Catalonia: independence, dreams, time — real (The Guardian)

Каталония: независимость — в мечтах, сроки — реальные (The Guardian)

On Monday the Spanish Supreme court has announced its verdict in the landmark case against the 12 Catalan leaders charged with sedition, subversive activities and embezzlement of public funds in connection with their involvement in the failed attempt two years ago to seek independence for Catalonia.With nine charges of sedition were dropped, but they were convicted on less serious charges of subversive activities and embezzlement of public funds.How has it evolved in recent years, the movement for independence, and how some of its key leaders were in the dock?Why some Catalans want independence?In the last decade, the louder the calls for independence on the part of those Catalans who believe their wealthy region has the moral, cultural and political right to self-determination, and that he has long been investing in the Spanish economy much more than it receives in return.But although the government of Catalonia different compositions repeatedly insisted that requiring independence, they act on behalf of all Catalans, public opinion polls consistently show that the number of supporters and opponents of independence is about the same.Pro-independence party managed to gain 50% of votes in regional elections. Meanwhile, the number of advocating secession from Spain, which reached a record level at 48.7% in October 2017, is currently 44%, and 48.3% of Catalans are against independence.Is it always the question of independence was key in Catalan politics?Some Catalans have long been dreaming of independence, but on the forefront of this issue came only in recent years. In 2010 the Department performed approximately 20%.The calls for secession increased when Spain entered a period of painful and prolonged economic crisis. The then President of Catalonia Artur Mas (Artur Mas) began to advocate for independence in 2011, when it was very much outrage at the policies of austerity pursued his center-right coalition “Convergence and Union”. Critics have accused the Mas in a cynical maneuvering and trying to refocus this perturbation on the Central government in Madrid.Many local residents also resented the decision of the Spanish constitutional court of 2010 on the abolition and modify the wording in the Provision on the autonomy of Catalonia of 2006, which gave the region more independence.As the government of Catalonia different compositions tried to gain independence?In short, through the holding of two referendums in violation of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, which is based on the “indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation”.In November 2014, the government of Arturo Mas held symbolic and non-binding referendum on independence in defiance of the ruling of the Spanish constitutional court, which declared the vote illegal. Then, more than 80% of the participants voted for independence. But the referendum involved only 2.3 of the 5.4 million Catalan voters eligible to vote. Subsequently, the Mac for two years were forbidden to hold public office.Three years later the successor government of Masa, Mr. Carles Pokdemon (Carles Puigdemont) ignored the warnings of the Spanish government and the constitutional court of the country, continuing to insist on the referendum. Speakers for independence parties at the beginning of September 2017 was able to spend in the regional Parliament the law on the referendum, despite the fierce objections of the opposition deputies, who stated that the usual procedure is completely ignored. The country’s constitutional court subsequently overturned the law.The Spanish government headed by then Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (Mariano Rajoy) are also demanded to cancel the vote and sent to the Catalonia thousands of police.Held on 1 October 2017, the referendum was marked by violence because the Spanish police tried to stop him by force. According to the government of Catalonia, with a turnout of 42% (almost half of the voters, despite calls from Madrid to stay at home — approx. ed.) about 90% of the participants voted for independence.Of police wrote and told the media all over the world that have harmed the reputation of Spain, and the referendum has plunged the country into the most serious since the return to democracy, political and constitutional crisis.What happened next?Nine days later Pujdeme signed the Declaration of independence, however, offered to postpone its entry into force for two months in order to dialogue. However, who advocated the independence of the Catalan MPs 27 October 2017 held a vote and unilaterally declared independence from Spain, although the session was boycotted by dozens of deputies from the opposition.In less than an hour, the Spanish Senate approved the application of article 155 of the Constitution, which allowed the Rajoy’s government to assume direct control of Catalonia, to send Pokdemon to resign and appoint early regional elections.In the December elections the three parties that advocated for the independence of Catalonia, received 47.7 per cent of the votes and 70 seats 135 mandates in the regional Parliament. But the main winner was the centre-right party “Citizens”, who advocated the unity of the country. She won 37 seats.Direct control was abolished in June 2018, when was sworn in the new government of Catalonia.What are the legal consequences of the referendum?Two key members of the government Pokdemon and two leading independence fighter Cuixart Jordi (Jordi Cuixart) and Jordi Sanchez (Jordi Sànchez) was arrested and he was charged.Nine of the 12 defendants, including Cuixart, Sanchez, the former Vice-President of Catalonia Oriola of Junkers (Oriol Junqueras) and former speaker of the Catalan Parliament Forcadell Carme (Carme Forcadell) was accused of sedition that threatened them to 25 years imprisonment.Pujdeme and three former Ministers of his Cabinet fled to Belgium to avoid arrest.What’s next?It’s a great question. The movement for the independence of Catalonia has always been distinguished by peaceful nature. The President of the region Kim Torr (Quim Torra) urged the Catalans to answer the sentence “a powerful demonstration of non-violent civil disobedience”.However, it is expected that the so-called committees for the defense of the Republic will resort to more active actions, including the overlap highways and Railways.In late September, police in Barcelona arrested nine people associated with the committees in defense of the Republic, who allegedly planned acts of sabotage on the objects of the Catalan infrastructure. Seven of them remain under arrest, and accused of belonging to a terrorist organization and possession of explosives.Acting Prime Minister of Spain Pedro sánchez (Pedro Sánchez) has taken a more conciliatory stance on the issue of independence than Rajoy, however, has ruled out the possibility of a referendum and stressed that any negotiations must be conducted in accordance with the Constitution.Sanchez warned that the new government, if necessary, may apply to the 155-th article of the Constitution, however, stated the need for peaceful coexistence in Catalonia.Meanwhile, after the referendum, the independence movement had lost its initial potential. If Putteman, Torr and others insist on keeping the pressure on Madrid and on the continuation of the movement towards independence, the “Republican Left of Catalonia” in favor of less confrontational and more pragmatic approach.Whatever the verdict of the Supreme court to find answers to the Catalan question, as always, unlikely.

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