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Catalan independence referendum, 2017

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  • 01-01-2017 6:57pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,803 ✭✭✭


    Despite the refusal of the Madrid government to enter negotiations on the subject, Catalonia has decided to hold a binding independence referendum in September of this year. The most recent poll showed that 84% of Catalans approved the holding of such a vote (49% unilaterally, 35% a negotiated referendum), but the outcome remains too close to call (48% Yes, 40% No - 54/46 when undecideds were allocated). Indeed, the question of EU membership could prove crucial, as support for independence has dropped when this implies exclusion from the bloc.


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    When you say "binding", who is going to guarantee the outcome is respected?

    In the Scottish referendum, London authorised it, therefore the result was guaranteed by the UK.

    In the Crimean referendum, Kiev did not authorise it, but the result was guaranteed by Russian troops who had been stationed at Sevastopol, since forever.

    Madrid has always opposed a Catalan referendum. Whose army will guarantee the outcome is respected?


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,268 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    You only need to worry about an army to enforce the outcome if the Spanish army resists secession. And while the Spanish government will certainly rattle its sabre, when push comes to shove, it's hard to see it militarily blocking a peaceful secession if approved by Catalan voters.

    The real question is whether the Catalans will be willing to take a leap in the dark, since EU membership is far from certain post-independence.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,803 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    recedite wrote: »
    When you say "binding", who is going to guarantee the outcome is respected?

    In the Scottish referendum, London authorised it, therefore the result was guaranteed by the UK.

    In the Crimean referendum, Kiev did not authorise it, but the result was guaranteed by Russian troops who had been stationed at Sevastopol, since forever.

    Madrid has always opposed a Catalan referendum. Whose army will guarantee the outcome is respected?

    Binding in the sense that the outcome will be final either way, regardless of turnout - they had a 2014 vote that became a farce when unionists boycotted, so making that statement beforehand aims to ensure supporters of all parties cast a ballot.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,271 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    You only need to worry about an army to enforce the outcome if the Spanish army resists secession. And while the Spanish government will certainly rattle its sabre, when push comes to shove, it's hard to see it militarily blocking a peaceful secession if approved by Catalan voters.

    The real question is whether the Catalans will be willing to take a leap in the dark, since EU membership is far from certain post-independence.will not happen as long as Spain is in EU
    Fixed the last sentence in your quote. No country can join without all existing countries agreeing; Catalan will not be allowed to join EU full stop and instead will get to enjoy all the benefits of being outside of EU and be their own country and that's before basic things such as right to fly over Europe deals, import tolls etc. comes in with a wrecking ball to any ideas of sustaining the region. Even if Spain would consider it other countries would veto it simply to stop their regions leaving exactly for the same reason Brexit will leave UK out in the cold.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Nody wrote: »
    Catalan will not be allowed to join EU full stop
    Catalans are already in the EU, so the question is whether they would be expelled if they voted for independence.

    This is a complicated legal question which was looked at in the context of the Scottish referendum, but no definitive answer was ever decided. Events made the question superfluous, in that particular case.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    You only need to worry about an army to enforce the outcome if the Spanish army resists secession. And while the Spanish government will certainly rattle its sabre, when push comes to shove, it's hard to see it militarily blocking a peaceful secession if approved by Catalan voters.
    I could see it easily enough. It would start off fairly low key. A few tanks or armoured cars would take up positions in the main town squares for security reasons. "Rioters" and "looters" and any mutinous local police officers would be arrested.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,363 ✭✭✭KingBrian2


    I wish countries could solve their problems without the need for separation. Peace would be the most likely outcome if efforts and political solidarity and changes in society occurred.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,271 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    recedite wrote: »
    Catalans are already in the EU, so the question is whether they would be expelled if they voted for independence.
    The state of Spain is in EU; Catalan is not a country nor is it part of EU if it was an independent country and this is before we'd go through the whole issue of national law in Spain to succeed out from the nation (and by definition leave all responsibilities and obligations that come with being part of Spain). Sorry but there's no question here if Catalan would be recognised or not; the rest of EU has no interest in doing so or encourage it and even if we'd take it to court by the decade it would take to conclude Catalan would no longer exist as a country due to no right to travel into EU countries, no flights, no trade etc.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,268 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    Nody wrote: »
    Fixed the last sentence in your quote. No country can join without all existing countries agreeing; Catalan will not be allowed to join EU full stop and instead will get to enjoy all the benefits of being outside of EU and be their own country and that's before basic things such as right to fly over Europe deals, import tolls etc. comes in with a wrecking ball to any ideas of sustaining the region. Even if Spain would consider it other countries would veto it simply to stop their regions leaving exactly for the same reason Brexit will leave UK out in the cold.

    That's what I was alluding to alright


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Nody wrote: »
    Sorry but there's no question here if Catalan would be recognised or not; the rest of EU has no interest in doing so or encourage it and even if we'd take it to court by the decade it would take to conclude Catalan would no longer exist as a country due to no right to travel into EU countries, no flights, no trade etc.
    What you're saying here is that the rest of the EU would side with Madrid, and Catalan would be bullied out of existence. But its not all that easy to bully a determined country. "They" tried to bully Icelanders into paying off EU bank debt, and it didn't work.

    There is no rule in EU law to say whether the citizens of a successor state retain EU membership or not.
    The UN is more clear about it; “if a state is a continuator state then its UN membership will continue, whereas a new state must be formally admitted to membership”.

    As there is no clear rule within the EU, the matter would be decided by other EU politicians doing deals with each other, and as you say, Spain would have more political clout than Catalan (both being continuator/successor states).


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,271 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    recedite wrote: »
    What you're saying here is that the rest of the EU would side with Madrid, and Catalan would be bullied out of existence. But its not all that easy to bully a determined country. "They" tried to bully Icelanders into paying off EU bank debt, and it didn't work.
    Difference being Iceland already had a healthy trade and sit in the middle of nowhere so access is easy; Catalan would have locked down road access, no flight access etc. and even sea access would be restricted by Spanish Navy doing "inspections".

    So yes, I'm saying they would be bullied to the point they would lose over 80% of the population in the first six months because they can't live off the land. Since a legal case would take years if not decades to go through all courts and appeals the final result is at best going to be academical value alone because the country of Catalan will no longer exist as it has been absorbed back into Spain (by force if necessary to prevent "terrorists" a safe haven).


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,188 ✭✭✭✭NIMAN


    If independence is granted, I plan to bet on Barca winning the Catalan Liga for 50 years straight.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,803 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    Nody wrote: »
    Difference being Iceland already had a healthy trade and sit in the middle of nowhere so access is easy; Catalan would have locked down road access, no flight access etc. and even sea access would be restricted by Spanish Navy doing "inspections".

    So yes, I'm saying they would be bullied to the point they would lose over 80% of the population in the first six months because they can't live off the land. Since a legal case would take years if not decades to go through all courts and appeals the final result is at best going to be academical value alone because the country of Catalan will no longer exist as it has been absorbed back into Spain (by force if necessary to prevent "terrorists" a safe haven).

    I'm not going to give an opinion either way on the main issue, but if Catalans were ever going to resort to "terrorism", they'd have done so during the Franco era, similarly to the Basques. There was a brief organisation in the Seventies that died almost as soon as it started, and the politicians have already focused on international diplomacy.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,271 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    I'm not going to give an opinion either way on the main issue, but if Catalans were ever going to resort to "terrorism", they'd have done so during the Franco era, similarly to the Basques. There was a brief organisation in the Seventies that died almost as soon as it started, and the politicians have already focused on international diplomacy.
    I'm not claiming they would resort to it (hence the " " tags); I'm saying they would be accused of harbouring terrorists (be it local, Islamic or made up) as an excuse to invade and integrate it back into Spain again for the greater good. Heck they might even pull off something like the Crimea vote instead (simply need to ask the right population group after all) instead; either way I'd not expect Catalan to exist as a country 5 years later.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,831 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu


    NIMAN wrote: »
    If independence is granted, I plan to bet on Barca winning the Catalan Liga for 50 years straight.

    expect UEFA to finally cave on the subject of regional leagues as neither Barca nor the other Spanish clubs would want to see them leave La Liga.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,363 ✭✭✭KingBrian2


    Nody wrote: »
    I'm not claiming they would resort to it (hence the " " tags); I'm saying they would be accused of harbouring terrorists (be it local, Islamic or made up) as an excuse to invade and integrate it back into Spain again for the greater good. Heck they might even pull off something like the Crimea vote instead (simply need to ask the right population group after all) instead; either way I'd not expect Catalan to exist as a country 5 years later.

    Yeah like what America does with the Arab states, make up reasons to invade only this time i don't see the Spanish doing it to the Catalans.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,803 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    First poll of the year on the topic released today - headline result is that Catalans would narrowly reject independence (48% No to 44% Yes) in an agreed vote, but 75% want a referendum to be held (50% unilateral, 25% on negotiated terms). 20% of voters would boycott a unilateral vote, such as the Catalan government still intends to hold in September.

    http://ceo.gencat.cat/ceop/AppJava/pages/index.html


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭Jan_de_Bakker


    NIMAN wrote: »
    If independence is granted, I plan to bet on Barca winning the Catalan Liga for 50 years straight.

    hahah .. they wont want that tho, they'll want to pick and choose what benefits they get.

    Im not sure they would win anyway if push came to shove, the last one in 2014 wasn't official so the Spanish people living in Cat. ignored it , as it was organised by the independence crowd - for the independence crowd - in fact im surprised it wasn't 100% yes.

    Thats not a real reflection on the publics opinion, this next election could (maybe) be legally binding so that will have the Spanish living in Cat. voting too.

    And this crap is just a big "We hate Spain" club ... we get it ... Franco was a **** , but he's dead 42 years ... move on !!!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 160 ✭✭RicePat


    And this crap is just a big "We hate Spain" club ... we get it ... Franco was a **** , but he's dead 42 years ... move on !!!

    This sounds a lot like the condescending "Braveheart" stuff the No camp were pushing during the Scottish IndyRef.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,087 ✭✭✭HalloweenJack


    Considering the EUs stance on Scotlabd in the pre-Brexit vote, I'd imagine they would take a similar one with Catalunya.

    Because of the legal wranglings of the Spanish constitution, no part can separate without approval from Madrid. As long as Madrid refuses to give official recognition of the vote, it's all for show, just like the previous one. It'll win because it'll be meaningless. The Catalan government don't have the powers to go it alone, the Spanish government would never allow it. A "binding" referendum is merely a ddeclaration of independence, Madrid doesn'have to, and this particular government won't, listen to it.

    The cynic in me says that a vote that has official acceptance from Madrid would not pass. Not all the people in Catalunya are Catalans, not all Catalans are pro-independence. Faced with going it on their own, outside the EU, would also convince some of the less-committed pro-independence crowd.

    It's a nice idea and I believe those who want to decide their own fate should be allowed to. However, the logistics of the system mean it's highly unlikely.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,087 ✭✭✭HalloweenJack


    Quite surprised by seeing this but the Spanish Government have offered the Catalan president the chance to speak in Parliament and make his case for Catalan independence.

    I can only imagine its an empty gesture from PP but we'll see how that goes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,798 ✭✭✭goose2005


    recedite wrote: »
    Catalans are already in the EU, so the question is whether they would be expelled if they voted for independence.

    No, the Kingdom of Spain is in the EU. If Catalonia leaves that state, then it leaves the EU


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,803 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    Quite surprised by seeing this but the Spanish Government have offered the Catalan president the chance to speak in Parliament and make his case for Catalan independence.

    I can only imagine its an empty gesture from PP but we'll see how that goes.

    Seems to be a bit of shadowboxing by both sides, as Puigdemont, the Catalan PM has said he'll only take up the invite if Madrid agrees to the principle of a referendum. Either way, they plan to go ahead on October 1st even without an agreement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,803 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    Granted, El Pais hardly a neutral source, but can't see the EU tolerating UDI!

    http://elpais.com/elpais/2017/05/22/inenglish/1495435474_319567.amp.html


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 26,567 ✭✭✭✭Fratton Fred


    So does this mean Catalonia is a colony?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,803 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    Hardly, but a Scottish-style agreement would seem the most sensible solution. Now, the nationalists have painted themselves into the absurd corner whereby independence is likely, but in the absence of an agreement with Spain, no country would recognise them!


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,195 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Hardly, but a Scottish-style agreement would seem the most sensible solution. Now, the nationalists have painted themselves into the absurd corner whereby independence is likely, but in the absence of an agreement with Spain, no country would recognise them!
    Which of course is exactly the position that prevailed in Ireland from 1919 to 1922.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,468 ✭✭✭CruelCoin


    Why is the EU permitting Spain to try block this?

    "For the European Union, respect for this right cannot be disassociated from respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual and for fundamental human rights. The obligation to promote and protect this right is therefore included in full among the commitments given by States in the field of human rights."

    EU president states its a human right.

    http://eu-un.europa.eu/eu-presidency-statement-the-right-to-self-determination/

    So, why are the Catalans being blocked from self-determination, while the EU has no issue in handing the Spanish veto powers over Gibraltar (who have self-determined that they are british)?


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,792 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    CruelCoin wrote: »
    Why is the EU permitting Spain to try block this?

    By what mechanism would the EU prevent Spain from blocking it?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,803 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    CruelCoin wrote: »
    Why is the EU permitting Spain to try block this?

    "For the European Union, respect for this right cannot be disassociated from respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual and for fundamental human rights. The obligation to promote and protect this right is therefore included in full among the commitments given by States in the field of human rights."

    EU president states its a human right.

    http://eu-un.europa.eu/eu-presidency-statement-the-right-to-self-determination/

    So, why are the Catalans being blocked from self-determination, while the EU has no issue in handing the Spanish veto powers over Gibraltar (who have self-determined that they are british)?

    The principle of subsidiarity - Brussels can't intervene in a constitutional matter that's internal to a member state.


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