The Catalan government has said it is suspending its declaration of independence from Spain and wants to de-escalate the tension in the country.
Premier Carles Puigdemont made the announcement in a highly-anticipated speech to the regional parliament in Barcelona where he said he would seek to enter into negotiations with the Spanish government to move the case for independence forward.
The Catalan leader maintained the legality of the October 1 referendum in Catalonia, and said Catalans had “won their right to become an independent country” but said he will first seek to open a dialogue with Madrid.
Puigdemont said in a speech Tuesday the current relationship between Catalonia and Spain is unsustainable. He asked for parliament to suspend the effects of Catalonia voting “yes” for independence to hold talks with Spain.
Catalan police have been posted outside parliament in Barcelona, sealing off the grounds to the public.
Delay Move Expected
This move is exactly as many expected. A declaration of independence would have triggered article 155 with Spain sending in military police or army troops.
Last evening Eurointelligence commented:
The Catalan premier has three main options, to call new regional elections, to call for an immediate declaration of independence, or to advise what is variously described as a “deferred”, “soft”, or “symbolic”, declaration of independence. This latter option seems the most likely to us because it maximises ambiguity and uncertainty, which appears to be a goal of the Catalan separatists. An ambiguous declaration would be highly utilitarian because it would allow them to claim that the predictable crackdown by the Spanish government is disproportionate to the threat posed.
Yesterday, El Confidencial released a strategy document supposedly found by the Guardia Civil in the residence of the deputy finance secretary of the Catalan government officials arrested three weeks ago as part of an investigation into the organisation of the October 1st vote. According to the document, whose authenticity has not been denied, the strategy of the Catalan separatists is to trigger such economic and political instability as to force the Spanish government to agree to holding an independence referendum.
Meanwhile, references to the example of Slovenia’s independence are becoming increasingly common among separatists commentators and politicians. Ramón Tremosa MEP’s reading of Slovenian independence is that Slovenia declared independence in mid-1991 and suspended it for six months, during which there were no meaningful negotiations and which culminated in the international recognition of independence. What Tremosa omits is that the Slovenian declaration of independence was followed immediately by the so-called ten-day war, which left 63 dead among Yugoslav army and Slovenian self-defence forces, and that international recognition may had more to do with the escalating war in Croatia.
The Catalan separatists may hope to make Slovenia the weak link in the EU’s position of nonrecognition of a Catalan declaration of independence, especially if Spain cracks down heavily. In recent months, Catalan news outlets have sought the endorsement of the former Slovenian president at the time of independence, Milan Kucan, as well as the current speaker of the Slovenian parliament, Milan Brglez.
Inquiring minds may wish to consider a Google translation of an El Periodico article Ramón Tremosa article believes that Catalonia can go to the Slovenian Road, declaring independence and suspending it for some time.
Tweets and Other Opinions
The Crown and Central Government have made it clear they won’t budge on Catalonia, which will only widen the divide https://t.co/TBT3FuxuTq