Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards took to the streets of Barcelona after the Spanish government announced they would dissolve the Catalonia Regional Government and hold new elections through an Article 155 declaration.
Article 155 allows Madrid to dissolve the Catalan regional government and force new elections, which Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says will take place within six months. The PM insisted the move would not result in a loss of autonomy for Catalonia, but hundreds of thousands of pro-independence Catalans have taken to the streets in Barcelona in protest.
Elections could be held in just six months as the government seeks to oust all those involved in the “illegal” referendum – including Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont who could even face jail for his role in the crisis.
But now Catalonia has hit back over his stinging rant, as calls for immediate independence erupt among fierce secessionists. Supporters of independence had already called a demonstration in Barcelona this afternoon to protest the arrests of two Catalan activists accused of sedition.
However, the event has now changed its focus and is directing its anger at Madrid for triggering of Article 155.
Thousands of people have taken to the streets with cries of “independence” or “TV3 will always be ours” after the government took control of the Catalan broadcasting company – akin to Britain’s BBC. (read more)
Broad Generalization Alert – The issue(s) are all internal to the specifics of Spain and the current conflict traces it’s past back to the time of General Francisco Franco and promises made thereafter. The Catalonia secessionists are, generally speaking, left-leaning socialists and occupy an ideological space similar to the governing philosophy of the far-left-wing in California.
Simply for comparative purposes: If far-left Californians were to advance their current anti-Trump cause celéb and succeed from the U.S., the blends of secessionists and non-secessionists would break down similar to Catalonians -vs- Spaniards.
The larger Spanish electorate, the generally silent majority, is, well, silent; however, it’s generally accepted that most Spaniards want Catalonia to stay and not break-away into a fully antonymous region. (although some parts of Spain are reported to have previously held rallies in support of the region’s right to hold a referendum).
Democracy is challenged in this construct because the democrat majority of “all Spaniards” probably would not support secession; however, the democrat majority of just “Catalonians” likely support secession. Which democractic group does the Spanish Prime Minister adhere to?
Therein lies the dilemma.
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, a 62-year-old from northern Galicia who studied law and has been in politics since his 20s, has vowed he will do everything in his power to stop Catalonia from seceding, but was previously vague on the details. Rajoy’s center-right Partido Popular has governed since 2011, when it won a landslide victory in the middle of the European debt crisis.
The current status reflects the more Prime Minister Rajoy pushes back against the secessionists, the more sympathy is generated toward their cause.