Showdown In Spain: Madrid Moves To Block Catalonia Referendum

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In a move many people thought would never happen, the Catalan parliament approved a referendum that would allow a vote on the region’s independence from Spain.

The central government seeks intervention from the Constitutional Court. But short of invasion who is going to stop the vote?

The Spanish government has accused the Catalan Parliament of committing a “constitutional and democratic atrocity” by approving legislation to allow next month’s bitterly disputed independence referendum to go ahead.


On Wednesday night, the region’s ruling, pro-sovereignty coalition – which has a majority in the Catalan Parliament – managed to get the referendum law passed despite angry objections from opposition MPs, who complained that usual parliamentary procedures had been disregarded.


The legislation passed by 72 votes after 52 opposition MPs walked out of the chamber in Barcelona in protest at the end of an ill-tempered, 11-hour session.


The move was denounced by the Spanish government, which once again said it would do everything in its legal and political power to stop the vote from going ahead on 1 October.


The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, ordered government lawyers to file a complaint with the country’s constitutional court so that the vote could be annulled.


The public prosecutor’s office also said it was preparing a case against Catalan parliamentary officials – including the speaker, Carme Forcadell – for disobeying previous court orders forbidding legislative steps towards independence.


Catalan separatists insist the wealthy north-eastern region has a political, economic and cultural right to self-determination.


But Madrid is opposed to independence, arguing that it is a violation of the constitution, and has refused to offer a Scottish-style referendum on the matter.


Three months ago, Puigdemont announced that the referendum would be held on 1 October and that voters would be asked: “Do you want Catalonia to be an independent country in the form of a republic?”


More than 80% of participants opted for independence in the 2014 poll – although only 2.3 million of Catalonia’s 5.4 million eligible voters took part.


The Catalan government insists that the results of the October vote will be legally binding. If successful, the regional government will declare independence from Spain 48 hours after the result is in and set about building a sovereign state.


According to a poll at the end of July, 49.4% of Catalans are against independence while 41.1% support it. However, a poll this week found that, were the referendum to go ahead, the yes campaign would take 72% of the vote on a turnout of 50%.


The Catalan government has not set a threshold for minimum turnout, arguing the vote will be binding regardless of the level of participation.

Spain Moves to Block Catalonia Referendum

The Wall Street Journal reports Spain Moves to Block Catalonia Referendum on Independence.

The Spanish government on Wednesday asked a top court to block the Catalan regional government’s bid to hold a referendum on independence, the latest clash in what has become Spain’s most pressing political issue.


“The government has asked the Constitutional Court to declare null and void the adopted agreements,” Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said. “We are defending the rule of law in Spain and democracy in Catalonia,” she added.


The clash between the central government in Madrid and regional leaders in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, has been building for decades and began to accelerate when a financial crisis hit Spain several years ago. The economy has since recovered and support for independence in Catalonia has flagged somewhat. A majority of Catalans, however, still support a vote on whether the region should separate from Spain.

What It All About?

  1. Tax Collection – Catalonia is the industrial superstate of Spain. Catalonia sends far more to Madrid than it gets back. Secession would cost Spain approximately 20% of tax revenue.
  2. Language – Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish, but a language that developed independently out of the vulgar Latin spoken by the Romans who colonized the Tarragona area. It is spoken by 9 million people in Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Isles, Andorra and the town of Alghero in Sardinia. Since the early 1980s, the imposition of a system known as “immersion,” with Catalan as the only vehicular language in state schools, has guaranteed everyone educated in the past 30 years has a command of it. However, thanks to the presence of Spanish in daily life and the media, virtually all Catalans are perfectly bilingual.
  3. History – Dating back to 1150 and 1707 Catalonia was not part of Spain. Numerous kings tried with no success to end the Catalan language. Those attempts ended in 1931. The Telegraph has a nice historical perspective on Why Catalonia wants independence from Spain.


Eurozone Implications

The independence referendum is not a vote to leave the EU or the Eurozone.

As an independent country, Catalonia would have to apply for membership to the EU and to the Eurozone.

Mish Take

It’s certainly easy enough to draw a map of Spain without Catalonia.

I am in favor of just that. Short of invasion who is going to stop the vote?

Moreover, Catalonia could adopt the euro as its national currency whether or not it was officially part of the Eurozone by treaty.  It would not have the ability to print euros.

Inability to print money at will is an ideal setup.

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aliens is here's picture

Aren't they the most productive people in Spain? If they are, rest of country will never let them go independent. 

Looney's picture


Loudspeaker Announcement: BritBob, report to the Spam Desk!   ;-)


Ghost of PartysOver's picture

Coming to a Murican State near you.  California, Texas .....  Not sure who will be first or when.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

That's gonna be a Left-Right combination.

knukles's picture

Now that'll make the people feel like their voices are heard.

Manthong's picture


Um, let’s see.. the last time they had a civil war there were Nazis at the helm….

..and the diff from the EU  is ??????

peddling-fiction's picture

Hemingway was gangstalked to death by the FEDS.

BennyBoy's picture


Another example of hating democracy when the vote will go against you.

Manthong's picture


.the bell might be ringing there

ZorroHedge's picture

Well, there are many cities inside Catalonia in which majority of inhabitants want to stay in Spain. In fact, in the capital Barcelona itself there is no majority for seccession. So if Catalans like democracy so much, why don't they vote per city and those cities that want to leave can leave and those that want to stay in Spain, stay in Spain ? To me that looks like an even more democratic option. But I am 100 % sure these democratic Catalan leaders would not agree to have the vote going in this way. 

OverTheHedge's picture

Let's take that to its logical conclusion. Every person should get to choose which country, government structure etc they operate under, irrespective of their geographical location. Governments could compete, along with currencies and local \ national services. Top idea, but civil war within weeks, probably.

Mish says not being able to print euros at will is a good thing. The people of Greece, Italy, France, Ireland (everyone except Germany, actually) might disagree.

SmackDaddy's picture

Hemingway was an over-compensating closet fag leftist piece of shit.  His son "Gloria" didn't fall far from the tree.

Hail Franco!

William Dorritt's picture

hall of heroes at KGB headquarters in Moscow

dubaibubble's picture

be the best thing that could happen to America, for different states to secede

only way to truly drain the swamp


Ghost of PartysOver's picture

Most folks don't don't understand it but states are already exercising their rights of Nullification of Federal Law.  Believe it or not it is the Loony Dems leading the charge so kudos to them, although I totally disagree with their platform.  Now, what would happen if the Reps start doing the same?  The Swamp would be drained because no one is listening to them. 

So, you are probably wondering what Federal Laws.  Legalize drugs and Sanctuary Cities.  Both of which are illegal under Federal Law.   My understanding is the Fed Gov can prosecute but the states will not lift a finger to help.  This forces to Fed Gov to become more overreaching and risk a backlash via secession vote or just back down.  Do you really think the Swamp Masters are going to back down?  Need a current example;  The AG cutting of funding for those local gov's not assisting them them with immigration issues. 

Where will all this lead to and end I have no idea.  Don't be delusional, it is ramping up.  Quickly!

peddling-fiction's picture

Divide and conquer. Rinse and repeat.

Sadly it works like a charm.

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

When do parasites EVER voluntarily leave their host?

peddling-fiction's picture

Parasites leave their host, once the host is consumed.

machiavellian-trader's picture

They aren't the most productive.  The entire Northern region is España's financial and indsutrial backbone.  As a Spaniard all i can say is this wont happen, as with all the regions (except Castilla y Leon old map) of Spain they are reconquered lands from the muslim and jewish investation and no region is going anywhere.

Its an internal cat fight, a diversion while the EU and Germans gobble up everything and dictate policy.

Déjà view's picture

Croatians and Slovenians grew tired of supporting Serbs et al...
Ditto for Czechs supporting Slovakians...

Albertarocks's picture

Ditto for Alberta supporting the rest of Canada.

Déjà view's picture

Looking at map...Canesestan rests atop of broad U.S. economic shoulders...

Albertarocks's picture

I think you meant "Canada rests atop of USA's broadly bankrupt economic shoulders."

Robin Williams put it a bit more accurately.  He said "I love Canada.  It's like a beautiful apartment on top of a crack house."

Jacobra's picture

We need to take Sask, Man and Yukon with us so we can get access to sea water through the north or to the Hudson. Either way let's get out of this chicken shit outfit.  

Albertarocks's picture

Not to mention that people from Sask and Manitoba are salt of the earth types.  They're producers, not users.

machiavellian-trader's picture

Catalunya is not supporting Spain, all of North Spain subsidizes the southern regions and the islands. So its just not the Catlanes that are handing out to Madrid. Should all those regions break off? then we are back to Roman times. 

geeves's picture

Yes they should all break off. There are a lot of differences between Roman times and now beyond having distributed governments or not. More local governments in modern times is the key to resolving our problems. For example widespread warfare in WW2 and earlier is a common excuse for not allowing more distributed governments but this doesn't account for major technological differences today such as the Internet and mass media and electronic commerce which greatly diminish the desire for armed conflict in post industrial societies. California and Texas won't spontaneously want to conquer Canada if they become independent. 

William Dorritt's picture

Slovaks wanted out, Czech opened the door for them to leave.

RedBaron616's picture

Yes, but Czechoslovakia was one of those "put together" states that both sides never had much in common with the other. A remnant of the Austro-Hungary Empire. Not so with Spain. History goes much farther and deeper. They are just pretending they are South Caroline and they will get the riot act read to them.

William Dorritt's picture

"reconquered lands from the Muslim and Jewish investatio"

Any good sources you can recommend in English?

machiavellian-trader's picture


was a typo smart ass


Read the history books Castila and Leon, created Spain. By reconquering Iberia from Muslim/Jewish control. So all lands aaprt from a small area in the North of Spain is considered reconquered land. 

You can find this history in any language and in a multitude of books. 

Trogdor's picture

Well the Eurotrash certainly can't have the milk-cows leaving the corral - nosireee ... SOMEBODY has to pay for the FSA's goodies ...

Overflow's picture

No they're not.  

Catalonia is the region of Spain where we have been investing most our it's industry for centuries, for obvious geography and common sense.  That's why the look "more productive".  A fallacy, all that industries were set up with the money and the workforce from all Spain.


After five years of etnic nationalism insanity, they have lost that position. Who wants to stablish a business in a region governed by the dumbest between the dumbest?  In fact, the're in third place now, and will keep descending if they insist in this independence hoax.


Bah.   This issue of the independence is just an electoral hoax that's finding it's only possible end: Ridicule.

veritas semper vinces's picture

What many people here don't know is that "Catalonia's independence : does not mean real independence. It will stay in EU. And it is supported by  multiple American NGO.

We should ask why American NGO  provide financial and political support for this. Well,its part of the plan of breaking the nation states,especially white ,Christian ones. Together with multiculturalism,illegal immigration,supporting the special rights of minorities,etc. The same :usual suspects "involved".

I would  understand their right for a referendum if this didn't have ulterior motives. Let them have a real Independence movement,with exiting EU,their own state run bank and the right to print their own money. Let's see if this is supported by the American NGO.

What do you say?

Looney's picture


Why was the Brexit Referendum legal, but Catalonia’s or Crimea's ain’t?


The Wizard's picture

Big Brother globalists will do whatever necessary to prevent local governance. The way they see it is once a slave, always a slave to their currency system.

null's picture

Qualitative difference between a sovereign country leaving voluntary union and a part of a sovereign country rebelling against constitutional government.

But hey, if you prefer thousands of city-states, go for it ... just don't expect to pick and choose the ones which support your geopolitical inferences.

geeves's picture

That's exactly the point.  The more city states the more distributed and competitive governments will be and the better off we'll all be. If someone wants to live in a socialist hell hole more power to them as long as I can freely live somewhere else.

null's picture

Fair enough!
I don't think your premise will hold but like I know for sure.

aliens is here's picture

Some are more equal than others.

falak pema's picture

There is only one honourable way to settle this : a one off shoot out between Real MAdrid and Barcelona. 

Winner takes all; including the Infante; the lady in Isabella's shoes! 

You win the I-scream, the money to pay for it and the milk maid! 

Juice up guys! 

dogismycopilot's picture

This is going to be good.

E.F. Mutton's picture

"I could give you my word as a Spaniard" - Inigo Montoya

"No good, I've known too many Spaniards" - Man in Black

Akzed's picture

They have no right to secede. Don't they know they're racist?! A hundred years from now they'll have to take down all their statues and stuff.

geeves's picture

I know right!? Those damn catalonian slave owners. Oh wait... 

detached.amusement's picture

I had to laugh my ass off at my dad trying to explain to me that US states had no right to secede because the fedgov's "contract" is directly with the american people and bypasses the state governments entirely, so since the states agreed to be part of the USA, then "the states have no right to infringe on that contract."


This is precisely the BAR (Britsh Accredited Registry) lawyerly "constitutional scholar" take on secession - which amounts to nothing more than fedgov is all powerful and nobody can say shit about it.  So in other words, since we had a foreign infestation entirely take over and consume our "law" departments, and they by hook and by crook dismantled the constitution to the point where it hasnt existed for the last 150 years.


Thanks for upholding the beast that gorges itself on our backs, pops.