A quick note to share a smattering of links and thoughts related to the Catalan Independence movement and the latest wave of anti-austerity protests in the Club Med region:
Courting disaster in Spain via creditwritedowns.com
The eleconomista.es article referenced, which should be cause for alarm: Militares advierten a Mas de las consecuencias de promover la “fractura de España” (The Military warns (Artur) Mas (Catalunya’s regional president) of the consequences of promoting the “break up of Spain”)
and this on broader unrest in Greece and Madrid from Reuters via Yahoo!: Anti-cuts protests erupt on streets of Athens and Madrid
The people of the Mediterranean states are no fools, they realize that they have been made the scapegoats and guarantors for years of mismanagement by their parasitic central governments and banking sectors. In a reasonable world, where the government respected its citizens, a region like Catalunya would have the right to shrug off the debts of the central government and make a go of providing basic services on its own.
Something, that most Catalans will point out, it is capable of doing very well.
However, when it comes to sovereign debt, it appears that there is no escape for the capable. Rather, the noose is generally tightened as the central government becomes increasingly desperate for revenue.
All reasonable dialogue is thrown out the window, and the central government makes a nationalist appeal and orders subservience at the point of a gun, as evidenced by the statement issued by the Spanish Military Association to Artur Mas.
The statement comes in response to protests calling for Catalan independence that included one in five Catalans (1.5 Million of 7.5 Million).
We must note, however, that the Catalans are an unusually peaceful people, and the chances of widespread violence are nil.
We were attending grad school in Barcelona when the tragic Madrid train bombing occurred on March 12, 2004. Apalled by the violence, we participated in a protest of similar size.
It was beautiful.
We took the Metro to Passeig de Gracia and slowly streamed down Barcelona’s grandest boulevard. As we came together with the main march, it was apparent that this was a large event which was hell-bent on rejecting the violence with an overwhelming show of peace.
As we marched down the Paseo, from time to time the procession of millions would stop, clap our hands, slap our legs, and then hold our hands, palms out, in front of us in silence in a grand gesture that shouted through the silence:
Adin Ballou would have been proud.
Enough of terrorism, enough of war. This message came to the world in stark contrast to the regular reaction of an eye for an eye that had been pursued up to this point with predictable results.
We pray that this latest round of protests in our beloved Catalunya and Spain end in a similar fashion, with a firm and peaceful rejection of austerity, and a show of solidarity and goodwill towards men.