How has Catalonia ended up being so nationalist?

How has Catalonia ended up being so nationalist?


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I mean I cannot comprehend how the separatist sentiment has risen so much in just a little more than 40 years (considering that when Franco died nationalism did exist, but nowhere near where it's now in intensity). I think that a pair of news that show how far this has gone are this one or this one or this one.

Which are the main reasons this has gone so far considering events from that 40 years?


Short answer: The latest flareup is the most recent of many that have taken place over the centuries.

More details are found in this wiki article on Catalonia. But basically, Catalonia was always the "non-mainstream part of Spain. It formed the heart of the Kingdom of Aragon, which was united to the rest of Spain (Castile) by the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Even though the couple "officially" ruled Spain "jointly," they were actually ruled separately by the two rulers and their respective staffs.

Catalonia rebelled in 1640, along with Portugal, which won its independence from Castile. Spain barely recovered Catalonia because the alternative was even less palatable French rule. Catalonia rebelled again against French-controlled Spain during the War of Spanish succession, and on more than one occasion during the nineteenth century. Finally, Catalonia was the heart of the "Republican" side of the Spanish Civil War; most of "Castile" north and west of Madrid supported Franco.

Bottom line: Catalonia always felt itself to be a different, almost "separate" part of Spain even when technically under Spanish rule.


a response from a mostly neutral, catalan born citizen.

TL;DR:

Catalonia isn't suffering a rise of nationalism, but of neo-autonomism / pro-independence, mainly due to loss of civil rights, economic power,and, or, more correctly, the final and uttermost understanding that those rights and power were never there in first place.

By looking at the past, and the explained reasions, we can get a quick list running of "what has pushed people to want to vote YES", instead of "what has pushed people to be nationalists" :

  • Catalan parties push for independence ( since 2012)
  • Spanish Government's actions agains't the catalan parliament's will
  • Catalan and spanish government's lack of hability to fight the 2007 and 2009 economic crysis.
  • The actions of individuals and social movements towards a referendum / independence.
  • The pursue of a better, more social country ruled without the countrains of being a small part of a very different whole.
  • The popular party winning in spain unconditionally since 2011 even when having more than 300 open corruption cases.

The civil movement will dissolve as soon as a valid legal referendum is done and one of either sides wins with a good (>55%) result, because none of the sides have a strong nationalist nucleus.

Edit: 28 August, 2017 I collected a example list of non-core law changes revoked by the spanish government, to showcase the vast differences on them and to display the irrationality behind the revocation, except in two (pro-independentist) cases.

Law on audiovisual matters (2/2012)

Decree-law of business hours (4/2012, 2/2014)

Decree-law of taxes to banks (5/2012)

Decree-law against energy poverty (6/2013)

Law accompanying budgets (2/2014)

Law of popular consultations not referendaries (10/2014)

Law of the Ombudsman (2008, decision 3/2015)

Foreign Action Law (3/2015)

Commissioner for the National Transition (4/2015)

Rate for Internet operators (9/2015)

Consumer Code of Catalonia (10/2015)

Reform of the commercial law of Catalonia (10/2015)

Tax Agency of Catalonia (9/2015 - 11/2015)

Parliamentary declaration of independence (11/2015)

Study Group Study Commission (2/2016)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2/2016)

Decree-law against energy poverty (4/2016)

Law of taxes on empty housing (4/2016)

Law of local governments (4/2016)

Law of effective equality between men and women (4/2016)

Fracking ban law (3/2012, 4/2016)

Law prohibiting large areas outside cities (4/2016)

Tax creation law for the production of nuclear energy

Law that allowed the creation of Medinyà as a new municipality separated from Sant Julià de Ramis (8/2015)

Emergency housing law, or against evictions (24/2015)

Long answer

The bases of the current catalan nationalist (catalanisme) and catalan independetist movements is strongly tied to the past of this 8 million citiziens region of spain.

To truly understand the roots of the problem, we must first analize the political , administrative and social structure of the crown of Aragon until 1714, when it was legally dissoved into spain.

Historical background, part I , XV to XVIII

I will not enter in the detail to explain the history before the 15th century, it's not necessary.

At this point of history, we've got, at the start of the 15th century, the crown of aragon, a big blob of kingdoms, principalties, duchies, and counties across the whole mediterranean, from the lowest part of Murcia to the shores of Neopatria (Greece).

This "empire", as it's formed, has had three core regions since the end of the Two kings war, the kingdom of Aragon, the Kingdom of Valencia ,the Kingdom of Mallorca and the principalty of Catalonia. These territories all share a common trait : they are ruled equally by the noblemen, the church and the richmen in some sort of proto-parliamentary system, that edicts constitutions that are later approved ( or not ) by the king.

Each citizien of each one of these regions has inherent rights by being so, for example, a citizien from Valencia can't be rallied as levy if the courts of valencia haven't said so, and it's the courts ( or consell de cent in catalonia) that dictates the taxes, the grants, etc… a citizien must pay or collect.

Meanwhile , the kingdom of castille was way more feudal, and had a more centralist idea on how regions should be ruled.

With the death of the last member of the house of barcelona, Martin Ist the Human, the dinasty of Alphonse the cast died. This started a period of turmoil and civil wars that ended with Ferdinand, a very charismatic and strong handed king, who married Isabel of castille.

The marriage wasn't very convincing at first, but the access to mineral and trading resources was seen as very profitable by the merchantmen of valencia and Catalonia, who saw an open and few exploited market.

At this point of history it's clearly noticeable a merely political clash of cultures, that didn't go anywhere further as every Trastamara dinasty king accepted the different region's laws and constitutions or quickly removed opositors without big bloodbaths.

The habsburg dinasty

This dinasty ruled from the first half of the 16th century to the year 1700. They were a very conservative but open dinasty overall, coming from a elective empire they weren't unkown to pseudo-parliamentary systems, and didn't have big troubles with the culture and language of the different regions of the two crowns. Until Phillip IV.

Phillip IV was not a bad king, but was left an almost depleted treasury, a decaying empire and a uncivilized army , only a shadow of the Tercios that his grandfather Phillip II raised, and a even smaller fleet.

The royal advisor Conde Duque de Olivares,named Gaspar de Guzmán, was the Vicerroy of catalonia and a very conservative and centralist politician. He was renowed as a great diplomat and strategist, but felt a great disrespect and hate to the catalan and portuguese people, whom considered inferior. There are songs and stories of the 17th century that relate how the infamous advisor, only rivalized at that time by the Cardinal Richeleu, another "little angel / angelet"(catalan expression usually used sarcastically refering to the bad will of someone) of the 17th century, convinced the king to ignore portugal's (and catalonia's, and valencia's) laws and constitutions that stated clearly that a citizien of those regions could neither be rallied on levy by the king without courts approval, neither him be charged of the maintenance of a soldier in his home, neither him being forced to feed that soldier.

Yet the count forced the citiziens to do so during the last years of the 80 years war, provoking a prominent anti-crown and anti-castillian movement across the population of those territories. by 1635, both catalonia and portugal had started many civil revolts that ended in a civil war with the support of france, and by the end of the war Phillip decided to claim peace with France in exchange of the Rousillon and the liberation (de iure, it was already independent de facto) of portugal.

The loss of the Rousillon, a pretty valued region, was seen as treason by the loyalist catalans, and as an act of villany from france's and spain's side by the rebel catalans. so pretty much everyone that didn't live deep in the pyrinees was pissed.

And, then, unexpectedly, the Heir of Phillip, Charles IInd, was crowned king even when being whithout any doubt ill of mind and body, he was born with almost every possible inbred trait, lisps, bad feet, completely unfertile… and so he died in 1700.

There are many conspiracy theories on whom the crown of Castille and Aragon belonged to, but we'll pick the "official" story for now.

The spanish Succesion war

By the start of the 18th century, catalonia was a rich and prosperous trader and manufacturer ( weapons, liquor, packed american groceries, rice, wine, oil , wheat… ) region, and politically speaking, pretty advanced for it's times, matching england's parliamentary system by having both a parliament ( consell de cent), a senate ( Junta de braços ), and a fully powered government ( diputació del general ) improved over the years of the habsburg dinasty rule.

All this self-government though, conflicted widely with Phillip's Vth idea of how a state should be ruled, being Louis XIV's grandchild, didn't contribute to avoid turmoil.

By 1701 Charles , archduke of Austria,was proclaimed as King of The Spains ( castille and aragon), and by 1702 half the world had joined his cause ( mostly to piss the grandparent of Phillip V and grab some lands and trade from him, though, chivalry was long dead.) Phillip at that time was seen neutrally from catalonia, as Charles. It was the events succeded during his visit on catalonia ( He didn't want to bow and approve the constutions, and was perturbated that the consell de cent didn't want to grant him a prize for getting married, though they later did) , and pretty much the same happened on his visits on Aragon and Valencia.

In 1704, catalan and valencian ex officials of the Habsurg army that had ben retired from service joined the english attack with their men on Gibraltar, landing on Catalan bay ( well, it didn't had that name before the landing, but i don't know the past name.). This was one of the many little actions that ended up in the proclamation of Charles III as king of The Spains in barcelona in 1706, and the whole spanish sucession war.

By 1713, the war was slightly ( Charles had taken madrid two times already, but France's reinforcements turned the tables ) lost on the Habsburg side, and England pacted a peace treaty as soon as the tories got their hands on the government.

But the Catalan junta de Braços, the governing core of the military, decided to keep fighting in Charle's name, because they were facing complete loss of their constutions and being absorved into castille.

The war ended before the english whig government of 1714 could send a reinforcing army on the 11th of September, Mallorca kept resisting until early 1715, and every Crown of Aragon territory lost it's laws and constitutions ( Furs, Fueros ).

Catalan was banned from law, clerical or administrative use, and the Phillip's advisors ordered the territory to be slowly populated (it had lost more than 30% of it's population) by ex-soldiers, to lower the chance of fulture turmoil ( if you can't win them, marry 'em ).

XVII to XIX

It pretty much worked on the more industrial cities, mostly Barcelona, but on the rural regions people kept speaking and talking catalan (to the point that rich noblemen had to ask for a translator to recieve the holy oils before dying ). The production of liquor and weapons, catalonia's main exports, was banned until the last days of Charles IV, and that helped that those rural farmers and richmen kept a rivalry feeling towards the Bourbon dinasty.

By the end of the 19th century, though, there was ( like in almost every part of europe) a rise on the nationalist movements, and the legends and tales of old were rewritten and the language recorded in the first dictionaries.

La Renaixença

This period was the furthest and most radical cultural movement spain lived on the 19th century, and it saw a big rise in idenditarian poesy, literature, architecture ( Gaudí anyone? ) , theather acts, etc…

This can be stated to be the main origin of modern Catalanism, but nobody was clearly independentist yet.

Here the first political parties that were in favour of the devolution of Furs were born, and the first "Pan-Hispanical" federation ideas were crafted.

Pre - Republican years

There are many moments between the loss of Cuba and the Spanish republic where political movements in favour of more autonomy gained a lot of renown, such as the Mancomunitat catalana, the pan-hispanical federation, and the truly independentist movements by the hand of Estat Català and Esquerra Republicana.

In 1926 Francesc Macià, founder of estat català prepared a coup d'etat from the pyrinees to finish the dictatorship of primo de rivera, but failed, even when helped by anarchists and communists, that later gained more notoriety.

The dictatorship of primo de Rivera saw little repression for Catalonia, mostly on the political side , with party members being detained and executed or expelled from the country.

The spanish Republic

The main events in the spanish republic related to the pro-independentist movements were remarkably big :

The proclamation of an Independent Catalan Republic , confederated in a pan-hispanic fedetaion of states, that was stopped after some days by the army but saw the reinstauration of self-autonomy on Azaña's Victory.

The victory of Esquerra Republicana and Estat Català in the 1936 general elections, that marked a statistical no-return point on catalan politics, as well as other parties started losing support.

The military failed coup, and the civil war start, with the government of catalonia siding with the spanish republic and defending itself on the last days.

Post-War

yes, i'll skip the war. Lots of people died, the Rebel side won, they executed a lot of pro-republican people once the war ended, and there's still 350.000 persons missing, buried in massive pits.

The post war period in spain didn't actually ended until the very late 70's, but the first years were the most crude.

My family saw some members detained for being ex-officers in the republican army, but living on a small city at that time, dind't had as many problems as those living in barcelona.

One of the things i'll always remember is what my grand grandmother told me about the visits of Franco. by that time, the 1940's, everyone had ration cards, and, oh surprise, the month that franco had to visit Barcelona, the card-giving tables were positioned near the Diagional, the whole month ration cards for all the family members, officers watched as the crowd "applauded", and if somebody wasn't enthusiastic enough, well, no food that month.

Ofcourse, there was a lot more repression than that. the Autonomous government was dissolved, the president Lluis Companys and many parliament deputies executed, the language completely banned, and it wasn't until the 1950's that cultural expressions such as human castles and "sardanes" were accepted, only the most folklorical and less reivincative ones, ofcourse.

By the 1970's, catalan was still banned and unteached, the population in catalonia had Shifted due to internal migrations, but surprisingly those migrations helped retain that culture because the newcomers ( or atleast, a big % of them) were greatly interested in learning and accepting as theirs that new culture.

One could say it was thanks to all of those people that came from the south-west of spain that Catalan , and many catalan traditions, survived.

Those people, ofcourse, were ridiculized by their own kin, and were called "Xarnegos", because they talked half of every language at the same time. Catalans were called "Polacos", in reference to the polish people opressed by the nazis during WWII, so both were treated as 2nd - class citizens. Not everyone ofcourse, most of the rich families sided with the Regime, like the Samaranch's or the Roca's, some just for profit and some for ideology.

Democracy (?)

By 1983, Franco had died, spain had it's first constitution, Catalonia had recovered their republican Estatuts ( constitutions, furs) , there had been another coup (failed, but Erdogan style, some say) , and CIU had won the Catalan elections. Their mild catalanism and their small commerce support helped them retain the goverment for 23 years, and some of their projects are still working and praised, althought all have detractors.

** 1 - Linguistic Inmersion **

This project seeked to regain the normative use of catalan by the citiziens, by creating a Catalan Language and Literature class, and making (thought it is completely at will of teachers even today) every other class "mainly in catalan", so, every student had atleast double teaching time in catalan than in castillian. The idea behind this project was to protect the language , that was already declining, and teach it quickly to the new generations. A

As Televion, Radio, Cinema, Newspapers and almost every media was in Spanish, this edict tried to establish some sort of language parity.

** 2 - The Catalan Public Radio Television**

Born in the 80's, both Tv3 and catalunya radio lead most ratings in political plurality in spain, althought lately critizied for being widely used as megaphone of the demonstrations performed by the independist movement, plurality and veracity are a "house seal".

** 3 - The pactist / pactism **

Usually known as "la puta i la ramoneta" ( the whore and the grandma) and the "peix al cove" (fish in hand), this way of doing politics, mostly by making small deals over a big range of issues with as many parties as possible to gain all the possible and imaginable political supports has always been seen as somewhat treacherous to ideology but very pragmatical, and has rooted in the parliament to the point it's not strange to see extreme left and conservative right parties reaching stalemates easily and deciding a middle point without visceral confrontations of hours long ( like sometimes has happened in england).

2006-2010

It's the year 2006. Catalonia holds almost every year the highest grades in Spanish language, it's the 3rd most productive region with over 24% of the GDP, holds only 16% of the country's population, and is in the process of writing a new Autonomy Statue, and the independist movement is scarce, with less than 12% support.

The independist movement is against this new statue until the last moment because it doesn't force spain to accept any more than what already has, and finally the next preface is included to gain their support or abstention :

Catalonia is a nation, forming part of the plurinational state of Spain, and it's main goals are embrace, strengthen and increase the federal, democratic, and social aspects that conform it.

That preface was a pie in the face of the conservative spanish parties.

graphical description

The Popular Party retrieved over 3 Million signatures of citiziens to stop the Estatut from being approved, causing great commotions in catalonia as it was the first time since democracy that a spanish party publicly positioned themselves against the will of the majority of catalans for electoral purposes.

The PP forced a vote , lost it, and finally used it's power on the senate to place the Statute on the Constitutional Court . (The Constitutional Court is a political court picked by the main parties of the senate, separation of powers : none ).

2010

And then, the shit hit the fan.

The Constitutional Court cut away the core articles of the Estatut, removing rights that were already approved by them on the 1980's, and ending up being almost as lacking as that one (the 1980's estatut).

All the political parties of Catalonia except the PP were ashamed, and organized the first demonstration, with over 500.000 partipants.

At this point, the demonstration was far from being an independentist movement, but it started an inmense row of demonstrations and a campaing to pursue a new estatut by CIU, the party in the opposition at that time.

late 2010

The elections that year saw CIU win with over 40% votes and a anti-independence, but pro-estatut and catalanist programme, that imed to recover those recently lost rights. it was a very rough govern mostly identified by taxes and social cuts. ERC lost many votes, the PSC and IU fell a lot of seats due to their lack of power in their respective national (spain ) parties.

During 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 different non-binding, community driven referendums were made on the independence of catalonia in many cities and villages. the average participation rate was 22%, and the results were of over 90% of those in favour of it.

2011

2011 was a turmoil year, with the PP winning with aboslute majority the spanish elections, cutting social expenditure and forcing autonomous communities on how they should behave. the whole year was a mess as a result, and the independentist movement started arising as soon as the population noticed that CIU was unable to negiotate a new estatue or a new economical pact with the spanish government.

At this point, independentist movement was barely 20%.

2012

The rise of indepentism started early that year, with the ANC (National Catalan Assembly) being born as a result, a social, non-political entity created to promote the independence movement,

2012 saw even more parts of the estatut cut down by the spanish government and the constitutional court, independentism rose to the 30%, and the first big demonstration with over 750k participants happened on the 11th september :

The catalan association of cities for the independence ( AMI ) was born early that year, and by the day of the demonstration it had already 80% of the catalan villages, towns and cities as members.

This demonstration provoked new elections, and CIU (pro referendum, anti independence at that time) , ERC and CUP ( pro referendum and pro independence ) won with over 60% of the votes and started the independence process as we know it.

Since then, each year, a new demonstration has attracted more and more citiens, because each year, more articles of the estatute and more laws edicted by the parliament have been cancelled, to the point that only 1 out of ever 5 laws made by the parliament survives a month.

demonstrations :

2013

440km human chain with over 1Mil participants, evoking the baltic human chain.

2014

2014 saw the Via catalana 2014, also known as V, in the center of barcelona, over 2Million participants.

The pro independence movement was 45%.

2015

2015 saw a stalemate on independentism rising , and it stopped at barely 48%.

Junts pel Si party was born as a merge of ERC and CIU to pursue independence, there was some inner fights between them and the CUP ( extreme left), and still, the demonstration again got over 2Million participants.

TODAY

For the first time in history, independentism has more than 50% of support.

What are the causes of it ?

By looking at the past, and the explained reasions, we can get a quick list running :

  • Catalan parties push for independence ( since 2012)
  • Spanish Government's actions agains't the catalan parliament's will
  • Catalan and spanish government's lack of hability to fight the 2007 and 2009 economic crysis.
  • The actions of individuals and social movements towards a referendum / independence.
  • The pursue of a better, more social country ruled without the countrains of being a small part of a very different whole.
  • The popular party winning in spain unconditionally since 2011 even when having more than 300 open corruption cases.

results of the spanish 2016 general elections

As said, it's my humble opinion. I'm a pro-independentist but not a nationalist, i'd really prefer being a federal state but it's impossible right now with the PP ruling.

EDIT: 19/06/2017

A referendum will be held on the 1rst of October, and the polls give a big % to the Yes unless the No mobilizes.

Green : yes. Red: No. Pink: blank/null. Grey: unknown, won't take part, won't say.

Green shades: will go to vote. Red shades: won't go to vote. Grey: unknown, won't say.

Vote intention by party affiliation:

Edit: 28 August, 2017 I collected a example list of non-core law changes revoked by the spanish government, to showcase the vast differences on them and to display the irrationality behind the revocation, except in two (pro-independentist) cases.

Law on audiovisual matters (2/2012)

Decree-law of business hours (4/2012, 2/2014)

Decree-law of taxes to banks (5/2012)

Decree-law against energy poverty (6/2013)

Law accompanying budgets (2/2014)

Law of popular consultations not referendaries (10/2014)

Law of the Ombudsman (2008, decision 3/2015)

Foreign Action Law (3/2015)

Commissioner for the National Transition (4/2015)

Rate for Internet operators (9/2015)

Consumer Code of Catalonia (10/2015)

Reform of the commercial law of Catalonia (10/2015)

Tax Agency of Catalonia (9/2015 - 11/2015)

Parliamentary declaration of independence (11/2015)

Study Group Study Commission (2/2016)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2/2016)

Decree-law against energy poverty (4/2016)

Law of taxes on empty housing (4/2016)

Law of local governments (4/2016)

Law of effective equality between men and women (4/2016)

Fracking ban law (3/2012, 4/2016)

Law prohibiting large areas outside cities (4/2016)

Tax creation law for the production of nuclear energy

Law that allowed the creation of Medinyà as a new municipality separated from Sant Julià de Ramis (8/2015)

Emergency housing law, or against evictions (24/2015)


There's three main factors for rise of Catalonian nationalism:

1 - Social engineering.

For years, nationalist parties have controlled the Education, establishing since 1998 a monolinguistic system in school called "Inmersió" in which only Catalan language is used. It's not only about the language though, as they've been using the school for "constructing the nation" (in Catalan - "fer pais").

Example: My 12 years old niece, schooled in Barcelona, doesn't know who was Pericles, Socrates, Plato or Aristotle, but she is well versed in how much Alfonso XIII, Primo de Rivera and Franco hated Catalonia.

Social engineering doesn't end at school, and reaches almost all civil society in Catalonia thanks to the generous spending of public money the Catalonian government (the "Generalitat") has been doing: All catalonian newspapers and media are heavily subsidized as long as they keep a partisan point of view about the catalonian independence process, known in Catalonia as "el procés".

2. Economic crisis.

This point doesn't need much explanation. People don't vote very well when angry, and this happens in Catalonia and in the rest of Spain and Europe, where populist parties have been blooming after the economic crisis.

3. Spain's laissez faire.

During many years Catalonian parties, specially CiU (Convergencia i Unió) were useful for the two biggest national parties: PP and PSOE.

CiU gave support in Madrid in exchange of concessions in Catalonia. Ex-president Zapatero has been blamed for this, but the biggest of these concessions were made by ex-president Aznar, ironically a figure most hated by Catalonian separatists.

CiU support also made the Spanish government to turn a blind eye for the many corruption scandals in Catalonia, most of them related to Jordi Pujol, catalonian president for 23 years and father of "Inmersió" and "fer pais".


By the way, in your question you linked a survey made by the Centre d'Estudis d'Opinió (CEO), directed by Jordi Argelaguet Argemí, ex-member of MDT (Movement per la Defensa de la Terra), a Catalonian terrorist group.

Talk about the wolf guarding the sheep!


The great change in catalonia has been Catalan nationalist party. Catalan nationalist party as a moderate and regionalist party was always the first one in the region normally with a friendship with PP or PSOE during long time.

When the economical crisis hit spain and also catalonia. The catalan nationalist party has nearly the popular support of the 40% catalans (Catalan 2010 lections). In numbers, were hegemonic party of catalans. Regionalist and liberal. Was seen as the best party to fight the crisis. Governing wih the support of PP.

Election 2012 (two years after). With the impossible to agree any econonmical and financial reform with its partner PP. They changed the partner from Spanish PP to Catalan separatist party ERC. Provocking even a tensions in his own coalition. Results: The catalan nationalist party received a support of 31% of the catalan support.

Election 2015 (three years later). After the catalan nationalist coalition breakdown in two. One part CDC decided to make a pro-separatist coalition with ERC, while the other part UCD decided to present alone. Results: Separatist coalition achieved 39,5% of the support losing 5% of the popular support. UCD disappeared but Spanish Liberals received nearly the 18% of the popular support (espectacular increase). CDC was affected also by Corruption scandals. In order to govern for Separatist coalition decided to find the minority party CUP (a divided party in order to support them).

Opinion polls august 2017:

CDC (catalan moderate nationalism): 13,9% ( in 5 years nearly 17 points punished)

ERC (The original Separatist party):23,9% (the most benefit party in Separatist policy in 5 years more than 10 points.)

Cs (spanish Liberals): 17,5% ( the most benefit spanish party in 5 years 10 points more)

PSOE (spanish labourism): 13,9% (In five years they lost 1 point)

Podemos (Spanish communists): 12,1 % (in five years increase of 3 points )

PP (Spanish Conservatism): 9,5% (In five years they lost 3 points)

CUP (Catalan Communists separatist party: 6,5% ( In five years they increase 3 points)

these are real result.


Like I said before, was always with economical crisis. Catalonia was and is one of the most industrialized region. Before bourbons came to Spain was a decentralised country. A kindgdom of kingdoms.

Ferdinand and Isabela joined in one kingdom but each kingdom had their own "cortes" or "parliament".

When spain had crisis after 80 years war the catalans rised because of they felt that they were given too much to the finance the wars in exchange of nothing.

Bourbons centralised the country and unified the spanish treasury abolishing the Aragon parliament. The catalans, Aragons and Valencians lost their privilegies.

In spite of catalan claims of recovering not arrived until the end of XIX due to strong investing in the textile industry in catalonia.

After, the Spanish-American war with very unstable governments the catalan nationalism surged asking for autonomy. I mean when Spain was weak they took advantage of the situation to claim their ancient status. However, the two main parties of the new constitutional monarchy decided not to accept any of their demands.

With the catalan moderate party ignored in the second republic (1931) surged a new movement, the separatism. Extremely weak in Basque Country but strong in catalonia.

"If you ignore the moderate ones the radicals appears". However, in that moment, the separatism governed with Spanish left favoured to the federalism while they hated spanish conservatives.

When Franco arrived to the power the problem was not sort out was even worsen because in the basque country the separatism took force.

With the new constitutional monarchy, the catalans chose the catalan moderate party ( they gave a chance to the spanish monarchy). At the first moment, was good. The spanish prime minister, Adolfo suarez, was really open mind to give the autonomy even he said why they didnt ask more more or less the same status of the basque country but the catalan moderate party rejected.

After decades of long consensus policy with Spanish party a new economical crisis appeared. So the catalan moderate party decided to ask the spanish prime minister to agree the same status of the basque country. The reason is that they will fight crisis more effectively. However, the prime minister rejected.

That is all. Economical crisis.


The real truth is different. The key was The catalan moderate party friend of spanish conservatives during decades. After the catalan president didnt achieve the "fiscal pact" with Spanish prime minister, a negotiation of 30 minutos saying "or you give me that or he menaced with consecuences".

After his failure and the appearence of corruption scandals in his party he decided to change the policy of decades. A policy that breakdown his party and the lost of the support of nearly half of his popular vote he decided to go ahead for a referendum agreeing with separatist parties. For separaties parties was their great chance, an agenda that was isolated during decades has the light now.

First, they fostered a big great pro-separatist propaganda on catalan TVs, schools, universities etc… the most incredible thing is that all was financed by spain because they are unsolvent region with the most debt of spanish regions. Is the same as greece against germany. However, after the impossibility of the make an official referendum they decided for a catalan elections as the last chance.

The results were even worst because the famous official coalition lost his absolute majority and the leader of the opposition was the liberal spanish party something unique in all spanish history. The catalan moderate party punished again by his own catalan people.

In order to maintein the policy they decided to ally with another smaller separatist but was very radical communist party. After a very difficult negotiation they achieved a government but the catalan moderate party was the main punished party again forcing its leader to withdraw because, the communist dont like a conservative leader united with neoliberal policy with corruption scandals. The chosen leader was an unknown mayor of northern city of catalonia.

Now the defy against spanish government and the half of catalan parlament still continuous.

In my opinion, the real guilty of this situation is the catalan moderate party because has carried a risk and illegal way making a big problem in catalonia.

In recent opinion polls says that only 29% of the catalans support the catalan government. The rest, the great majority, prefers basque nationalist party via. A deep economical and financial agreement.

Is amazing, how a political party can make so much trouble to a region making a big sacrifice.


How has Catalonia ended up being so nationalist? - History

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Catalonian referendum has decades of yearning behind it, but is it even legal?

On October 1, 2017, the second referendum in three years to vote for an independent Catalonia, a region with unique history, culture and language in the northeastern part of Spain, was undertaken. Despite a low turnout, reports have hinted at almost 90 per cent of the votes going in for a "yes", dashing Spain's hope that it wouldn't see a Brexit moment by carefully upholding the Constitution, and overdoing the policing.

But the referendum , the actual results of which will be declared on Sunday, might drastically alter the course of history, perhaps giving a decisive push towards an independent Catalonia.

There's humungous confusion and reports of violent clashes between the Spanish police and the Catalan separatists, with images of bloodied protesters flooding the internet. Has the government of Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy acted in a high-handed manner, or was it simply trying to prevent what it has deemed an "illegal referendum", along with the Spanish Constitutional Court?

Voy a comparecer en el @Congreso_Es y convocaré a las fuerzas políticas para reflexionar sobre un futuro que tenemos que afrontar juntos pic.twitter.com/Y4mSnEjAWB

&mdash Mariano Rajoy Brey (@marianorajoy) October 1, 2017

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy ordered police crackdown against Catalan separatists. Reuters

The ground reality refuses to cater to any black and white analysis, given the deep fissures within Spain and the decades of yearning for an independent, and not just an autonomous Catalonia, fomenting the crisis.

Brief history of Catalonian nationalism

Catalonia became a part of Spain in the late 15th century, when the modern borders of the then kingdom were determined, though it maintained its own laws and customs. Through the 17th century, a number of wars were fought, and Catalonians also revolted to seek independence, but were crushed. The autonomy of the Crown of Aragon, and Catalonia, ended on September 11, 1714, when Barcelona surrendered to the Bourbon force, leading to the Nueva Planta decrees, which led to the centralisation of Spanish rule, custom and laws on the entire region.

Protesters gather at Madrid's Puerta del Sol in support of Catalans' right to decide to vote #CatalanReferedendum pic.twitter.com/6S5MyQuRs6

&mdash Sara Houlison (@SaraHoulison) October 1, 2017

While the 19th century saw Catalonian cultural renaissance, this led to political parties of the Catalan kind gaining ground. While Catalonia was granted autonomy when Spain became a republic, the Spanish Civil War of 1932-38 changed the scene again. General Francisco Franco abolished the statues of autonomy and generalitat for Catalonia in 1938, and that remained so until his death in 1975 during which period Spain remained a military dictatorship.

After Franco's death, Spain restored democracy and adopted the Constitution in 1978, granting Catalonia autonomy once again in 1979.

However, in the 21st century, politics picked up pace and cultural nationalism of the Catalonian kind began gaining ground, in accordance with the rising identity politics the world over. After a host of aborted or lost or symbolic attempts, a referendum, deemed illegal, was held in 2014. It saw a resounding yes, although the turnout was just over 35 per cent.

The president of the autonomous Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, has been equated by some to Nigel Farage, the man responsible for Brexit. Reuters

The new president of the autonomous Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, took over in January 2016, and omitted the oath of loyalty to the king and the Spanish Constitution. Puidgemont has been equated by some observers to Nigel Farage of the UKIP in Britain, the man responsible for making Brexit happen.

2017 referendum and violence

Spain's political crisis has spiralled with the October 1 referendum in which ballot papers were printed at home or bought from Catalan nationalist sympathiser companies, because the Spanish government deemed it illegal and sealed off polling booths.

The referendum, therefore, is a purely civilian- and Catalonian-driven development, and any citizen could cast his/her vote in any polling booth in the region, making it what an observer has called the a "made for rigging" referendum.

Spanish National Police strike with batons Catalonian fire fighters trying to protect voters in today's referendum. #referendumCAT #o1 pic.twitter.com/OcbAhXctTI

&mdash WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 1, 2017

Catalan response to Rajoy's repression (censorship, arrests, raids) is impressive--and strategic. Catalans "keep it light" with humor and calm, insuring people are not afraid to vote and directing reactive energy into growing their institutions and away from fear & violence. pic.twitter.com/KxYsUKOSgy

&mdash Julian Assange ?? (@JulianAssange) September 29, 2017

A hard road ahead, but I pay homage to:1. Catalonia's people, engineers & leaders who with courage and adaptability preserved their voting system against a ferocious onslaught2. Catalonia's civil society for turning anger into organization3. @Mossos for walking a 155 tightrope

&mdash Julian Assange ?? (@JulianAssange) October 2, 2017

The pro-Spanish media has called it a joke, because of its ad hoc nature. But Europe and Anglophone media across the world are watching this carefully, too divided and confused to take a position, while reporting on the violence on the streets of Catalonia caused by clashing protesters with the police.

Dear media: The word for armed police beating and shooting entirely peaceful voters is not "clashes". https://t.co/9mqqy4PmBb pic.twitter.com/PWSZIiSKq9

&mdash Julian Assange . (@JulianAssange) October 2, 2017

This is Spain, in 2017. The EU commission HAVE to get involved here. This is not democracy. #CatalanReferedendum pic.twitter.com/313d0x1Lej

&mdash Maximus (@maxgarniss) October 1, 2017

Carles Puigdemont said: "Today, on this day of hope and also suffering, citizens of Catalonia have won the right to have an independent Catalonian state." However, the fact that he said it before the results have been declared, has forced many to say that the possibility of a rigged referendum doesn't entirely go away.

BREAKING: Israeli PM Netanyahu says Spain has a right to defend itself against revolting grannies.#CatalanReferendum#CatalanReferedendum pic.twitter.com/DooRsKd3w0

&mdash Amir (@AmirAminiMD) October 1, 2017

The outcome of the 2014 referendum, often termed illegal, was a resounding yes, although the turnout was just over 35 per cent. Reuters/file

The police atrocity and images of them beating up the jubilant, but politically single-minded Catalans have divided social media. While Spanish foreign minister Dastis has said that the police response was "proportionate", media reports and social media posts have refuted the claim.

Criticism against Catalan referendum/s

Only Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, the country known for both its heart-warming approach to refugees and becoming the target of terrorist attacks, has called for dialogue as a way forward, while other prominent members of the European Union have resorted to ambiguity or silence on the issue.

Violence can never be the answer! We condemn all forms of violence and reaffirm our call for political dialogue #CatalanReferendum #Spain

&mdash Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) October 1, 2017

However, what has got ignored in the political rigmarole of developments is that Catalan pacifists, or those who want to stick to Spain, have been either ignored, or have suffered crackdown. The pacifists have a substantial representation which is evident in the repeated low turnout of the voters in the referendums.

Moreover, there's the likelihood of the Catalan parts of France rising to rebellion in case Spain agrees to what some have called this "self-amputation", and might make the whole of southern Europe unstable, threatening the idea of EU itself.

The separatist wildfire isn't limited to Europe alone, given Kurds are also voting to seek independence from Iraq, after decades of persecution. However, the case of Catalonia is both different and disturbing because this means that cultural nationalism has now the power to trump the idea of a constitutionally-bound republic, held together by laws and treaties, rather than bloodlines, thickly shared pasts, despite similar culture, language and other mores.

Only on Sunday would we know if it was a "kangaroo referendum", or not.


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1936 Revolution and worker's self management

Throughout Catalonia many sectors of the economy fell under the control of the anarchist CNT and the socialist UGT trade unions, where workers' self-management was implemented. These included Railways, streetcars, buses, taxicabs, shipping, electric light and power companies, gasworks and waterworks, engineering and automobile assembly plants, mines, mills, factories, food-processing plants, theaters, newspapers, bars, hotels, restaurants, department stores, and thousands of dwellings previously owned by the upper classes. [16] While the CNT was the leading organization in Catalonia, it often shared power with the UGT. For example, control of the Spanish National telephone company, was put under a joint CNT-UGT committee. [16]

George Orwell describes the scene as he arrived in Barcelona.

It was the first time I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle. Practically every building of any size had been seized by the workers and was draped with red flags or with the red and black flag of the Anarchists every wall was scrawled with the hammer and sickle and with the initials of the revolutionary parties almost every church had been gutted and its images burnt. Churches here and there were being systematically demolished by gangs of workmen. Every shop and café had an inscription saying that it had been collectivised even the bootblacks had been collectivised and their boxes painted red and black. Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal.

Trade union control also spread to small businesses of the middle class handicraft men and tradesmen. In Barcelona, the CNT collectivized the sale of fish and eggs, slaughterhouses, milk processing and the fruit and vegetable markets, suppressing all dealers and sellers that were not part of the collective. Many retailers joined the collectives but others refused, wanting higher wages than the workers. [18] Throughout the region, the CNT committees replaced the middle class distributors and traders in many businesses including retailers and wholesalers, hotel, café, and bar owners, opticians and doctors, barbers and bakers. [18] Though the CNT tried to persuade the members of the middle class and small bourgeoisie to join the revolution, they were generally unwelcoming to the revolutionary changes wanting more than just expropriation of their businesses under force or threat of force and a worker's wage. [19]

Initially, the newly collectivized factories encountered various problems. CNT member Albert Pérez-Baró describes the initial economic confusion:

After the first few days of euphoria, the workers returned to work and found themselves without responsible management. This resulted in the creation of workers' committees in factories, workshops and warehouses, which tried to resume production with all the problems that a transformation of this kind entailed. Owing to inadequate training and the sabotage of some of the technicians who remained many others had fled with the owners the workers' committees and other bodies that were improvised had to rely on the guidance of the unions. Lacking training in economic matters, the union leaders, with more good will than success, began to issue directives that spread confusion in the factory committees and enormous chaos in production. This was aggravated by the fact that each union. gave different and often contradictory instruction. [20]

In response to these problems, the Generalitat of Catalonia, backed by the CNT approved a decree on "Collectivization and Workers' Control" on 24 October 1936. Under this decree all firms with more than 100 workers were to be collectivized and those with 100 or less could be collectivized if a majority of workers agreed. [21] [22] [23] All collectivized enterprises were to join general industrial councils, which would be represented in a central planning agency, the Economic Council of Catalonia. Representatives of the Generalitat would be appointed by the CNT to these regional councils. [24] The goal of this new form of organization would be to allow central planning for civilian and military needs and stop the selfishness of more prosperous industries by using their profits to help others. However these plans for libertarian socialism based on trade unions was opposed by the socialists and communists who wanted a nationalized industry, as well as by unions which did not want to give up their profits to other businesses. [25] Another problem faced by the CNT was that while many collectivized firms were bankrupt, they refused to use the banks because the financial institutions were under the control of the socialist UGT. As a result of this, many were forced to seek government aid, appealing to Juan Peiró, the CNT minister of industry. Socialists and Communists in the government however, prevented Peiró from making any move which promoted collectivization. [26]

After the initial disruption, the unions soon began an overall reorganization of all trades, closing down hundreds of smaller plants and focusing on those few better equipped ones, improving working conditions. In the region of Catalonia, more than seventy foundries were closed down, and production concentrated around twenty four larger foundries. [27] The CNT argued that the smaller plants were less efficient and secure. In Barcelona, 905 smaller beauty shops and barbershops were closed down, their equipment and workers being focused on 212 larger shops. [27]

Although there were early issues with production in certain instances, however, numerous sources [ which? ] attest that industrial productivity doubled almost everywhere across the country and agricultural yields being "30-50%" larger, demonstrated by Emma Goldman, Augustin Souchy, Chris Ealham, Eddie Conlon, Daniel Guerin and others. [ citation needed ]

Despite the critics clamoring for maximum efficiency, anarchic communes often produced more than before the collectivization. The newly liberated zones worked on entirely libertarian principles decisions were made through councils of ordinary citizens without any sort of bureaucracy. (The CNT-FAI leadership was at this time not nearly as radical as the rank and file members responsible for these sweeping changes.)

If you didn't want to join the collective you were given some land but only as much as you could work yourself. You were not allowed to employ workers. Not only production was affected, distribution was on the basis of what people needed. In many areas money was abolished. People come to the collective store (often churches which had been turned into warehouses) and got what was available. If there were shortages rationing would be introduced to ensure that everyone got their fair share. But it was usually the case that increased production under the new system eliminated shortages.

In agricultural terms the revolution occurred at a good time. Harvests that were gathered in and being sold off to make big profits for a few landowners were instead distributed to those in need. Doctors, bakers, barbers, etc. were given what they needed in return for their services. Where money was not abolished a 'family wage' was introduced so that payment was on the basis of need and not the number of hours worked.

Production greatly increased. Technicians and agronomists helped the peasants to make better use of the land. Modern scientific methods were introduced and in some areas yields increased by as much as 50%. There was enough to feed the collectivists and the militias in their areas. Often there was enough for exchange with other collectives in the cities for machinery. In addition food was handed over to the supply committees who looked after distribution in the urban areas. [28]

Another aspect of the revolution was the rise of an anarcha-feminist women's movement, the Mujeres Libres. The organization, with 30,000 members at its disposal, set up schools to educate women and worked to persuade prostitutes to give up their way of life. [29] The anarcho-feminists argued that overthrow of patriarchal society was just as necessary for personal freedom, as the creation of a classless society. To demonstrate this new sexual equality, some women even fought at the front (no more than one thousand) and several more joined women's battalions in the rear. [29]


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When is democracy illegitimate?

Yesterdays attempted referendum for independence in Catalonia ended in violence on a level that was shocking to many, especially since it took place in a Western European country like Spain. The Spanish nation has been a democracy ever since King Juan Carlos I refused to take over after El Caudillo, as Ferdinand Franco, Spain’s fascist strong man, was known. King Juan Carlos I led Spain on a transition to constitutional democratic monarchy, something that endeared him to many Spaniards. Still Spain still bares scars from the Civil War 1936-1939 and the years of francoism. The Basques for instance have long struggled for independence, being culturally and linguistically different from the rest of Spain, a struggle that was made more severe being on the loosing side of the Civil War. The more radical Basques turned to terrorism in the form of ETA, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna – Basque Homeland and Liberty. Today the Basque nationalists have turned away from terrorism to a political struggle, mostly in the form of Herri Batasuna, a far left nationalist party. The development is quite similar to that in Northern Ireland where also the IRA, who are ideologically quite similar to ETA, the two terrorist organizations have cooperated in the past, has laid down arms and instead embarked on a peaceful political solution through Sinn Féin instead.

Catalonia as well as the Basque country has it’s own historical, cultural and linguistical identity, and given the part Barcelona played during the Civil War, that identity was held down during the Franco Era. That is why Madrid’s harsh response, not only proclaiming the referendum illegal, but also like Prime minister Mariano Rajoy publicly refusing that it even took place, and also sending in the paramilitary Guardia Civil that left over 800 people injured.

Of the abundant footage available online people injured where not violent rioters, but peaceful Catalans voting for independence. Reactions among leading politicians around Europe has been quite few, at least when it comes to the political repercussions other than the level of violence showed by Guardia Civil. However Ramón Luis Valcárel, the vice President of the European Parliament wrote on Twitter:

“-Today we have witnessed a nationalistic propaganda act, undemocratic a coup attempt against Spanish democracy, and so a coup against Europe.”

This concerns me. Greatly. True enough, the Catalans attempted referendum is against the Spanish constitution. But the violent crack down from Madrid casts shadows from the sordid past and rather strengthens the Catalan’s cause. If Madrid had just said, go ahead, the vote is unconstitutional and as such it will not be adhered to, that would have been fine. But now what we are witnessing is rather more disturbing. Valcarél is saying that voting is a coup against Europe. Really? Brussels had no problem in supporting the coup in Kiev back in 2014 when the albeit corrupt but still democratically elected Yanukovych was ousted which as we now know triggered the Russian invasion of Crimea, and the latter’s referendum to secede from Ukraine to Russia, which was not accepted by the West, and ultimately triggered the civil war in the Donbass with considerable Russian involvement. Expressing support for the coup in Kiev that has led Ukraine into utter deluge Brussels had no problems with. Neither so with Kosovo seceding from what was left of Yugoslavia either. Some might argue that those were under different circumstances, true enough, the Catalan referendum was not held under a situation of clouds of war at the horizon. But the response from Madrid and Brussels are troublesome nonetheless because this shows the double standards in today’s Europe. Machiavelli wrote Il Principe under a different era, during days of the dynastic Italian city states. However his theories still bares validity even to this day, albeit under different shapes and circumstances. Apparently Brussels sees it fit to adhere to the proverb: “-The end justifies the means.”as long as things come down to maintain political hegemony for Brussels and it’s political agenda. EU-commissioner Jean Claude Juncker as on repeated occasions denounced referendums among the citizens of Europe. Why? It is quite evident, it is unlikely that there is popular support for the ultimate goal of a United States of Europe, Spinelli’s life long dream. It is from the same perspective that we must see Valcárel’s tweet.

Much of the West is today stuck in a narrative of identity politics. Being skeptical towards European federalism is frequently portrayed as being equal of being a xenophobic chauvinistic nationalist. There is however a great difference in being lets say a liberal conservative patriot and being a rampant chauvinistic national socialist. Being against the ultimate goal of the United States of Europe governed from Brussels is equal of running Moscow’s errands. The EU is often portrayed as a project of peace, and sure enough the Coal and Steel Union certainly was so. The Common Market also brought former enemies closer. Still, when war broke out in August of 1914 between Britain and Germany it was to world’s two greatest trading partners that went to war against each other. Unfortunately people tend to only see that parts of history that speaks for their narrative and the most dogmatic pro-Europe demagogues, like we saw in the case of Valcárel’s comment on the Catalan referendum, tend to brand those opposing as equal to traitors against the greater cause, i.e. the idea of “Europe”. But lets be honest, it was liberal nationalism that ultimately paved the way for democracy as we know it today. What would 1848 been like without liberal nationalism? The EU is seen as the guarantor of liberty, freedom and democracy. But does Brussels stand for democracy when it’s non-elected leader demands that no popular referendums should be held that could interfere with the project? Spinelli’s idea of how the ultimate goal of a federal Europe was to be imposed upon the probably unwilling citizens of the various states that make up the European Union was to step by step create a federation that no one would really see coming, even less withdraw from. Bear in mind that Spinelli was a communist and as such probably had quite a different idea what constitutes a democracy compared to say a liberal or a conservative. Thus Brexit came as a shock to Brussels. Those that supported Brexit were by definition labelled as ignorant xenophobes that really did not know what was best their own good, whether this was the case or not.

So, the heavy handed response to the referendum of independence in Catalonia coupled with the comments made by leading European politicians, regardless if you support the Catalonian referendum or not, that is, lets be fair, unconstitutional, really concerns me for the future of Europe. I admit, I am not a keen supporter of the idea of a federal United States of Europe, but things are becoming rather disturbing when voting and the strife for democracy are being seen as illegitimate..