Separatism against the State:
the Case of Catalonia
Professor, Comparative Politics Department, MGIMO-University, email@example.com
elibrary_id: 252015 |
The author discusses the collective monograph ”Escucha, Cataluna. Escucha, Espana. Cuatro voces a favor del entendimiento y contra la secession” written by four prominent Catalans, politicians and social scientists holding solid unionist positions – Josep Borrell Fontelles, Francesc de Carreras, Juan-Jose Lopez Burniol and Josep Pique. They collectively restore the comprehensive picture of the Catalan conflict – its origins, character, intermediate results and possible solutions. The book reveals that centuries-old complicated relations between Barcelona and Madrid gave rise to separatism splashes only in rare cases. More often the Catalan ruling elite did not raise the issue of leaving Spain. In the years of global crisis the situation changed drastically. The Catalan government took advantage of the population’s dissatisfaction with the aftermath of the crisis and also of the autonomous status approved in 2008, channeled nationalist sentiments in the separatist track. The separatists position themselves as spokespersons of all Catalan society although the parliamentary elections results and opinion polls prove that they are supported only by half of autonomy’s population at most. The Catalan conflict complicates the relations between this region and the rest of Spain, destabilizes the situation in the European Union and damages the country’s reputational image. The authors see one of the main reasons for the present state in the policy of the ruling People’s party, which abandoned the search for constructive solutions to the problem and took a passive stance. It is necessary to look for the formula which will ensure more harmonious existence of Catalonia in Spain than before. The book offers a whole complex of measures from the changes in financial and tax relations between Madrid and Barcelona to the constitutional reforms involving changes in the whole state of autonomies and impossible without broad multiparty consensus. The dialogue between the sides implying serious mutual concessions is also necessary.
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