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The representation of Aatalana autonomy
Barcelona is a city wrapped in flags. From the windows and balconies of the neighborhoods are the stelae, the distinctive blue and white symbol of Catalan national sovereignty. Catalonia has become increasingly polarized in recent years as applications of greater autonomy, systematically rejected by Madrid, have hardened in demands of absolute independence in Spain. Surveys suggest that up to 45 percent of Catalans support secession, while 25 percent are in favor of federalism and another 20 percent support the constitutional status quo.
The nationalists made a non -binding referendum about independence. They won by a wide margin, with 80% voting in favor of separation and 10% voting against, with a participation of 2.3 million, approximately one third of the electorate. Most pro-Spanish Catalans seem to have stayed at home. However, independence activists are buoyant. After challenging the central government of Madrid, who tried to block the vote, they believe that his campaign is unstoppable. The most radical matches, including Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), the Republican left of Catalonia.
They want to celebrate plebiscitary elections before divorcing unilaterally Spain next year. Most conservative voices, such as Artur’s, the president of Central-Right to Catalonia, would prefer to resume negotiations to ensure a legal path towards state. Unlike Scotland, where the poorest voters constitute the basis of nationalist support, the Catalan Independence Movement is dominated by civil society organizations and professionals in the middle class. The economic crisis of Spain, together with the loss of faith of the country in the ruling parties,
He has convinced many average income Catalans that they would be better if they handled their own issues. But two significant groups continue to oppose independence. The first is the working class, Spanish -speaking immigrants. "I’m not happy with the vote," said a cashmere waiter to New Statesman before the referendum. Independence would be very difficult. Many jobs here depend on Spain. The second is the Catalan business elite, part of which Better Together’s style on the financial difficulties of constitutional change has already begun to issue warnings in the style of Better.
Writing in the New York Times, the Peruvian and laureate novelist based in Madrid, Mario Vargas Llosa, denounced Catalan nationalism as a cynical posture of victim that erases the individual, feeds imaginary complaints and rejects solidarity. But the representation of Vargas Llosa of Catalan separatism does not fit with recent events. On November 7, there was a nationalist rally in the center of Barcelona. The event, held the Olympic stadium, could not have been more civilized. The atmosphere two days later, during the referendum.
It was equally benign. There were no fights of fights or clashes between opposite political groups. Barcelona unusually subjected. It is not clear what will happen after. The ERC is ahead in the surveys. If the president summoned new regional elections, his ruling party, convergence, which has spent the last 30 years negotiating about the ambiguities of the Household Government policy, would surely be relegated to a support role in the new Catalan Parliament. With ERC in power, Catalonia’s tense relationship with Spain would sink even more.
This crisis could eventually avoided. In recent years, Madrid has directed a master class on how not to handle dissident nationalism. Its belligerent refusal to explore alternative constitutional models, as a federal agreement that gives Catalonia and other rich regions a greater margin of fiscal maneuver, is fracturing the Spanish unit, at the same time that a program of austerity cuts imposed centrally has aggravated one moreWide of regional impotence.
However, for the most part, Catalonia’s voters do seem to be motivated by a basic concern for democracy. The more entrenched the Spanish resistance to Catalan autonomy becomes, the more likely Catalonia will choose a definitive and decisive breakdown of Spain. Many moderate Catalan nationalists who once would have conformed with a greater return now believe that the situation cannot be saved. The Spanish central government can be forced to make concessions, but I doubt that the flags in Barcelona go down soon.