When last we left Don Swissxote, he was musing on Spain’s pursuit of Catalan Independence leaders and the narrow election of separatist or separatist sympathizing parties in the Catalan legislature. So what has change these past few months?
Not a lot.
Spain’s government seems to have realized they had waved a meat cleaver at the Golden Goose that is business in Barcelona (though tourism there seems to be just fine). Some futile gestures, demonstrations and the like have taken place…and both sides have realized they are screwed (here is Teh Conventional Wisdom view).
The populace of Catalonia seems to be split between those that just want to go back to the way things were and those that want to passively resist Madrid. The Spanish government is going ahead toward some rebellion trials of Catalan separatist leaders, but has lowered its efforts at outright squashing of Catalonia by force.
So Spain looks like a pack of shitheels if they come in swinging clubs and dragging people off for trial for “rebellion” when the populace seems committed to a sort of passive course of ….something. Political gridlock has set in, when you look at the Catalan parliament. Federally, the Catalan pro-independence bloc might be able to cause the current PM’s government to stumble…but what might replace it? If the rest of Spain sees the Catalans jerking them around, they could vote in people promising to kick Barcelonian butt a lot harder than the current Socialist government.
So we have a populace that will not use force to free themselves, and is not making too many waves right now, versus a central government that won’t crack heads and is leaning on the economy and votes of …the place that wants to leave. Of course, some silly things will still be happening, around the edges (what, no appeal to mediation by the Dalai Lama, the Commercial Court of the Canton of Zurich and the military junta of Burma?).
It is almost as if two semi-bored chess players see a stalemate coming, and are in hurry to push any more pieces. I sure didn’t see this coming…but it is so very…modern European, isn’t it?