Spain's King sides with Madrid as monarchy threatened

spanishflagSpain's Constitutional Court has order that a session in Catalonia's parliament, which could be used to declare independence, must be suspended.

Catalan lawmakers have summoned Catalonia’s regional president, Carles Puigdemont, to address parliament about the referendum on independence held last Sunday amid police violence that was viewed with dismay across the world.

The Constitutional Court warned that any parliamentary session carried out in Catalonia in defiance of its ban would be “null”, and added that the parliament’s leaders could face criminal action if they ignored the court ordered and that party leaders could face prosecution.

Puigdemont and other leaders already have said they are quite prepared to go to jail if Madrid orders their arrest, delighted in fact, as this would advance their cause no end.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s continuing hard line approach has been almost universally condemned, except by the European Commission which has ducked the issue altogether, stating only that "this is a matter for Spain."

Madrid has rejected Puigdemont's suggestion that the crisis go to mediation with a third party and Gunther Oettinger, the budget commissioner, has urged the two sides to talk, stating, “The situation is very, very disturbing. A civil war is planned in the middle of Europe.”

The Madrid government has refused to rule out invoking article 155 of the constitution. The article, which has never been used, makes provision for the central government to take control of any of Spain's autonomous regions if its local government “does not fulfill the obligations imposed upon it by the constitution or other laws, or acts in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the general interest of Spain.”

Puigdemont said last Sunday that the region's leaders could declare independence “within days” and has already warned that the triggering of article 155 would be Madrid's s “ultimate mistake.”

King Felipe VI of Spain has not helped matters, coming down on Rajoy’s side in an address to his people on October 3rd which left many Catalans appalled that the monarch failed even to mention those injured in the police violence, nor suggesting a political way forward.

Instead, the King opened the door to more aggressive measures from Madrid to thwart Catalonia's bid for independence from Spain.

Accusing the Catalan authorities of disloyalty, the King said the State had to "ensure constitutional order" even though the displays of violence already has shown what this entails.

The King fears other of Spain’s states following Catalonia’s lead if Catalonia becomes independent. This could swell anti-monarchy feelings and threaten his throne, reinstated in 1975 after the Franco era.

"The King has adopted the government's position and policies which have been disastrous with regard to Catalonia. He deliberately is ignoring millions of Catalans," Carles Puigdemont said.

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0 #6 Ines-45 2017-10-13 17:10
All this talk of constitutions, laws and referendums hides the real reason for the conflict in Catalonia: money.

The Catalans are sick and tired of subsidising poorer regions of Spain with their taxes. Especially when they are not appreciated by a Spain that wants to centralise everything under ethnic Castilian control.
+1 #5 Plain Speaking 2017-10-09 17:12
In reply to "dw" the hundreds of thousands of people who demonstrated in Barcelona at the weekend pro Spain were a mirage then? The vast majority of these pro Spanish demonstrators had previously boycotted what was an illegal referendum. And who knows what went on in the actual referendum itself. There were no independent observers and there was no electronic or any other system installed to prevent multiple voting. By any international standards the vote would be declared null and void and certainly not representative enough to change the lives of millions of people for generations to come.
+1 #4 dw 2017-10-08 12:12
Quoting Plain Speaking:
In 1978 over 90% of Catalans voted in favour of the Spanish Constitution.

On a similar turnout 90% voted for independence the other day. What evidence is there for the supposed majority support for staying part of Spain?
+2 #3 Plain Speaking 2017-10-06 14:07
What the coup in Catalonia reveals is the immense fragility of the modern democratic state in obeying the rule of law in a Europe where the financial crisis, jihadism and mass migration have shaken institutions and consensus. The Catalan lesson is severe: a bunch of con artists who have infiltrated some state institutions, such as an autonomous government and local police, and having a few hundred thousand well-organised activists prepared for a street fight, can impose their anarchic ideas above the law and the will of the majority, together with the applause of the usual idiots from other countries, and some counterfeit photos on Facebook sufficing as an argument. In 1978 over 90% of Catalans voted in favour of the Spanish Constitution which a band of opportunistic con artists are now totally ignoring. History never exactly repeats itself but the parallels with the 1930´s are substantial. Everything is now possible once again, especially the worst.
+1 #2 Peter Booker 2017-10-06 09:21
I don´t know about the 1300s, but a mirror image of today´s events in 1640 would involve Portugal´s independence; the Portuguese have much to thank Catalonia for. In that year, both Portugal and Catalonia rebelled against Spanish centralism. As it happened, Spain chose to deal with the Catalan problem first, which allowed Portugal the breathing space to organise its military and to seek foreign and supportive alliances. And Spain became so exhausted by her successful efforts in Catalonia that in 1668 she chose to recognise Portugal´s independence.

Shall we see Portugal´s government giving in return a form of Homage to Catalonia? Somehow, I doubt it.
+2 #1 Historyman 2017-10-06 09:03
Today's Catalonia issue illustrates well the consequences for Portugal back in the 1300's had they not signed up to the (Protection) Treaty of Windsor. Spain would have gobbled it up in a weekend, without an arrow being fired, as most of the ruling families were on both sides of what would then have been a virtually non-existent border.
All we would know of Portugal today would be as yet another troublesome region of Spain. Periodically agitating for its independence and another headache for Spanish PM's like Rajoy. But ssshhhh - this is not yet being taught in Portuguese schools.

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