07 Oktober 2017

The Spanish Constitutional Crisis: Law, Legitimacy and Popular Sovereignty in Question

The Spanish constitutional crisis is escalating, and it has now – finally – found broader attention, thanks to the referendum on 1 October and the violence of the Spanish police trying to prevent it from being held. Still, much confusion reigns on how to approach the crisis, apart from the obvious condemnation of the human rights violations during the referendum and in the weeks leading up to it. Having been a close observer of the unfolding crisis for the last decade, here some attempts at clarification.

The most obvious confusion concerns the question of legality in the conflict. It is relatively undisputed that the referendum violated the Spanish constitution – procedurally, as the application of the statute providing for the referendum had been provisionally suspended by the constitutional court, but most likely also in substance as the referendum would have required the consent of the Spanish parliament and, anyway, clashed with the constitutional guarantee of the ‘indissoluble unity’ of the Spanish nation. But this is not the end of the matter in terms of law as the Spanish legal order is no longer alone in claiming validity in Catalonia. The Catalan regional parliament has asserted the supremacy of Catalan law, and when it comes to the referendum, and the ensuing questions regarding a declaration of independence, Catalan law claims to trump Spanish law – a claim apparently accepted by the more than two million Catalans taking part in the referendum. As Maximilian Steinbeis has highlighted in his recent insightful report on the referendum, in a revolutionary situation like this, there is no way of knowing which of the competing legalities is ‘the law in force’. The Spanish constitutional court is certainly not in a position to determine this conclusively – being the guarantor of one legal system, but not the other, it is less an impartial arbiter than a party to the conflict. So, only time will tell, and all will depend on the effective support of one or the other system by the institutions and the population itself.

Secondly, there is much confusion over the international law side of the conflict. It is by now quite clear – especially in light of the Kosovo Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice – that a declaration of independence would not violate international law. But does the international legal order grant Catalans also a right to secede? The principle of self-determination of peoples, enshrined in the UN Charter, the human rights covenants, and customary international law, is often interpreted as providing for a right to secession only in colonial contexts and, potentially, in cases of remedial secession when grave human rights violations and political oppression are at stake. But the text of the relevant provisions is not clear in this respect, and, as also noted by Zoran Oklopcic in his recent post, it is questionable whether, in an age of democracy, we should keep interpreting it in this restrictive way – in a way which is, naturally, favoured by governments interested in maintaining the unity of their territories. Peoples around the world – the Catalans among them – have taken the principle to bear a broader promise, one including the possibility of ‘the establishment of a sovereign and independent State, the free association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people’, as the UN’s Friendly Relations Declaration puts it. Even if this might not imply outright secession, it should require governments to enter into a good-faith dialogue with the peoples concerned about the ways in which their self-determination can be realized – something the Spanish government has refused for years now despite numerous calls for it from the Catalan side – and potentially secession if that dialogue does not take place.

Yet the Spanish constitutional crisis concerns issues that go well beyond the question of legality, and the excessive focus on the law – by the Spanish government as well as many commentators – has obscured more fundamental issues of legitimacy and democracy. The accordance with law or constitutional rules may be an indicator of legitimacy, but only if the law itself is legitimate. If the law is unjust, there is no reason why anyone would be obliged to follow it. And thus, the question here is: is the Spanish constitution the legitimate yardstick for the actors involved? This is doubtful for two reasons, one historical, one democratic. Historically, the Spanish constitution of 1978 is a product of a transition to democracy and, far from being the result of a deliberation of free and equal citizens, it was negotiated in the shadow of a possible return of Francoist forces, and in particular the possibility of a military coup (a very real threat, as the actual coup d’état in 1981 demonstrated). Various elements in the constitution – among them the position of the monarchy, the emphasis on the unity of Spain, the weak status of the autonomous regions, or the role of the military as a guarantor of the constitutional order – are best understood on this background. A document which, at the time, was accepted by many merely for fear of the alternatives, does not have a particularly strong claim to authority four decades later.

Yet there are deeper reasons of democracy and popular sovereignty that undermine the claim of the Spanish constitution to be the yardstick in the conflict. Like other constitutions, the Spanish one claims to be based on the pouvoir constituant of the people, in this case the Spanish people in which, according to Article 1 of the constitution, ‘national sovereignty resides’. Yet this is a mere stipulation – the pouvoir constituant is always a social construction, a retrospective ascription to a body that does not exist as such. In some ways, as I’ve tried to argue elsewhere, constituent power is always a fiction, though one with more or less resonance in societal beliefs. Most of the ‘peoples’  at the basis of Europe’s constitutions have been formed through nation-building processes over centuries, with varying degrees of violence and varying degrees of success. Feelings of belonging to the broader ‘nation’ have always been limited in places like the Bretagne, Corsica, Scotland, Bavaria, Sardinia, Veneto, the Basque country, or Catalonia. And the boundaries of Europe’s ‘peoples’ – like elsewhere – have often been defined by historical accidents and force rather than by free choice.

On this background, the scope of the demos in many democracies is, as a matter of normative judgment, fundamentally open. Where its boundaries lie has to be defined by the people themselves, through processes of collective identification and distancing. This is what has happened over the last years in Catalonia where a persistent feeling of cultural, linguistic, and political difference, a sense of discrimination on many fronts, and a string of rejections and repressive moves by the Spanish state, have led to a re-identification of many, and to a widespread conviction that it is for the Catalan people to decide their future themselves. Neus Torbisco has traced the ideational bases of these process in an illuminating recent paper. The liberal nationalism that has emerged from this process is far from exclusive – independentists favour integration in the EU and a very open conception of citizenship – and it has widespread support. According to polls, 70 percent of Catalans believe this future ought to be decided in a referendum in Catalonia. Many of them would nevertheless vote for remaining in Spain – support for independence itself stood at around 50 percent or a bit below in polls earlier this year, though the events of the last few weeks are likely to have changed the picture significantly. Around 90 percent of those participating in last week’s referendum voted for independence, but of course, this picture suffers from the fact that the referendum itself took place in non-ideal conditions because of the intervention of the Spanish government. Yet the clear majority in favour of a referendum – and the strong participation in it, despite the declared illegality and the efforts of the Spanish police to disrupt it – signal a shift towards a new understanding of the pouvoir constituant and its ability to express itself directly, outside of constitutional constraints (see also Stephen Tierney’s comment on the increasing use of referenda to challenge constitutional form).

Independentism would certainly be weaker if there were a prospect of meaningful autonomy – on cultural, educational, economic and financial matters, in particular. Some of this could be achieved through ordinary legislation, some through constitutional change (even if the latter is notoriously difficult under the Spanish constitution). Instead, the Spanish government has undertaken a progressive recentralization over the past years, some specifically aimed at eliminating regional difference (education policy was, according to the then minister of education, partly designed to ‘españolizar’ – to turn into Spaniards – Catalan school children). Spain is, after all, not a federal state, and the autonomy of the regions remains limited and is mostly at the mercy of the central government; national legislation can determine policy in most areas in enormous detail, leaving little space for regions to define their own course of action; regions largely depend on the national government for their budgets; and they have very limited influence on the national political process. Yet the many Catalan calls for rebalancing the edifice of the Spanish state in favour of greater autonomy have been consistently rejected over the last decade, driving people to seek greater autonomy outside rather than inside Spain. And certainly fortifying the conviction of most that it should be for Catalans to determine their future for themselves – that the relevant demos here is the people of Catalonia, not that of Spain as a whole.

The existence, or emergence, of different demoi on a territory need not spell disintegration, as we can see in the many multinational states in which coexistence is peaceful. But respecting democracy in a multi-demoi setting requires respect for each other, mutual accommodation and a spirit of openness and dialogue – in short, some form of a politics of recognition. Canada and Britain have followed this approach, and they have been able to convince the Québecois and Scots to stay. The Spanish government has, unfortunately, chosen a confrontational path, rejecting any meaningful dialogue for years and opting for repressive law-enforcement rather than respect. (Not all of its strategies were themselves within the law – some, like the clandestine attempt to ‘destroy the Catalan health system’, or efforts to falsely discredit independentist leaders in election campaigns, were clear violations.) The Spanish constitutional court itself has played its part in this process with its fateful rejection of the new regional constitution, the Estatut, in 2010. And even after last week’s referendum, the government in Madrid has not been able to see that the Catalans’ attempt to define their own future is not ‘blackmail’ by a few separatist leaders but a broad collective effort that seeks to exercise a democratically-founded right to self-determination. Rather inexplicably, the Spanish government seems stuck in a quasi-imperial mindset in which it regards Catalonia merely as a rebellious province that has to be subdued through the use of the police and the criminal law. In the face of this, Catalan regional leaders have called for mediation and a constitutional reform dialogue on several occasions since the referendum, but they have fallen on deaf ears. This tough stance is likely to gain the governing Partido Popular votes in other regions, but unless it changes its attitude, Spain will lose not only the allegiance of many Catalans but also any claim that the Catalans should pursue their aspirations within the Spanish constitutional order rather than through a declaration of independence.

Is this an issue for the European Union, and the international community, to get involved in? Very clearly yes – human rights, democracy and self-determination are of international concern and not merely issues internal to Spain. If the European Union is indeed ‘founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities’, as Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union promises, it would ignore this conflict at its peril. Democratic arguments over the shape of the member states of the European Union are likely to recur, and there has to be a process that deals with them constructively. In the Catalan case, European or international mediation may be able to bring both parties to the table. If on the other hand, the current calls for dialogue continue to go unheeded and Catalonia declares independence, its claim to a place in the EU, and in the community of nations more broadly, will not be easy to dismiss.


SUGGESTED CITATION  Krisch, Nico: The Spanish Constitutional Crisis: Law, Legitimacy and Popular Sovereignty in Question, VerfBlog, 2017/10/07, https://verfassungsblog.de/the-spanish-constitutional-crisis-law-legitimacy-and-popular-sovereignty-in-question/, DOI: 10.17176/20171007-133138.

11 Comments

  1. OG So 8 Okt 2017 at 23:07 - Reply

    Es ist gut, daß im Verfassungsblog auch ein Beitrag erscheint, der den katalanischen Konflikt und seinen rechtstheoretischen Unterbau aus der Binnensicht der katalanischen Regierung und der starken bürgerschaftlichen Kräfte, die sie vertritt, aufbereitet. Gut schon wegen der Perspektivenvielfalt, gut aber auch, weil die Ausarbeitung von Krisch – ungewollt und entgegen ihrer Zielrichtung – aufzeigt, daß von einer Legitimität (als Standbein, das die fehlende Legalität theoretisch ausgleichen könnte) des von der katalanischen Regierung eingeschlagenen Wegs derzeit keine Rede sein kann.

    Um Aufschluß darüber zu gewinnen, muß man zunächst die politische Entwicklung der letzten Jahre, die zur Abstimmung vom letzter Woche geführt haben, auf ihre demokratischen Befunde hin befragen. Gerade in diesem Punkt herrscht – auch in der allgemeinen Berichterstattung – mehr „much confusion“ als in den im hiesigen Beitrag diskutierten Punkten.

    Das gegenwärtige katalanische Parlament ist aus Wahlen vom 27.9.2015 hervorgegangen. Die bis dahin bestehende Minderheitsregierung der nationalen Rechten (CDC, zuvor CiU) hatte, in Absprache mit der Partei der nationalen Linken (ERC), Neuwahlen angesetzt. Dafür haben diese beiden Parteien eine gemeinsame Wahlliste (JxS) aufgestellt und erklärt, diese Parlamentswahl solle den Charakter eines Referendums für die Unabhängigkeit haben – als Reaktion darauf, daß die Rechtsordnung kein echtes Referendum ermöglicht. Für den Fall, daß die Liste die Mehrheit erlangt, wurde die Ausrufung der Unabhängigkeit innerhalb von 18 Monaten versprochen. Das Ergebnis der Wahl war, daß JxS keine Mehrheit bekam, weder nach abgegebenen Stimmen noch nach Sitzen. Das selbsterklärte Referendum wäre demnach mit einem Nein ausgegangen. Aus den Parteien gestärkt hervorgegangen ist aber eine kleine Partei, die systemfeindliche („anti sistema“) Linksaußenkraft CUP, die ebenfalls für eine Sezession eintritt. Auch wenn man ihre Stimmen hinzuzählt, gab es im „Quasi-Referendum“ keine Ja-Mehrheit. Wohl aber erreichten JxS und CUP zusammen eine Mehrheit der Sitze im Parlament, so daß eine JxS-Minderheitsregierung unter Duldung der CUP zustandekam, die zur Zeit regiert. Diese knappe Sitzmehrheit der Independentistes war es schließlich, die im letzten Monat das Abspaltungsgesetz mit der vorläufigen Verfassung der katalanischen Republik und das Volksabstimmungsgesetz verabschiedet hat, die beide unstreitig nach der bisherigen Legalität verfassungswidrig sind und sich auf eine neue Legalität stützen wollen, die erst durch sie geschaffen werden soll (Henne-und-Ei-Problem).

    Vor diesem Hintergrund greift es zunächst einmal schon zu kurz und ist eine Verzerrung, wenn Krisch die Aussagekraft des von der katalanischen Regierung angegebenen Abstimmungsergebnisses (90% Ja-Stimmen bei einer Wahlbeteiligung von 43%) lediglich unter dem Gesichtspunkt der staatlichen Repression (durch Gerichte und Polizei) problematisiert („but of course, this picture suffers from the fact that the referendum itself took place in non-ideal conditions because of the intervention of the Spanish government.“). Das Referendum fand vielmehr in erster Linie deshalb „in non-ideal conditions“ statt, weil es von den im Parlament überstimmten Kräften schlicht als weder legal noch legitim angesehen wird und deshalb ein großer Teil der Stimmbürgerschaft sich nicht dazu bereitfand, an ihm teilzunehmen, und es vielmehr als eine Art Privatveranstaltung der Sezessionsbefürworter in deren eigenen Quasi-Demokratie-Blase ansah. Und als ob das nicht genug wäre, kommt noch die vermittelnde Position der linken Bewegung CSQP (9% Wählerstimmen) hinzu, die eine Ablehnung der einseitigen Unabhängigkeitserklärung mit der Idee verband, dem – von ihr nicht mitgetragenen – Referendum eine eigene, abweichende Bedeutung beizumessen, und unter dieser Prämisse eine Teilnahme an der Abstimmung für möglich hielt (eine kuriose Uminterpretierung, die zur Folge hat, daß ein Teil der Ja-Stimmen in Wahrheit einen anderen Aussagewert hat als die übrigen). Dies alles unabhängig davon, daß – wie gestern von Maximilian Steinbeis angemerkt – die von der katalanischen Regierung angegeben Zahlen allenfalls als Versuch einer Auswertung statt einer verläßlichen Auswertung genommen werden sollten, da die Abstimmung im Wesentlichen ein In-sich-Geschäft der Independentistes war.

    An Krischs Ausführungen dazu, daß sich über die Behelfsbrücke der Legitimität eine neue Legalität bilden kann und daß dies unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen durch die Konstituierung eines neuen Demos geschehen kann, ist nichts auszusetzen, zumal dies historisch ein alter Hut ist. Nicht vertretbar halte ich hingegen, daß ein solcher Fall für die konkrete gegenwärtige politische Lage in Katalonien bejaht werden kann. Welche Kriterien man letztlich auch immer für die verfassungsrechtliche „Singularität“ des legitimen Umkippens der einen Legalität in eine neue aufstellt, sollte es doch unter Verfassungsjuristen eine Selbstverständlichkeit sein, daß sie eine wesentlich breitere politische und soziale Basis wie die vorstehend skizzierte haben muß. Naheliegend ist, daß es mindestens eine Majorität geben muß, die in einer funktionierenden Verfassungsordnung typischerweise für eine Verfassungsänderung erforderlich ist. Der Widersinn der Annahme, es könnte hier auch nur annähernd ein Legitimitätswechsel festzustellen sein, zeigt sich schon daran, daß nach dem Estatut von Katalonien (quasi der Verfassung der Autonomen Gemeinschaft) für bestimmte gewichtige Parlamentsentscheidungen eine Drei-Fünftel-Mehrheit erforderlich ist. Eine wackelige Parlamentsmehrheit und eine Minderheitsregierung (hervorgegangen aus den Mechanismen eben dieses Estatuts), die eine solche Mehrheit nicht zustande bekäme, soll aber gleichwohl in der Lage sein, gleich einem ganz neuen Staat Legitimität und Legalität einzuhauchen? Das ist abenteuerlich.

    Für die Einordnung der aktuellen Ereignisse und gerade auch für die hier aufgeworfene Frage der Legitimität ist es ratsam, eine zweistufige Betrachtung zu wählen: Bevor man überhaupt zur Frage des Konfliktes zwischen Katalonien und dem spanischen Gesamtstaat kommt (eine Lesart, die – ziemlich erfolgreich – von der katalanischen Regierung propagiert wird), sollte man den Konflikt zunächst als innerkatalanischen begreifen. Von dieser Warte stellt sich die Legitimitätsfrage zuerst.

    Zu einem anderen Punkt noch eine kleine Anmerkung: Befremdlich finde ich, daß der Autor allen Ernstes versucht, die spanische Verfassung mit der Argumentation zu diskreditieren („but only if the law itself is legitimate. If the law is unjust, there is no reason why anyone would be obliged to follow it. And thus, the question here is: is the Spanish constitution the legitimate yardstick for the actors involved?“), daß sie drei Jahre nach Francos Tod und – so der Autor – unter diffusen Befürchtungen eines Wiedererstarkens alter Kräfte zustande gekommen ist. Mit einer solchen Argumentation könnte er bei Bedarf auch das Bonner Grundgesetz zur Disposition stellen (vier Jahr nach Ende der Hilterdiktatur und unter dem Eindruck einer immer größeren gefühlten Bedrohnungslage aus dem Osten zustandegekommen) und, zum Beispiel, ebenso die Verfassungen der baltischen Staaten. Eine solche Argumentation wäre ein schöner Selbstbedienungsladen für etwaige künftige Kräfte, die eine einfache, aber keine verfassungsändernde Mehrheit erreichen und gleichwohl die Verfassung neu gestalten wollen.

  2. KH Mo 9 Okt 2017 at 13:13 - Reply

    Besten Dank, OG, für diesen Kommentar zum Blogbeitrag. Die Rückführung auf eine innerkatalanische Perspektive (als eine unter mehreren) beim Blick auf die Legitimität der Vorgänge halte ich ebenfalls für entscheidend, sie wird nötig sein, um die Lage zu deeskalieren. Es bedarf ihrer vor allem um die Unterscheidung zwischen Anliegen und Mitteln wieder hervortreten zu lassen, die zunehmend verwischt. Im Gespräch mit vielen Independistas kann man derzeit Argumente aus einem solchen Blickwinkel leider überhaupt nicht mehr wirksam einbringen, eine rationale Antwort auf die hiernach auftretenden Fragen wird schlicht verweigert. Umso mehr würde ich mich über eine kurze Replik von Herrn Krisch auf OGs Anmerkung freuen, zumal nicht nur radikale Stimmen in Katalonien die Verweigerung eines rationalen Diskurses gerade auch unter Verweis auf unkonventionelle rechtswissenschaftliche Beiträge/Gutachten (bzw. Auszüge daraus) stützen (die schlechte Praxis solcher mit „der Rechtslage“ begründeter Kommunikationsabbrüche haben die Katalanen freilich über Jahre selbst bei berechtigten Anliegen erfahren). Vielen Dank im Voraus.

  3. Steven Verbanck Mo 9 Okt 2017 at 21:56 - Reply

    If independists are pro-european, why did ERC voted against the Lissabon treaty (and the Constitution for Europe)?

  4. Alex Buendia Salvador Mi 11 Okt 2017 at 19:57 - Reply

    A fantastic article indeed. Thanks for explaining things so clearly and in an international view.

  5. Julio Montabes Mi 11 Okt 2017 at 21:23 - Reply

    Dear Steven,

    I believe the answer is easy to understand after the present events. But your question needs a previous clarification. ERC is not the only independentist party in Catalonia. Not even the main one for the moment. There is also the right wing PDECAT and the leftist CUP. PDECAT, formerly CiU is deeply europeist. It can be seen by the way as a way of escape from Spain.

    And now why did ERC vote against the Lisbon Treaty and the Europe Constitution. The answer is because they believe that the EU is not a political organization that protects people but one a that protects the states. In the case of Catalonia this is fatal because our state instead of protecting Catalonians is their enemy.

    Thanks for your interest.

  6. Julio Montabes Mi 11 Okt 2017 at 21:26 - Reply

    From Barcelona

  7. Prof. Matthias E. Storme Mo 23 Okt 2017 at 13:25 - Reply
  8. Rachana Do 2 Nov 2017 at 00:15 - Reply

    Thank you for this. I have been looking for information like this for a long time without finding it. I have 2 questions:

    1. What are your views on the charges against the Catalan government members?

    2. Rewind to Oct 16, 2015,when the amendments to the LOTC were published, 3 weeks after the Catalan government had been elected on a pro-independence platform.

    Given the previous history of failed legal attempts to have a legal referendum or other form of dialogue on independence, was there in fact any „legal/constitutional“ way for them to fulfill their campaign promises?

    (i.e. other than a continuous, infinite loop in which they making requests to the TC and are rejected)

    I view the subsequent resolutions on the independence process (unveiled around Oct 27 and passed) on Nov 9 as a sort of reaction to the Oct 2015 amendments; i.e. that (they felt) there was no other option but to establish a parallel legality, if enough people turned out in the referendum. Is there any merit to this view?

  9. Thilo Elmering Mi 11 Apr 2018 at 16:09 - Reply

    I read with much interest the article of Mr.Krisch, but I have to mention that there are several points that simply are not correct or at least imprecise.
    I totally agree with the points mentioned by OG and I will not repeat them, but I will give some points, mostly facts from my point of view.
    – I follow the argumentation from OG that questioning the Spanish constitution due to the fact of who and when it was defined would make the way free to question almost every other constitution in the world and I have to add, that the Spanish constitution was approved in a referendum with a wide majority, also in Cataluña (more than 90%).
    – The argument I often hear from independentists and is repeated by Mr.Krisch („Independentism would certainly be weaker if there were a prospect of meaningful autonomy – on cultural, educational, economic and financial matters, in particular“), is simply not correct. Cataluña already has very wide autonomous rights (own courts, education, own police, healthcare and with the new autonomous statute from 2006 also some taxes). This is more than most other European regions have.

    – Since the referendum on 1-O there have been new elections in Catalonia and again the separatists did not achieve a social majority, they achieved a majority in the parliament (again) due to Spanish election law. So, we have right now a situation with two blocks of some 45% favouring independence and another 45% against it, the rest undecided and any of the two blocks claims their votes for him. So, we see very clearly that it’s not THE Catalans that want independence it is a part of them and they are NOT majority. So, there is obviously a question of legitimation for the independentist movement.
    – In 2012 the new autonomous statute for Catalonia was decided and approved in the Catalan and Spanish parliament and in a referendum in Catalonia, even though it had very obvious contradictions to the Spanish constitution. The People’s Party (PP) led by Mr. Rajoy, who was in the opposition at that time claimed 114 of the 223 articles at the Constitutional Court, but in the end only 14 articles were found (partly) unconstitutional. These points were obviously unconstitutional, as is, that Catalonia is a nation, Catalan would be the preferred language, that Catalan law would be superior to Spanish law and some others.
    – Another frequently repeated topic is that there is no possible dialogue with the Spanish government. There was a very intense negotiation with the former socialist government from Mr. Zapatero, that had as a result the new statute. The problem is that from then on there were only two topics on the agenda of the Catalonian government: referendum and independence. As both are unconstitutional there was no room for negotiation for the Spanish president. The correct way with possibilities for dialogue should have been the proposal of a change in the constitution. But this has never even been tried by the Catalan separatists.
    – I live in Catalonia since 1.995 and have witnessed with astonishment the rise of independentism. Astonishment specially because in the day to day living you don’t feel the suppression of catalanism, it’s the other way round, you have to fight to get your constitutional rights as a Spanish citizen. This gap between the social reality (Spanish language as a secondary language at school, all public acts in Catalan, fines for not having signs in Catalan language at shops, language barriers for public jobs, where you need an elevated level of Catalan, even as doctor or musician) and the so-called oppression of the Catalans have created a social fracture between the Catalans, that will be difficult to heal.

  10. jordi alcon Mo 30 Jul 2018 at 19:56 - Reply

    Regarding Mr. Thilo Elmering comments: I recommend you taking a close look at his Twitter TL to see how consistently he RT the most right wing spanish politicians (Albert Rivera, Inés Arrimadas, Jordi Cañas) or even supports fascists that attack people just for planting yellow symbols against catalan political prisioners imprisionmnent.

    Beside this there are several points of his argumentations that I think are wrong:

    1. You can use the fact that Spanish constitution was approved in a referendum in Catalonia by more than 90%. But then it also would be fair to say that the votation took place in 1978. How many of alive catalans voted in that poll?: only those with 58 years or more. And, please, explain as well that, on October the 1st, catalans were beaten just for trying to vote again, But of course, to know what catalans think nowadays is nothing you are specially interested in.

    2. You talk about the elections in Catalonia (December the 21st):“… and again the separatists did not achieve a social majority, they achieved a majority in the parliament…“ So you try to pass our victory off as a defeat. And you talk about social majority being part of the repressive forces that don’t let people vote.

    3. There have been many attempts of negotiation. In fact the 2006 new Estatut was itself a huge wasted opportunity. And we also tryed to discuss the cronic underinvestment in Catalonia, the possibiity of reaching a real autonomy, more alike to the Pais Basque, or agree on a referendum. We always got „no“ as an answer.

    4. And finally, regarding the „social fracture between the Catalans“. You were not so worried about the „fracture“ when clearly less of 50% of the catalans wanted independence. You have started to worry now that yours are probably less than 50%.

    Best wishes

  11. cld_apcp Sa 1 Sep 2018 at 14:43 - Reply

    Der Essay ist große Klasse und hat durch die nachfolgenden Ereignisse (Art 155, Wahl unter einschüchternden Umständen, rechtswidrige Verhinderung der Regierungsbildung, Inhaftierung (Geiselnahme) und Exil der Regierungsmitglieder und anderer Beteiligter, Rechtsbeugung durch Llarena & Co, Orange Schlägertrupps etc etc etc) noch mehr an Überzeugungskraft gewonnen.

    Und es macht schon Spaß, zu sehen, wie sich OG und Herr Emerling winden und auf irgendwelche Micro-Details und Pseudo-Fakten berufen, um die offensichtlich überzeugende Argumentation zu widerlegen.

    Die Frage ist doch ganz einfach: Wovor haben die Gegner der Unabhängigkeit eigentlich solche Angst, wenn sie doch angeblich wissen, dass sie die berühmte „soziale Mehrheit“ (die hatte Hillary auch) hinter ihnen steht?

    Die Antwort ist eigentlich auch ziemlich einfach 😉

    Visca Catalunya lliure

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