Catalan Leader Accuses Madrid of the ‘Worst Attacks’ Since Franco’s Dictatorship

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( — October 24, 2017) — Madrid imposed direct rule on Catalonia, Spain’s richest region, whose citizens expressed will to leave Spain and establish their own country with its own government, setting Barcelona as the capital.  

The referendum on which Catalans would choose whether to separate was brutally opposed by strong police force; however, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said that he would proclaim independence regardless, following the will of the people.

The will of the people wasn’t properly measured since the referendum was declared unconstitutional and dismissed. 

The Catalan independence referendum of 2017, also known by the numeronym 1-O (for “1 October”) in Spanish and Catalan media, was an independence referendum held on 1 October 2017 in the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia. The referendum was declared illegal on 7 September 2017 and suspended by the Constitutional Court of Spain. however, surveys imply that 90% of participants want to break away. Catalonia which had its own government lost all special privileges after Spain’s central government activated constitutional right and seized all administrative control over the region.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont called the move of Spain’s regime “the worst attack against the institutions and the people of Catalonia since the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco.” Calling on the same principles the EU had implemented after the Serbian Southern province of Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence, Catalonian government tried to secure the same treatment.

The EU officials, however, said that Kosovo is a “special case” because Serbia was not a member of the EU, which aggravated Serbia who asked the EU to explain why international law is not valid for non EU countries.

Although under great pressure from its Western allies Spain never recognized Kosovo as an independent country regarding its own problems with secessionist movement in Catalonia. Spain’s government officially asked its strong ally Serbia not to pressure the EU on the obvious double standards and the Serbian government agreed.

Securing the EU’s support, Madrid activated Article 155 of the Constitution which allows Spain to cancel Catalonia’s autonomy and centralize the government. The move led to waves of peaceful protests of Catalans and their supporters across the country.

In his address to the media Puigdemont stressed that the people of Catalonia would never accept such a decision by the central Spanish government, and announced that he had asked the regional parliament to hold a debate on the measures taken by Madrid.

No one really knows what to expect next, but experts on geopolitics agree that pushing Kosovo’s independence by force destabilized Europe and opened a “Pandora’s box.” Now, all eyes are pointed at the US who has problems of its own. If Catalonia secures at least one powerful ally, this could escalate to a second civil war in Spain. The first one, against Dictator Franco, was an overture to WWII.