Daily Management Review

Catalania’s Parliament declares independence from Spain


While the declaration is largely symbolic it is likely to lead to civil unrest; similarly how Madrid will implement its direct rule also has to be worked out.

Catalania’s Parliament declares independence from Spain
On Friday, Catalonia’s parliament has declared independence from Spain in defiance of Spanish government which had threatened to impose direct rule on the region.
This declaration of independence is likely to be largely a symbolic gesture as neither Spain nor the international community is likely to support it.
The development however marks one of Spain’s worst political crisis in the last four decades.
After this declaration, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has immediately called for calm and has stated that the rule of law will be restored.
The motion of the declaration of independence was passed in the regional parliament in Barcelona midst a boycot by opposition parties,
Calling Catalonia an independent, sovereign and social democratic state, the declaration called on other countries and institutions to recognize it as such.
Further, it has also called for opening of talks with Spain to help setup this new republic.
“It is not going to be easy, it is not going to be free, it is not going to change in a day. But there is no alternative to a process towards the Catalan Republic,” said Marta Rovira, a lawmaker  from the Junts pel Si pro-independence alliance during a debate which lead to the vote.
After the debate, lawmakers from members of three main national parties, including  the Socialists, the People’s Party and Ciudadanos, walked out.
Lawmakers from the pro-independence parties along with the far-left Podemos voted 70-10 in favor of independence.
The vote was carried out through a secret ballot aimed at obfuscating any attempt by the central government to lay criminal charges on pro-independent lawmakers.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont left the chamber to shouts of “President!”.
Meanwhile in Madrid, the Senate was taking steps to approve Article 155 which will enable the central government to directly rule over the autonomous region.
“Exceptional measures should only be adopted when no other remedy is possible,” said Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in an address to the Senate. “In my opinion there is no alternative. The only thing that can be done and should be done is to accept and comply with the law.”
He went on to add, the Catalan leadership was ignoring the law and making a mockery of democracy.
“We are facing a challenge unprecedented in our recent history,” said Rajoy, a lawmaker who has taken an uncompromising position against Catalonia’s declaration of independence.
It isn’t clear how Spain will establish direct rule on the ground.
If independence supporters, who have promised to mount a civil campaign of disobedience, go ahead with their plans it could lead to direct confrontation with security forces.
Crowds of pro-independence supporters have filled the streets of Barcelona, and the air is filled with shouts of “Liberty” in the Catalan language as well as singing of traditional Catalan songs.