The Clock is Ticking in Catalonia

And so it continues…

Things are heating up. Some of the Catalan separatists say the government is backing them into a corner and they will have no choice but to declare independence. Well why haven’t they done so already? Why didn’t they do so when they first signed the paper?

It seems the game of cat and mouse is being stretched out to the point where the central government have no option but to invoke (the now famous) Article 155 and reinstate the law.

Meanwhile the more bolshie types are starting to get agitated. There are calls for widespread disruption. For this we can read – for now at least – student protests and strikes by council workers.

Who benefits from such actions? Nobody.

Workers and students…

It is a widely accepted that Catalonia is one of the most prosperous regions in Spain. A large part of that wealth comes from the investment of private companies – and many of those are foreign.

It is very unlikely that those working for such companies will take part in any strike. They could be sacked. Probably quite rightly so. And so, the disruption will be caused by those employed either directly or indirectly by the Catalan regional government. Meanwhile the private company employees continue to (largely) pay for it all. This, sadly, is the way these things tend to work out.

Slightly more worrying is the student actions. Already as part of a planned “strike action” the independence supporters have been blocking entry to colleges and disrupting classes for those who want to continue as normal. Who knew students even did anything that could justify a “strike”?

Joking aside however it is clear that some form of intimidation is already occurring and when that happens violence usually follows.

Predictable? Dangerous?

Kids (for that is what they are) who were not even born when the constitution was signed are wielding placards and banners equating the present government and present monarch with Franco. Yes; they are playing the ‘Franco card’ and it is both sad and pathetic in equal measure. It may be a last throw of the dice to garner some sort of international support. Any foreigner who knows little of the current situation (and possibly less of the history) will certainly jump to some conclusion when confronted with the faces of Prime Minister Rajoy, King Felipe and Franco on the same poster.  It was both predictable and dangerous.

So what now?

Bizarrely with all the pleading for more “dialogue” (from all sides) the Catalan president Mr. Puigdemont is not taking up the offer to address the county’s senate and state his case for independence.

Tomorrow’s senate vote on implementing Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution could prove a catalyst for the end of this crisis. Or maybe the beginning of the end. Right now it is on a knife-edge and nobody knows what will happen for sure.

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