Yesterday, in the Spanish regional elections, much to the chagrin of the Madrid, Catalonia’s three independence parties (JuntxCat, CUP, and ERC) were handed a clear majority in parliament!
Picking up 70 seats out of the 135, while Spanish prime minister Rajoy’s party shrank from 11 to four, the independence movement has shown that it’s not going anywhere. Independence in Catalan is still strong, despite government violence, political persecution/prosecution, and having many of their leaders arrested or living in effective exile, such as the ousted Catalonian President Carles Puigdemont, who had the following to say on the election from Brussels:
“The Spanish state has been beaten. Mr Rajoy and his allies have lost. They were seeking to legitimize article 155, but they have been beaten.”
The election’s results have been such a blow to Spanish plans for Catalan, after their hostile suppression of the recent Catalonian secession, that Rajoy has reportedly ruled out holding a national election. Rajoy had hoped that yesterday’s election would sweep his party into power, hoping (presumably) that the Catalan people would blame secessionists, rather than himself, for the harsh measures Catalan endured leading up to and in the wake of the independence referendum. Unfortunately for Rajoy and his plans, it’s almost like a good portion of Catalonians didn’t appreciate his jack-booted tactics and were unwilling to reward him, politically.
Daniel Miller, President of the Texas Nationalist Movement, had this to say about the election:
I wholeheartedly applaud the people of Catalonia for being the “adults in the room” on the issue of self-government and self-determination, outshining many countries and institutions who are allegedly committed to those principles. The Spanish central government overplayed their hand with their response to the Catalan independence referendum. In doing so, the snap elections turned into a de facto second referendum on independence that carried the seal of approval from Madrid. The undeniable result proves now that the best recruiter for any independence movement is the suppression of the pro-independence supporters by their detractors. Supporters of Texit and the TNM specifically should feel the renewed confidence that comes with being on the right side of history and for our role in reclaiming self-government for the people of Texas.
What this Catalonian snap-election has accomplished is to keep the focus on the brutal Spanish regime and keep alive the idea of Catalan independence. Madrid’s handling of the secession has been an embarrassment beyond Spain’s borders, even in the EU. Though Euro-sympathies still tend against independence (i.e. Brexit), the actions of Spain are one’s most would like to forget.
If these victorious parties can form a competent coalition government, they can slowly keep working towards an independent Catalan. But, more immediately, they’d also be in a better place to pressure Madrid to release political prisoners and restore the region’s autonomy.