Catalonia Parliament Votes 70-10 for Independence: Best Wishes to Catalonia, the Nation

Friday morning, the Catalan parliament voted 70-10 to declare independence from Spain. In return, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy demands direct rule. How will Rajoy accomplish that?

Vote Breakdown

  • There are 135 members in the Catalan parliament, thus 70 constitutes a majority.
  • Legislators from the opposition Socialists and Citizens party boycotted the vote.
  • Lawmakers from Mariano Rajoy's Popular party (PP) walked out after placing Spanish and Catalonia official flags in their empty seats.

Spain mulls dissolving Catalonia's parliament

Eyes now turn to Madrid for the central government's response.

The Spanish Senate is meeting on Friday to discuss the government's proposed takeover of the Catalan regional government on the grounds that it broke federal law. The measure would allow Madrid to dissolve Catalonia's parliament, depose Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and take control of its police force.

The decision is expected at about midnight local time and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is seen likely to gain the votes to strip Catalonia of its autonomy within Spain.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano called for calm in a tweet posted minutes after the Catalan parliament declared independence. "I ask for calm from all Spaniards. The rule of law will restore legality in Catalonia," Rajoy wrote.

Students in Barcelona Rally for Independence

Thousands of students rally in Barcelona outside the University of Barcelona and the headquarters of the government of Catalonia in support of Catalan independence and against plans by Spain's central government to curb the region's powers.

Rajoy's Next Move

Rajoy has the support he needs to demand a takeover of the Catalan government. But voting to do that and doing it are not the same thing.

Other than send in the troops, it remains to be seen how he expects to carry out his order.

Meanwhile, best wishes to Catalonia, the nation.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (33)
No. 1-33
dilbert
dilbert

Only students rally in Catalonia. They have nothing to lose (that's what they think). Real people with real jobs are very worried. The reckless government of Catalonia follow the blind lemming's run, while every national and international organization are telling them to stop and talk and think. PS: By the way, I don't understand why are you so strongly in the side of Catalonia when you probably don't know much about the conflict, and absolutely nothing about the people you are supporting. Perhaps a mix of disdain for Spain and hatred towards the EU?

DBG8489
DBG8489

@dilbert

Mish probably supports them for the same reason others of us do: Everyone has the right to decide who governs them and how. I have no right to tell the Catalan people they can't choose their own government - even if I disagree with their choice for the form that government takes.

Yes that goes for Iraq, Iran, Syria...etc.

The right to choose how you are governed is a basic human right that exists with or without government. It predates it. It is not something that can be written away by a constitution or law. Especially one enacted before you were born.

To paraphrase Spooner - no generation has the right to place the next one in chains.

RDM
RDM

@DBG8489, my first thought is to agree, and I am rooting for Catalan. However, wouldn't that also mean that the Yankees should have let the Confederate States of America go without a fight? Or was that time different?

tim2
tim2

Well put, DBG8489, that's exactly my interest in all this too. In addition to that, I also see the independence movement in Catalonia as a sign of life in the world today. Most of the world seems to be politically dead, that is, not thinking and acting for itself and merely continuing along in the wheelruts of tradition, "Constitutions", "rule of law", and "international agreements" unaware that all those things were new once and the result of human actions.

Maximus_Minimus
Maximus_Minimus

Is there something in the water in the Iberian peninsula? The way Rajoy handles this crisis is reason enough to leave if there wasn't anything else.

Tony_CA
Tony_CA

I find anybody supporting the Spanish is supporting fascism.

Tony_CA
Tony_CA

To be clear, I meant the Spanish government.

KidHorn
KidHorn

Seems like the only way they'll form their own country is through a war. One which they'll never win since I would imagine almost all of Europe would back Spain. They don't want to set a precedence.

peacock
peacock

Now that Catalonia has seceded and Spain has taken direct control of Catalonia. What's next? Protestors vs Spanish police? How many Catalonians are willing die for their nation?

HabanaJoe
HabanaJoe

IF you believe that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, then independence movements like the Confederate States in 1861 or Catalonia mean less centralized power--who wouldn't want that. How does one death justify the US Civil War or supporting Spanish Facism?

HabanaJoe
HabanaJoe

Oh wait! The US Civil War was about Slavery? So why did the US Government do NOTHING to provide civil rights for freed slaves until the AFTER the Civil Rights era? Read Lincoln's first inaug. address. He even DEFENDS slavery, but implies invasion if the South doesn't pay high tariffs to the North. What do expect? Bloody civil war ensures with death beyond comprehension.

HabanaJoe
HabanaJoe

Why does Texas need to be part of the US? Has anyone heard of free trade?

Carlos_
Carlos_

@HabanaJoe: So for some reason (I assume ignorance) you think that Spain has a very Centralized government. How many very centralized governments allowed the states within themselves control: Public TV, Education programs, "embassies". Please educate your self. "Free trade" more naive impossible. For trade to happens the parties (at least two) must agree on it. They usually don't so negotiations are needed (most of the times very long ones) . You wrap your self on the "democracy" mantra but what do you think the negotiators do? In democratic countries they try to protect their continuances (factories, agriculture etc). Doesn't your definition (and Mish's) of free trade implies that the government has to ignore and disregard whatever its continuances want? Is that democracy? So since this is about Catalonia let me tell you what the future will be: The main actors of this will be arrested and Madrid will govern Cataluna for several month until elections are held.

formula57
formula57

@Habana Joe - do you not recall Honest Abe telling everyone the war was to save the Union? It was not to free slaves from slavery. Saving the union will apply in the present case of Spain, I expect

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

Last thing I heard, Rajoy said he would call for an election in December. Godwilling, if he is not so stupid as to get caught in a quagmire (don't hold your breath), a proper election should help at least contribute to a real notion of how many and in what regions within Catalonia want to secede. Then they would be able to have a more realistic picture of what a seceded Catalonia would look like. Would they want to break away without Barcelona? Without Girona? Would Tarragona make it on its own? What about the Arran valley and the people living in places with separatist majority who disagree with the secession. Those are Catalans too. One of the problems with the last referendum was that because it was done without voter lists, we really don't have a real notion who voted what in the amount of detail needed to take such a momentous decision as secession. All we know is rural areas (where people tend to be Catalan speakers) tended to vote for secession. But that is all wishful thinking, if everyone keeps their head on their shoulders and nothing gets out of hand.

formula57
formula57

@ Cassiopeia - You say "...we really don't have a real notion who voted what in the amount of detail needed to take such a momentous decision as secession". Not unibersally true though - for Mish does I think. ;-)

formula57
formula57

Also to add, Rajoy will variously bribe and alarm Catalonian voters come December with goodies from the Spanish treasury and threats from the E.U. so Puigdemont and his pals can expect 30 years incarceration and no-one real giving a damn. Ho hum.

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

I admire Mish very much, I have been reading him for years without commenting. On this one, I disagree, though.

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

They did a secret vote so they didn

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

Sorry, I hit "enter" without finishing. I was saying they did the vote in secret to make it more difficult for Spanish law to prosecute them, in a kind of 'omerta', mafia style code. What's funny is that by doing that they acknowledged the law they are seceding from, and essentially acted in a cowardly manner. Why am I not surprised. I saw it coming the minute Puigdemont refused calling an election (despite enormous efforts at mediation, especially by the Basque leader Urkullu) when his radical wing started yelling "traitor" yesterday. He also refused to take the declaration of independence on himself, so he would bear the brunt of the consequences if it went badly. No, for the likes of him "omerta" is the way to go. A sign of things to come.

MaxBnb
MaxBnb

If Madrid was interested in peace they should organize plebiscite long time ago.

No people and no part of a people shall be held against its will in a political association that it does not want. (Nation, State, and Economy, p. 34)

A nation, therefore, has no right to say to a province: You belong to me, I want to take you. A province consists of its inhabitants. If anybody has a right to be heard in this case it is these inhabitants. Boundary disputes should be settled by plebiscite. (Omnipotent Government, p. 90)

The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with. This is the only feasible and effective way of preventing revolutions and civil and international wars. (Liberalism, p. 109)
If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done. (Liberalism, pp. 109–10)

SweetKenny
SweetKenny

Catalonia doesn't have the internal or external structure to run as an independent country. If I was Spain, I let them learn it the hard way.

Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia

Catalan statutes of autonomy require a 2/3 majority in the Catalan parliament for any change in Catalonia's status.

DBG8489
DBG8489

@RDM

Yes, I believe the USA was in the wrong in going to war with the CSA to "preserve the union. That reason was bologna of course - it was nothing more than economics - which is what all wars are about. Including this one between Spain and Catalan if it comes to that. As some politicians are fond of saying - the US Constitution isn't a suicide pact. If the "union" was going over a cliff, the CSA was not obligated to follow by having signed on to be states previously.

@tim2

Most of the world - especially the US - isn't interested in politics or economics at all. If they were, there would be revolutions and secession actions breaking out all over the place. Most are happy enough to go along because making the decision to take action would require actual effort. Facegram and Instabook are much more fun and require very little effort.

DBG8489
DBG8489

@SweetKenny

Spain can't afford to do that. Their government would collapse without the tax revenues.

Tony_CA
Tony_CA

Spain will not hold.

Medex_Man
Medex_Man

Think we are now up to a dozen posts about an obscure part of Spain, which in turn is part of a failing socialist dictatorship known as the EU....

Still not even one post about how the FBI, James Comey and Special Counsel Mueller are either Russian stooges or just plain incompetent. Either way, the evidence all points to the FBI being manipulated (willingly or because they are clueless) by Fusion GPS and the DNC, not to mention the cover-up of Hillary selling the State Department in exchange for Clinton Foundation "donations".

Alessandro
Alessandro

Welcome Catalonia!

Alessandro
Alessandro

Let's hope that Puigdemont and other Catalan leaders have done their homework. The real test in 21st-century Europe will not be a military-type confrontation about borders or taking control of the streets. Rather it will come in the form of acts of civil 'disobedience' (seen from Madrid) or 'allegiance' (seen from Barcelona) such as paying taxes to the Authority in charge. Most important the reaction of the Catalan judiciary in implementing Catalan laws (when they are announced) and ignoring Madrid's. Have the Catalan leaders made adequate preparations? Are they ready to give the correct orders to the local beaurocracy and judiciary? There is no evidence of that and it would be a pity to see this exercise of peaceful self-determination fail..

dilbert
dilbert

@DBG8489 I understand your point but find it theoretical and simplistic. 1. Not every voting is feasible and democratic. For instance a city cannot vote not to pay taxes to its Estate. 2. Secession is a tricky issue. That land was (and is) a part of Spain; there has been huge investments and companies established there BECAUSE it was part of Spain. 3. The number is important. In order to change the status democracy usually require 2/3 of the votes. To declare the independence with 70 votes in 135 is just madness. As you imagine, there are A LOT of people in Catalonia who is against this. What do you want, that next year they organize a referendum, win it, and ask for reentry in Spain? Lets be serious. 4. You don't know the people that you are supporting. Fanatic, extremist, supremacists. They don't recognize the right for any region inside Catalonia to secede from themselves. 5. In Europe we are fed up of the nationalism people always shaking the waters, with their tribal identities, creating hatred, asking for their own frontiers and so on. We don't want to repeat the wars of XIX and XX centuries. We think about integration, creating bridges not borders. This is the kind of mad leaders that lead their people to historical disasters. We know that in Europe, that's why EVERY leader in EU is against Catalonia. Are all of them fascists? 6. Spain is one of the most decentralized countries in the world. Catalonia has a govern, parlament, official languaje, (abused) public media, education, police, etc. This is not the romantic 'freedom revolution' you think it is. It's a 'oligarchy revolution' in a rich region who don't want to pay to the poorest regions, that's all. And they will be subdued with the economy, not the police. Companies are flying in droves.

DBG8489
DBG8489

@dilbert

"Theoretical and simplistic" - See "British Colonies, 1776" - Nothing is ever perfect. And yes, a city can vote not to pay taxes to its estate. And if they can somehow weather the storm of the force the estate is willing to bring to bear then they can become independent. Yes the land "is" part of Spain. Yes there were businesses that invested there because of it. However, none of that matters if the people who live there decide to secede. How far is Spain willing to go to guarantee all of that remains the same? How far are the people of Catalan willing to go to stop them? Those are the only questions that matter.

Regarding the British Colonies in 1776, it is estimated that around 1/3 of the inhabitants supported secession, 1/3 didn't and 1/3 didn't care either way. You have to live with whatever the result is, not what you want it to be.

People can do whatever they want - that's the bottom line. If they decide to ask for reentry, Spain can refuse.

I don't care what the political beliefs of those seceding are. They have a right to determine their own form of government. It's not romance, it's basic human rights.

There doesn't have to be a war - Spain just needs to let them go - but hey can't. They've made economic promises based on the wallets of the people of Catalan and if they let them go, their government and economy will collapse. THIS is the real problem - not keeping the "union" together, not the "people who don't want to" and not the businesses that invested there.

You can't keep taking the bread off of someone's table and not expect that at some point they will turn on you. If you can have a majority "vote" to take their money, they can certainly vote to leave and no longer pay you.

And they have the right to do so NO MATTER WHAT. It is simplistic and it isn't theory. If Spain keeps them there by the point of a gun, the Spain is saying that they are slaves - nothing more.

formula57
formula57

So where are the 92 per cent. now? Per Reuters (@ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia/spanish-prosecutor-accuses-sacked-catalan-leader-of-rebellion-idUSKBN1CZ0IP?il=0) "...the central government would take direct control. That process began smoothly on Monday as employees ignored calls for civil disobedience and turned up for work, while secessionist parties agreed to stand in the December poll." And "....PdeCat and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, said on Monday they would take part in the election called by Rajoy, a tacit acceptance of direct rule from Madrid. The regional parliament canceled a meeting for Tuesday, another signal lawmakers accepted they had been dismissed.

A call for widespread civil disobedience from the main civic groups behind the secessionist campaign failed to attract many followers. Public-sector workers such as teachers, firefighters and the police mostly started work as normal on Monday and there was no sign of widespread absenteeism."

formula57
formula57

And the chancers on the make have reportedly fled to Belgium! So rather than an uprisiing against oppression we have what looks very like business as usual pending a democratic election aside from the fact that people can now chant "Yes! we have no Puigdemonts, we have no Puigdemonts today!".