Some are wondering what is happening in Catalonia since they voted for independence in October and Spain called for a special election. Well, I reached out on Twitter to my Catalan followers and received several responses. Here is the most detailed response I have received so far:
Angel Fox: Can you tell me what the current situation in Catalonia is?
What will the government do..? I don’t know. It will depend on a variety of pressures and calculations. As important as what the government does right now is what the judiciary does. How directly does the government control prosecutors and judges is not completely clear to me. On the one hand they do appoint them and they share this fanatical ideology about Spanish unity. So with prosecutors, there’s a chain of command and they obey the minister who obeys Rajoy. With judges, be it the supreme court or audiencia nacional, they too are political appointees. But I don’t know if they can just get told what to do..
Angel Fox: What do you see the Spanish government doing next?
@DemocracyInCatalonia: So, I guess I’m not answering your second question. I guess they would like to find a way of stabilizing the situation and to recover normality. Their international standing has taken a hit. Spain is no longer that “friendly albeit sort of average western-European country”, they care about reputation that’s for sure, but Spanish unity is even more important. I am 40 years old, I’ve been living in Barcelona for 18 years, I’m culturally Spanish (as opposed to Catalan), half-Irish (hence my English).. anyway, these are completely unchartered waters for us.
Angel Fox: How are the Catalan people responding to the current situation?
@DemocracyInCatalonia: As to the last question, very quickly: On the pro-independence side there is a very high degree of determination, it has become a question of democracy and dignity. On the unionist side, it is very confusing.. mainly many people who are not usually political have been mobilized to vote through the demonization of separatism by the media. The challenge for the independence movement is to make greater inroads amongst Spanish speakers and convince them about the virtues of the Catalan Republic as a democratic project on which to build the kind of decent society which is impossible within the Spanish state.
It is clear to me that the Catalan people are not giving up. However, the Spanish government is clearly fascist and Rajoy, as a dictator, intends to try and squash their victory and his call for a new election backfired. President Puigdemont will continue his presidency in exile until these issues can be resolved. Hopefully, it is done peacefully for the sake of my friends in Catalonia. Peace be with you and love.