in Catalonia, one of Spain's wealthiest and most productive constituent nations, is a long one. Catalonia has a distinct history dating back almost 1,000 years. Before the Spanish Civil War it enjoyed broad autonomy but this was suppressed under decades of Francisco Franco's brutal dictatorship from 1939-75.
When Franco died, Catalan nationalism was revived and eventually Catalonia was granted autonomy again, under the 1978 constitution. A 2006 statute surrendered even greater powers, which boosted Catalonia's financial clout and described it as a "nation", but Spain's Constitutional Court systematically reversed much of this in 2010, to the anger of Catalan authorities.
Angered by having their autonomy watered down as well as by years of recession and cuts in public spending, Catalans held an unofficial vote on independence in November 2014. More than two million of the region's 5.4 million eligible voters took part and officials declared that 80% had backed secession.
Back in 2015 Catalan Nationalists won Catalonia's election and set to work on holding a binding referendum, defying Spain's constitution, which states that Spain is indivisible.  The relative silence from those other centralist states within and without the EU is sadly to be expected. 

There has been a fundamental deliberate failure to understand that sovereignty rests with the people not the state. And in the end the people have the basic right to determine their future, not the politicians in Madrid. 

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