Oct 2, 2017

Catalan independence referendum turns violent as police storm voting stations

With national police raiding and closing dozens of voting booths yesterday, it is clear that the vote will not be recognised by the conservative People’s Party government in Madrid.

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

The overwhelming vote of Catalonia’s referendum in favour of independence yesterday was hardly surprising, nor was the violence that accompanied it as police tried to shut down voting. Not all Catalans want independence from Spain, so avoided the vote, leaving the field clear for independence supporters, while sovereign states are usually loath to see any part of their territory secede.

The push for Catalonian independence arose as a result of Spain’s constitutional court reinterpreting Catalonia’s autonomy provisions, previously agreed to by the national government, which had expanded the extent to which the province could be responsible for its own legal and financial affairs. The Spanish constitution is ambiguous on this point, noting that Spain’s regions can be autonomous, but also calling for national unity.

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4 thoughts on “Catalan independence referendum turns violent as police storm voting stations

  1. old greybearded one

    Surely a massive own goal by the Spanish government who is responsible by reneging on an agreement and taking no steps to solve the problem. Then it declares what amounts to a formal opinion poll illegal and sends in goons. Franco is not dead after all perhaps?

  2. graybul

    Could not but be deeply disturbed by vision showing unrestrained brutality of Spanish national police against Catalonian ‘voters’. Increasingly, violence perpetrated by police, authorised or not by their elected government against citizens reflects changing values and decreased reliance upon traditional freedoms. In our Australian context it is not too far fetched to imagine the Minister for Immigration’s close attention to this latest outrage given his propensity to exercise questionable powers over departmental/border force personnel responsible for detainees. The Ministerial disdain of/for due process, transparency and accountability would certainly have drawn an interest in how Spain interprets democratic freedoms?

  3. Desmond Graham

    Spain would do well to adopt our commonwealth structure with the Basques and the Catalonia – then it may become the leading country again in that part of Europe. France is white anted as a culture and barely holding together no one listens to France no matter how much they pout & strut- because economically it has been hollowed out by successive governments.

    The Spanish Commonwealth would again become the driver of European civilisation as it was in the expansion of Europe from 1599 onwards.

  4. r o

    I think it will highlight EU hypocrisy when looking at eastern Ukraine from now on.

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