Freedom To Do What? – BALKAN NEWS MAGAZINE

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Matiano Rajoy & Caries Puigemont in better times – Photo by The Irish Times

The Catalan cabinet is in prison in Madrid. Ex President, Caries Puigmont, took off on his toes to Brussels, and like a bad film, the whole charade of Catalan independence, is back where it belongs on the cutting room floor.

Accordingly, Carles Puigdemont was dismissed from office, the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dissolved the Parliament of Catalonia, and called a snap regional election for 21 December 2017. The following day, Rajoy conferred on Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz De Santamaría, the duties of President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, which is now run by central government.

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A virtual history of Catalonia

But apart from obscure ideological or religious semantics, which quite escape me, or some obscure gene – lurking in the very being of each and every Catalonian – what is this ex President actually after, apart from notoriety? With a 40% voter turnout in the referendum – most Spanish Nationalists ignored it completely – Puigmont claimed a 90% victory, and then went ahead and declared unilateral independence.

Was the Catalonian President becoming the Nigel Farage of Spain, or a new version of the demagogic and blithely mendacious Boris Johnson? Begging the question of why Boris Johnson and his Brexiteer cohorts are not locked in The Scrubs – instead of annoying us all in The House of Commons – or, why our beloved Queen does not demand the same punishment, as her contemporary in Alice in Wonderland – I can only give you one answer; apathy! Because, on closer inspection, it all seems to be a little like Lewis Carol’s epic story.

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Awaiting the Turnscrews Key

Nevertheless, Mr. Puigmont had ample opportunity to watch the badly timed and generally floored Brexit negotiations in Brussels. Embarrassed by David Davis’s hapless performance , and his largely hopeless task, you might think that copying such a damaging mess, was also a pronouncement for forthcoming Catalonian financial disaster too?

I mean, if the big boys like Great Britain can’t extract themselves from the EU, how on earth could Catalonia hope to survive? Firstly, by leaving Spain, and secondly, in loosing all the benefits which the EU provides for its members, federated or otherwise. It just seems to be a recipe for disaster.

The  renegade Ex President of Catalonia – who rather naively believed he would get the support of  the EU – is hiding in Brussels, and wondering what to do next. That doesn’t bother me, any more than it does Brussels. But, what was he thinking about, and what, if anything, has it got to do with freedom?

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Queen Boudica?

I think that Puigmont is simply grandstanding. Short of any real reasons for political detachment from Spain, he is concentrating his efforts in Brussels, by accusing the Spanish government of  being unfair. Stating that he is being victimized, and that his tormentors are treating him just like a pedophile, he knowingly broke the Spanish law, which is something he was warned about from the very beginning.

The only argument he has promulgated is that the Catalan language and history, is no longer highlighted in the education system, and that any cultural differences in his region, are now being presented as Spanish.  Having got a few political activists out on the street, it seems that he has confused those subscribing to anti-establishment anarchism, with political realism. There will always be those who think that corruption is diminishing their lot in life, but is revolution always the answer?

You can hardly see the present Spanish government as tyrants, unless you have had a sangria too many, any more than Theresa May or even Margaret Thatcher, could be depicted as a kind of Boudica.The 21st December will show how absurd the wish for independence is, in the light of defecting banks, and businesses from Catalonia, and jobs being exported to other parts of Spain and the EU.

23334082_10156451317994749_590628347188974429_oTheresa May is still wondering why!

But isn’t that exactly what is happening in Great Britain today, with the suicidal mission of Brexit? I don’t know who the bigger fool is – Brexiteers ignoring Catalonia, or Puigdemont ignoring the Brexit – because, any fool would know that a catastrophe was waiting for them around the corner.

So, full marks to Prime Minister Mariano Rayoy, and nil points to the defectors. Lets hope these Catalonian politicians do not become victims of The Spanish Inquisition, because, they will not be garrotted in the town square – a fate that many traitors have had to face in the past – it is the 21St Century after all, but they might be poked with a cushion – Monte Python forever – and suffer the indignity of a public trial.

By The Editor