EU Summit Discusses Catalonia
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Though not officially on the agenda in Brussels, crisis in Catalonia was one of the main topics discussed.
European Council President Donald Tusk ruled out “mediation or international initiative or action.”
His remarks came shortly after Madrid said it was beginning the process to impose direct rule over Catalonia, stripping the region of autonomy.
Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and other EU leaders strongly support Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy, fearful of separatist movements in their own countries, inspired by Catalonia’s movement.
Vladimir Putin said crisis in the region exposes Western hypocrisy, backing the dismemberment of Yugoslavia including Kosovo independence, opposing others like Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan.
Rajoy convened a special cabinet meeting on Saturday, beginning the process of invoking the constitution’s Article 155, suspending Catalan autonomy, imposing Madrid rule, a first time ever action in the country, effective with Senate approval – virtually certain with Rajoy’s Popular Party having majority control.
On Friday, King Felipe VI approved the move, saying Catalonia “is and will be an essential part” of Spain. Madrid “will deal with this unacceptable attempt at secession by using the Constitution.”
Spain heads toward unchartered waters. If Article 155 is invoked, Catalan President Puigdemont vowed to formally declare independence from Spain, perhaps igniting a firestorm.
Hundreds of thousands of Catalans may take to the streets supporting self-determination, the region’s fundamental right under international law.
According to Puigdemont’s “road map” to independence, his next step would be electing a constituent assembly to draft a constitution for the new republic.
Rajoy intends a snap January election to replace Catalan governance with puppet rule. Battle lines are clearly drawn. What’s ahead remains uncertain.
Separately, local authorities of Catalonia’s Girona, Sant Julia de Ramis and Aiguaviva intend jointly suing Spanish officials and police commanders responsible for referendum day violence.
The suit is backed by scores of complaints, citing injuries, sexual assaults, hate speech and torture.
Legal spokesman Albert Carreras said police and civil guards brutally targeted Puigdemont’s Sant Julia de Ramis district ahead of others to try preventing him from voting – clearly showing state-sponsored violence was premeditated and politically motivated.
The suit is expected to be filed on Monday. Along with seeking “penal consequences” against responsible parties, it’s also about about highlighting Madrid ruthlessness.
“The public was profoundly shaken because people were hit, horrified and humiliated in order to stop them voting,” said Carreras, adding:
“That is why we demand recognition of their wounded dignity due to the events of October 1.”
More legal action is likely, seeking redress for damage to public buildings, computers and materials confiscated, along with obstructing the democratic process.
Girona Mayor Marta Madrenas and her counterparts vowed to take their case to international courts if redress isn’t gotten from Spanish ones – so October 1 “is not forgotten” and justice is served, she said.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”