Catalonia secessionist leader takes Flemish ‘cover’; Spain risks more jingoist violence

First meeting of Spanish State Under-Secretaries, after central ministries took on powers of the Regional Government of Catalonia (28 October 2017, Spanish government work).

The Catalonia crisis and the aftermaths after its diffusion can offer valuable lessons for the nature of jingoist politics and the motives, goals and the character of its main actors, on both sides of the fence. The Catalan secessionists led by Carles Puigdemont proved experts in setting the fire, but were incapable of making anything good out of it. Finally, they run to Brussels to take cover behind the long simmering Belgian problems the Flemish secessionists always keep alive.

As for the Madrid government under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, it was exposed as inept to confront a secession crisis under the light of the European values of functioning democracy, tolerance and civic rights. For decades, Spain has paid a dear price for her inability to politically handle the Basque issue. Intolerance of the difference and brutal oppression since the Franco era, led to terrorism and bloodshed. But let’s return to this week’s developments.

Regrettably, the extreme right wing Belgian Flemish nationalists found the opportunity to remind everybody that their jingoist and xenophobic N-VA party hasn’t forgotten the disruptive role it plays in the kingdom. Teo Franken of N-VA and migration minister in the coalition government of the francophone PM Charles Michel, offered sanctuary to Puigdemont. Walloon Michel was taken aback by his minister’s audacity. He had no intention of intervening in the Spanish crisis. The Catalan fugitive is sought by the Spanish High Court as the main culpable party of the crisis, which nearly led Spain to a civil confrontation. He is accused of rebellion and sedition.

Is Rajoy any better?

In their turn, the Madrid super ‘Spaniards’ of Rajoy government now vie  to step on the relics of an authentic and grassroot peoples’ movement. It’s as if the Madrilènes want to revenge the Catalans for their passion, their perception of difference, maybe their naivety and also for being misled by a bunch of unscrupulous nationalist arrivistes. The Spanish state administration and, why not, the country’s legal system is now pressed by the government, to turn this sorry affair in Catalonia into a long term animosity, by criminalizing a political issue. Seemingly, they don’t mind the deep division of the Catalan society or bother to heal that.

The intervention of the largest Flemish political party of Belgium in the Spanish crisis is designed to keep the secessionist ‘ideal’ burning in Europe for as long as possible. On top of that, the Flemish nationalists appear ready to exploit the Catalan crisis to its fullest, in order to remind their francophone compatriots how intransigent they are, when it comes to the ‘special’ status of Flanders. Their extremist ideology once left their own country for 589 days without government.

Flemish jingoism

It appears the N-VA party is ready to exploit the possibility of blackmailing the Belgian government to contribute to the perpetuation of the Catalan crisis. The Charles Michel government depends on the N-VA votes to maintain its parliamentary majority. Michel was shaken by the Franken intervention because he had no intention whatsoever to start a duel with Spain, the fourth largest EU country.

The unbelievable Flemish jingoists obviously aim at making Puigdemont a ‘hero’ living in exile. And why not? – he is power hungry enough to like the status of being a persecuted ‘heroic’ Catalan leader. He may also portray himself as waiting for the opportunity to gloriously return  in his ‘beloved’ Catalonia, the day she accomplishes her ‘dream’ of statehood as an independent country. While in Belgium though, Puigdemont will be under the control of the Flemish nationalists, as being dependent on their denial to extradite him to Spain. This whole affair will invigorate the secessionist movements all over Europe.

Madrid could do better

Madrid will one day regret  the relentless persecution of Puigdemont and the members of his secessionist government. They now have a very small influence on the Catalan affairs, after their dangerous game totally failed. The acceptance of all the Catalan parties to participate in the 21 December election ordered by Madrid, means the secessionist play is over and Puigdemont has lost all his influence. Even he himself, stated last Tuesday he now wants  to participate in the 21 December election. It’s as if he’s begging Rajoy to spare him!

However, if Madrid’s continues persecuting Puigdemont, the independence option will be kept alive. Rajoy showed no aptitude to think politics in the long term. He brutally repressed the Catalans own petty-referendum of 1 October. Spain was lucky on that day there was no fatal violent incidents. Unfortunately, Rajoy keeps committing the same blunders.

Towards Catalan terrorism?

There is more to it though. What about those circles of Catalan nationalist activists who may be induced by Madrid’s violent oppression, to undertake terrorist activities and form one or more underground groups? For decades, the Basque nationalist organization ETA terrorized Spain. The Spanish governance system seemed incapable of finding a political way to stop that. Now, Rajoy’s political myopia, if not stupidity, risks creating another jingoist front in the north east of the country, after the decades long Basque insurrection in the northwest.

Madrid’s political elites show an inherent inability to think calmly and in a long term perspective. They take an easy refuge in belligerence. This betrays that the 36 long years of the generalissimo Francisco Franco’s dictatorship have left inextinguishable marks on the country’s political behavior and mentality. It hasn’t helped heal the separatist traumas at all . They still cause a lot of pain.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

Scientists are using machine learning to unlock the mysteries of long-dead languages

5 ways to swim, not sink, as part of a ‘liquid workforce’

Council Presidency: Floundering with the EU 2014 budget

Top UN officials strongly condemn ‘horrible terrorist act’ in Nairobi

How the future of computing can make or break the AI revolution

Adriatic Sea: MEPs adopt multiannual plan for fisheries

COP25: MEPs push for CO2 neutrality by 2050

UN health agency launches week of action to ban lead paint

Hostilities in Syria’s southwest, mean cuts in vital aid across Jordanian border: Senior UN official

Greece begins a new chapter following the conclusion of its stability support programme

FROM THE FIELD: Urban Mexico moves toward better livelihoods, cleaner cities

Antisemitism, intolerance, can be unlearned, Guterres tells New York commemoration

The importance of Yellow September and suicide prevention in Brazil

ECB’s first flight in Eurozone’s banking universe will be just a reconnaissance

Why protesters disrupted London Fashion Week

‘Undersea gardeners’ are restoring Jamaica’s lost coral reefs

The issue of mental health for modern young doctors

Berlin cannot dictate anymore the terms for the enactment of the European Banking Union

Promoting Primary Health Care to the Young Health Workforce: a new approach

How to harness data to tackle rare diseases

Parliament commemorates the victims of the Holocaust

At this ‘critical moment’, UN chief urges anti-corruption conference to adopt united front

5 unexpected ways bicycles have made the world a better place

EU Justice Scoreboard 2018: justice systems’ key role in upholding the rule of law and EU values

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Foreign direct investments the success secrete of Eurozone

Exchanges of medical students and the true understanding of global health issues

Yemen conflict: ‘Fragile’ hopes rise, as violence decreases and life-saving humanitarian funding surges

Ukraine: Is there a political force able to undo the division?

Africa’s shrinking lake shows the impact of climate change on women and indigenous people

The US will impose tariffs on Mexico, says President Trump

Will CETA be implemented after eight long years or it will be vetoed by the EU citizen?

With field schools in Kenya, UN agriculture agency teaches techniques to combat drought

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

WHO and UNICEF in campaign to protect 1.6 million in Sudan from cholera

EU trade agreements: delivering new opportunities in time of global economic uncertainties

MEPs back update of rail passenger rights across EU

How to outsmart bias when you’re recruiting

Is the EU denying its social character favouring a banking conglomerate?

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Chinese economy has great potential, resilience and ample space for policy adjustment”, China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao reassures from Davos

Sudan: Amidst deaths, injuries, imprisonments, UNICEF stresses children’s protection ‘at all times’

Here are three ways the private sector can act as a sustainability catalyst for Globalization 4.0

Pakistan-India crossing is a ‘Corridor of Hope’, UN chief says, wraps up visit with call for interfaith dialogue

Despite progress, companies face gender equality ‘backlash’: UN business body

More than 750 million people around the world would migrate if they could

Japan’s population is shrinking by a quarter of a million people every year

It’s time to end the stigma around mental health in the workplace

A new roadmap for corporate climate governance

European Labour Authority ready to start working in October as decision is taken on new seat

Any doubt?

This app lets you plant trees to fight deforestation

World response to AIDS epidemic at a ‘critical juncture’

One Health approach to combating Antimicrobial Resistance – how can professionals from different backgrounds unite in this common fight?

Don’t compare data to oil – digitization needs a new mindset

5 reasons to protect mangrove forests for the future

The “Legend of the Sun” wishes you Happy Chinese New Year 2015 from Brussels

Sudan: top UN official demands cessation of violence and rape against civilians by security forces

State aid: Commission approves around €36 million Romanian rescue aid to state-owned flag carrier TAROM

A new kind of company is revolutionising Africa’s gig economy

More Stings?

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