The constitutional crisis in Spain may be coming to a head quickly according to a leaked document on a “Secret Law for Catalonia Independence” as reported by El Pais.
Spain’s Attorney General José Manuel Maza is set to examine the legality of a plan outlined by the regional government of Catalonia to activate immediate secession from Spain if the central government in Madrid stops it from holding a vote on independence – something it is planning on doing in September or October of this year.
The independence mechanism is detailed in a secret draft version of legislation being prepared by the Generalitat, the Catalan regional government, and to which EL PAÍS has had access.
The document aims to work as a provisional Catalan Constitution that, according to the text, would be in place during the two-month period that the parliament would have to begin a process that would culminate in the “parliamentary republic” of Catalonia.
“If the Spanish state effectively impedes the holding of a referendum, this law will enter into effect in a complete and immediate manner when the [regional] parliament has verified such an impediment,” the draft legislation reads.
The document has a section that covers the referendum itself and features the question that would be asked of voters: “Do you want Catalonia to be a state that is independent from Spain?” The intention in the text is that this part of the legislation would come into effect first in order to be able to hold the referendum, and indicates that a majority of votes in favor, no matter how slim, and with no minimum participation level, would ratify the decision and mean that it was binding.
The text makes a number of references to itself as being a “founding law,” and goes into exhaustive details – albeit with many legal loopholes and unknowns – about the breakaway: i.e. who would be a Catalan citizen, how it would be possible to obtain nationality, which Spanish laws would remain in force and which would not, what would happen to government workers currently employed by the state, among other details.
The authors of the text ignore legal and material elements that have enormous importance and complexity, such as the whether this new republic would continue to form part of Europe, or whether social benefits or pensions would be guaranteed, or whether all taxation – and fines for non-payment – would be the responsibility of the regional government.
Under the reasoning of the authors of the text, none of these issues would infringe the law because, as the second article reads, “national sovereignty resides with the people of Catalonia, from whom all powers of the State emanate.”
The Catalonia independence threat is smack on top of a Spanish government crisis in which Mariano Rajoy has threatened to dissolve parliament and call snap elections if his budget does not pass.
The surprise results of Socialist Party (PSOE) leadership election on Sunday, in which Pedro Sánchez returned to power, makes it very likely Rajoy will not get his budget passed. For details, please see Voters Smack Spain’s Political Leadership: Snap Spanish Presidential Elections Coming Up?
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
and will catalonia assume resposibilty for national debt and deficit (on top of its own debt and deficit)?
Basque and Catalonia are wealth producing societies. Spaniards are wealth destroying leaches. The deficit belongs to Madrid.
I would suggest the Icelandic approach: Are the people responsible for the debt bankers take on?
Why should they?
If they go to civil war over it do you think the USA would resist the urge to intervene?
Anybody who answers “yes” hasn’t been paying attention.
We stick our big nose into everybody else’s business.
One day we’ll get it bitten off.
Medex Man said:
Yes, Trump has already demonstrated that he isn’t a control freak like most of Washington DC. Despite constant (and rather ignorant) criticism from media outlets, he opted to have Iran and Saudi Arabia police each other.
Obama the tyrant would send in troops (other people’s kids) to force his socialist nightmare on the world. Hilary would side with whomever makes the biggest bribe… I mean contribution… to the Clinton Fraud Foundation.
But I think middle America has had it with refereeing the entire planet, which is why we elected a businessman to the White House instead of more of the same
There’s a change in attitude.
Both the UK and USA have policed the world some time over the past 200 years and both give the impression of tiredness towards it. The average citizen hardly benefits, if benefits at all, as resources are wasted.
Meanwhile, Mogherini of the EU stated openly (last week) the EU wants to become a global super power in diplomacy, military and business over the next decade. They already are in business.
Such talk is great until you get smacked in the teeth in a war trying to Shepherd armies of 27 countries – like herding cats.
The EU is stuck with 19th and 20th century thinking. Others are moving on to what’s next. The world will not be like it was. Time for the likes of the UK to prioritise it’s own problems, probably the same for the US.
Policing the world is costly and gives an illusion of control and power whilst money is burnt, debts rise and home priorities are ignored.
Defence is it, policing and power projection is not.
Medex Man said:
–> ” Mogherini of the EU stated openly (last week) the EU wants to become a global super power in diplomacy, military and business over the next decade.”
The EU has delusions of adequacy.
The only EU military that is able to project power abroad now is the UK. Most of Europe can’t even defend itself (whining about NATO… really US troops… is not defense). Who cares if Europe’s 27 useless underfunded armies gather together under one annoying committee? They still won’t be funded, every member state will whine that the other guy should pay — and eventually they will all whine that Germany should pay, and then they will complain about German control. Lather, rinse, repeat. So 27 underfunded armies will now be accountable to 28 bureaucracies (the 27 existing, plus a new super bureaucracy in Brussels).
As for a business power? Tell me when European companies escape the red tape of their home governments, never mind having yet another regulator in Brussels. Germany and Netherlands have big exports, and the EU is working hard to destroy that.
The EU can’t even pay its day to day bills. Maybe China replaces the USA. Maybe Trump gets the USA back on track again. But it will take a miracle just to get the EU to pay their bills at home.
The only their to Europe is America, which already occasions
Maximus Minimus said:
“Meanwhile, Mogherini of the EU stated openly (last week) the EU wants to become a global super power in diplomacy, military and business over the next decade.”
This must be a joke. Are they still that delusional? Diplomacy is an extension of military, and economic power (money to give away), and where does EU rank there compared to others? This is exceptionalism of a different kind.
Quite honestly, I don’t care what the Spaniards do to one another.
I just don’t want my country drawn into another global dispute and assigned the role of the rescuer. I am so tired of that %$%.
Let ’em fight it out and find their own damn solutions.
If my next door neighbors are fighting I don’t run over there and try to solve their problems. It would be incredibly stupid to do so.
Why should we do it as a nation?
Medex Man said:
Until Woodrow Wilson, the US minded its own business.
Wilson wanted to intervene in everything everywhere, with some warped belief that the US was special and only “we” (meaning his cabal) knew what was best for everyone else — whether they liked it or not.
The League of Nations (spectacular failure), the Federal Reserve (which paid for Wilson’s misadventures), the “temporary” federal income tax levied only on “the rich”. And where was Wilson for the Treaty of Versailles, which created the economic conditions that led to WW2?
Wilson’s “war to end all wars” was anything but.
Wilson, like Bernanke and many other academic know-it-alls, created a LOT of problems. And is it just a coincidence that Wilson and Bernanke both hail from Princeton?
Medex Man said:
Woodrow Wilson was also the President who lied to the American people about the cargo hold contents of the Lusitania. Supposedly, it was just a passenger ship with no military cargo, but when a German torpedo hit the Lusitania’s forecastle (forward cargo hold), the entire bow exploded (no torpedo carries that much explosive) and the ship sank very very quickly.
In the years since, it was confirmed by divers that the damage to the ship was caused by something exploding in the forward hold. After diplomatic cables leaked, the US government admitted (unofficially) that the entire hold was filled with explosives — in violation of neutrality laws. Woodrow Wilson feigned shock that Germany had targeted a “neutral” ship, knowing full well (having authorized the shipment) that the ship was filled with war materials.
Long before Iraqi yellowcake uranium, long before the gulf of Tonkin incident, Woodrow Wilson schemed to get the US into WW1 by deceipt. Apparently he wasn’t content to just create federal income taxes or the federal reserve — he wanted complete centralized control.
There is quite a bit of US history involved in the independence movement, going back to the Spanish-American wars and pre-revolutionary Cuba. From the simpler perspective of the history of the estelada ( independence flag)
France surely has interest in Cataluña independence, as they do in socialist political influence on Spain ( e.g. the socialist mayor of Paris was campaigning for Sanchez recently in Seville).
I don’t know what the US would do, so far the US has stood back in public and most of its ties are with Spain as it exists. I don’t know what EU or France would do, but cynically I am quite certain that the opportunity to gain power or influence would be taken.
Ignorance is brave and unencumbered by facts. Cataluña is not a colony and therefore to call the movement to split from Spain “Independence” demonstrates total ignorance on the subject. The catalanes had been lied by the politicians (yes provincial politicians are not better than central government politicians) that if they separate from Spain they will remain in the EU. The reality is they will not. BTW one of the most corrupts govertments in Spain “autonomos regions) was by the Pujul family:
“In July 2014, Jordi Pujol released a note explaining that for 34 years, including 23 as the President of Catalonia, he had maintained secret foreign bank accounts inherited from his father. The note apologized for his actions and explained that the millions had been declared and taxes paid. The scandal erupted in the Spanish media as it involves allegations against many family members, including trafficking of influence, bribery, money laundering and public corruption. At this time, his sons Jordi and Oleguer Pujol Ferrusola are being investigated by tax authorities. Another son Oriol Pujol resigned from his leadership position in CiU earlier in the month to face charges of public corruption as well. As a direct result of Pujol’s admission on 29 July, Judge Pablo Ruz issued an indictment against Jordi Pujol Ferrusola and his wife for money laundering and tax evasion.”
The politicians in Cataluña want to separate from Spain so that they can steal without impediment.
“France surely has interest in Cataluña independence” no they don’t. It so happens that France surely has interest in Cataluña historically straddled both countries (just like los bascos). That is like saying that Turkey welcomes an Kurdish country in northern Iraq. BTW Cataluña was forced to give up their northern territories ( Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659). So no I don’t think the French are looking for an independent Cataluña.
France has various shared investment with Cataluña, it was not a historical perspective.
There will be no civil war. The central government will arrest and judge the “separatistas” end of the story. Sorry Mish you don’t get your wish.
Who will Madrid send to “Arrest” the Catalonians?
Why should they aquiest?
What happens when they resist?
Medex Man said:
Juncker will just have another cantor of overpriced Brandy, and slur the words: “Ever more EU integration!!!”
Catalonia can’t declare independence if Juncker sticks his pickled head into the sand, at least not according to EU “law”
Yes, I was wondering how the EU dynamics might play out.
Does any of this have any affect on the USA?
Directly not too much – NATO bases in Spain, some investment funds there also. Indirectly it could tip Spain and EU into financial (and maybe political) chaos, and that would be felt in the US.
Medex Man said:
NATO used to be important, now its a joke.
We all know Russia isn’t going to invade western Europe. They don’t have the troops to do so without leaving other flanks unguarded (and those other flanks have real enemies of Russia, not the imagined ones).
Not to mention, Russia supplies most of Europe’s natgas — Russia wants money not welfare cases. China has money, western Europe is a continent full of people who demand something for nothing.
The US committment to NATO should be trimmed back to be equal to what continental European countries contribute (which is not much). We can feed Washington’s perpetual war machine in other parts of the world, or (gasp!) just stop refereeing everyone else’s fights.
The American public (unlike McCain) had zero interest in getting involved in Ukraine’s civil war, or Bosnia, or Syria. No one outside Washington DC is going to want to get in the middle of Spain’s socialist stupidity
I don’t think the US would get openly involved. If the show really does go down the US is going to be seen sided with the Spanish government simply because it maintains bases in Spain, so that will call for some kind of official approach. If the show goes down even more, then you have a good amount of opposition to NATO bases being stationed in Spain, mostly by the left – the US would have to choose its priorities, as in if it can influence enough to maintain the bases, should leave, or become engaged. Spain has overwhelming military superiority over Cataluña, but that is not the only way these contests are fought. Popular uprisings and national political chaos are hard resolve by force alone.
Medex Man said:
We have closed bases all over the world, and we should be closing a lot more.
Don’t know how closing bases in Spain would impact the Spanish economy, but whatever the impact, its Spain’s problem. I don’t see Spain offering to rebuild Detroit for us — they have no obligation to do so, and we have no obligation to fix their economic mistakes either.
Jajajajajaja “Indirectly it could tip Spain and EU into financial (and maybe political) chaos” really? First of all the sections of Cataluña that want “independence” are in the countryside (sort of like the deep south in the US). The industrial centers in Cataluña is only %32 in favor of separation. BTW the Spanish constitution does not allow a region to separate from the rest of Spain. The vote has to be the whole country. To be honest many Spaniards are so tired of these idiots they are willing to let them go as in good riddance. And no Cataluña will not do well by itself. Already many of the industrial bases has said that they will move out of Cataluña if they become a country.
Spain loses part of its tourist income while there are tensions.
Trade between Cataluña and Spain gets disrupted, as does business.
Allocation of Spanish national debt to Cataluña will not be simple or even possible maybe.
Investment in Spain plummets until people know what is going on.
EU financial and political stability will be shaken.
I agree that the law in Spain is a national referendum, but Cataluña will say it is not part of Spain. Yes it is, no it isn’t, yes it is etc. etc.
I don’t know who or where supports secession, I just know that secessionist politicians were voted into office openly declaring that intent. I also know there are enough Catalan people serious enough about seceding to be willing to physically defend the move. After that, what happens next, I am guessing, like you.
So yes I’m guessing but not as much as you. “Some large companies have threatened to move their headquarters from Barcelona, if there was to be independence. None of those euronews contacted agreed to talk. Only one small publisher opened the door to us. Javier Baratech, general manager Rondas, said, “About 80 percent of the billing and the company’s sales are in the rest of Spain. We would at least in the short term lose all those customers, and that would very quickly force the business to close. Trading outside Spain, and the European Union, our products would be taxed. Moreover, our customers tell us that if Catalonia became independent, they would look for other suppliers, in their own country.””
BTW my last trip to Spain I noticed that many products (produce in Cataluna) no longer said made in cataluna. Now they say made in Spain. Spaniards are fed up with the Catalanes and will boycott its industries. That is why support for separation comes ony from the country side not the industrial centers.
I don’t doubt that there is re-arranging, and will be more if Cataluña actually secedes. Not all businesses can, or would want to relocate, but the larger question is what position EU would take, and also what backing is ready to move in to Cataluña as soon as it would become independent. We don’t know the answer to those questions, but I have the feeling that there are countries and resources working with or towards the idea of Catalan secession.
John Smith said:
Here is the new crisis. Same as the old crisis. And yet everything continues much as it has. Waiting for the black swan that never comes. The Minsky Moment that never comes. Eventually, maybe in another decade or two the wheels will fall off.
Mike Bravo said:
One of the first countries to recognise the newly independent Catalonia should be the soon to be liberated UK, and Catalonia should reciprocate by recognising the UK’s dominion over Gibraltar.
tony of ca said:
Not likely: The UK is actively trying to keep a lid on Scotland’s independence efforts. I’m sure if the UK immediately recognized Catalonia the EU would promptly reciprocate with recognizing Scotland.
They will anyway. Independence for Scotland outside the uK would be a disaster for Scotland. I’m in favour of their independence and a smaller global role for England but with strong nuclear deterrent with the bases relocated to Isle of Mann or Cornwall/Wales.
I have seen the fact based figures for the Scottish trade and outside an English tariff wall, with no access to the Pound, they are actually worse off than Greece. That is fact.
tony of ca said:
Mish, None of this matters. There will be no change inside the EU through voting. The political class is completely bought off. It’s a waste of time writing about,look no further than the Greek election. The political class in the EU is not capable of solving their problems.
You’re so on the money.
By voting. Spain won’t allow the vote, that is close to certain. So what you have is an independence ‘initiative’ that has survived centuries in one form or another, most recently has evolved over a decade or more within the modern political setting, taking one official turn after another, with the general agreement of the Catalan people as well as wider political and business interests, to steer itself to the objective of independence, on which a lot of local sentiment and tolerance has been maintained out of ideal. The culmination of that is an official referendum or else outright declaration, this year.
As there is not likely to be a referendum there will most likely be a declaration, unless Puigdemont thinks “errr…maybe not after all “, which is not likely either.
So ‘at best’ the Catalan leadership will be arrested and a few cars will get torched, protests, people hurt, a long tension and Madrid taking direct control of the region.
“So ‘at best’ the Catalan leadership will be arrested and a few cars will get torched, protests, people hurt, a long tension and Madrid taking direct control of the region.”
Yes that is exactly what will happen if they go to the urns. The Supreme court has said that the leadership will break the law and therefore the Central government will have to arrest them. Personally, I don’t think it will get to that since the money people of industry will not let secession happen
That is what will happen the moment the Catalan govern makes any attempt to hold the referendum without Spain’s approval, which it says it won’t do, or when they cross the bounds of constitutional law, by claiming authority it does not allow, which is what they say they will do. Either way the result is having the leaders arrested and put on trial.The rest follows.
Really? Can you even imagine Rajoy getting up from bed? You’re surely joking, both of you
Medex Man said:
The EU doesn’t allow voting — they put the EU up for referendum in a few smaller countries, and the EU treaties were soundly rejected by actual voters.
If there was any representative voting in Europe, the EU would not exist.
The EU will issue a bunch of edicts and fatwas from Brussels — and everyone in Spain will ignore them. Perhaps the only thing the Spanish, Catalonians, Italians and Greeks can all agree upon: unless Brussels sends billions (grants, not loans), Brussels should keep their unelected opinions to themselves.
I have no insight to the Spanish elections impact within Spain, but the EU loses no matter how it comes out
Medex Man said:
Meanwhile, back in the USA where Mish lives…. The folks at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) have officially started to panic. They murdered Seth Rich last year in vane attempt to put that crime family matriarch into the oval office… and now it looks more and more like the investigation into the murder is going to involve high ranking democrat party members.
The US will be better off when both parties are purged of the corruption that is Washington DC.
The last time I saw the polls and the election results on whether the people in Catalania wanted independence, the split was about 52-48%. And the vote was anything but 100 % turnout, closer to 60%. This is more tempest in a teapot than anything else.
Teapots for referendum Catalan version
What was that they sang in My Fair Lady? The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain. Yes, I don’t see Barcelona going anywhere. There has been too much movement of the populations within Spain for independence to take place any time soon. Same with France, not that any department is looking to become independent. Even local dialects are waning in being spoken. In France there is an attempt to bring back some of the old dialects but that horse will neither win, place, or show. On the other hand some of the common Irish dialects have been maintained and there is a concerted effort to use those languages as in Scotland. But I digress. No, I don’t see Spain breaking up into separate little kingdoms, too much population movement.
Occitan is very similar to Catalan, if I remember it was little more than a century or so ago that a concerted effor by the French state occurred to wipe out patois. The southern third of France did not speak French principally too long ago (again if I remember). I hope that the various languages are maintained anywhere, most people can learn two or three if introduced properly – a nice resource to have, a local language. Each language has a different interpretation of the world.
Thank you for the information. I studied Linguistics many years ago and found social linguistics and the history of languages very fascinating. Of course my first love was language learning combines with cognitive neuroscience. That is more than a life time of study.
I speak three languages fluently, and I know my attitude, perceptions and ways change according to each. Each carries its world of knowledge, plus each is adapted to that form of knowledge, if only because the form of communicating carries different subtleties in each language that are simply not found in others. Speaking a certain language actually changes your form a certain amount.
My interest recently is understanding the relationships between ethnic and linguistic evolution. It is so complex that I don’t even know what I hope to learn, at least to be able to read a little deeper into the people around me . It has always amazed me how a whole population can change language and culture over a relatively short space of time, but how others that have managed to retain their more ancient linguistic heritage generally have stronger and fuller character. It doesn’t have to be linguistics alone, as surely it also means their society was not much disturbed. Sometimes I listen to people speaking, when they are very natural and fluid about it, and without concentrating on the meaning, and it is like music, the sounds of creatures expressing only emotions, the detailed meaning carefully draw into that. I digress 🙂 .
Medex Man said:
In yet another death blow to Tesla and all the hopium (fraud) filled IPOs from lala liberals in the USA… the solar company Sunrun cooked their books ahead of their IPO, failing to report returns and order cancelations
Most of the fraudulent “science” that ghetto-man Obama tried to force on the country (and the world) is based on manipulated data and lies.
Tesla’s promoter in chief Elon Musk (no doubt at the urging of the lawyers who ordered him to stop claiming his cars were self driving — they have driver assist) Musk is now saying publically that Tesla stock is overpriced and does not reflect fundamentals. Workers at his “successful” factory are complaining of long hours (making their hourly a lot pay less than reported), stress injuries, and impossible work schedules.
Socialism kills people. Always has. Always will. California gets no exception (neither does Spain or Venezeula).
Medex Man said:
Solar City — Elon Musk’s other cash incinerator — has many of the same problems as Sunrun… except that Solar City’s numbers are now hidden inside Tesla’s losses.
And Obama’s other great theft from taxpayers? Solyndra? Yup, still bankrupt. Still hasn’t repaid taxpayers.
Another terrorist bombing in Manchester, England at a rock concert. 20 dead over 50 wounded. Suicide bomber with nail explosive attached.
This is what England gets for it’s lax ME immigration policies.
You make you bed. You go lie in it.
Medex Man said:
it couldn’t have been terrorism… Terrorism is a violation of EU law. 🙂
Old Guy said:
Follow the money and you will find the Catalanes are pissed off because they get back less money then they send to the central government. This is the root of the problem.
When Brussels finally decides the Germans and the other Northern nations need to pay up to balance the rest of the EU the same problems will arise. This time on a nation basis.
I believe we are entering a time of political dissolution. Regions will withdraw from countries, countries from the EU and even the break up of the United States as we see states secede from the US. All of this will result in civil war with further and greater instability. We are in the beginning phases of cultural wars, not just of race but diverse cultural thinking. This is the time of rhetoric which can last decades before hostilities fully erupt into the open.