With All Eyes On Catalonia Spain Prepares To Vote For The Second Time This Year

Egbert Nobakon, 1 November 2019

Yesterday, just hours before campaigning was due to begin in Spain’s second General Election this year and fifth in four years, the minority Socialist government’s interim justice minister urged parties to avoid exploiting tensions between national and regional government in Catalonia, the nation’s richest and most populous region, to reap political benefits.

Spanish parties “should be capable of not turning (Catalonia) into a partisan or electoral issue” and be “loyal to the state,” Dolores Delgado told The Associated Press in an interview.

She added that only extremists would gain from further tension.

spain election

Spain’s fifth general election in four years follows failed coalition negotiations between the Socialists — who came first in the last, April 28 election — and the anti-austerity Podemos (We Can) party. In the 2016 election Podemos were barred by the EU from joining a coalition because Brussels will not asccept any Eurosceptic party in government in an EU member state.

Interim prime minister Pedro Sánchez, leads the Socialist party, which is ahead in the polls but has lost support since the April election as support grows for the conservative opposition Popular Party and the surging Vox far-right party that has a manifesto reminiscent of the Falangists of General Franco.

Campaigning officially starts at midnight Thursday. It will only last 8 days after the electoral law was changed to avoid a splurge of funds in the case of a repeated ballot.

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Barcelona mayhem: Clashes with police as ‘half a million’ pro-independence supporters rally amid general strike

Amid all the huffing and puffing, supreme court meddling in politics, undemocratic behaviour of democratically elected representatives and that twunt Corbyn trying and almost succeeding in the feat of riding two horses with one arse, we have forgotten that other nations in Europe have having their own struggles over independence versus federalism, national sovereignty and mass immigration.

A huge crowd with Catalan flags has paralyzed central Barcelona as people from all across the region protested the harsh prison sentences for pro-independence leaders by the Spanish court and called for parting ways with Madrid, RT.com writes.

The police estimated that at least 525,000 turned up in the center of Barcelona, local media cited law enforcement. “Independence,”“The streets will be ours” and “Freedom to political prisoners” were among the chants heard at the massive gathering.

The rally continued more or less peacefully for a few hours, but was eventually marred by more serious violence as some of the protesters started building barricades and setting garbage containers on fire. They tossed stones and other foreign objects at the riot police, who were seen firing back – presumably using rubber bullets or other projectiles – and charging at the rioters with batons.

Some of those, involved in clashes with police, were said to be right-wing thugs, who actually oppose the Catalan independence. The footage from the scene showed people carrying Spanish national flags and giving Nazi salutes.

As night fell, some of the sites of the clashes resembled a war zone, with burning barricades, rubble everywhere and clouds of thick white smoke in the air.

Violent episodes may attract media attention, but they’re just a small part of the picture, Toni Casserras from the Catalan ‘Free People’ party told RT. The majority of the pro-independence activists believe in peaceful civil disobedience and they will keep going out into the streets.

“The protests [in Catalonia]are being sustained for several years and – despite the violence, which is applied to the protesters; despite imprisoning our leaders – people don’t give up. Protests are efficient, especially, massive protests.”

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Spain’s Election Problem: Muslim Population Grew By 20% in 4 years As Spanish Nationals Are Marginalised

Pablo Iglesias, PODEMOS party leader
Pablo Iglesias, PODEMOS party leader (Picture source: Daily Telegraph)

Catalonia has the fastest growing Muslim population in Spain – and more Islamic centres than any other region in the country. In spite of a strong separatist movement, the left has total hegemony in regional politics and the patriotic forces are being marginalised by the socialists, their elected politicians are excluded from key positions and known supporters are being fired from jobs and having trouble getting hired elsewhere, Defend Europa reports.

From 2011 to 2015, the number of Muslims in Catalonia has grown by 19.5%. That translates to 83,000 more people than 4 years ago. Not only that, the risk of terrorist attack has tripled in just this year (under the socialist government, almost 30,000 more Muslims, mostly uneducated, illiterate single males, have arrived). From 2011 to this year, the number of immigrants has doubled. They constitute more than one million people in a population of only 7 million.

This “wonderful” multiculturalism, the creation of the EU and being promoted by the socialist government in Madrid exploded in the Barcelona terrorist attacks of 2017. After seeing this, what was the reaction of the Catalan politicians? Well no, with the Catalan separatists hamstrung as the duopoly parties close ranks against them, its graft and corruption as usual in Spanish politics.

Campaigning for Spain’s general election, brought about when the minority socialist government, which gained power in a bloodless coup only last year, lost a confidence vote in the national Assembly. Campaingning for this election, to be held on April 28, begins on Friday this week and accusations of political espionage described as the country’s ‘Watergate’, external meddling and breaches of electoral law are flying in all directions.

Last month Spain’s judiciary launched a probe into an alleged conspiracy by secret police and the former conservative government led by Mariano Rajoy to smear the reputation of the left-wing Podemos party founded in 2014.

On April 1 Spain’s Socialist administration claimed to have deactivated the so-called “patriotic brigade” of senior police officers. “The sewers no longer exist,” said Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska.
But Podemos’s leader Pablo Iglesias has since claimed the dirty tricks campaign against his party did not end when the more ideologically-aligned Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez came to power last June.

Last weekend Mr Sánchez’s deputy press officer, Alberto Pozas, was summoned by a judge in connection with the theft of data from a mobile phone belonging to Mr Iglesias’s former aide. The phone was stolen in November 2015, weeks before the first general election in which Podemos took part, when Mr Pozas was editor of a now-defunct sensationalist news weekly called Interviú.

Investigators found data from the mobile phone among the files of former police officer José Manuel Villarejo, jailed since 2017 while a court probes his role as alleged leading member of the “patriotic brigade”.

Among a series of accusations against Mr Villarejo, the former police commissioner is believed to have staged a phony police probe into alleged financing for Podemos from the Iranian and Venezuelan governments.

And while all this is distracting voters, the invasion of Spain by illegal immigrants from Africa goes on, as in so many other nations in Europe the ruling elite are oblivious to the concerns of their countrymen and women who are not so privileged, and are happy to replace the population with uneducated, unaware cheap labour.

And so the smears and corruption, bribery, entrapment and general malfeasance will go on until election day and a vote, which in common with the last three general elections in Spain is likely to throw up an inconclusive result. Did you really think the UK is the only European nation where democracy is in crisis?

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Expert Idiot Writes EU In BetterShape Than A Year Ago

Someone named Sophie Gaston wrote in The Daily Telegraph today:

One year ago, the European Union seemed to be on the brink. It had suffered an annus horribilis of political shocks, with three major elections looming on the horizon. Each of those elections represented an opportunity for its weathervane to swing perilously between a calm breeze and violent storms.

With each vote, the EU has taken meaningful steps way from the cliff edge of further destruction. In the shadow of Brexit, the bloc of 27 now feels collectively secure. But the situation has forced it to look hard at itself and become more disciplined, more clear about its own purpose. For EU member states the need for solidarity has never been more urgent, but profound frictions between and within them remain.

Better shape? Really?

Ms Gaston goes on to claim the Spanish regional election, which has held after Miguel Rajoy, the neo Fascist leader of the Madrid government dissolved Catalonia’s regional assembly and suspended its semi autonomous status, produced a pro – EU result. In fact while the pro – EU socialist party, which can always rely on the votes of professional dole claimants to bolster its political support, was the largest party, a coalition of parties supporting independence will have a majority in the new assembly. Let’s have a look what this might mean in a wider context.

The article is yet another demonstration of the fact that ‘expert commentators’ are defined by their common detachment from reality. The writer says that in the past twelve months the EU has become more stable and secure. So how are efforts to form a stable government in Germany going? Spain as we have all seen is falling apart and even the neo – fascist tactics deployed by the EU to disrupt the Catalonia referendum have not intimidated voters into abandoning the independence movement. The Visegrad group gains momentum with each crisis and it seems all the Bureaucratic Dictators in Brussels have left to whip member states into line with is good old “Here come The Russians” scaremongering.

And of course the EU bureaucracy is now engaged in a blatant attempt to depose the democratically elected government of Poland.

The EU looks a lot closer to falling apart now than it did this time last year.

This is a typical example of the sort of slavish devotion to the EU that Remainers have. A complete suspension of reality

“With each vote the EU has taken meaningful steps (a)way from the cliff edge of further destruction….. the block of 27 now feel collectively secure”

What utter nonsense, and what steps? Beating up on Poland, and interfering in its internal affairs. This offers an alarming insight into what the reality of a supra state would entail.

I have known a few Poles quite well in my life and have studied Poland’s history to some degree and I find it amusing to think that the sybaritic cyphers of the EU bureaucracy think they can puncture the Polish sense of nationhood and independence. This is just one example of the forces tending to break the EU apart because when the flow of money from Brussels subsides the adamantine determination of peoples to determine their own fate will remain. Rajoy is probably right when he believes that fascist violence is the only thing that will put the Catalan genie back in its bottle.

Spain, and the EU, had an opportunity to show respect for the Catalan people and give them a free and fair referendum. They didn’t, instead the people of Catalonia have been subjected to extrovert political oppression not seen in Europe for 40 years or more.

This year for the EU has been troubled, but not as bad as feared for them. Next year is going to be hell for them. Puidgemont has already stated he is going to follow the British model of leaving Spain and thereby the EU… aka a Catalonian version of the EU Withdrawal Bill. Which is going to cause massive problems for Spain and the EU given the economic problems that are currently dormant.

Poland, I expect them to leave the EU next year.

Italy, will more than likely have a Eurosceptic coalition of around 60% of the vote on withdrawing from the Euro, if not the EU itself.

Ireland, Donald Trump’s Tax Reform Act involves the repatriation of the Euro Dollar. He is giving the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon a tax break or incentive to repatriate $2.7 – $4trn worth taxes to the USA. Those companies are primarily based in Ireland. With the punitive retrospective tax hits by the EU, the US government are fighting Apple’s corner.

Britain, in all likelihood we will leave without a deal creating a massive black hole in the EU budget.

Germany, no government… likely to have to new elections increasing the power of the FDP and AFD.

Greece, how will they be effected by the contagion given the dormant economic problems?

If ever there was a ‘calm before the storm’ we are now in it and 2018 promises to be an interesting year for opponents of Euronaziism. Remainers in Britain carry on with their nonsense blissfully unaware that more than half of this nation would cheerfully watch them strangled with their own entrails. Elites blissfully ignore the hoi poloi up to and including the moment when the tumbril rumbles up to their own door. The EU elite makes the 18th century French aristocracy seem a model of sensitivity and awareness. How remarkable were the ancient Greeks who had a word for everything important… hubris, nemesis, catharsis…

Madrid Gives Catalonia 5 Day Ultimatum To Clarify If It Declared Independence

from Zero Hedge

With Spain’s prime minister having opened earlier in the day the path for Madrid to use a constitutional “nuclear option” to suspend Catalonia’s autonomy, demanding that the regional government makes clear whether it considers itself independent, moments ago Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave Catalan President Carles Puigdemont a five day ultimatum to clarify whether he actually declared the region’s independence in his speech devoted to the highly controversial referendum, and another 3 to “rectify it.”

Spain’s leader said that it’s important for Catalonia’s leader to get his answer right on whether he declared independence or not. Rajoy, addressing Spain’s parliament, says that that Catalan president Carles Puigdemont “just needs to say he didn’t declare independence.”

The latest development comes after Rajoy said earlier on Wednesday that the cabinet of ministers asked for clarification on the issue of autonomous region’s independence. As reported earlier, Rajoy decided to take the first step towards triggering Article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which would give Madrid previously unused powers to take control of Catalonia’s regional government, after an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Rajoy said his formal request for clarity was “necessary when activating Article 155” and would dictate the next steps in the crisis to “offer certainty to the citizens”.

Using Article 155 to suspend Catalan autonomy would deepen the constitutional crisis in Spain since Catalonia held a contested referendum on independence on October 1. Spain’s government says Catalonia’s independence drive is unconstitutional.

The prime minister also said that the “illegal referendum” has failed, adding that Catalan authorities lack the legitimacy to propose a unilateral declaration of independence. He underlined that the vote undermines our democracy, Spanish unity and the Statute of Catalonia.

Meanwhile, AP reports, there were signs that the government was trying to take some steps to de-escalate the situation. Pedro Sanchez, the head of the opposition socialists, said on Wednesday that his party and the ruling centre-right PP party had agreed to talks to renegotiate laws governing regional autonomy.

He said there would be six months of talks on reforming the constitution, followed by a debate in parliament, adding that his party wanted a constitutional reform to “allow for Catalonia to remain a part of Spain”.

Also on Wednesday, Puidgemont told CNN his regional government is prepared to have talks on independence without preconditions with Spain. To date, Carles Puigdemont has repeatedly said that the right to self-determination must be on the table in any talks. Spain, in turn, says it can’t discuss an independence referendum as it goes against the constitution.

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Spain’s Leaders Prepare “Nuclear Option” As Protesters Rage Against Independence For Catalonia

 

the daily stirrer

 

A week on from the historic Catalan Independence Referendum result opened a new front in the war between the European Union’s bureaucratic dictatorship and the general population who are coalescing behind various nationalist and secessionist movements, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Catalonia’s capital Barcelona on Sunday in what looked like a staged protest by the people of Spain against any unilateral declaration of independence by the already semi-autonomous Catalan region. According to Reuters the protests showed “how divided the region is on the issue.”

We should bear in mind of course that Reuters is a press agency and often reports only information contained in official government press releases. There are fears in Brussels and throughout European capitals among politicians who favour political integration of the twenty seven EU member states that should the Catalonia secession movement succeed it will lead to a spate of similar actions in other nations where prosperous regions are being hit by EU immigration policies and the suffocating layers of bureaucracy that are suppressing business growth and hitting living standards.

In fact the region is surprisingly united in its support for the creation of a breakaway state. Government and EU propagandists are in no hurry to admit that however.

Last Sunday, more than 90% of the 2.3 million people who voted backed secession, according to Catalan officials. But that turnout represented only 43 percent of the region’s 5.3 million eligible voters as many opponents of independence stayed away. Many others were prevented from voting by the brutal tactics deployed by police in riot gear as they tried to carry out the wishes of central government by disrupting the vote.

In an interview with El Pais newspaper, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he will consider taking the so-called “nuclear option” – i.e. suspending Catalonia’s autonomous status (article 155 of the Spanish constitution,) – as Catalan leaders escalate threats to declare independence from the country, which could culminate with a parliamentary announcement as soon as Monday.

Asked if he was ready to trigger article 155, Rajoy told El Pais newspaper: “ I am not ruling out anything that the law says. What I have to do is do things at the right time, which is the most important thing right now. The ideal situation would be to not have to take drastic solutions, but for that to happen there would have to be rectifications.”

Until this weekend, Rajoy has remained vague on whether he would use article 155 of the constitution which enables him to sack the regional government and call a local election.

Reverting back to a hardline stance, the conservative prime minister ruled out using mediators to resolve the crisis – something Puigdemont has said he is open to – and said the issue would not force a snap national election. The Prime Minister also added the government would “prevent any declaration of independence from materializing in anything”. “Spain will continue being Spain,” he said.

Rajoy reiterated that until the regional government abandons its intention to proclaim independence, no talks can take place.

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Spain Set To Split As Catalonia Says ‘We Quit’

Following the brutal but inept attempts by the Spanish government to suppress Catalonia’s independence referendum last weekend, Spain’s constitutional crisis is rapidly spinning out of control. Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont is set to make a statement at 9 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Wednesday, after an all-party committee of the region’s parliament met to agree a decision on independence. The outcome of that meeting was a forgone conclusion and just moments before this article was posted,  CUP, the pro-secession party that is a majority in the Catalan parliament, has announced it will declared independence from Spain in plenary session on Monday, El Pais reports.

As reported last night,  Puigdemont told the BBC his government would ask the region’s parliament to declare independence when all votes from last weekend’s referendum are counted. This is a formality, despite Spanish national police using anti – riot tactics to disrupt the vote and overwhelming majority have voted for independence. The government in Madrid has offered no response except to say the vote was illegal. 

Puigdemont’s comments came on the heels of Spain’s King Felipe VI accusing secessionist leaders on Tuesday of shattering democratic principles and dividing Catalan society, as tens of thousands of Catalans took to the streets to protest against a violent police crackdown on Sunday’s vote.

Both Spain and the EU have been rocked by the Catalan vote and the violent response to it from national police, who even clashed with members of the Catalan province’s police force as they tried to protect voters from national guard officers in riot gear. Witnesses and amateur video recordings confirm batons and rubber bullets were used in efforts to stop people voting. Hundreds were injured, in scenes that brought international condemnation.

At this moment it is unclear what Madrid’s response will be if or when, Catalonia follows through on its threat to declare independence.There are a number of options but it seems likely that any move to stop the breakaway will only deepen divisions. Other spearatist movements in Andalucia, the Basque region and the Baelaric Islands are reportedly encouraged by the result of the referendum in Catalonia.

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