Crisis in Catalonia escalates

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion & War Issues' started by stevenkesslar, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Turnout ended up being over 82%... No one can say the Rajoy side lost because they didn't show up this time.

    The Spanish government handled everything wrong since day 1, behaved like authoritarian thugs... that's why they'll lose every time citizens are allowed to exercise their right to vote in that region.<3
  2. WilliamM

    WilliamM Regent

    Yes. The last time I visited Spain (1973) Franco was still alive.

    Driving throughout the country was a problem because of the inveterate thugs employed by the police.
  3. BSR

    BSR Viscount

    I read a fair amount about the Catalan independence issue in the Spanish media, which took a decidedly anti-separatist stance. A fair system of distributing tax revenue primarily drove the latest push for independence, not Catalan nationalism. Catalans are angry and frustrated that they have to put up with a crumbling infrastructure and substandard schools and hospitals because they pay a lot of taxes but don't get nearly as much money back from the central government. Like many other nations, wealthier regions like Catalunya get less federal money while poorer regions like Extremadura get more. The joke in Spain is that all politicians are corrupt, but Catalan politicians are in a league of their own. The accusations leveled at the leaders of the Catalan independence movement was that they were fighting not for Catalan nationalism, but simply for more money to Catalunya, which meant more graft for themselves and their cronies. Mind you, I am well aware of the Spanish-language press's bias. I'd be curious to read how the Catalan press was reporting the events, but my Catalan is pretty rusty. And by "rusty," I mean "nonexistent."

    In any case, the whole independence push was nothing but a bluff. Catalunya is surrounded by Spain, France, and the Mediterranean. Had Catalanya successfully gained independence, it would have been forever barred from the EU because the separation would have violated the Spanish constitution, and any new state formed in violation of a current member state's constitution is permanently ineligible for EU membership. In other words, independence would have obliterated Catalunya's economy. Even after independence failed, six out of the seven largest companies based in Catalunya moved their headquarters to Madrid. It sounds like the leaders behind the independence fight made a big gamble, played their cards badly, and lost huge.
    marylander1940 likes this.
  4. pitman

    pitman Viscount

  5. Not only that but the district of Aran voted to secede and remain with Spain.

    Aranese the 3rd official language of Catalonia and the threat of remaining with Spain if Catalonia secedes

    it says: Would you like Catalonia to be a new state in the form of republic?

    Catalan, Spanish and Aranese.




    30% of the inhabitants of Barcelona would like to create a new autonomic community even if Catalonia doesn't separate from Spain.


  6. Sounds like the NE and the left Coast (California, Oregon and Washington) getting tired of subsidizing the poorest most conservative states in the middle of the country and trying to become an independent nation.

    "All Spanish politicians are corrupt", damn... such a statement!

    Crumbling infrastructure? That's not the case, specially after the whole country financed the Olympic games of 1992 and all the major improvements in Catalonia.

  7. You say what you know, but don't know what you're saying. Is like saying Trump won the election, he did but because of the way the electoral college is distributed. The "constitutionalist" parties got more votes when you included the regional version of leftist group "Podemos" (CatSíqueesPot) who wanted a referendum but wanted to remain in Spain.

    They won the majority of the seats, nut the majority of the votes. Just like Trump won the electoral college.
  8. BSR

    BSR Viscount

    Full disclosure, I haven't been to Spain in a couple of decades. I made the "crumbling infrastructure" comment based on what I'm reading in the Spanish press. "Crumbling" might be an exaggeration, based on the anger the Catalans are feeling over being short-changed by the central government in Madrid. But I'm reading a lot of how sub-standard the Catalunya train system (lots of delays due to neglected repairs), hospitals, and schools are. Yes, the greater Barcelona area and to a lesser degree the rest of Catalunya got a huge "makeover" for the 1992 Olympic Games. That was more than 25 years ago.
    marylander1940 likes this.
  9. Good point, yet I guarantee you... Spanish hospitals, highway, and schools are usually better than their American counterparts.

    I'm not saying they're as highly sophisticated as we're when it comes to medical research and treatments, yet they're catching up, and historically they have produced geniuses like Santiago Ramón y Cajal and inventions like the disposable syringe.
  10. tassojunior

    tassojunior Master

    Key West declared itself independent as the Conch Republic a few years ago. Like Lombardy, laugh and get on with daily business.
  11. BSR

    BSR Viscount

    I haven't physically been to Spain in a couple of decades, but I am still close with a couple of Spanish friends and we skype regularly. The Spanish medical system is interesting. There is nationalized health care, which is OK. You will get health care. You will be able to see a doctor, and even a specialist if needed. Nobody seems to love it, but in general Spaniards don't hate it either.

    Then there is the private medical system in Spain. You pay out of pocket, and since health care is "free" in Spain ("free" if you ignore the staggering taxes you're paying to maintain the system), very few Spaniards use the private system. But every single Spaniard who has the money opts for the private medical system. Most of the doctors in the private system graduated from one medical school, basically the Spanish equivalent of Harvard or Hopkins, or were at least at the top of their class at their university. I don't know if I'd be crazy about entrusting my health to Spain's national health service, but I'd be just as comfortable with private health care in Spain as I would be going to Mayo or the Cleveland Clinic.

    Anyway, back on topic, I think the big beef in Catalunya is not that the train system, schools, hospitals are in such awful shape. It's more that the train system is actually better (more trains on time, fewer delays and breakdowns) in Extremadura, a poorer region of Spain that doesn't pay as much in taxes as the Catalans do, than it is in Catalunya. You can imagine, this makes Catalan heads explode. With road repairs and maintenance, I don't know if the data backs up the notion that Catalan road infrastructure is all that bad. It's more a case that every time Catalans see a pothole, they think they're getting the shaft from the central government. There was a big uproar about hospitals in Catalunya having to deal with delays in getting drugs, supplies, and equipment (articles were long, only skimmed them). Not the end of the world, but it did fuel a lot of Catalan resentment.

    If you look at the numbers, the discrepancies aren't nearly as bad as the Catalans make them out to be. Catalunya has something like 17% of Spain's population but contributes 19% of the central government's tax revenues. And it's not like the region's trains, roads, schools, and hospitals are in such awful shape. Catalans, even those who oppose independence, are just angry that they pay more in taxes yet get the same crap if not worse as everybody else. Part of that is justified, in that they do pay more in taxes than the amount that goes back into Catalunya. Part of that is their own damn fault, because Catalan politicians are so notoriously corrupt.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    marylander1940 likes this.