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
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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!".

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."

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.

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.

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..