Friday, 29 September 2017

Build-up to the Catalonia Crisis

The Catalonian referendum on independence, illegal or not, will (or perhaps won’t) be held on Sunday. The results may or may not give Carles Puigdemont the support to go ahead with his independence from Spain. They probably won’t be very conclusive, as the Spanish authorities are doing their utmost to put an oar in the proceedings and furthermore, not everyone who has an opinion will necessarily wish to vote in what is generally thought to be an illegal plebiscite.  Difficulties are mounting, with, for example, ten million voting papers located by the Guardia Civil and confiscated. However, if Puigdemont considers his plans sufficiently thwarted, he may call for a unilateral declaration of independence.
Then again, he may be arrested in the next few days, becoming either a political prisoner or a secessionist traitor (depending on who you ask).
His police are now under the orders of the Guardia Civil (a military force nominally under the Ministry of Defence but in reality directed by the Ministry of the Interior). Many of the Catalonian Mossos d’ Escuadra are unwilling to take orders from their new bosses.
That fellow over there in Catalonia - he just called you 'fatty'.
Odd things are happening: apparently, Catalonian farmers will be leaving their tractors parked outside the voting stadia from Friday – to stop other large vehicles from parking there... although the Senior Prosecutor’s Office in Catalonia has ordered the Mossos to close down all of the voting stations by Saturday... Many of the national police – anything up to 10,000 of them have been transferred from the rest of Spain – are staying on three Looney Tunes cruise ships until at least October 3rd: while the local stevedores refuse to supply the ships, and the owners, Warner Bros., insist on Tweetie Pie being covered with a canvas.  The lowly panaderos meanwhile are said to be the secret distributors of the dreaded cardboard ballot boxes...  as the Supreme Court bans the use of public buildings across Catalonia this Sunday.
The rest of Spain is generally enthusiastic about quelling these troubles which could easily escalate, not only in Catalonia, but also in the Basque Country. And for some one-sided propaganda on the issue, try El País in English here.
There are also a number of boycotts going on against Catalonian products – which raises the question: are the Catalonian people Brother Spaniards or not?
We should have a clearer picture in a few days time, but we have to say that, like Pablo Iglesias, we expect the weekend to end in riots, rubber bullets and tears....

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