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 10 Independence - or not? (Read 4861 times)
PlanesPete
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Independence - or not?
Sep 19th, 2014 at 1:14pm
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Well, the Scots have decided to stay in the UK. It seems that the majority were not convinced that they had a bad deal and that the brave new world of Alex Salmond would be an improvement.

Wonder how that will affect things here? Perhaps Rajoy will be encouraged to give the Catalans a legal and binding vote.
If they did vote for independence, I for one would be out of Catalonia as soon as possible. What do you think?
  
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El_Alto
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #1 - Sep 19th, 2014 at 1:40pm
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Hi Pete,

Just curious; what terrible things do you expect to happen to you if the Catalans vote for independence? Why should you leave Catalonia ASAP in that case?

Mark
  
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Terry EA3EWO
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #2 - Sep 19th, 2014 at 4:03pm
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If Catalunya did get independence, which I doubt, do you think they would get automatic entry to EU, Spain seems to think not and would do everything they could to stop it, how would that affect your pension, or even living there.
According to this mornings Spanish news they were even against Scotlands independence.
Terry.
  
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PlanesPete
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #3 - Sep 19th, 2014 at 5:10pm
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El Alto... Just my opinion but a tiny new nation (Scotland or Catalonia) would likely face severe financial problems as it would be nearly impossible to borrow through normal channels and at the same time it would face big expenses in having to 'internationalise' itself. Catalunya is already squeezing every cent out of the population and moves to squeeze foreigners even more as an undefended minority seems very possible.
If anyone can tell me why things would get better I'd be interested to hear. Many commentators think that 20 or more years of severe financial pain would be experienced by little new nations with no international 'clout'.
  
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ebrorob
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #4 - Sep 19th, 2014 at 6:51pm
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PlanesPete wrote on Sep 19th, 2014 at 5:10pm:
El Alto... Just my opinion but a tiny new nation (Scotland or Catalonia) would likely face severe financial problems as it would be nearly impossible to borrow through normal channels and at the same time it would face big expenses in having to 'internationalise' itself. Catalunya is already squeezing every cent out of the population and moves to squeeze foreigners even more as an undefended minority seems very possible.
If anyone can tell me why things would get better I'd be interested to hear. Many commentators think that 20 or more years of severe financial pain would be experienced by little new nations with no international 'clout'.


I think you have got it spot on there PlanesPete.If Catalunya did get Independence I should think the value of our properties would be one of the first things to drop & of course making them harder to sell to overseas buyers.But then again this would be a good thing for the Catalans looking to buy property. Not much chance of a quick getaway for you then PP.   Wink
  
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Tony
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #5 - Sep 19th, 2014 at 9:02pm
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And if we did manage to sell our properties - for those wishing to return to the UK it would make it even harder to find something to purchase with the little that we would receive.   The rest of us would be stuck here whether we wanted to be or not.  But I am glad for you PP that you can obviously afford to return to the UK with no worry.  So lets all use our vote when the time comes, if only to counteract that of the Moroccans.
And if that is being negative well then I am sorry !
  
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El_Alto
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #6 - Sep 20th, 2014 at 3:37pm
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Hi Pete,

I can imagine an independent Catalonia will face severe problem, I just don't see an urgent reason to leave ASAP for foreigners.

As long as you are not depending on it, a bad local economy is often an advantage (cheap labour, cheap restaurants etc.). Prices of property may drop but that is a good reason to stay and enjoy what you have (instead of leave and loose money in a bad market). So if you are not forced to sell, staying will be the better option.

And imho Catalunya is not squeezing every cent out of foreigners. Most taxes are much less then in my own country (property tax, cummunity tax, car tax etc). It is not very likely that will change in an independent Catalonia; locals can't pay higher taxes and a seperate tax-system for EU-foreigners will cut of any change to get back in the EU ever again.

Mark
  
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Snowhitsky
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #7 - Sep 20th, 2014 at 6:30pm
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I think it unlikely that Catalonia will either get a referendum or independence. First of all, unlike the UK, referenda in Spain have to be organized at national level (whole of of Spain) and not at the autonomous community level (ie. Catalonia). This is defined by the constitution which everyone, Catalans included, voted for when democracy was restored. The constitution can be modified but you need two thirds of the votes in parliament and the Catalan parties have failed to achieve this.

Yesterday the Catalan parliament decided to go it alone, ignore the Spanish constitution and call a referendum in Catalonia anyway. The Spanish government is now appealing to the Constitutional Tribunal which will in all likelihood quash the Catalan law as unconstitutional.

The next likely step is that the Catalan parliament will call early elections which will be fought on the issue of independence. If those in favour of independence win a majority, there is a chance they will declare independence unilaterally and hope for the best. The likely outcome is that the Spanish government will temporarily, as per the constitution, take over the government of Catalonia until further notice.

Most Catalans I speak to seem to think the Spanish government won't dare and everything will go swimmingly whilst conveniently overlooking the following factors:

  • The current ruling party, Partido Popular, are the direct heirs of the Franco regime and are itching for a showdown with any independence movement.


  • The Spanish government has the constitution and the law on its side even if they are slowly losing the moral argument.


  • No European country or major nation has given support to the Catalan indepence movement. Not surprising since it would set a precedent for their own minorities and no goverment in its right mind would give support to an anti-constitutional movement in a peaceful, democratic country.


  • The EU has consistently said that any breakaway state would have to apply to join the EU as per  the (Maastricht?) treaty. This application would need to be approved by all 28 member countries so if Spain vetoes it, Catalonia stays out. This explains why the SNP was extremely cautious about mentioning the Catalan issue as they were very conscious that Spain would in all likelihood veto Scotland's re-entry in the EU just to show the Catalans.


Now let's assume the Spanish government doesn't intervene and accepts Catalonian independence. As previously mentioned, Catalonia would be outside the EU and without a Central Bank to lend money to its government. In order to pay civil service wages the first measure of the new Catalan government would be to shut down the banks and ATMs, take a certain percentage of money out of all bank accounts to avoid bankruptcy. This is what happened in Cyprus, a EU member, a couple of years ago. Catalonia would eventually have to create its own currency (using the euro in the long term would be almost impossible) which would most likely be devalued overnight.

As far as the economy goes I'm fairly certain most Catalan companies would  struggle to sell products in the rest of Spain and could face border tariffs to sell to the rest of the EU. I suspect all those companies that could afford to, would move their manufacturing plants to Aragon or Valencia. The rest would struggle to keep going since the Catalan economy is largely export-driven.

A practical example would be Barcelona FC. Most Catalans are under the impression that this team would go on playing in the Spanish league as "the Liga wouldn't be worth anything without Barcelona FC". The Liga would certainly lose a bit of interest but I suspect Barcelona FC would rapidly go bankrupt on the pittance it would earn from playing in the Catalan league.

My final comment on the issue is that if the Catalan goverment feels free to trample the Spanish constitution for its own selfish interest what validity will a Catalan constitution have? Any "democratic" group (a town, region, expats...etc) within Catalonia would be able to use the precedent set by the Catalan government to go it alone.

Having said all this the Catalans do have legitimate grievances that are being ignored by the Spanish government. The PP in particular has made it an electoral strategy to bash the Catalans in order to gain more votes elsewhere in Spain. Frankly, both sides of the debate are being selfish, bloody-minded and blithely ignoring the consequences of their actions. In a word, they're being Spanish about it...
  
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ebrorob
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #8 - Sep 21st, 2014 at 1:33pm
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Thanks for that input Snowhitsky.Very informative.
  
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JamJarChris
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #9 - Sep 22nd, 2014 at 12:26pm
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Good analysis, Snowhitsky

Can I add that the Catalans I speak to seem to believe that that it is unthinkable that the EU would not let them straight (back) in the EU - that the EU needs Catalonia. The same applies to La Liga and Barcelona. I find that strange.

The Catalans that I speak to feel that the Constitution is unfair and therefore do not 'care' if they break it - hmmm... that is worrying.

Spain needs Catalonia for economic reasons, and I dread to think what would happen if Catalonia were to remove it's tax revenues from Spain. This alone could cause a large problem for the EU.

Not all doom n gloom 'tho - and independent Catalonia could eventually be quite a busy place indeed.
  

quod ambit, redit
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Snowhitsky
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #10 - Sep 22nd, 2014 at 9:38pm
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Same thing happened in Scotland to a lesser extent. People would rather believe their dreams than face the harsh reality.

Another thing the Catalans are blissfully unaware of is the extent to which they shooting themselves in the foot by continuously harping on about how much better they are than rest of Spain and how Spain/EU would simply not survive without them. This breathtaking  arrogance and sense of superiority is not gaining them any friends both inside and out of Spain.
  
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Tony
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Re: Independence - or not?
Reply #11 - Sep 22nd, 2014 at 11:19pm
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I am afraid it is the usual head in the sand / cannot see farther than the end of their nose attitude.
  
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