Poll: Should Spain be broken up?

So the country of Spain is currently going through a bit of a political crisis regarding one of it's regions, Catalonia, who recently voted to leave the Spanish country and become it's own nation.

Spain itself, is quite complicated for a country with many autonomous regions with their own culture and language. You have the Basque areas, Catalonia, Galicia, Asturias, Andalusia etc. The question is, should Spain be broken up and have these regions become their own countries?

No. Europe is already shrinking compared to the rest of the world and creating several dwarf nations isn't going to help.

If a significant majority of a region wishes to separate I feel it would be best for all parties involved that the region be allowed to do so.

Be that Spain, the United Kingdom, or any other nation - no matter their geography.

You can't put a country in a giant get-along shirt and think that will solve the problem. If enough of the population wishes for separation letting them go will cost the nation less in the long run.

I mean, it kind of seems to be the will of the people, so its the governments responsibility to at least have a serious discussion about it

Hades:
No. Europe is already shrinking compared to the rest of the world and creating several dwarf nations isn't going to help.

To be fair though, Europe is also becoming more interconnected through the European Union, so "dwarf states" aren't necessarily an economic problem provided they stay in the Union (which isn't a given, but would ultimately be the best option for everyone). As long as people can still cross the border freely, it doesn't really matter if they live and work in different countries, or if goods need to be brought from one country to another.

Democratically, small nations are a good idea in some way, which is why federal republics exist. Small nations mean decentralised power, which means people have more personal influence in the democratic process than they do in a larger nation with a strong central government.

I can see a future in which Europe is full of smaller nations who share a common market and an ability to project globally through the overarching structure of the EU. It would be quite a nice setup, because the EU is a lot weaker than a federal central government and is set up to be structurally very voluntary, which would mean a lot of freedom for states and thus for people within those states.

I guess that is the big question, does an independent Catalonia want to be part of the EU? If so, how long do they have to wait before joining the EU? It's certainly not going to be instantaneous, otherwise Scotland would probably be clamouring for another independence referendum.

Granted, I haven't followed the Catalonian situation closely, but have the leaders of the independence movement even discussed what they are going to should they gain independence? It looks to me like they're all about the yelling, but if they get what they want, they'll be in a 'now what?' situation. Kind of like Brexit, which would probably making leaving Spain a bad idea in hindsight.

Isn't Basque another area that has been fighting for independence for a while?

I don't know how getting out from the Spainish government will help the Catalonians. I'd probably would see it like Brexit. It's going to hurt the Caralonians a bunch. But if they want to do it, so be it, IMO.

trunkage:
Isn't Basque another area that has been fighting for independence for a while?

I don't know how getting out from the Spainish government will help the Catalonians. I'd probably would see it like Brexit. It's going to hurt the Caralonians a bunch. But if they want to do it, so be it, IMO.

Indeed, the Basques pretty much have their own language and culture that is different from Spain. It is the only language on the Iberian peninsula that didn't evovle from Vulgar Latin. They also want to form their own country as well. The thing is with Catalonia is that it got more attention because they actually held an independence referendum last year.

WolvDragon:
The thing is with Catalonia is that it got more attention because they actually held an independence referendum last year.

And a huge fallout after a UDI that didn't have a plan "B" if/when Spain said "No"

Back to the OP: Depends on what the people of the Spanish nation want.

Hades:
No. Europe is already shrinking compared to the rest of the world and creating several dwarf nations isn't going to help.

I think the problem doesn't lay in balkanisation, given the fact greater unity certainly hasn't helped the EU end its stagnation. Hell, I dare say that greater unity seems to be creating that stagnation.

CM156:

WolvDragon:
The thing is with Catalonia is that it got more attention because they actually held an independence referendum last year.

And a huge fallout after a UDI that didn't have a plan "B" if/when Spain said "No"

Back to the OP: Depends on what the people of the Spanish nation want.

It's pretty clear the Catalonians and the Basque want independence, though like the Scots that seems more of a misnomer given what they really seem to want is more autonomy and a new capital to rule over them. Given the European Union's open and blatant aspirations to create a federated Europe (the globalists of Europe are trying to form the white ethnostate, who knew?), how one can state they want independence while also wanting membership into this organisation which holds the goal of a united state is beyond me.

I suppose it doesn't matter though, the EU is likely not going to make it given the fact the Italian and French people both want out and their governments are open about that (in France's case, despite being pro-EU). At this point I think the East African Federation will finalise its formation long before the EU manages to either reverse its collapse or fall apart completely.

trunkage:
Isn't Basque another area that has been fighting for independence for a while?

WolvDragon:
Indeed, the Basques pretty much have their own language and culture that is different from Spain. It is the only language on the Iberian peninsula that didn't evovle from Vulgar Latin. They also want to form their own country as well.

Basque nationalism has subsided from peak after the Basque region was given very substantial autonomy. Independence support is currently about 30%; 60% are happy with at least some form of unity with Spain that maintains their autonomy.

I... don't know.

I don't even understand what the Catalonians are hoping to gain through this, haven't really been paying attention to reporting because of my current severe dislike of news media. So, any Catalonian nationalist want to very briefly ELI5 this thing?

I had occasion to visit Spain, though not Catalonia, some years ago. It was apparent there were economic problems, with half-built ghost towns along the road in the more touristy parts and so on. I'd imagine that's a factor at least.

Zontar:

how one can state they want independence while also wanting membership into this organisation which holds the goal of a united state is beyond me.

The trick is to consider that the EU is not guaranteed to become a unified superstate, and if it does, when this will happen is unknown and what will be the constitution of this superstate is yet to be decided.

In the interim, an EU member state has a huge amount more self-determination than a semi-autonomous province. Consider that a soveriegn territory can decide to not join a unified EU, whereas a semi-autonomous region could be forced into a unified EU by its parent country. Furthermore, whatever the EU will become will depend on what its member states want: and every sovereign territory gets a voice where an automous region does not.

The EU is attractive in another way. Life for small countries is tough. This can be offset by strength in numbers; i.e. by joining an international bloc. And so the EU, which provides all sorts of services, mutual support and organisation useful to a small state that would otherwise be weak and vulnerable alone - including of course, being weak and vulnerable to the EU itself. A potential future theorised for Europe is one where the centre is strengthened in some ways, but so are the regions. Consider that there are three levels of power structure: EU, national, regional. Now consider removing that middle "national" level, and distribute some of its powers up to EU and others down to regional. Thus the entire EU becomes a number of highly autonomous regions. To many, this is better end, because this gives them local freedoms they did not have as a province of their nation.

StatusNil:

I had occasion to visit Spain, though not Catalonia, some years ago. It was apparent there were economic problems, with half-built ghost towns along the road in the more touristy parts and so on. I'd imagine that's a factor at least.

Catalonia is one of the richest areas of Spain (although Spain is significantly poorer than the likes of France or Germany). Economically, it's more that they don't like their taxes being distributed to less successful regions, rather like the Italian Northern League doesn't like supporting south Italy or the Belgian Flanders don't like supporting Wallonia.

evilthecat:

Hades:
No. Europe is already shrinking compared to the rest of the world and creating several dwarf nations isn't going to help.

To be fair though, Europe is also becoming more interconnected through the European Union, so "dwarf states" aren't necessarily an economic problem provided they stay in the Union (which isn't a given, but would ultimately be the best option for everyone). As long as people can still cross the border freely, it doesn't really matter if they live and work in different countries, or if goods need to be brought from one country to another.

Democratically, small nations are a good idea in some way, which is why federal republics exist. Small nations mean decentralised power, which means people have more personal influence in the democratic process than they do in a larger nation with a strong central government.

I can see a future in which Europe is full of smaller nations who share a common market and an ability to project globally through the overarching structure of the EU. It would be quite a nice setup, because the EU is a lot weaker than a federal central government and is set up to be structurally very voluntary, which would mean a lot of freedom for states and thus for people within those states.

But that relies on the assumption that the EU is there to last which is doubtful. Domestically a lot of populists strive to abolish the EU and internationally we have both the Kremlin and the white house who would find it much easier if Europe was weak and splintered. With all this opposition and bad faith driven against it I think the EU has a real chance of crumbling in the coming years. The populists only need to win once. If Le Pen wins in France its a Frexit which would likely cripple the EU, if Germany ever pulls out the EU might just as well stop existing altogether.

I don't think I have enough grasp on their situation to say with certainty. I only will say that Spain started handling this with in a very ungraceful manner (to put it mildly). It reminds me on how Quebec wants to separate from Canada (but with a violent authoritarian reaction from the government).

Hades:
The populists only need to win once. If Le Pen wins in France its a Frexit which would likely cripple the EU, if Germany ever pulls out the EU might just as well stop existing altogether.

You're forgetting they've already won in Britain, and it's looking more and more to the rest of Europe and the world as a whole that it's going to be an unmitigated disaster for them (and us over here, but only the EU seems to care about that part). Notice how the polls started to stagnate (if not tank) for the other far-right candidates after Brexit and Trump.

There's been a fair amount of skepticism and criticism directed at the EU in Ireland and yet the approval rating jumped to 90% in the wake of the Brexit negotiations.

Ninjamedic:

Hades:
The populists only need to win once. If Le Pen wins in France its a Frexit which would likely cripple the EU, if Germany ever pulls out the EU might just as well stop existing altogether.

You're forgetting they've already won in Britain, and it's looking more and more to the rest of Europe and the world as a whole that it's going to be an unmitigated disaster for them (and us over here, but only the EU seems to care about that part). Notice how the polls started to stagnate (if not tank) for the other far-right candidates after Brexit and Trump.

There's been a fair amount of skepticism and criticism directed at the EU in Ireland and yet the approval rating jumped to 90% in the wake of the Brexit negotiations.

Yes but that they won in Britain kinda proved my points. The Populists only need to win once to do damage. They won in the UK and now the country will suffer as a result. I don't think the outcome of Brexit needs to be mean anything. Populists are famed for their ability to deny the truth and their voters generally tend to believe the populists when they lie.

The far-right was weakened after Trump but only for a limited time. By now they have recovered from the negative reaction to Trumps election. In Austria the far right did very well and is now one of the governing parties, Orban won another turn, Poland still has a nationalistic party and in Italy the government is now made up of two extremist populist parties.

Ninjamedic:
There's been a fair amount of skepticism and criticism directed at the EU in Ireland and yet the approval rating jumped to 90% in the wake of the Brexit negotiations.

Brexit is a canary in the coalmine for the EU.

The fact is that the EU really does need significant reform, and if Brexiters are justified in their fears about anything, it's that the inertia of the EU may stymie reforms. Brexit may have caused a bump in pro-EU sentiment, but that might not last, and nor can Europeans simply ignore obvious and widespread unhappiness across the EU.

And let's face it, one of the biggest problems is the Euro. The Euro was a lot of what got the EU into a mess, and a lot of what has prevented some countries adapting to the financial crash. The southern European countries would normally have devalued to cope with their economic situation, but with the Euro, they haven't been able to. The result is a deeply unpopular austerity. Secondly, their struggles have ended up putting pressure on the northern European countries to secure their debt and bail them out, and that's been resented in north Europe. It will even have indirectly contributed to Brexit (even though the UK didn't have the Euro), because Britons have been reading for years about the EU's problems, and that's not going have made the EU look good.

Another major problem is immigration, although that's much wider than the EU. Realistically, every Western country really is going to have go away and think very hard about what it does regarding immigration. It doesn't matter how pro- or anti- immigration we might be as individuals, we can hardly pretend that the level of societal debate and government attention to matters around immigration has been poor. The EU can and should run a much better system of dealing with a continent-wide issue.

Finally, the festering wealth gap - although again, not just an EU problem. I do not believe the status quo is sustainable for a stable and happy society, and eventually governments are going to have step in and either start moving the rewards of economic production away from capital and towards labour, or creating capital wealth for everyone. Needless to say, this will mean one hell of a political struggle between the elites and the lower-middle.

Edit: As per the third of those, many problems causing declining EU support are in my view national, not EU. It's just that if things go badly, everyone perceived to be in power takes some of the blame. Take Italy, for instance. Italy has a huge bundle of problems (corruption, sclerotic business practices, hugely underdeveloped regions) which are not the fault of the EU. However, some people are always happier blaming outsiders than themselves. Secondly, when the conventional political order fails in some ways, everything associated with it starts taking a hit by association too. So as pro-EU maintream parties fail to deal with national problems, so people look for alternatives... and end up picking those alternatives' anti-EU messages too.

Agema:

The fact is that the EU really does need significant reform, and if Brexiters are justified in their fears about anything, it's that the inertia of the EU may stymie reforms. Brexit may have caused a bump in pro-EU sentiment, but that might not last, and nor can Europeans simply ignore obvious and widespread unhappiness across the EU.

I agree wholeheartedly, but my point was more about the Far-Right nationalist movements taking a beating specifically in the wake of how Brexit is turning out with zero preparation or substance behind it. My hope is when the elation dies down, Brexit will still remind people to be sober and rational in their criticisms as EU hegemony increases and it's parliament becomes more influential.

While you're here I'm curious to ask your opinion of the Trade situation with the US beyond the obvious idiocy of Trump.

I don't think anybody, thus far, has really questioned the representative nature of the referendum in Catalonia. It's worth remembering that the referendum was boycotted by numerous political groups (because it was declared without federal agreement), some of which are pretty mainstream, and thus had the involvement of a relatively low number of citizens.

Catalonian independence may be popular, I don't know, but the referendum that was held does not constitute a mandate; it was dubious from the get-go, and the people running it knew that.

 

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