domingo, 4 de octubre de 2020

CATALONIA -- The Catalan Crisis Threatens to Reopen a Debate That the EU’s Power Brokers Thought They Had Long Ago Quashed -

The Catalan Crisis Threatens to Reopen a Debate That the EU’s Power Brokers Thought They Had Long Ago Quashed -



Though it is largely forgotten today, there was during the late 80s
and early 90s a vigorous debate in numerous sectors of European life
about whether the EU would be best structured as a Union of Regions or
as a Union of States.

Adherents of the first posture hoped and believed that the goal the
then still-emerging Union should be to greatly lessen the importance of
existing national boundaries and governments and to promote, or at least
not stand in the way of, the emergence of new economic and social
regions. For example, since the Galician region of Spain shares much in
the way of language culture and geography with neighboring northern
Portugal, it should, according to this outlook, be free to loosen
existing bonds with far-away Madrid and direct more of its resources and
infrastructural aims toward forging economic and social integration
with nearby and traditionally dynamic Oporto.

This, of course, frightened the proponents of a Europe of States, who
quite rightly saw such developments as a threat to dramatically
diminish the prerogatives of existing governments.

For reasons that are too numerous to examine fully here, but that
include bureaucratic inertia, and the desire of an always meddling US to
have the ability to play states off against each other both within a
dramatically-expanded NATO and the EU as a whole, the idea of the Europe
of Regions was eventually bludgeoned into insignificance by the
proponents of a Europe of the States.

Yet, for all their success in neutering the practical day-to-day
effects of a Europe of Regions, the proponents of the Europe of States
were unable to fully disable certain institutions, such as the European
Parliament and the European Court of Justice, forged and/or strengthened
in the early years of the EU, and whose structure implicitly militated
against the continuing weight and hegemony of state governments within
the overall functioning of the confederation.

For example, while a candidate for the European Parliament nominally
“comes from” one or another member state, voters from any jurisdiction
in the Union can select him or her on the ballot. He or she is thus not
only a representative of, say, Spain and the Spanish citizens, but of
the European people as a whole.


sábado, 3 de octubre de 2020

Catalonia in turmoil after Supreme Court removes president – POLITICO

Catalonia in turmoil after Supreme Court removes president – POLITICO



Catalonia has been plunged into turmoil again by Spain's removal of
its regional president, Quim Torra, and his separatist party’s refusal
to call a snap election.

The Spanish Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Torra violated
electoral law, paving the way for his immediate removal as the region’s
separatist leader.

The court upheld last year’s regional court ruling
that Torra was guilty of disobedience for taking three days to remove
banners and yellow ribbons draped on public buildings in support of
jailed pro-independence leaders during an election campaign in 2019, in
defiance of the election commission.

The lower court had banned him from public office for 18 months and
fined him €30,000 plus the legal costs of the trial. In his appeal,
Torra argued that his decision not to remove the symbols immediately was
“political” rather than “administrative” and should be protected by the
right to freedom of expression.




CATALONIA --- Why the fight for Catalan independence isn’t over yet – POLITICO

Why the fight for Catalan independence isn’t over yet – POLITICO




Three years after Catalonia held a historic referendum on
self-determination, we are still a long way from resolving a conflict
that continues to deny Catalonians the right to determine their future.

The Spanish state, immersed in an institutional crisis of a depth not
seen since the death of dictator Francisco Franco, has been unable to
come up with political proposals to solve the dispute.

Several recent developments are standing in the way of progress.

The country’s highest office, the monarchy, has lost all credibility.
Public support for the institution is at an all-time low following the flight of King Juan Carlos I,
who has sought to escape a corruption investigation. His son Felipe
VI’s decision to align with the right-wing, conservative branch of
politics is another blow to the royal family’s reputation. In Catalonia,
some 71 percent of people say they would prefer a republic; only 14 percent prefer a monarchy. The fact that dictator Franco was the one to appoint
Juan Carlos to be his successor as head of state, and thereby restored
the monarchy when he died, no doubt plays a part in people’s growing
rejection of the monarchy.