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Catalonia Independence; referendum and suppression
Topic Started: Thu Oct 5, 2017 12:12 am (668 Views)
Rance
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Catalonia held a referendum in which they voted to secede from Spain. Spain is calling the referendum unconstitutional and illegal. They sent police to suppress the vote and later to beat up protestors who contended that Catalonia had the right to secede.

I'm genuinely curious whether or not Catalonia should be able to secede or not. What puzzles me is that Scotland held a referendum to secede from the UK before the UK left the EU in Brexit. Shouldn't Catalonia be afforded the same right to hold their referendum and claim independence?
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JMSA
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Well, this is a complex matter and for me at least, not very interesting as I'm a neighbor of Spain and this kind of news aren't "fresh" to me. I'll fill you in quickly on one or two aspects as I'm about to fall asleep. :lol:

First of all I would like to point out that I'm in favor of all movements that want to declare independence. Except for extreme cases like the ISIS or something, I'm not a lunatic, I sympathize with Scotland and even Catalonia. If some region doesn't feel good with the situation they are in, the people should be able to choose what they want for their future. If independence ends up being their choice, so be it.

Second of all, the behavior of the Spanish government has been absolutely disgraceful. Independence referendums are unconstitutional and therefore illegal in Spain, but what Rajoy should have done is allow the referendum to happen, it wouldn't create a precedent as this also happened a few years ago (curiously the 'no' won) and he would declare the results null as it was an illegal referendum. Instead he ordered politicians to be arrested and what happen in October 1st, the day of the referendum, is an absolute shame. There is no other word to describe the complete unnecessary violence between the police, pro-Catalonia, pro-Spain supporters, and even common civilians as well.

Third of all, I already said I support Catalonia's independence, but if Catalonia wants to do it, I would say that they need a peaceful referendum, not that hell hole in October 1st. The Conservative Party made it happen in Scotland, so it's not like it's impossible, Rajoy just doesn't want to. Catalonia should also work on diplomacy with both Spain and the EU, as exiting the EU would be disgraceful for them. And... they must take responsibility, and that's where I draw the line with my support. Some pro-independists claimed that Catalonia is the richest part of Spain and they do not want to pay Spain's "bills". I mean, imagine if I don't know... the Nordeastern region of the US used the same argument to declare independence.

In conclusion, Rajoy created an unnecessary martyr and now he is paying the price for it. I'm not sure what's going to happen but Spain will be weakened after this and the thing is, it was not like it was a strong foundation to begin with. Catalonia is been pulling the independence card for a few years now. Catalans will decide what's best for their future, we will see.
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Rance
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Thanks for the perspective. It is interesting to hear a Portuguese perspective. I get the feeling that if Catalonia did separate, Spain would just completely disintegrate. I could see the Basques or even southern Spain splitting off, and the whole Iberian peninsula reverting to a map like in the days of Castille, Navarre, Aragon and Andalusia. To be honest, I do not know what the economic ramifications of complete devolution would be, but I think the Catalonians and Basques would get the most benefit.

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Johnny Redemption
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Rance
Thu Oct 5, 2017 2:06 am
Thanks for the perspective. It is interesting to hear a Portuguese perspective. I get the feeling that if Catalonia did separate, Spain would just completely disintegrate. I could see the Basques or even southern Spain splitting off, and the whole Iberian peninsula reverting to a map like in the days of Castille, Navarre, Aragon and Andalusia.

Marvelous. That's what actually should happen with all countries which are going through the same issues. From what I've heard, Servia, for example, could become like eight countries already.

No, I'm not being sarcastic. If all 50 U.S states would separate, I couldn't be happier.
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Uesugi Kenshin
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.... I'm actually agreeing with Johnny? What the hell is the world coming to?

Anyway, as long as they aren't, as said, acting like ISIS or something, I can see no reason Catalonia cannot separate from Spain. If the people in an area so overwhelmingly (90%!!!!!) don't like how they're being governed they should certainly be allowed to become their own nation.
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Dongzhou
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Spain had three options: 1) Follow UK and call a referendum. These are gambles (union held in Scotland, Brexit) but if you win, it should push back independence for years and maybe you can come up with a happier devolution system. The independence campaigners won't accept it but as SNP discovered, people get rather annoyed if you try to repeat the referendum

2) Let the illegal referendum run it's course. It would have had no international credibility and limited in Spain. As I understand it, not a particularly high turnout and unionists parties boycotted it so bar a bit of propaganda, it won't mean much. Nothing is solved though and changes have to happen but no threat

3) Attack the voters. This will bring international condemnation, damage the monarchy, outrage other regions, turned neutrals or pro-unionists into pro independence and add fuel to fire. Only someone overreacting in panic or a secret pro-independence figure would do such a thing

Utter utter stupidity from Madrid
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Donald J. Trump
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90% of the 42% illegal referendum's census. Catalonia IS Spain and will stay the same. It's easy to talk about civil war or repression when you are Assange and know jack **** about Spain, but I tell you, separatist leader ****ed up and only justice awaits. Follow the Republic's example and #lockthemup
Posted Image

You can't expext to do whatever the **** you want with laws to get a manipulated pictures so that virtue signalling celebs whose political insight doesnt go further than saying Trump is Voldemort give you sympathy points and be without injuries.

We have been years with this ****. Our president is a total cuck who is never there and has handled this matter horribly, but I have NO sympathy for those who want to initiate a coup to cripple our nation. I hope Spain doesn't give in an inch and show that terrorists who attack our stability cna only expect the cold blade of Justice.
Arriba España!
Edited by Donald J. Trump, Thu Oct 5, 2017 10:03 am.
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Aryamehr
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My opinion matters little, but I'd imagine if it was about my own country. Separation in general is a betrayal to the country itself and has little to do with the current regime, government and the situation.

People living in the Catalonia region should see another way and ask their government, the Spanish government, for their needs. Although it is very arguable if they are legit. However, any separatist action has to be known as crime and result in punishment. Hopefully it will happen to the leaders.

You believe your government is ignoring your needs? Make them notice you. Pressure on them so that they do. Pretty sure you can. You have freedom of speech. If you really think your needs are legit and acceptable, do that. If they are not, sorry. Either deal with it or be punished for causing chaos for no reason.
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Donald J. Trump
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Exactly. If you gonna vote, get to an agreement with the government instead of putting plastic boxes illwgally and say "referenfum because why not, **** your laws. "
Edited by Donald J. Trump, Thu Oct 5, 2017 12:41 pm.
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TheBritishTeapot
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Rajoy screwed up big time, Catalonia was fine with remaining in Spain in return for more autonomy and self-government but he wasn't having any of it. Now the result is full on independence and many people were brutally suppressed and injured with the Spanish police launching a crackdown. It is shocking at how the EU didn't even bother to respond to this (afaik) and allowed that to happen. Catalonia in general, a bit like Scotland, I guess, never really felt that cultural connection to the rest of Spain, like how they ban the bloodsport that is bullfighting but the Spanish Constitutional Court overturns it. Balearic Islands tried to do the same and was overturned by Madrid.

Catalonia should be allowed to decide its future, just like everyone else, but from my understanding, they want to be independence, only to give it away to the EU? Makes no real sense. Not saying being a EU member is a bad thing (I think leaving the EU in general is a bad idea at this present time), of course. The Scottish referendum was done poorly, badly planned and offered little, Catalonia seems to be following that route, but at least Indy Ref was done via peaceful means.

Wonder what this means for the rest of Spain, looking at them now, I didn't realise how messy the makeup of Spain is, all them autonomous provinces, cities and such will likely follow Catalonia, if Madrid continues to assert its dominance in a ugly way.
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JMSA
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Rance
Thu Oct 5, 2017 2:06 am
Thanks for the perspective. It is interesting to hear a Portuguese perspective. I get the feeling that if Catalonia did separate, Spain would just completely disintegrate. I could see the Basques or even southern Spain splitting off, and the whole Iberian peninsula reverting to a map like in the days of Castille, Navarre, Aragon and Andalusia. To be honest, I do not know what the economic ramifications of complete devolution would be, but I think the Catalonians and Basques would get the most benefit.


Yeah, Spain right now is not really a strong foundation, the monarchy's credibility especially, has been damaged with countless scandals evolving the previous king Juan Carlos and their family. It only gives more steam to pro-Republicans.

And as I said, I have sympathy with any movement that wants to be independent but at the same time they must be prepared for the ramifications of it. In 1999 in Portugal, there was a huge manifestation for Indonesia to release East Timor. East Timor is independent now but I can't really say it's a success case... Catalonia should be prepared for this situation as exiting the EU for example, would be very damaging for their economy, which leads to another problem. If I'm not mistaken one of the pre-requirements to enter the EU is that your country will "stay as it is", therefore there shouldn't be independist movements. Except for few countries (like mine for example), European countries have been forever changing, it's only natural that countries like Belgium have independist movements as well. This is another issue that needs to be addressed by EU representatives.

Uesugi Kenshin
Thu Oct 5, 2017 3:02 am
Anyway, as long as they aren't, as said, acting like ISIS or something, I can see no reason Catalonia cannot separate from Spain. If the people in an area so overwhelmingly (90%!!!!!) don't like how they're being governed they should certainly be allowed to become their own nation.


Yes and no. There are a considerable number of Catalans that want independence and therefore there should be a calm referendum. However, I wouldn't use the referendum from October 1st to jump to any conclusions. Due to the interference from the police, a lot of people couldn't vote, some polling stations were closed, votes were confiscated... I mean, it was an absolute mess, it's unbelievable what happened.

Go to YouTube and news sites and see it for yourself. This is an example, look specifically at the end where they are confiscating votes:



Dongzhou
Thu Oct 5, 2017 8:42 am
Spain had three options: 1) Follow UK and call a referendum. These are gambles (union held in Scotland, Brexit) but if you win, it should push back independence for years and maybe you can come up with a happier devolution system. The independence campaigners won't accept it but as SNP discovered, people get rather annoyed if you try to repeat the referendum

2) Let the illegal referendum run it's course. It would have had no international credibility and limited in Spain. As I understand it, not a particularly high turnout and unionists parties boycotted it so bar a bit of propaganda, it won't mean much. Nothing is solved though and changes have to happen but no threat

3) Attack the voters. This will bring international condemnation, damage the monarchy, outrage other regions, turned neutrals or pro-unionists into pro independence and add fuel to fire. Only someone overreacting in panic or a secret pro-independence figure would do such a thing

Utter utter stupidity from Madrid


100% agree. From Rajoy perspective, I already that stated that 2) would have been to his utmost interest as it is a pretty much win-win situation for him. Instead he went to the 3) and created a martyr, absolute stupidity.

Aryamehr
Thu Oct 5, 2017 12:18 pm
My opinion matters little, but I'd imagine if it was about my own country. Separation in general is a betrayal to the country itself and has little to do with the current regime, government and the situation.

People living in the Catalonia region should see another way and ask their government, the Spanish government, for their needs. Although it is very arguable if they are legit. However, any separatist action has to be known as crime and result in punishment. Hopefully it will happen to the leaders.

You believe your government is ignoring your needs? Make them notice you. Pressure on them so that they do. Pretty sure you can. You have freedom of speech. If you really think your needs are legit and acceptable, do that. If they are not, sorry. Either deal with it or be punished for causing chaos for no reason.


Separation is not betrayal, what the hell is that? :lol: Countries exist in the first place because people want to be part of it, if not, what's the point of having one?

You don't understand that this has been going on for a really long time, Catalans want a democratic thing called a referendum which is unconstitutional and the Spanish government is using it as leverage. If people want to vote what are going to do? If the "yes" wins and Catalonia wants to be independent what are you expecting the Spanish government to do? Use force to repress their will?

TheBritishTeapot
Thu Oct 5, 2017 12:39 pm
Rajoy screwed up big time, Catalonia was fine with remaining in Spain in return for more autonomy and self-government but he wasn't having any of it. Now the result is full on independence and many people were brutally suppressed and injured with the Spanish police launching a crackdown. It is shocking at how the EU didn't even bother to respond to this (afaik) and allowed that to happen. Catalonia in general, a bit like Scotland, I guess, never really felt that cultural connection to the rest of Spain, like how they ban the bloodsport that is bullfighting but the Spanish Constitutional Court overturns it. Balearic Islands tried to do the same and was overturned by Madrid.

Catalonia should be allowed to decide its future, just like everyone else, but from my understanding, they want to be independence, only to give it away to the EU? Makes no real sense. Not saying being a EU member is a bad thing (I think leaving the EU in general is a bad idea at this present time), of course. The Scottish referendum was done poorly, badly planned and offered little, Catalonia seems to be following that route, but at least Indy Ref was done via peaceful means.

Wonder what this means for the rest of Spain, looking at them now, I didn't realise how messy the makeup of Spain is, all them autonomous provinces, cities and such will likely follow Catalonia, if Madrid continues to assert its dominance in a ugly way.



100% agree. And the EU should be viewed with care by the Catalan government perspective. It is true that they are the richest part of Spain, but that won't do them no good if they are out of the EU or without a single agreement or negotiation.
Edited by JMSA, Thu Oct 5, 2017 2:53 pm.
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Donald J. Trump
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The difference between Catalonia and Spain are the same as those between the South and the North. In other words, every region in every country ever has its own flavor. Catalan culture is Spanish Culture. It has to be after almost 1000 years.

And the problem is that they were not "fine" with autonomy. Give in and they'll keep leeching and sucking your blood til they get their independence. I think the Spanish government has to double down and suppress Catalonia's autonomy for a while.
As I said, Rome pays no traitors. Rajoy's appeasement had this result, now it's time to act. Suppression of autonomy and jail.

Also, those who talk about 90% yes forget that the referendum was so shitty there are pictures of a guy who voted 4 times.
Edited by Donald J. Trump, Thu Oct 5, 2017 3:00 pm.
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Aryamehr
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JMSA
Thu Oct 5, 2017 2:51 pm
Separation is not betrayal, what the hell is that? :lol: Countries exist in the first place because people want to be part of it, if not, what's the point of having one?

You don't understand that this has been going on for a really long time, Catalans want a democratic thing called a referendum which is unconstitutional and the Spanish government is using it as leverage. If people want to vote what are going to do? If the "yes" wins and Catalonia wants to be independent what are you expecting the Spanish government to do? Use force to repress their will?
You are willing to cut the country because you don't want to be a part of it. Doesn't sound far from betrayal to me. It's not like everyone wants Catalonia to be on its own anyway, is it? The referendum is flawed, too.

The country's area and borders belong to itself and its people and the government has to defend it. So yeah, it's normal if they do.
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Rance
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In perfect fairness, when the South tried to secede from this country, they were brutally crushed.
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Donald J. Trump
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That's Barcelona today as of 14:00.

Great job, separatists. Tried to illegally get some votes inside a plastic box with no control, call it legitimate (when there are some people that voted 4 times :lol: ) and get a couple of pictures to get sympathy when the only thing you got was 1 day of attention.

Well, let me correct that, it's not the only thing you got. You got the rest of Spain (and most of Catalonia) fed up and forced them to unite and show great deals of patriotism. Oh, you will also get some time in jail if justice gets going.
Puigdemont's little crusade has failed. Now he has 2 options, he either declares independence and inevitably spends the rest of his life in prison, or doesn't declare independence and the commies in his congress eat him up and his revolution loses steam.
Not even Artur Mas, former separatist president (who also caried out an illegal referendum, btw), supports them 100%. When he saw all the companies that are changing their HQ to Madrid he warns his fellas that "Catalonia is not ready for real independence".

So, yeah, now it's a matter of time before this is solved. I hope our president stays strong and doesn't give in an inch (which I honestly don't trust him to do, but who knows). Someone once said that Spain was the strongest country in the world, because after all the times she tried to destroy herself, it's still alive. And a bunch of Antifa supporters and corrupt politicians whose only worry is money will definetely not break this country.
Edited by Donald J. Trump, Sun Oct 8, 2017 1:03 pm.
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Aryamehr
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RIP "90%". :XD

I hope Spain stays the same for centuries to come. And same for the separatists. Losing every time.
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Donald J. Trump
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I almost feel bad for them. But just almost :P
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Rance
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A crowd of people in Barcelona is not indicative of majority support for the "remain" side. If 90% of only 40% of the population voted to leave, that means only ~36% of the Catalonian population overtly voted to leave. However, that does not mean the majority wanted to stay. It just means the majority did not vote. If another referendum were conducted and more people voted, it could go either way with 60% of the population undecided. However, the leave side would have an advantage since 36% would have already chosen their side.

Hypothetically speaking, if the actual numbers were something like 55% leave, 45% stay, 45% would still be a large number of people. The 45% would be more than enough to form a large crowd in Barcelona or anywhere else.

It is possible that the number of people who want to stay are a majority, but there is no evidence right now to prove that imo. There have not been specific polls conducted to show that Catalonians are particularly sympathetic toward remaining.

The tl;dr that I am trying to argue here is that the crowd of people with Spanish flags in the city of Barcelona is an example of "anecdotal evidence."
Edited by Rance, Sun Oct 8, 2017 7:26 pm.
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Chrono_ZX
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What about Basque, Galicia and Breton?
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Donald J. Trump
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I don't need to show any evidence, the law says what it says and is on my side, that is what matters here. However large the group is, they ignored the law and got hit by it. Git gud. Next time follow the procedure and the constitution. Otherwise it's a coup d'etat to break a country. The photo was to illustrate the spanish sentiment and how ironic it was given the separatist's issue, more than anything, though.

Regardless, it's common sense not to allow such thing to happen. First off, Spain gets hit hard. Second of all, Catalonia gets hit HARD. Companies traditionally based in Barcelona are moving to other cities, like Madrid, because they are afraid these guys may declare independence, and that's inconvenient to them. People are afraid and are withdrawing their savings from Catalonian banks. The only international support they have is from some dude in a bathroom and a bus driver who apparently his starving people is not as important as "fighting imperialism".
To allow them to leave based on some romantic ideas that not even half the population of Catalonia support and compromise the livelihood of millions of Spaniards is, plain and simple, retarded. It does not benefit anyone except for people who hate capitalism or something, and simply want to see "the system" burn.
Hopefully tension will not escalate and justice gets moving for one time in the country.

Edit: I forgot to add, it's easy to say 90% of the people voted yes in a referendum in which a 400 inhabitants village gets 1000 votes, and in which there are pictures of people voting 4 times in different places.
Edited by Donald J. Trump, Mon Oct 9, 2017 12:05 am.
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Rance
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You have no evidence to support that the majority of the population want to remain. There is not any data on that to the best of my knowledge. Whether it is legal or practical or not is a separate issue. Maybe Spain should just lower taxes in Catalonia but block separation. That is probably their best recourse.

By the way, the voting irregularities go both ways. Spanisj police were trying to suppress the vote. They probably blocked many others who would have also voted to leave.

I am not delusional enough to think that 90% want to leave when turnout was only 43%. What is surprising is how large that number is regardless. Spain really will need to make some adjustments to how they govern Catalonia
They are doing a shitty job if that many people are butthurt about Spanish rule.
Edited by Rance, Mon Oct 9, 2017 12:46 am.
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MeowMeow
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The thing was they were butthurt since Franco won the Spanish Civil War and banned the Catalan language and colors.

On the one hand, I can sort of sympathize with the locals who want independence, but on the other hand the world is so screwed up right now this just comes off as selfish to me. Better to ride this storm together than to leave. And if they leave, what happens to defence? Are they automatically in the EU? Or is it Cataexit? What happens to Barcelona FC? What happens if Spain blockades them and retakes it by force? NOTHING Is off the table in our turbulent world.
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Rance
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I think if they leave, it would basically start [another] Spanish civil war as I doubt Spain would accept it. So seeing as them staying is the best option for everybody, Spain should lower their taxes, grant an amnesty and/or give them a tax holiday. On the flipside, threaten punishment for those that still push secession. Carrot and stick.
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Shogun
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All this we're rich so lets leave the poor to rot is getting on my nerves. What if London left? What if Rotterdam left the Netherlands? It's a question of how the Castillians would cope, because you can bet Basque and Valencia would be next to leave. Things will possibly snowball to Gibraltar until "Spain" is just Castille-Leon.

Madrid will not let that happen especially in the current climate. The Catalans wouldn't just gain something from this, they would also be taking away from Spain without asking the rest of Spain. They are the literal and financial breadbasket that is a part of Spain. This is not something they achieved by themselves because Spanish politicians negotiated the EU entry Catalonia profited from.

The fact of the matter is that while Catalonia doesn't owe the rest of Spain by remaining, Spain doesn't owe Catalonia independence and it will not allow it.
Rance
 
You have no evidence to support that the majority of the population want to remain. There is not any data on that to the best of my knowledge. Whether it is legal or practical or not is a separate issue. Maybe Spain should just lower taxes in Catalonia but block separation. That is probably their best recourse.

http://www.politico.eu/article/catalonia-independence-spain-support-for-drops-poll/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_independence#Public_opinion
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Rance
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Quote:
 


This article is from late-July and mentions a pretty dramatic shift in public opinion after only four months. It's been around that same timeframe since July (July to October). It's easily possible that public opinion could have shifted since then. In the U.S. Presidential elections, the polls could shift dramatically after only a single week. Three to four months is a lifetime in polling terms.

The Wikipedia article is no more credible when examining current public opinion on the subject. The most recent source it cited regarding Catalonian public opinion was dated the same date on July 21, 2017.

If anything, the Wikipedia article actually shows how fickle public opinion has been on leaving vs. remaining. On several occasions either a majority of Catalonians ticked leave, a plurality ticked leave or the numbers were so close that the people were divided nearly in half. Over the span of just several months in 2016, it went from 47.7% leave-42.4% stay to 45.3% leave-46.8% stay, a pretty dramatic shift. There is no reason to think that from July to October the numbers have remained exactly the same considering how the needle has moved in the past.

What the polls do show is that the numbers are nowhere near 90% leave, though. If a vote was held with high turnout, the vote would probably end up very close.

Even if the majority of Catalonians do want to stay, these numbers look really bad for Spain. They show that there is a strong devolutionary movement in Catalonia which the Spanish government needs to take steps to quell. Without giving any kind of concession, that movement is only going to grow more radical and fervent. I disagree with this whole philosophy of not giving an inch. That's a good way to fan the flames of separatism. I think they should be tough against the idea of Catalonia breaking off, but lighten their tax burden or give them some other benefit to encourage them to stay within the country.
Edited by Rance, Mon Oct 9, 2017 9:15 am.
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