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Catalan Independence

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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5103
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:12 pm    Post subject: Catalan Independence Reply with quote

Before examining the contemporary movement for Catalan independence and the historic vote of the Catalan parliament for independence today I feel its important to have a sense of the unique historical background of Catalonia. So I propose to summarise keys events in Catalan history leading up to recent developments.

The first mention of Catalonia dates back to the 12th century AD. As part of the Kingdom of Aragon, from the 12th to 15th century Catalonia kept its own traditional rights and parliament, the Corts catalanes.

1469 - Ferdinand I of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile marry, creating a dynastic union of their kingdoms and laying the foundations of the Kingdom of Spain. Catalonia becomes absorbed into the new Kingdom.

1640-52 - The Reapers' War - Catalonia revolts against the taxation policies of Philip IV of Spain, is briefly declared a republic under French protection before being reoccupied by Spanish troops.

1705-14 - War of the Spanish Succession. Catalonia's support for rival claimant to the Spanish throne, Archduke Charles of Austria, of the House of Habsburg, against King Philip V, from the House of Bourbon, results in the suppression of its parliament and traditional liberties upon the latter's victory.

1716 - The Nueva Planta decree dismantles the separate Catalan legal system, brings Catalonia under direct rule from Madrid and abolishes the administrative use of the Catalan language.

1901 - Formation of the Catalan nationalist Regionalist League.

1913 - The four provinces of Catalonia are given limited joint self-government in the Commonwealth of Catalonia under the leadership of Enric Prat de la Riba.

1925 - The Commonwealth is suppressed during the dictatorship of Spanish Prime Minister Miguel Primo de Rivera.

1931 - Spain becomes a republic; an autonomous Catalan regional government, the Generalitat, is created under the leadership of the Revolutionary Left of Catalonia.

1936 - Insurrection of Spanish nationalist troops led by Gen Francisco Franco sparks the Spanish Civil War. Catalonia remains loyal to the Republic, with both the Generalitat's regular forces and popular militias fighting on its side.

1938-9 - Franco's forces overrun Catalonia, paving the way for the collapse of Republican resistance elsewhere in Spain.

1939-75 - Franco dictatorship; suppression of political opposition as well as Catalan autonomy, language and culture. Thousands of Catalan activists are executed or go into exile.

1975 - Death of Franco sets in train a process of democratisation under the new king, Juan Carlos.

1977 - Restoration of a provisional regional government, again named the Generalitat, under the leadership of Josep Tarradellas.

1978 - New democratic Spanish Constitution recognises existence of distinct national communities within Spain, start of the process of regionalisation.

1979 - Catalonia given a statute of autonomy and recognised as a "nationality". Catalan become the joint official language of Catalonia with Spanish.

1980 - Centre-right moderate nationalist Convergence and Union wins first elections to the new regional parliament. Its leader, Jordi Pujol, becomes the first president of the new regional government.

Since 2006

2006 August - A reformed version of Catalonia's autonomy statute comes into force, giving the regional government greater powers and financial autonomy. Its preamble also uses the word "nation" to describe Catalonia.

2010 July - Constitutional Court in Madrid strikes down part of the 2006 autonomy statute, ruling that there is no legal basis for recognising Catalonia as a nation within Spain and that Catalan should not take precedence over Castilian in the region. The decision is criticised by the regional government.

Regional parliament votes to ban bullfighting, making Catalonia the first region of mainland Spain to do so.

2012 September - Some 1.5m people take part in Catalonia's annual independence rally in Barcelona, amid growing Catalan anger at financial transfer from the region to the rest of Spain.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy rebuffs a call by regional leader Artur Mas for greater fiscal independence.

2012 December - Regional head Artur Mas is re-elected after his Convergence and Union signs a governing pact with the left-wing ERC. Both parties support holding a referendum on secession from Spain in 2014.

2013 January - Catalonia's regional parliament approves a "declaration of sovereignty" aimed at paving the way for a referendum on independence from Spain in 2014.

2014 March - Spain's constitutional court rules that a planned referendum in November on Catalonia's independence is unconstitutional.

2014 April - Spanish parliament rejects proposal by Catalonia's regional assembly to hold a referendum on independence in November.

2014 September - Regional President Artur Mas signs a decree calling for a non-binding referendum on independence to take place in November. Spain's constitutional court suspends the plans, saying it needs time to consider the vote's constitutionality.

2014 October - Regional President Artur Mas insists a non-binding referendum on independence for the region in November will go ahead, but under a different legal framework, after the original plan was ruled unconstitutional.

2014 November - More than 80% of those taking part in a non-binding informal vote on separation from Spain opt for independence. About two million out of 5.4 million eligible voters cast ballots.

2015 January - Regional President Artur Mas calls new regional elections for 27 September to gauge support for a possible declaration of independence.

2015 September - Separatist parties win the regional election, which they say gives them a mandate to push for independence.

2015 November - Catalonia's parliament adopts a resolution which supports independence.

2015 December - Spain's constitutional court revokes Catalonia's bid to begin the process of separating from the rest of Spain.

2016 January - Regional assembly chooses staunch separatist Carles Puigdemont to head government.

2017 March - A court bars the former leader of Catalonia, Artur Mas, from public office for two years for staging the 2014 referendum.

2017 Oct. 1st: A planned independence referendum goes ahead but is disrupted by Spanish police. Hundreds of people are injured.

2017 Oct. 2nd: Catalan officials say preliminary results show 90 percent of votes cast were in favor of independence.

2017 Oct. 8th, 2017: Hundreds of thousands of people opposing independence rally in Barcelona.

2017 Oct. 11th, 2017: The EU backs Spain's handling of the crisis.

2017 Oct. 16th: Leaders of Catalonia's two powerful pro-independence civic groups are jailed on possible charges of sedition.

2017 October 21st The Spanish Government moves to use powers within The Spanish constitution to suspend the powers of the Catalan regional government. This is the first time a Spanish region has had its powers suspended since the modern Spanish state devolved powers to its regions in 1977.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he was using Article 155 to "restore normalcy" in the country. Authorities can intervene when an autonomous region fails to comply with the law . Rajoy said he wanted the Senate to allow central ministers to take over functions from all the regional Cabinet members and give him the power to call regional elections — something that only Catalonia's top leader can do now. He said a new regional election in Catalonia should be held in the next six months.

"There is no country in the world ready to allow this kind of situation within its borders," Mr Rajoy said. "It is my wish to call elections as soon as normality is restored."

Mariano Rajoy enjoys a majority in the Senate and he has the backing of the main opposition parties in the move to quash independence for Catalonia and maintain Spain's territorial integrity.

2017 Oct. 27th: Separatist lawmakers declare independence in a session boycotted by opposition parties. Spain's Senate authorizes the government to seize control of the region.

2017 Oct. 28, 2017: The national government sacks the Catalan government, dissolves the regional parliament and calls fresh elections for Dec. 21.

2017-Oct. 30th: Puigdemont flees to Brussels.

2017 Nov. 2nd: A judge jails nine ex-members of Puigdemont's government on provisional charges of rebellion.

2017-Nov. 3rd. International arrest order issued for Puigdemont and other fugitive ex-cabinet members.

2017-Dec. 5th. A Spanish judge drops European arrest warrants for Puigdemont and others but warns they face arrest on return to Spain. Political parties, two of them with candidates in jail or seeking refuge from arrest, start campaigning for the election.
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
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