Scotland “shows the way” to separatist movements as Catalonia calls a vote on independence

Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, received Artur Mas, President of the Generalitat de Catalunya. This handshake that happened exactly one year ago probably made most Catalans believe that they can make ends meet on their own (EC Audiovisual Services, 30/09/2013)

Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, received Artur Mas, President of the Generalitat de Catalunya. This handshake that happened exactly one year ago probably made most Catalans believe that they can make ends meet on their own (EC Audiovisual Services, 30/09/2013)

The fact that Scotland’s vote for independence was a milestone in the separatist movements’ history within the European Union was already clear. In the last weeks everybody was looking northwards as it was evident that any decision by the Scots would have changed the path and probably the weight of the regionalist parties inside the parliament houses of the European countries. According to this idea I guess it would be normal to say that Scotland’s rejection of independence is a real setback for those movements’ cause, right? Maybe, but this is far from the reality. Unexpectedly Scotland’s referendum has boosted separatist movements anyway. And now Catalonia’s case is the proof.

What many were afraid of happened anyway in the wealthy North-Eastern region of Spain: last Friday Catalonia’s parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of giving its regional President the right to call a vote on independence from Spain. The move came just a day after Scotland voted against independence from the United Kingdom, surprising all those people who were thinking “straight”, as I said a few lines ago. But Catalan President Artur Mas’ declaration explains it all: “Scotland’s referendum had ‘shown the way’ for Catalonian independence”, he stated to the BBC. And this is exactly how separatist movements in Europe will behave and re-organise their own strategy: to go beyond Scotland’s “Yes” front’s defeat, asking for the same right that Scotland was given. The right to vote.

That’s why Mr Mas earlier said that Scotland’s rejection of independence was “not a setback” and that having the chance to vote was “the key point”. “This is a powerful and strong message that the UK is sending to the entire world” the head of Catalonia’s regional movement declared at a news conference. “Scotland’s referendum opens the way for us, because what happened there is that they voted […] and what we really want in Catalonia is to have […] the same possibility”, he added. The takeaway message was that a referendum had taken place, and this way the regional Parliament in Barcelona voted (106 to 28) to give to its leader the power to call a vote on independence which is planned for November 9 2014.

The Spanish government has repeatedly said that such vote would be illegal and would violate Spain’s constitution. Unlike London, Madrid has never allowed Catalonia or any other region to organize a referendum for independence, and therefore any attempt should be considered as “not official” and not leading to immediate secession anyway. Of course Mr Mas counts on the fact that an overwhelming “Yes” majority would give him a political mandate to negotiate a path towards independence with Madrid. The main issue for the Catalans would “only” be that Spain’s constitution doesn’t allow referendums that don’t include all Spaniards. Santi Rodriguez, a member of the Catalan regional parliament who represents Prime Minister Rajoy’s centre-right Popular Party, said it wouldn’t be possible for only Catalonians to vote, claiming that “there are not just seven million of us who would be affected by this – there are forty-seven million.”

Spain’s Premier didn’t mention Catalonia in his statement about Scotland’s referendum on Friday. “With their decision, Scots have avoided the large economic, social, institutional and political consequences that separation would have brought”, he said. And even with no direct citation to the turmoil inside his own country, he was harsh on any consequence led by separatist desires: “[The Scots] chose between integration and segregation, between isolation and openness, between stability and uncertainty, between security and a real risk, and they have chosen the most favourable option for everyone”.

Scotland’s question first and now Catalonia’s one have brought back attention to those various separatist movements across Europe. Italy’s Veneto and Sardinia as well as Belgium’s Dutch-speaking Flanders are quoted as the next areas in Europe which would get some key takeaways from this situation. Separatist and regional movement may flourish in the next months following Scotland’s and, most of all, Catalonia’s examples. For sure this is no golden era for those like me who believe in a Europe of fewer rather than more borders, and differences enforcing unity, still being in favour of giving to the people the right to express themselves.

Earlier this month hundreds of thousands of Catalans formed a “V” for “vote” in Barcelona’s main roads calling for their right to vote. What I think should be analysed carefully is whether the “V” for vote corresponds to “V” for victory all the times.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

“Health and environment first of all”, EU says with forced optimism after 7th round of TTIP talks

Germany readies to pay for the Brexit gap in EU finance

China Unlimited Special Report: The trip to China

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

Time to be welcome: Youth work and integration of young refugees

EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan

Ukrainian civil war: Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

Turkey to let EU alone struggle with the migrant crisis while enhancing its economic ties with Russia instead?

IQ scores have been falling for decades, new study finds

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

Armenia should take vigorous measures against entrenched corruption

Virtual Doctor: a core part of modern healthcare?

‘Jerusalem is not for sale’ Palestinian President Abbas tells world leaders at UN Assembly

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

Eurozone: Inflation plunge to 0.4% in July may trigger cataclysmic developments

World response to AIDS epidemic at a ‘critical juncture’

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Time is running out to protect Africa’s forests

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on polluting throwaway plastics by 2021

Chinese economy to raise speed and help the world grow

Why social working cultures are happier and more productive

Remembering Kofi Annan

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

EU to increase spending and improve delivery of education in emergencies and protracted crises

An alternative view of Globalization 4.0, and how to get there

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

The movement of anti-vaccers: taking humanity back 200 years

Apple’s tax avoidance scheme remains as creative as their new iPhone

Europe turns out more jobs this summer

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

Mali: Presidential elections critical to consolidate democracy, says UN peacekeeping chief

Youth and Participation: are the people rising up in Spain? 


Legal Manager – 2050

How to provide health education and thus create better health systems

Road injuries leading cause of death for the young, despite safety gains: UN report

UN condemns ‘heinous’ suicide attack on education centre in Afghanistan

The shrinking Arctic ice protects us all. It’s time to act

New skills needed for medical students in Industry 4.0

Transition between education and employment: how the internship culture is threatening the foundations of our education

Eurozone: Retail sales and inflation point to recession

Why do medical curricula shouldn’t neglect the Sustainable Development Goals

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

Fisheries: Commission proposes measures to conserve stocks of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic

Syria: Guterres concerned over reported attacks in Idlib, calls for ‘full investigation’

Discovering Europe: Free EU rail pass for 18 year olds

Want a fairer society? This economist says he has the answer

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

These European countries produce the most plastic waste per person

Storms and snow in Lebanon worsen plight for Syrian refugees

Better protection against non-cash payment fraud

Can big events really go plastic-free? A water capsule made from seaweed may be the answer

‘Collective amnesia’ over causes of global financial crash – human rights expert

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Catalonia is Spain says:

    Nice way to hide corruption. Go Mas Go!

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s