Sunday, November 25, 2012

Adéu a Catalunya

Or maybe not.

Catalonia is the wealthiest region of Spain, and they are tired of paying the bills. Call it the Germany of Spain. The voters have rather narrowly returned the main separatist party to power, with a smaller plurality than they held before, but a certain amount of separatist momentum.

The incumbent regional president Artur Mas secured a second term and with it a mandate to seek secession from Spain in defiance of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

But his centre right Convergence and Union (CIU) party fell short of the absolute majority they hoped for, winning only 50 of the 62 seats they secured in the 135 seat assembly at the last election two years ago.

The separatist left wing ERC party, which also strongly supports self-rule, doubled its share of the vote, securing 21 seats, however.

Acknowledging that his support fell in favour of leftist parties, Mr Mas said alliances would have to be sought.

If they are smart, they will take this opportunity to get a better deal from Madrid. Most likely, though, they will really try to separate, and incur all the bad consequences thereof. That is, they will either cause another civil war, or become another European micro state and cannon fodder for the next European war.