Speaking at an event in Luxembourg on Friday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was asked why the EC was not mediating in the stand-off between Madrid and Catalonia. Juncker replied: “We do not do it because if we do … it will create a lot more chaos in the EU. We cannot do anything. We cannot get involved in that.”
“…if only one side asks for mediation then this will lead to considerable arguments in the European Union and that’s why one can’t do that.”
No mediation will take place between Madrid and Catalonia because Mariona Rajoy hasn’t asked for it. The European Commission – or is it the European Union? – it’s difficult to tell these days, has effectively washed its hands of the situation. Catalonia is defenceless. The Spanish Government has been given the green-light by Europe’s power elite to do as it pleases and to hell with democracy.
Where will it end? Who knows, but Juncker is under no allusions as to what is at stake when he added the following remark: “OK, nobody is shooting anyone in Catalonia – not yet at least. But we shouldn’t understate that matter, though,”
Mariano Rajoy has given Catalan President Carles Puigdemont until Monday to confirm whether UDI has been declared or not. Rajoy has also served notice that any such declaration must be rescinded within three days. With Puigdemont unlikely to wield to threats, it seems likely that Madrid will invoke Section 155 of the Spanish Constitution and seize control of the autonomous region – effectively ending self-government.
At a stroke the political route to self-determination for Catalonia will have been closed off. The European Union will have allowed a member state to brutalise an ethnic minority and deny them the right to self-determination.
Europe’s corporate media machine is siding with Rajoy. Observe any number of headlines from news outlets and they paint the Spanish Prime Minister as the defender of the law and the protector of democracy. You won’t see any that portray Rajoy as an intolerant demagogue ignoring pleas for mediation.
In contrast Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is portrayed as someone who has instigated chaos. He leads a ‘secessionist’ or a ‘separatist’ government that is riding roughshod over Spanish law.
Videos of black-shirted fascist gangs attacking Catalans have peppered social media. These sporadic outbreaks of violence by Rajoy’s far-right supporters are being ignored by the main stream media.
Europe’s power elite need the Catalonia situation like a hole in the head. Brexit is bad enough without another of the major member states adding to the headache. The European Commission has stepped back in what appears to be a signal to Puigdemont that any expression of independence will result in pain. It’s blackmail.
It’s a major U-turn from Juncker who exactly one month ago declared he would respect a Yes vote in a Catalan independence referendum. On September 14th he said: “If there would be a Yes vote in favor of Catalan independence, then we will respect that opinion.”
There was a Yes vote. It took place despite police brutality that ended with hundreds hospitalised. Polling stations were sealed off. Voters were hit with batons, shot at with rubber bullets, dragged by their hair and had their fingers broken. The violence continues. That nobody has been killed is sheer good fortune.
In terms of Scotland, the situation has already witnessed a move away from backing membership of the EU from some Yessers. Memories of the EU and Rajoy’s repeated intervention in our own independence referendum are still fresh.
The BBC is running headlines almost identical to those we witnessed during that same referendum.
Last week a BBC news report exaggerated by several hundred thousand the number of people who took part in a pro-Spain rally in Barcelona. Listen to the tone of the news report below.
At the same time as these pro-Spain articles and news reports are appearing, the situation on the ground in Catalonia worsens. Buildings are being daubed with Nazi swastikas and people are being attacked by fascist gangs in public.
People are being conditioned to accept the end of Catalonian autonomy. Mariano Rajoy will act with impunity if, as expected, he seizes control of the autonomous region on Thursday. Catalonia has been abandoned.
The worry for Juncker and the rest of Europe is that the Catalans refuse to acquiesce. What if they decide to stand up to Rajoy and his bully-boy fascist thugs? What happens if – god forbid – people are killed because they demanded the right to vote?
What then for the European dream? Brexit would be the least of the EU’s worries.
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