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Catalan independence referendum, 2017

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,281 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Unless it was in the EU, of course.

    And, you know, if there's going to be an independent Catalonia, the EU will very much want it in. So, if we're honest, will Spain, once it comes to the point where Catalan independence is going to happen anyway. Once it gets to that point, it's no longer in Spain's interest to threaten to veto Catalan membership.
    Sorry but I disagree; way to many other regions in EU that would risk going down the same route (Basque region comes to mind, Northern Italy, Belgium, Scotland etc.) for EU to want to risk the political destabilisation that comes with setting a precedent like that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,365 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    I'm not saying the EU would welcome the division of existing European states into smaller successor states; I'm saying that, if it were to happen, the EU would still want those smaller successor states to be members.

    After all, Czechoslovakia was divided in 1993 into two states; that didn't stop both states being welcomed into the EU. And the long term trend in Europe has been for more and smaller states for over a century. If the EU were going to exclude states that came into being as the result of the division of a larger state, it wouldn't have a lot of members today.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭AnGaelach


    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".

    That honestly just sounds like a lot of fearmongering. Catalonia could be in the single market area without being in the EU (like Norway is, and Iceland/Switzerland was until they left). Somehow I doubt Spain is going to set up border posts on every road (and that France is going to do it too). Spain might harass fishing trawlers in Catalonian waters but it isn't like they can afford to embargo the entire coastline.

    And honestly, not getting into the EU might do them a world of good in the transition period. They'll be trading with countries on WTO rules, but they'll have their own currency to devalue and stimulate job creation. For all we know, independence could see them lifted out of the chronic unemployment that is crippling Spain.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,281 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    AnGaelach wrote: »
    That honestly just sounds like a lot of fearmongering. Catalonia could be in the single market area without being in the EU (like Norway is, and Iceland/Switzerland was until they left). Somehow I doubt Spain is going to set up border posts on every road (and that France is going to do it too). Spain might harass fishing trawlers in Catalonian waters but it isn't like they can afford to embargo the entire coastline.
    They would not be part of the single market since they would be a third party country since they are not part of EU or any other agreement (which all require a legislation confirmation and gives every country a possibility to veto them joining) and hence France and Spain WOULD have to control ever border as it would be classed as a third country border accordingly. The border controls can be at a limited number of locations and any trucks / goods coming to a non border control will not be let through and told to go to such a location instead.
    And honestly, not getting into the EU might do them a world of good in the transition period. They'll be trading with countries on WTO rules, but they'll have their own currency to devalue and stimulate job creation. For all we know, independence could see them lifted out of the chronic unemployment that is crippling Spain.
    They would not trade under WTO rules because once again they are not a member of the WTO and to become a member of WTO all existing member countries have to agree to it. Hence they would have worse than WTO terms to trade on and any country are free to limit their goods in import/export any way they want as they are not a WTO member and can make a complaint of it being unfair accordingly.

    You call it fearmongering; I call it realities of being outside every single trade block and pissing of your closest neighbours while being a tiny non resource country with no real value outside of EU and all the implications coming with that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭AnGaelach


    Nody wrote: »
    You call it fearmongering; I call it realities of being outside every single trade block and pissing of your closest neighbours while being a tiny non resource country with no real value outside of EU and all the implications coming with that.

    It has the second largest industrial output in Spain... It's 16% of their population and 20% of its economic output.

    It's like London leaving the UK. Sure, it might not be as well off as it otherwise would be, but to assert that it's going to be catastrophic is nonsense.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,281 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    AnGaelach wrote: »
    It has the second largest industrial output in Spain... It's 16% of their population and 20% of its economic output.

    It's like London leaving the UK. Sure, it might not be as well off as it otherwise would be, but to assert that it's going to be catastrophic is nonsense.
    Except their industrial output suddenly faces trade barriers to sell to their normal customers and has to go through a huge loop of certifications to be allowed them to be imported to EU. You can have how ever big industrial output you want but if your customers suddenly face a 30% price increase and a month delay for delivery they will find alternatives very quickly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭AnGaelach


    Nody wrote: »
    Except their industrial output suddenly faces trade barriers to sell to their normal customers and has to go through a huge loop of certifications to be allowed them to be imported to EU. You can have how ever big industrial output you want but if your customers suddenly face a 30% price increase and a month delay for delivery they will find alternatives very quickly.

    That's not at all realistic. Spain is unlikely to immediately expel them and cut its own legs off in the process, meaning there's likely a transitional period. Their products already meet EU/WTO standards by simple virtue of them being in a country already meeting them. Even if there are some barriers to importing/exporting, they can devalue their currency to make tourism more attractive and exporting more competitive.

    This doom and gloom outlook isn't at all realistic in my opinion. It's not like they're reliant on 9% budget deficits filled by Madrid as is the case with Scotland and London.

    If they're outside the single market, they could probably strike up trade deals with trade partners quite quickly. I doubt the Spanish are going to be so spiteful as to cut off their nose.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,281 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    AnGaelach wrote: »
    That's not at all realistic. Spain is unlikely to immediately expel them and cut its own legs off in the process, meaning there's likely a transitional period. Their products already meet EU/WTO standards by simple virtue of them being in a country already meeting them. Even if there are some barriers to importing/exporting, they can devalue their currency to make tourism more attractive and exporting more competitive.
    They do not meet EU standards because they are not part of EU any more; part of meeting EU standards is a requirement to have all the organizations set up and recognised by EU to control the standards. It's exactly the problem UK is going through atm with over 20 agencies to be set up and verified by EU and until then they are on lower standings than China (who do you think got the greater industrial capacity of the two to compete on the world market?).

    Secondly why would Spain not cut them off directly? If they declare independence on their own Spain has no reason to recognise them or give them a break since they are breaking out illegally in a non recognised vote. As far as Spain is concerned they can fly on their own wings and crash and burn doing so. Why? Because all those industries being put outside of EU will rush to relocate into Spain and EU again with their factories while Spain of course offers incentive for them to come over.

    Third no planes would be allowed to fly in because there are no deals on the air space control (UK is struggling here as well; see open skies deal). That would leave the road for the tourists to come but seeing how Barcelona already wants fewer tourists that's not really going to work out either.

    So no trade deals, no tourists and industry and companies rushing to vacate the region to move back into a EU country again. And your whole hope rests on a "Well Spain is not going to be petty about it" is not really going to cut it from a business perspective now will it?
    This doom and gloom outlook isn't at all realistic in my opinion. It's not like they're reliant on 9% budget deficits filled by Madrid as is the case with Scotland and London.
    No but they are reliant on the rest of Spain and surrounding markets to buy what they produce and by breaking free illegally and becoming a third party country they are lower on the list of trade partners than China (who would be a WTO member).
    If they're outside the single market, they could probably strike up trade deals with trade partners quite quickly. I doubt the Spanish are going to be so spiteful as to cut off their nose.
    They are not cutting of their own nose; they are cutting of the Catalan's noses by stealing their industry back to Spain again. As for new trade deals, normally they take 5+ years to negotiate and another 5+ years to implement. Seeing how small Catalan is they got pretty much nothing to offer China can't do so their TDs would be horribly one sided and only with parties that would even bother to recognise them as a country (which between choosing between pissing of EU or Catalan is not going to be a very long list). Care to explain how Catalan industry is going to survive over a decade waiting for the first TD to be signed while Spain offers them the option to relocate their business over the border with some tax incentives and an option to be back in the EU free trade market?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,804 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    With four weeks to go until the referendum, the "Yes" campaign has re-established a narrow lead (50.1% vs 45.7%), which Europe Elects has rounded to the familiar figures of 52-48%. The article is worth reading, even if you've little Spanish, as the graphics make the voter divisions extremely stark, and show that the Catalan branch of Podemos could well split, regardless of the final outcome.

    http://www.elespanol.com/espana/20170902/243726044_0.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 48 CroFag


    It's gonna be a very tight vote indeed, but it doesn't really matter as it's a matter on wich regions don't have the right to vote on their own.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,565 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    I'm not saying the EU would welcome the division of existing European states into smaller successor states; I'm saying that, if it were to happen, the EU would still want those smaller successor states to be members.

    After all, Czechoslovakia was divided in 1993 into two states; that didn't stop both states being welcomed into the EU. And the long term trend in Europe has been for more and smaller states for over a century. If the EU were going to exclude states that came into being as the result of the division of a larger state, it wouldn't have a lot of members today.


    Czechoslovakia wasn't a member of the EU at the time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,565 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    AnGaelach wrote: »
    T Even if there are some barriers to importing/exporting, they can devalue their currency to make tourism more attractive and exporting more competitive.

    .

    Why do people put so much value in the ability to devalue one's own currency, when the only winners are big business and the government and the main losers are the ordinary consumers?


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


    Because the ordinary consumers have jobs.
    They say if Germany did not have the rest of us in the eurozone, their currency would be so strong that their industries would collapse.

    You'll see now people from ROI starting to go north again for their shopping. Great bargains for those whose currency is strong. But jobs for those whose currency is weak. Shops and businesses will close on the south side of the border.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,281 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    recedite wrote: »
    You'll see now people from ROI starting to go north again for their shopping. Great bargains for those whose currency is strong. But jobs for those whose currency is weak. Shops and businesses will close on the south side of the border.
    To bad there is basically sod all production in the north or in the UK any more; it's imported mainly or done by foreigners who're no longer going to be welcome which will shut the business down that are still producing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,565 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    recedite wrote: »
    Because the ordinary consumers have jobs.
    They say if Germany did not have the rest of us in the eurozone, their currency would be so strong that their industries would collapse.

    You'll see now people from ROI starting to go north again for their shopping. Great bargains for those whose currency is strong. But jobs for those whose currency is weak. Shops and businesses will close on the south side of the border.


    Prices go up, real wages go down, ordinary people lose. That is how devaluation works.


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


    blanch152 wrote: »
    Prices go up, real wages go down, ordinary people lose. That is how devaluation works.
    The flip side of that coin is that businesses and industries become more competitive, exports rise, and ordinary people have steady jobs and good state services. That pretty much sums up Germany. Their wages are not particularly high, but they don't care about that.


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


    Nody wrote: »
    foreigners who're no longer going to be welcome which will shut the business down that are still producing.
    UK will still be taking foreigners. Its just that they'll be able to be a bit more picky about which ones they allow in. If there is a skills shortage, those people who want to work will be welcomed in.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,281 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    recedite wrote: »
    UK will still be taking foreigners. Its just that they'll be able to be a bit more picky about which ones they allow in. If there is a skills shortage, those people who want to work will be welcomed in.
    There is a lack of willingness on the UK people side who are above to do basic work. That's why foreigners are applying for work in cafes or the fields but brits do not and rather sit at home on unemployment benefits and complaining about those foreigners taking their jobs (while the foreigners have lower unemployment rates because they will take any work basically vs. the brits who has to be paid at least 15 GBP an hour to get out of the sofa).


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


    Nody wrote: »
    foreigners are applying for work in cafes or the fields but brits do not
    Yes, and those foreigners will still get permits. But the guy who arrives and goes straight onto the housing list, and then sends for his extended family to join him, will have a bit more trouble with the visa paperwork.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,281 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody


    recedite wrote: »
    Yes, and those foreigners will still get permits. But the guy who arrives and goes straight onto the housing list, and then sends for his extended family to join him, will have a bit more trouble with the visa paperwork.
    You mean exactly what UK could have done since day 1 but could not be bothered to implement even when pointed out to them? Excellent plan... Oh and sorry to burst your bubble but those foreigners who used to work in the fields are no longer coming back even when they don't need a visa due to Brexit attitude which means all that product will be rotting in the fields in the next years but the British farmers got a solution you'll love; they are relocating the farms to Poland instead. Of course that puts the farms outside UK and in EU with all what that entails because UK governments were to incompetent to implement a procedure already available for over a decade and decided to go Brexit instead...


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


    Nody wrote: »
    Of course that puts the farms outside UK and in EU...
    You can't relocate a farm, but you can relocate a business.Your example is just another example of a businessman moving his operation to where costs (eg wages) are lower. Its similar to Trump and his objection to all the jobs moving to Mexico.

    If the Polish fruitpicker is living in a caravan for three months on the British farm, and then returning to Poland with his wages where he can buy a house for a fraction of the UK price, then you effectively have a Polish worker working for British wages.

    Lets say the pound sterling devalued by a lot relative to the euro and the Polish zloty after the Brexit vote (from around 6 zlotys to around 4.5) then that guy has effectively seen a big pay cut. So maybe now fruitpicking in the UK seems less attractive to him.
    But the British worker, or unemployed worker, sees no change in the value of the wages. On the contrary the farm owner now has to raise the wage rates slightly to get enough workers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,365 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    recedite wrote: »
    You can't relocate a farm, but you can relocate a business.Your example is just another example of a businessman moving his operation to where costs (eg wages) are lower. Its similar to Trump and his objection to all the jobs moving to Mexico.

    If the Polish fruitpicker is living in a caravan for three months on the British farm, and then returning to Poland with his wages where he can buy a house for a fraction of the UK price, then you effectively have a Polish worker working for British wages.

    Lets say the pound sterling devalued by a lot relative to the euro and the Polish zloty after the Brexit vote (from around 6 zlotys to around 4.5) then that guy has effectively seen a big pay cut. So maybe now fruitpicking in the UK seems less attractive to him.
    But the British worker, or unemployed worker, sees no change in the value of the wages. On the contrary the farm owner now has to raise the wage rates slightly to get enough workers.
    By bringing in seasonal migrant workers, the fruit farmers are essentially importing labour.

    With the decline in sterling, imports become more expensive, and that includes imported labour. As you note, all other things being equal an offer of the same sterling wages is now likely to attract fewer migrant workers.

    It won't attract more British workers, though. If anything, the reverse; the decline in sterling will lead to a rise in the price of imported goods generally, therefore a rise in the cost of living, therefore a reduction in the real value of wages (assuming wages do not change). So if the wages offered weren't sufficient to attract British workers in the past, they're even less so now.

    So, as you correctly note, the fruit farmer now has to raise wages to a point that will attract sufficient fruit pickers. But of course the raised wages will not just attract more British pickers; they will also attract more migrant pickers, as they tend to offset the negative effect of the decline in sterling. On the assumption that the farmers are indifferent to the nationality of the pickers, they'll always employ those who are willing to work for the lowest rate.

    It really comes down to whether there's a "floor" wage below which no significant number of British people will pick fruit. If there is, devaluation of sterling will not greatly increase the proportion of British pickers until it forces fruit-picker wages up to that floor. And it may be that, at that level of wages, fruit farming ceases to be profitable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,474 ✭✭✭bennyineire


    So is this the brexit thread or something :confused:

    What are the chances of a high turnout for the referendum ?

    If the people who oppose a split and decide to not vote does this remove even more legitimacy ?


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


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    So, as you correctly note, the fruit farmer now has to raise wages to a point that will attract sufficient fruit pickers. But of course the raised wages will not just attract more British pickers; they will also attract more migrant pickers, as they tend to offset the negative effect of the decline in sterling.
    Yes, but the net effect is to close the differential in the value of the wages, as between between the migrant and the native worker. For the migrant worker, they are now back up to the same value as before. But for the British worker, the wages have risen.

    All this is only relevant to Catalonia inasmuch as some people were suggesting a country could not survive outside the EU, and questioned what possible benefits could accrue from a country devaluing its own currency.
    And BTW nobody has yet put forward a convincing argument that an independent Catalonia could not still be a member of the EU.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,804 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    So is this the brexit thread or something :confused:

    What are the chances of a high turnout for the referendum ?

    If the people who oppose a split and decide to not vote does this remove even more legitimacy ?

    Will probably be around 60% turnout, as in addition to nationalist voters, Podemos supporters (on the fence until now) are expected to cast ballots either way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,804 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    recedite wrote: »
    Yes, but the net effect is to close the differential in the value of the wages, as between between the migrant and the native worker. For the migrant worker, they are now back up to the same value as before. But for the British worker, the wages have risen.

    All this is only relevant to Catalonia inasmuch as some people were suggesting a country could not survive outside the EU, and questioned what possible benefits could accrue from a country devaluing its own currency.
    And BTW nobody has yet put forward a convincing argument that an independent Catalonia could not still be a member of the EU.

    It would still technically be in the EU so long as Spain didn't recognise it, but that would leave it in a Somaliland-style uncredited limbo.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,365 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    It would still technically be in the EU so long as Spain didn't recognise it, but that would leave it in a Somaliland-style uncredited limbo.
    Assume that there's a high turnout and the independence referendum is passed by a thumping majority.

    That doesn't make Catalan independent, or amount to a declaration of independence by Catalonia, or anything of the kind, and the advocates of the referendum do not claim that it will. The question put to voters is “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent country in the form of a republic?”. If that answer to that question is "yes", that doesn't mean that a Catalan republic has been declared; it just means that a majority of voters have indicated that they would favour such a declaration.

    So what's the point? The point is to increase pressure on the Spanish government, and to add weight to the push for independence. If the bulk of Catalans do not want to remain part of Spain, ultimate the Spanish government cannot make they remain for ever. But the object will be to achieve independence with the (perhaps grudging) assent of the Spanish state to a development which becomes politically irresistible.

    And the object, of course, would be for Catalonia to transition to independence while remaining a member of the EU.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,474 ✭✭✭bennyineire


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Assume that there's a high turnout and the independence referendum is passed by a thumping majority.

    That doesn't make Catalan independent, or amount to a declaration of independence by Catalonia, or anything of the kind, and the advocates of the referendum do not claim that it will. The question put to voters is “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent country in the form of a republic?”. If that answer to that question is "yes", that doesn't mean that a Catalan republic has been declared; it just means that a majority of voters have indicated that they would favour such a declaration.

    So what's the point? The point is to increase pressure on the Spanish government, and to add weight to the push for independence. If the bulk of Catalans do not want to remain part of Spain, ultimate the Spanish government cannot make they remain for ever. But the object will be to achieve independence with the (perhaps grudging) assent of the Spanish state to a development which becomes politically irresistible.

    And the object, of course, would be for Catalonia to transition to independence while remaining a member of the EU.

    Nope, if the votes passes Puigdemont has stated many times that the regional government will declare independence from Spain 48 hours after the result is in and set about building a sovereign state.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,804 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    Indeed, and as various local and national elections have passed since 2014, the only option remaining to demonstrate support for independence was to call the poll. Of course, how to practically achieve your goal if one side refuses to negotiate is another matter.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,804 ✭✭✭An Ciarraioch


    The European Parliament suggests that a declaration of independence would mean instant expulsion from the EU:

    https://i.imgur.com/wDC0WVY.jpg


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