Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Catalonia in the New York Times
The greatest international success of the Catalan secessionist movement in the recent past has been to publish a letter in the New York Times signed by one of its leaders. In this letter, she makes a great effort to distance the movement from other national-populist movements. She contradicts herself by suggesting that a self-determination referendum for Catalonia would be a great idea, but this kind of referenda are precisely the type of decision-making tool preferred by all national-populists, from the Brexiteers in the UK to Putin in Crimea. The claims to being pure democrats of the leaders of the Catalan secessionists are in contradiction to the facts that international correspondents including the New York Times correspondent routinely report. The problem is not that the arguments of a secessionist movement in a democratic member state of the European Union and the euro zone make little sense in the XXI century. The problem is the passivity of the ruling party in Spain, the conservative PP of Mariano Rajoy, whose only political reaction so far has been to delegate all response to a regional party leader that in his recent times as a mayor of an important city, Badalona, with a significant foreign immigrant population, ran a campaign under the racist slogan of "Clean Badalona." Until the elites in central Spain do not delegate the response to national-populism to the reasonable federalist movements that connect with the majority of voters in both Catalonia and Spain, the problem will remain unsolved.