Catalonia Independence from Spain: When Will We See Tanks in Barcelona?
By Esther Vivas
October 15, 2012
“Independent Catalonia? Over my dead body and those of many other soldiers.” It was with these words that on August 31, retired infantry lieutenant-colonel Francisco Alaman Castro referred to the possibility of an independent Catalonia. And he added: “We will not make it easy. Although the lion seems to be sleeping, they have no interest in provoking it too much, because it has already given enough proof of its ferocity over the centuries. These plebs are not up to much, if we know how to confront them.”
In the current verbiage that some politicians have adopted, these statements are not the only ones that we might call “undemocratic,” “putschist” and “anti-system.” After the demonstration on September 11, the UPyD spokesperson, Rosa Díez, called on the government to suspend the autonomy of Catalonia if the region used money from central government aid “to finance its secession.” Not to be outdone, the MEP (representing the Popular Party, in power in Madrid) and vice-president of the European Parliament, Alejo Vidal Quadras, requested that a brigadier-general, preferably from the Civil Guard, take charge of the “Mossos de Esquadra” to curb the independence process.
The El Mundo newspaper, in its editorial of September 27, demanded from the government “a penal response to the challenge launched by Artur Mas” who has called for a referendum on self-determination in Catalonia. El Mundo urged the government to amend the Criminal Code to “punish by imprisonment any call for an illegal referendum.” And for good measure, the extremist “Reconversion,” platform, whose leaders are Alejo Vidal Quadras and José Antonio Ortega Lara, demanded that if such a referendum were to be held the government place Catalonia under tutelage, on the basis of articles 161.2 and 155.1 and 2 of the Constitution.