Battle Lines Drawn in Catalonia
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Things heated up Thursday morning. Madrid’s fascist Mariano Rajoy regime’s cabinet will meet Saturday.
With parliamentary approval, it intends imposing direct rule over Catalonia, invoking Article 155 of Spain’s constitution, withdrawing the region’s autonomy – after its President Puigdemont failed to meet a Rajoy imposed 10:00 AM Thursday deadline to announce yea or nay on independence.
In a Thursday letter to Rajoy, Puigdemont against stressed dialogue as the only way to resolve things, saying:
“The suspension (of Catalan independence) is still in place. The state is entitled to decide to apply article 155 if it secures the senate’s approval.”
“But despite all our efforts and our desire for dialogue, the fact that the only reply we have been given is that autonomy will be suspended suggests that you do not understand the problem and do not wish to talk.”
“If (Madrid) persists in hindering dialogue and continues with its repression, the Catalan parliament could, if it deems appropriate, proceed to vote on the formal declaration of independence.”
A Rajoy regime statement said Puigdemont failed to declare or abandon independence by the imposed deadline, adding:
“At an emergency meeting on Saturday, the cabinet will approve measures to be put before the senate to protect the general interest of Spaniards, including the citizens of Catalonia, and to restore constitutional order in the autonomous community.”
The statement outrageously accused Catalan authorities of “deliberately and systematically seeking institutional confrontation…”
Battle lines were drawn by Madrid, not Barcelona. On Wednesday, Rajoy said he’d hold off imposing Article 155 if Catalan’s government calls a snap election without confirming independence.
Catalan Foreign Minister Raul Romeva responded, saying “(e)lections from our perspective are not an option.”
London-born financier Xavier Adam, raised in Catalonia, said he’s abandoning a $450 million investment in Spanish real estate projects because of what he called Madrid’s “medieval” response to the crisis – believing it won’t be safe until it’s resolved.
He said Madrid abandoned democratic governance with its repressive actions, believing it could undermine fragile economic conditions in the country, adding:
“It never had to be this way, going to beat up people in the streets just trying to vote. It’s been pandemonium.”
“Madrid is being worse hit than Catalonia. It is really struggling. Madrid and Spain are facing a crisis.”
“Every day they’re threatening more violence and it’s just grubby.”
“It’s so hard to work with these people in government. They have their ideas and they are fixed on them.”
“And Catalonia’s independence doesn’t feature in that, so they’re trying to teach them a lesson.”
“Spain is going down and this government has to go. It is too volatile. You don’t know when it is going to blow.”
Adam calls himself an expert on Spain’s economy. He wrote Madrid’s ambassador to Britain, saying he’s “appalled…by the way your country has behaved in Catalonia.”
“It appears to me, a failure to listen to the will of the Catalan people, state sponsored violence against civilians and a manipulation of the Spanish public and media are ways Spain wants to move through the 21st Century.”
“It does not take an expert on global conflict to realize Catalonia does not want to be part of this archaic system.”
“Do the right thing and let Catalonia go.”
Tough words, not likely to be heeded in Madrid. It’s Rajoy’s call on whether he intends continuing confrontation or agrees to dialogue, the latter highly unlikely.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”