What’s Going On in Cataluña?

Since I am not a native Spanish-speaker, I probably misunderstood something.  I’ve read several different stories, and it seems like they can’t all be true.

A summary of them:

  • Cataluña had a referendum and half the people didn’t vote.  A slight majority of those who voted want to secede from Spain.
  • No, they are going to vote on it October first.
  • The Spanish government said, No way, that violates our constitution; that vote was illegal; and you must pay no attention to it.
  • No, the government has directed the police to prevent the illegal vote planned for October first.
  • The Catalan Parliament voted 53-47 to secede.  The opposition then walked out in anger.
  • No, the opposition walked out because they were angry at the suggestion. So those in favor voted it in without them.
  • Three-quarters of the mayors in Cataluña have said they will cooperate with … the secession? or with having a vote?

So, what happened, I’m not quite sure, but I do know there’s trouble brewing.  I’m far from being an expert on Spain, but I have some opinions.  Or maybe a better word is “speculation.”

First, even if there were no opposition, it doesn’t seem possible for them to figure out customs and immigration, public utilities, commmunications, diplomatic relations with two hundred other countries (many of them friendly to Spain), taxes, government organization, and who knows what else, in order to become a smoothly running independent country in one year.  Yep, the goal was 2018.

With one-quarter of Catalans for and one-quarter against, there could be violence.  But Spain can’t afford to use force because that will make the half that didn’t vote choose sides.

If secession is successful, then the Basques and Gallegos will want to do it, too.  (They’ve already been talking about it for years.)  Navarra will have the toughest time, because it is a mixture of Basque and Spanish.

It will definitely not be boring.

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  1. WGroleau says:

    OK, someone from Cataluña explained the referendum confusion. It seems the first vote was not done in a legal way and that’s why they want to re-do it. Spain was going to go along and then changed their minds and are now saying that it is illegal to even vote on whether to do something that is illegal. They have ordered criminal investigations into the mayors that said they would allow the vote, and have threatened to cut electrical power their to disable voting machines.