By Nicolas Klein.
An article in the review Conflits
In September and October 2019, Spain commemorated the second “anniversary” of Catalonia’s secession attempt, which then agitated the whole country.
On this occasion, the discussion on the quality of the Spanish democracy has been renewed on all sides.
SPAIN: A QUESTIONABLE DEMOCRACY?
Traditionally, the Catalan separatists explain that Spain is democratic only in appearance because it does not fulfill their wishes, and because refuses especially the holding of a vote on the secessionist issue.
The easy amalgams sprinkle happily considerations of this type.
Of course, the separatists ignore all the international rankings which, year after year, place our Iberian neighbor among the most successful democracies in the world.
They also make little reference to the many studies that have been conducted on the illegal and undemocratic nature of the decisions taken by the Generalitat de Catalunya in recent years as well as its secessionist discourse.
Moreover, when the highest instances of the United Nations (UN) or the various international tribunals have had to decide on this case, they have always wronged the secessionist world.
The same separatists are also very discreet about their own violations of the rights of Catalan citizens.
Whether children in general, students in particular, civil servants, judges, artists or the population as a whole, all those who have the misfortune not to share in the separatist “religion” are the object of harassment , of various forms of violence and measures far removed from the conception of democracy that the separatists claim to defend.
CATALAN PARLIAMENT IN ILLEGALITY
An eloquent illustration of this conception of respect for human freedoms in the Catalan separatist world was given in September 2017.
In the context of the organization of the illegal referendum of 1 October following, the Regional Parliament (Parlament) was used for purposes to say the least questionable.
It was indeed brought to speak on a text named Act of legal and constitutive transition of the Republic.
Suspended on 12 September 2017 by the Spanish Constitutional Court because of its multiple violations of the 1978 Constitution, this text presented itself as a kind of provisional basic law of the future independent Catalan Republic, pending the drafting and the adoption of a new constitution.
LAW OF LEGAL AND CONSTITUENT TRANSITION OF THE REPUBLIC
Let us first note that it is curious that this law was approved by the Parliament before the conduct of the referendum of October 1st, as if the concrete opinion of the Catalan citizens had anyway no importance for the Generalitat and that only the “yes” to secession was an acceptable answer.
But there is more serious.
This text was indeed adopted by flouting the rights of the regional parliamentary minority, including a last-minute amendment to the agenda that prevented any debate.
This was later affirmed by the Spanish Constitutional Court and many experts in political law.
Many Catalan citizens themselves would have suffered from the full implementation of this law, seeing their fundamental rights reduced to nothing: civil servants threatened with retaliation if they did not obey orders that were manifestly unconstitutional; justice, totally subordinate to the good will of the executive, which would have annulled the principle of separation of powers; the rejection of Catalan citizenship to former state officials and to those who had engaged in the Spanish army or law enforcement, thus making foreigners in their own country; the prohibition of all political parties aiming at the return of an independent Catalonia to the fold of Spain (and therefore of any referendum of self-determination, which is a shame), etc.
In short, Catalan separatist leaders were preparing an independent republic that was not very democratic and totally subject to their wishes.
This hardly allows them today to give lessons of democracy to the whole world – and in particular to the Spanish State …