A busy 2017 #1 Referenda

Before I could be fully aware of the impact, the days and months of 2017 came to belong to the past. The 1 extra second did not help me to get over the fact that I felt I could not do  all what I wanted to do in that year.

One of the most troubling facts was that the European Union did not dare to speak openly about the dangerous act of a non-democratic action the Spanish governement had taken. How could it be possible in a so called democratic Europe that some politicians had to take their fight to the capital of Europe.

Homage to Catalonia From Ronnie’s blog

Demonstrators blocking the Spanish police activity aimed at closing polling stations of the Catalan independence referendum, held despite having been declared illegal by the Spanish government.

All over Europe people could see how Spanish police’s violently brought a crackdown of the banned referendum concerning that what lots of people wanted for their community.

This is (Though I must say my son living in the centre of Barcelona city did not have much trouble of what went on.) Friends and colleagues of politicians where put in prison.

Eduard Morell, an activist for the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) in Terrassa could say

“We voted on the first of October and now we have to defend our vote and defend our republic in the polling stations and this time they aren’t going to use violence against us.”

The Spanish government and Constitutional Court with a hard hand showed it clearly that it does not like any call for an independent state. They also managed to bring enough fear over the Catalans who where not sure which way to go and who where afraid all the money would go to Spain and they left into the cold, though 20% of the entire Spanish gdp is generated from Catalonia which attracts 35% of inward investment into Spain, and produces over third of Spain’s exports.
For the Spanish governement the referendum held on 1 October 2017 was so called illegal. In a vote where the anti-independence parties called for non-participation, results showed a 90% vote in favour of independence, with a turnout of 43%. Based on this result, on 27 October 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution creating an independent Republic unilaterally, by a vote considered illegal by the lawyers of the Parliament of Catalonia for violating the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Spain.

Macron walking with Florence Parly, Édouard Philippe and Geneviève Darrieussecq, July 2017

In the year that Emmanuel Macron was chosen to French president and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra since 2017 he as the youngest President in the history of France at the age of 39, he agreed with Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, to draw up a “common road map” for Europe, insisting that neither was against changes to the Treaties of the European Union. Though he joined the EU in supporting Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy and did not seem to reject that the prosecution requested issuing European Arrest Warrants for Puigdemont and four other members who had left Catalonia for Brussels shortly after the declaration.

At the regional elections held on 21 December 2017 Puigdemont was re-elected to Parliament and Catalan secessionists retained a slim majority in the Catalan Parliament. Puigdemont has called for fresh talks with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy but Rajoy has dismissed this. Puigdemont remains in exile in Belgium.

Pro-independence Scottish lawmakers on the other hand presented a motion in their devolved parliament urging international recognition of Catalonia’s unilateral declaration of independence from Spain, putting pressure on Scotland’s leader to endorse the movement.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s pro-independence First Minister, would have loved to see Europe defending those who want independence. Not being a sovereign state Scotland could not recognise Catalonia as a republic, even when the Catalan breakaway government had asked for support from the Scottish government.

Scots had rejected independence by a 10-percentage point margin in 2014 but Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has exposed fresh divisions in the United Kingdom. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU, while Wales and England voted to leave.

Throughout Turkey, but also throughout Europe Erdogan fans, were called to give the Turkish president more power. The president was proposed to be given more control over appointments to the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). Held under a state of emergency, declared following a failed military coup attempt in July 2016, with many voting irregularities the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) managed to whip up the Turks in their own country but also across Europe.
Those who were campaigning for a ‘No’ vote faced fear and state coercion and even in the streets of Belgium and Holland battles where fought. Prominent campaigners for a ‘No’ vote, were stopped from holding speeches.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated his claim that European governments that suspended campaigning were ‘Nazi remnants’, which the Dutch government denounced as “unacceptable”.

The Spokesman for European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, expressed concerns over allegations of irregularities in the referendum and called on Turkish civil authorities to launch transparent investigations into the claims.

But once again we could see that too many politicians in 2017 did not dare to open their mouth enough concerning undemocratic situations. This was the big red stain on the year that everything you ought not to be possible became possible. With the unbelievable opener of a ‘family-member’ of the same group as Erdogan and Putin or similar dictator became the 45th President of the United States, and to be the first one who like a small child started shouting that he was the biggest and had the greatest button, …. .   On January 20, 420 marches were reported in the U.S. and 168 in other countries, becoming the largest single-day protest in American history and the largest worldwide protest in recent history.


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  7. Ronnie’s Blog on Catalonia
  8. Catalonia 2017
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  31. On ‘Independence’: Catalonia, Kurdistan, North Korea and Latin America — Andre Vltchek and Alessandro Bianchi | Information Clearing House
  32. Hypocrisy: A state for the Palestinians but not for the Kurds or Catalonia
  33. First Catalonia, Second Scotland…
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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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14 Responses to A busy 2017 #1 Referenda

  1. paolsoren says:

    Firstly I thank you for linking to my story about being in Spain 44 years ago. Secondly I have browsed through you blog and am fascinated and will start reading it more.
    I think that Spain suffered so much during the Spanish Civil War that people are frightened that a separation of Catalonia from the rest of Spain will be just as bad. On the other hand there is that element who know that Catalonia in the main wealth producer and therefore the rest of Spain will be impoverished. So both sides are being selfish and it will take a lot of goodwill on both sides to fix.


    • Marcus Ampe says:

      I also believe to many Catalonians are afraid for so called economical reprisals, though they forget all the wine industry cannot be taken away from that region. Like the wealthy region of North Italy it has enough power and ground-sources in itself to live independently and co-operating with enough other regions who would be willing to recognise it as an independent republic or as a respectful federal state in the federation Spain.

      By the harsh reprisals of president Rajoy he missed the opportunity to have Spain plus Catalonia become a stronger entity instead of a weaker one (like he and several Spanish people probably where afraid of). It is also that selfishness that makes certain European politicians afraid to react in the way democrats should protect the democratic process and to respect the will of the local people.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thank you heartily for your well informed review about the recent facts here in Catalunya. I appreciate much as well your link to a post on my blog. A hug and my best wishes <3!

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. John Stuart Wilson says:

    Why didn’t you mention that the Catalonian separatists are not supported by a majority of Catalans?
    Spain has a written constitution and is a modern, pluralistic democracy. It is hardly surprising that the EU did not intervene on the side of regional coalition government that made a unilateral declaration that the national constitution was no longer in effect In “their” territory.
    The rest of the world was equally unimpressed.


    • Marcus Ampe says:

      Thank you very much for your response, which is very much appreciated.

      All Catalans were invited to have their say. Those who wanted to stay in Spain could vote for this as well.

      Catalonians should also know they can go for a federal state and independence does not mean that they would not have to be willing to co-operate with Spain. As independent free states or countries they could make a strong union.


      • John Stuart Wilson says:

        The separatists took several million euros from the public purse to fund a propaganda campaign. What provision did they make for the opposition?


        • Marcus Ampe says:

          Even when unionists did not have money to advertise or to create a political campaign, they could let hear their voice in public and more importantly in the ballot office. Everybody was allowed to vote and have their say for or against a separation. (Is it not?)


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