News ID: 200134
Published: 1256 GMT September 07, 2017

Catalan independence bid due to EU failed policies: Analyst

Catalan independence bid due to EU failed policies: Analyst

Catalonia has passed a law laying the groundwork for an independence referendum on October 1 which is fiercely opposed by Madrid, setting the course for Spain's deepest political crisis in decades. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has vowed to immediately challenge the law in the Constitutional Court. His government has also threatened legal action against top Catalan political figures involved in the plebiscite.

Press TV has talked to Tony Gosling, investigative journalist, as well as Lajos Szaszdi, political commentator, to get their opinion on Catalonia’s independence bid.  

Gosling believes Catalonia’s push for independence is because of the centralization of power in the European Union and its failed policies.

“I think what’s really been happening over the last few years with the EU is we have seen a centralization of power and the reaction in Catalonia is absolutely correct, as it has been similar in Britain, is we are not interested in the centralization of power particularly when we see failed politicians are the ones in charge of the European Union and of Spain,” he said.

The analyst also noted the European Union has been spending taxpayers’ money on repaying debts to the European Central Bank which has got the Catalans extremely annoyed because they are not seeing any benefits.  

He also stated the real unemployment rate in Spain hovers around 50 percent which is a “horrendous” situation for young people, arguing that all the reports by the mainstream media about the country’s impressive economic growth are “surreal” or “fake news.”

Catalonia, a region of 7.5 million people with its own language and culture that accounts for about one-fifth of Spain's economic output, has significant powers over matters such as education, healthcare and welfare.

But Spain's economic doldrums and a perception that the region pays more in taxes than it receives in investments and transfers from Madrid have helped push the cause of secession from the fringes of Catalan politics to center-stage.

Gosling further branded the European Union as a “corporate dictatorship”, asserting that the only thing its politicians are interested in is money, big corporations and getting jobs after they leave office.  

He went on to say that Brussels has been trying to “keep the show on the road” by controlling and influencing the media but it can no longer continue to do so because its policies “are not working.”

The analyst also opined that it is a good idea to give people across Europe a chance to vote but Brussels has done everything it possibly can to stop such an event happening.

Gosling further maintained that “democracy is about voting” and it is quite clear that the majority of people in Catalonia want to secede.

However, he said, it is becoming clearer and clearer that many of the people in power in Brussels and across the major capitals in the EU countries do not agree with democracy and do not believe in it at all.

Meanwhile, Lajos Szaszdi, the other panelist on the program, highlighted the fact that there is a constitution in Spain which bans such referendums. Therefore, he said, if Catalonia holds the independence vote it would be “illegal.”

He also emphasized that it is important to follow a democratic electoral process but there is also rule of law which should be respected.

Szaszdi further predicted that if Catalonia votes for independence, a lot of foreign investors will leave Barcelona because they fear that the EU's common market will be closed.  



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