Skip to comments.EU: Spain's Catalan separatists win election but punish Mas
Posted on 11/25/2012 11:33:00 PM PST by bruinbirdmanEdited on 11/26/2012 12:33:53 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
Separatists in Spain's Catalonia won regional elections on Sunday but failed to get the resounding mandate they need to push convincingly for a referendum on independence.
Catalan President Artur Mas, who has implemented unpopular spending cuts in an economic crisis, had called an early election to test support for his new drive for independence for Catalonia, a wealthy region in northeastern Spain.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
The sign is in English... obviously appearing to the Anglosphere, but seems to me the Anglosphere is more likely to leave Catalonia and Spain alone to their own squabbles, than to meddle. If Catalonia seceded from Spain, would it automatically get to be part of the EU like Spain was?
EU doesn't believe in nation states, only regions.
How many "regions" did EU make out of Yugoslavia?
yes, it would automatically be part of the EU. Catalan is one of the most socialist parts of Spain, if not the most...
Really.. I didn't know this. So, a region that is pro-socialist wants to secede from Spain because their wealth is being redistributed to other parts of Spain? This would fit entirely with my overall view of socialists, which is that they are nearly all hypocrites.
The various countries in Yugoslavia separated pretty much on their own
The reason is quite different from Spain -- the Kingdom of the Southern Slavs was an artificial construct -- these had never been one nation before 1918 and they had had divergent histories for nearly a millenia
the Serbs, Macedonians and Montenegrans are Orthodox, the Bosnians and Kosovar Albanians are Moslems, the Croats and Slovenes are Catholic (more in case of the Croats, less in case of the Slovenes) and there are/were minor Hungarian, Saxon, Turk and Roma gypsy minorities along with Greeks and Jews and Armenians
there is a lot of speculation about Croat and Serb histories -- some say the Croats are Catholic Serbs, others that Serbs are Orthodox Croats and others that say that there were separate groups right from the 8th century - the white Croats (descended from Sarmatians) and white Serbs (who initially lived in the Vistula valley)
In my opinion, both are separate groupings of tribes that coalesced in the 10th century from the various South Slavic peoples (who separated from the West and East Slavs in the 9th century and were definitely cut off from them by the invasions of the Magyar)
Ditto for the Bosnians -- many Serbs and Croats say they are descendents of Turks, but my opinion is that these are primarily Slavs who converted. Perhaps they were Bogumils (a Gnostic Christian sect) or one stuck between Rome and Constantinople which is why they converted, or maybe they just converted under pressure or otherwise. But they are Slavic primarily
The Albanians are not Slavs but a different Indo-European people (lots of arguments here and there)
Anyway, the Croats were firmly part of the West right from the 12th century and in the 13th they joined with Hungary and this union was fixed until 1918.
The Serbs had a divergent path -- initially part of the Bulgar Empire (founded by Bulgars whose elite were Turkic but who became thoroughly slavicized by the 8th century) and then formed their own Tsardom which was then shattered by the Ottoman Turks)
they were heavily influenced by Church Slavonic and Eastern Orthodoxy and by their struggles with the Turks
The Bosnians may have just been converts who were despised by those they left behind (because in the Ottoman system, if you converted to Islam, you became part of the Turkic millet)
As an aside the language these 3 speak is really the same, Serbo-Croat, with dialects for each (and getting increasingly separated with Croats adding Latin words, Bosnians adding Arabic/Turkic and Serbs Church Slavonic) and they are part of the wider South-Slavic spectrum of languages from Bulgarian to Slovenian.
Bulgarian and Slovenian are somewhat mutually intelligible, but Bulgarian and Serbo-Croat is pretty mutually intelligible
The Montenegrans are Serbs in religion and ethnicity, separated only in the 1800s due to political winds (they are "mountain Serbs" who the Turks could never quite conquer) and this was cemented in 1918
The "Macedonians" are closer to Bulgarians than anything with their language being very Bulgarian-like, more than Serb-like.
the Slovenes have many Italic and Allemanic Germanic (through Austria) words -- they were separated from Croatia because they were part of the Austrian half of Austro-Hungaria while the Croats were part of the Hungarian half
All of this separation meant that the different groups wanted to retain their differences -- but the artificial construct of Yugoslavia in 1918 made many fear domination by one or the other
The Croats under the Ustashe committed unspeakable horrors against their brethren the Serbs -- fratricide which I can't understand -- utterly despicable. And that has poisoned Serb-Croat relations since then
Tito, a Croat, managed to bottle these ethnic tensions under "communism for all", crushing all ethnic sentiments
But this only postponed the bloodshed
The sins of the Ustashe and of the Turks had to be paid and the Serbs went on their own set of dominance
I'm not going to side any one side for the croat-serb-bosnian conflict just to say that it wasn't all the serbs fault, and we shouldn't have bombed them.
What else we should have done, I don't know
The Catalans live in never - never land. They have the highest per capita debt load in Spain and have been spending like drunken sailors for decades on foolish projects such as their attempt to impose Catalan as a language and remove Spanish entirely (although all the Catalan politicians send their own kids to boarding school in Madrid so that they can learn to speak proper Spanish and not be restricted in their future careers by knowing only the internationally and academically useless Catalan). They have a radical left that riots on a regular basis, a student class that expects to become perpetual and be carried through life, and a really large Muslim population, not only in Barcelona but in little towns. The Church was so full of Leftwing catalan nationalism that it was completely discredited, aven though BXVI has replaced a number of their bishops. And of course corruption is rampant. Large numbers of their wealthy have already fled and live in Andorra.
The EU will not accept new states, and I doubt that an exception would be made for them. They’ll get out there and either become a full-bore anachronistic marxist state like the old albania, or limp along for awhile until their Islamic population takes over.
Common sense obviously intervened with the voters, however.
It is socialist, but wealthy?
The Catalan language is distinct, but closer to Castillian
Historically there has been no centuries old war between the Catalans and the Castlinians (note: I said centuries old)
Catalan was the first "March" set up by Charlemagne to fight back the Moors and it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Aragon
in contrast to the west, the Kingdom of Castile encompassed Galicia and moved south into Extramudura
the Aragon lands had more Moslems than the Castilians and they tended to be more "open" to differences than the Castilians. But note that this was Aragon (which included Catalan)
The ARagon kingdom then expanded to form the Aragon Empire consisting of Sardinia and then the kingdom of the Two Sicilies (the island of Sicily proper and then the boot of Italy) and parts of Greece and Rhodes
They joined with Castile in the grand union of 1487 and then completed the Reconquista, taking over the emirate of Granada
No antagonism so far and this continued until the war of Spanish succession.
The Catalans supported the Hapsburg candidate and they were opposed by the French who wanted to put the Bourbon (same family as the French king) on the throne. The Bourbon's won
But the real antagonism was during the spanish civil war when Catalan was heavily influenced by anti-clerical socialism (well, communism) and fought against Franco
Even today there isn't antagonism, because Spain is a VERY decentralized country -- each state has its own flag, nearly separate government etc. -- more federal than Germany and nothing like France (which is heavily centralized in Paris)
And that's not completely true.
The EU is dominated by France and Germany -- and France would not stand for "regions" -- they are so centralized they even refuse to acknowledge distinct language groups like in Brittany
Germany in contrast even recognizes the Sorbians
the "regions" are more theoretical than actual -- and in one case it has helped -- the Tyrol region: South Tyrol was part of Austria until 1918 when it was handed over to Italy even though the majority of its population was German speaking
This was defused by forming a cross-border region where people could speak both languages in governance and had local government
It would also help in the case of the Basque region
well, the wealth being redistributed is the "trigger" for the current move, but the Catalans always see themselves separate from the Castilians
Spain has a number of distinct regions -- like the Gaelic origin people of Galicia with a language that is more similar to Portuguese than Castilian, to the dominant Castilian (that we call Spanish)
and then of course there are the Basques whose language is a language isolate -- with some conjecturing that it is related to Georgian but no proof for that
London English or rather the upper class English replaced all of that with standardised Oxford English
Or you can take German -- standard German is low German, while the German spoken in Austria and Bavaria and Swabia and northern Switzerland is Allemagnic -- High German. to the west, there were Burgundian dialects which are dead now
yes, not that surprising when you think that the most socialist country in Europe is Sweden.
Great post, thank you.
The Asturians and Galicians are Celtic peoples, but their Celtic languages are long lost (the modern Asturiano and Gallego languages are Romance languages, more similar to Portuguese than to Castillian Spanish as you mentioned. Asturia was the one Spanish region that was never conquered by the Moors, and only a small part of Galicia became part of the Moorish Kingdom; the Reconquista spread out from Asturia and Asturian surnames (with patronyms ending in “ez”) became the most common throughout Spain as the Moors were kicked out.
As for the Basques, if scientists discover that they emigrated to northern Iberia from another solar system, it wouldn’t surprise anyone.
I think in terms of genetic studies the Basques are the same as their surrounding neighbors
“end in -ez” — hmmm... I didn’t know that. But then how come the Portuguese version of such patronyms end in -es? Like Fernandes in Portuguese (which is related to Galician) is FernandeZ in Spanish or HernandeZ?
That’s a very good summary of the Balkans. Whenever I try to explain it, I usually get bashed for being Pro-Muslim/Serb/Croat by somebody, maybe I should just link to your post from now on!
I think Yugoslavia is a good example of what Germany could have been if it was more politically fragmented and a looser “German” identity existed. People might ask, “Are Bavarians and Prussians the same people?” You might have the same kind of ethnic nationalism with accusations that “Austrians are Catholic Prussians!”
last year I went to Augsburg and I find that the south of Germany is culturally quite distinct from the north.
you are right about comparing the Prussians and the Bavarians (though the Prussians don't exist any more :-P)
hoewver, in the case of Germany, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania and Romania, World War II eradicated those regional differences because millions were just eliminated and the remainder were forcibly mixed
I argue with my Polish wife that now Poland is one people, one religoin etc. but before WWII it was only 68% polish :)
In Poland's case, the communities of Poles in Lwów and Vilnius were simply pushed west -- in some cases to the opposite end to "reclaimed lands" -- reclaimed from Germany
And the Germans, who dreamed of Leibensraum, got the exact opposite -- Baltic Germans who had been living in the Baltics for 7 centuries, were eradicated as was Prussia and the Sudenten Germans
Germans from Romania, hungary etc. were sent to Germany even though they and their great-grandfathers had never seen that land. The mixing of peoples really created one "Germany"
The patronymic suffix (meaning “the son of” what precedes the suffix) is “es” in Galician and Portuguese (e.g., “Peres,” the son of Pedro) and “is” in Catalan (”Peris”), but “ez” in Asturian (”Pérez”).
Many languages have patronymic suffixes: “son” in English, “son” or “sen” in Nordic languages, “sz” in Dutch, “vich” in Russian, “ian” in Armenian, etc.
Other languages have patronymic prefixes meaning “son of” what follows: “Mc” or “Mac” in Scottish Gaelic, “Fitz” in Norman French, “ben” in Hebrew, “ibn” in Arabic, etc. Similarlym, the suffix O’ in Irish Gaelic means “grandson of.”
When I read the headline, I automatically thought of the “Cat Duet” by the “Catalunia Catholic Boy’s Choir”.
I don’t even know if the spelling is different because it’s a Monastary, or if it’s a whole different place.
It just the first thing that came to my mind.
We, meaning America, should have stayed the hell out of it entirely.
Only in a "we are all human" sort of way. Other then that, according to the Genographic Project, the Basques share unique genetic patterns that are not found in their non-Basques neighbors.
They appear to be a DNA as well as a linguistic isolate.
You have to wonder what the point of “independence” is when you imediately join the EUSSR upon getting it?
apparently not all socialists want to destroy their economies.
I guess an irony... they don’t want to be owned by big bad ole Spain. They want to be owned by the whole bloomin’ EU.
Apparently some in Scotland think that way too.
You know what’s scary?
The number of people who could read (or have it read to them, illiterate morons) “Brave New World” and think it’s a really good idea.
can’t even grok irony.
You’re just a bundle of information. Thank you!
Perhaps it ties in the idea thatsocialism can work in a small group of similar minded people?
well, militarily, yes. But, as the only super-power, we were going to be involved one way or the other. I just don’t know what could have been the good way or least bad way
They won't be "owned" by anyone -- and quite frankly as I said above, they are not "owned" by Spain in the sense that Spain has a very decentralized state
Being part of the European community with its common market had advantages -- the EU bureaucracy is another thing.. the EU would do well to stay as just a commercial union allowing free movement of goods and ideas and having the Schengen. The Euro was a mistake to be added so quickly to so many countries - but then that was a French idea to keep the Germans in check (and one of the conditions of Mitterand's ok to allow German reunification)
And the funny thing is that the Euro, which was meant to unite, has succeeded in creating disunity -- yay :)
The “good way” would have been to keep the US out of it entirely. There was zero strategic threat to America and that should be the sole criteria for committing the American military anywhere on Earth.
Awesome history lesson, Cronos, of a historically volatile region and the people that live there.
Thank you for posting it!
I got history-lessened today Cronos. Fascinating reading.
I saved this post with your many great comments to Zotero on Firefox.
That’s a compliment. Don’t often do that.
Thanks for taking the time to educate.
Like everywhere else in the world, what we see right now has a lot of depth historically behind it