Gov’t Crackdown Backfires

Spain will deploy police reinforcements to the northeastern region of Catalonia to maintain order and take action if a referendum on independence pledged by the Catalan government but deemed illegal by Spain should take place, officials said Friday.

AP reports that an Interior Ministry statement said the extra agents would provide backing for the Catalan regional police who are also under orders to prevent the staging of the referendum.

But protests continue to grow and Rajoy’s actions only seem to solidify opposition

“I feel the way people used to feel during Franco regime. Nothing less. Because Francoism is still alive,” said protester Josep Selva, referring to Gen. Francisco Franco’s military regime that ruled Spain between 1939 and 1978, three years after his death.

“The political reform of 1978 only legalized Francoism and disguised it as democracy,” he said.

But, as WolfStreet.com’s Don Quijones points out Madrid’s crackdown on Catalonia is already having one major consequence, presumably unintended: many Catalans who were until recently staunchly opposed to the idea of national independence are now reconsidering their options.

A case in point: At last night’s demonstration, spread across multiple locations in Barcelona, were two friends of mine, one who is fanatically apolitical and the other who is a strong Catalan nationalist but who believes that independence would be a political and financial disaster for the region. It was their first ever political demonstration. If there is a vote on Oct-1, they will probably vote to secede.

The middle ground they and hundreds of thousands of others once occupied was obliterated yesterday when a judge in Barcelona ordered Spain’s militarized police force, the…

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