October 27th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Joaquin Flores –
BARCELONA, SPAIN – The regional and self declared independent parliament of Catalonia has passed the vote for independence in the Catalan parliament, Catalonia has declared that it has gone its own way. Madrid has vowed to not recognize this under any conditions. This is a huge development not just for Spain but for all of Europe.
With more than the 68 votes required by Catalonia’s own internal process, at least 70 by 2pm in Spain, having recognized the results of the referendum, this afternoon’s announcement represents a major break with norms.
The speaker of the parliament declared before the vote: “We constitute the Catalan Republic, as an independent and sovereign country, under the rule of law,”
Should this independence be recognized by the US or other major powers, it would add significant weight to the declaration.
In reality, it Madrid possesses a near monopoly on the right to mobilize the punitive arm of the state, and will be forced to consider this option. This depends on the mood and temperament not just in Spain but in neighboring European countries.
The regional parliament in Barcelona began its debate at 1:30 p.m. Thousands of activists rallied outside since early in the morning, having foreknowledge that the parliament would take up this issue today.
Fearing repercussions, the regional parliament took the vote by secret ballot. Local activists said that far more than 70 parliamentarians supported the independence vote, but only a few more than the minimum was preferable so that any individual parliamentarian may in the future be able to deny having cast a ‘yes’ vote.
The Spanish Senate in Madrid is gearing to respond. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy may be granted the power to seize direct control of the rebel region. Because Rajoy’s party holds a majority in the upper chamber, this part of the political process swings in favor of Rajoy.
Precedence is a critical feature in international law, borrowing in part from legal system of the US and England following WWII.
As Euroscepticism grows in Spain, with left-wing parties like Podemos rhetorically defying the EU, and citizens on both the left and the right indicating they would elect a government that would withdraw from the EU if given the opportunity, the Catalonia gambit seems like a hedge against this.
Further confirmation of this hypothesis will come in the form of any EU recognition of the Catalonia independence vote today.