After more than 40 years of democracy in Spain and with a recent history of which we have much to learn, it is unbelievable that we have experience a day like that of last October 1st. The cause was a secessionist process which has broken all the rules of the game. A deep reflection should be made: the Catalan society, an entrepreneurial society which has much contributed to our common Spanish history over the centuries, has been immersed in a process that, beyond claiming legitimate aspirations for political and economic improvement, has been driven by the path of radicalism and rupture.
It was not a casual drift, but a process induced from the regional Government of Catalonia and the secessionist parties, some very radical ones, who have violated the law, the Constitution, the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia itself, and the resolutions of the courts of justice, to achieve its objectives. Being illegal and serious this behaviour, it is even more disturbing because it has encouraged the confrontation between Spaniards, the rupture of the pacific coexistence, and it has created a climate of collective tension with consequences difficult to predict. On October 1st, the exacerbated, supremacist nationalism which Catalonia is suffering, gave rise to a full day of confrontations which made necessary the intervention of the law enforcement bodies of the State, to comply with the judiciary decisions, and avoiding a plainly illegal and unconstitutional action.
In many media out of Spain was shown strong criticism and outraged over the use of police force to comply with the judiciary decisions. Twitter was on fire. Two days later, the harassment to the police which is taking place in Reus, Barcelona, Lerida, to the Police Headquarters of Barcelona and other Catalan towns, has not been mentioned by those same media at all. “In many places are being harassed and insulted, are receiving threats, coercion, some have reported that even have been thrown acid,” confirmed the police unions spokesman. They are being bullied not only the Civil Guards and Police who have temporarily moved to Catalonia but also those who always lived there, who are Catalans, born in Catalonia and with family in Catalonia. Who is behind systematic and organized harassment?
Yesterday, more than fifty roads connecting the Catalan cities were closed by strikers who placed burning tires as a barrier. In some cases, before the presence of the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police). Groups of people who cut the streets at their will, carrying independence flags, shouting that the own streets, and commanding to the few business which remain open, to close in protest for the police charges of last Sunday, when this strike was called long before those events. They are surrounding the police stations, the headquarters of the constitutionalist parties. Most of the demonstrators are young, high school students and university students. But there are also middle-aged people and children. “They are turning the schools into a kind of concentration camp where they put a Star of David on the arm of our children.” This is what some non-nationalist parents say about the treatment of their children in schools, if they don’t follow the teachers’ instructions.
Finally seems like some media out of Spain begin to see things with more objectivity: “Given the low participation and the indisputable illegality, there is no justification for the declaration of independence in Catalonia.” The printed edition of the Financial Times printed this yesterday, criticizing in its editorial the action of the Catalan regional government in the secessionist crisis. On the other hand, the French newspaper Le Monde said that the referendum “is manifestly against to the 1978 Constitution and o the rule of law, and does not respect the consultation rules which are admitted in a member country of the European Union…. This serious situation has plunged Spain into a deep political crisis.” Both Le Monde and the Financial Times come to the same conclusion regarding Sunday’s consultation and its low turnout.
While the spokesman for the Catalan regional government announced to the world that the “Yes” in favour of independence got 90.09% of the votes, based on a total of poll 2,262,424 ballots, there is another perspective: 42% of the census is a figure too small to legitimize any decision. About the counting I won’t speak: The examples of polls in which voting was repeated are infinite. In the small village of Palol de Rebardit of 470 inhabitants, the “Yes” casted 1,002 votes. A minor detail which does not seem to stop the unilateral statement. The Financial Times also believes that “the results of the October 1st referendum should be taken with caution, since there are many reasons to doubt the accuracy of the percentages and the number of votes presented by the Catalan government.” The complaint filed in which were seen images of several people voting twice in different schools, or ballot boxes which came to the polling stations with ballots inside, are just some of serious irregularities.
Those who have provoked this situation, who forced to the opposition parties to leave the Catalan Parliament before the political and legal outrage which took place on September 6th and 7th, who have despised the mandates of the Constitutional Court, who have used without restraint the regional police as their political police, who have committed this unforgivable crime of breaking social peace … they are now putting their hands to their heads because on October 1st were clashes with the law enforcement forces. But to those who are looking for a culprit here and there, I remind them that we all know clearly which institutions, political parties, names and surnames who have originated the “cause of the cause.”
The Executive guidelines and strategy to avoid the referendum do not seem to have worked, and the illegal and unconstitutional behaviour of the Catalan government has been somehow covered by the manipulated report about the police intervention, oversized, if not distorted, by the media terminals of the seditious, inside and outside Spain. Instead, those responsible for this crisis are still free outside there, denouncing and threatening the State and denigrating the Spanish democracy, at no cost. And the rest of the Spaniards continue to endure this denigration daily. This must end and there is only one way: by suspending Catalonia’s self-government as long as it takes, in order to return to the legal normality of institutions.