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(147 Posts)
Granny23 Sun 01-Oct-17 18:23:31

I have been visiting DD2 today and covertly watching horrendous events unfold in Catalonia while keeping the DGC entertained in another room. Home now and surprised that no one on GN seems to be interested in what is happening there today - not in some 3rd world country far away but in a near neighbour, civilised state where some GNetters live and many visit for holidays.

Here is a link to my favourite blogger's take on the situation.

MaizieD Sun 01-Oct-17 18:37:44

I've seen footage of the police brutality on twitter and am too rigid with horror and disgust to contribute much.

But I've been following the story for a few days...

TriciaF Sun 01-Oct-17 18:49:12

I didn't even know where Catalonia was ( and I should do, not all that far from us.)
It's really shocking. But made me think, how many European countries, have serious domestic problems of their own.
How can we ever be a unit when we're all so different?

whitewave Sun 01-Oct-17 19:00:10

It shows how governments will challenge any threat to its legitimacy/ power base. This could happen anywhere.

BlueBelle Sun 01-Oct-17 19:18:40

I have followed it, many of us have followed what has been going on for years Catalonia has wanted independence much like Scotland for a long time I remember many years ago terror attacks in that area I seem to remember a train getting derailed a long time ago
Horrible treatment The Spanish police can be very brutal I have seen them whacking with their truncheon type things when I was there once
Very sad situation

Newquay Sun 01-Oct-17 19:47:25

Absolutely horrendous situation. Pitting people against each other-police, local police, fire fighters.
I should think it has all but guaranteed Catalonian independence now.

Morgana Sun 01-Oct-17 19:49:40

I believe that Catalonia is one of the richest areas of Spain, which is obviously why the Central Govt. is anxious to keep the region. In many ways it is reminiscent of England not wanting to let go of Ireland or Scotland. But it is very sad that in what we might consider a more civilized part of the world, such police brutality and Govt. intransigence are manifested.

maryeliza54 Sun 01-Oct-17 20:00:56

It's just heartbreaking isn't it watching the scenes in Barcelona and elsewhere. It's impossible to fully understand the situation without understanding the horrors of the civil war and the way that Franco treated the Catalans( amongst others) . It's said that the night he died, Barcelona drank itself dry. Football matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona always have that subtext. It's only just over 50 years since he died and so the indescribable horrors of his regime are well within living memory. So the scenes we see are a dreadful and all too evocative playing out of recent history and do have an extra resonance for the Catalans. The Spanish Government have just done a great deal to add to the support for independence.

Baggs Sun 01-Oct-17 21:40:58

I don't think one can assume, about this or anything else, that no-one's interested just because they haven't commented on Gransnet.

petra Sun 01-Oct-17 22:08:41

Thank you baggs some of us were 'talking' about this a few days ago, but obviously some people weren't watching as it wasn't on the news thread.
It breaks my heart as I know this region very well and have had personal experience of aggressive Spanish police.

paddyann Sun 01-Oct-17 22:40:13

there are photographs online of todays brutality and the exact same scenes from Franco's reign 50odd years ago.I am disgusted that the "foreign secretary" Mr Johnston has said the treatment by police was basically none of our business.The EU MUST invoke article 7 of the Lisbon treaty against Spain....they can not be allowed to use violence against their own people .....I have watched over years the growing independence movement in Catalonia ,it has been peaceful and hopeful and many here in Scotland have cheered them on their journey.What happened today was an affronnt to not just democracy but to humanity...These "police" beat unarmed civilians ,,men women and children ,and they must be brought to justice for it .Noticeably it was rare to find news on the BBC ..until quite late in the day and even then the emphasis was on the referendum being "illegal" .My thoughts and prayers are with the people who fought those monsters today and my wish is that they get the independence they have voted by 80% to get

Primrose65 Sun 01-Oct-17 23:14:20

But the EU has already said this is an internal matter for Spain. Even before today this has been in the press - this is from the FT who have written several articles every day last week about the situation.

29th Sept - Catalonia falls on Deaf EU ears.
"While there has been some behind-the-scenes disquiet about the police tactics used by Madrid, Brussels and the EU capitals remain unanimous in saying this is an internal Spanish question and that they respect the rule of law."

Whatever any politician thinks privately, it would be difficult for any EU leader or senior politician to condone lawbreaking in a democracy.

That doesn't mean the Spanish government behaved reasonably. I wish the EU would step up and de-escalate the situation instead of ignoring it.

MaizieD Sun 01-Oct-17 23:18:34

Isn't it more usual in this day and age to arrest people who are acting illegally and bring them to trial? Not beat them up...

MaizieD Sun 01-Oct-17 23:20:08

Though, of course, the governance of any state ultimately rests on the threat of violence.

paddyann Sun 01-Oct-17 23:34:38

Internal matter or not it has been very badly handled by the Spanish government,should we expect the same treatment from Westminster when we decide to have another referendum? And will the rest of the EU and the world just stand back and see it happen ?

Primrose65 Sun 01-Oct-17 23:37:35

Actually, that was what the Catalan government were hoping would happen - they would be arrested. According to the FT anyway.
The FT view was that the arrest would provoke an outrage and increase the support for Catalan independence. Although how the Spanish government's actions were not outrageous is beyond me.

MaizieD Sun 01-Oct-17 23:49:07

Well, I should think that the Spanish government have certainly increased support for Catalan independence now.

Is anyone saying that the Spanish government's actions were not outrageous, Primrose? (Apart from the usual hard nuts who think that violence is a fine solution for disobedience... and the Spanish government...)

Eloethan Sun 01-Oct-17 23:52:34

I don't really know enough about this to comment much, except to agree with whitewave that this sort of situation could occur anywhere and the police would presumably, as in Spain, carry out the will of governement in a similar way.

I don't know why the Catalans want to be independent. I feel torn on issues like this because I tend to think that if more and more groups of people within certain areas want to pull away from the main group then ultimately this would be isolationist and divisive. On the other hand, if there is a possibility that the majority of people within a region seek independence, should the state be allowed to prevent a vote being taken to establish what peoples' wishes are?

It seems to me that when people seek independence from the main body it is usually because they feel they are being ignored or disadvantaged by central government, or they are in a region where valuable resources are located and they wish to keep those resources for themselves rather than share them - or a combination of the two.

It does make me wonder about the notion of "democracy" when it appears acceptable to shut down newspaper offices and generally prevent the dissemination, by any other means, of information and opinion. It does seem that the police are being very brutal and it is surprising and worrying to see a European country experiencing this level of violence. I think these sort of bully boy tactics will just harden attitudes and probably escalate the violence.

Granny23 Mon 02-Oct-17 00:59:38

Sorry if I have offended anyone. I was anxious to see what other Gransnetters thought of the situation as I find that the usual range of comments on any subject helps me to determine if I am over reacting and puts my own thoughts into perspective. I was amazed to find no threads about Catalonia but did only search the NEWS/POLITICS forum as that seemed the obvious place for a discussion.

Welshwife Mon 02-Oct-17 08:03:49

I saw a report yesterday which said that 60% of the Catalans neither want independence nor wanted the referendum held yesterday. It was a new report but I cannot remember where I read it.
DGD went to Barcelons on Saturday - however she and her friend went to a disco on Saturday night - not getting in till the early hours so spent yesterday catching up on sleep!

lemongrove Mon 02-Oct-17 08:18:06

Spanish police tending to be on the brutal side is nothing new, but we in the UK are not used to police brutality.
That doesn’t condone it, but explains why it happened.
Catalonia is a region of Spain, just as Andalusia or anywhere else is.It isn’t a country in it’s own right such as Scotland.
It’s similar to Cornwall wanting to set up on it’s own ( am sure there are a few there who would like to!)
The best thing the Spanish government could have done was to say, by all means hold a referendum, but we give no legality to it and will disregard the results.

Welshwife Mon 02-Oct-17 08:33:59

42% of those eligible to vote voted and 90% of them wanted independence - so in fact 38% (roughly) of the electorate are in favour of being independent.

MaizieD Mon 02-Oct-17 08:37:49

I saw a report yesterday which said that 60% of the Catalans neither want independence nor wanted the referendum held yesterday

Well, if that were true then it would have been reflected in a No vote if the referendum had been allowed to go ahead. The irrationality being shown in this affair is surprising.

(Though, if we're talking of irrationality, we've got Brexit, so perhaps I shouldn't be surprised)

varian Mon 02-Oct-17 08:44:46

Perhaps if the Spanish government had organised a referendum, and asked the question " should Catalonia remain part of Spain?" (not allowing the separatists to have the advantage of YES) and made it clear that the referendum was advisory and set a minimum turnout and minimum majority and ensured that Catalonian people living in other parts of Spain would have a say, the result would have been quite different.

Maggiemaybe Mon 02-Oct-17 08:49:49

should we expect the same treatment from Westminster when we decide to have another referendum?
What makes you think that, paddyann? confused