New York Times backs calls for Catalan independence referendum
6 July 2017
Barely two weeks after Catalan regional Premier Carles Puigdemont announced a referendum on the independence of Catalonia from Spain in October, the New York Times published an editorial in defence of the plebiscite under the title “Catalonia’s Challenge to Spain.”
Spain’s Popular Party (PP) government led by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is adamant that the referendum will not be allowed to take place, branding it an illegal “coup.” In all likelihood, once the official resolution is passed by the Catalan regional parliament, Spain’s Constitutional Court will annul it, as with a previous resolution fleshing out the secessionist road map approved by the regional parliament in November 2015.
The Times criticises the PP for its “intransigence” with respect to Catalonia and for “galvanizing Catalan separatists by putting their leaders on trial “for the crimes of disobedience and breach of trust”—in 2014 they staged a non-binding independence referendum. Secessionist sentiment, the newspaper adds, has also increased because of the corruption scandal engulfing the PP the instability of its rule, as witnessed by it barely surviving a no-confidence vote on June 14.
The Times’ recommendation is for the Spanish government to give concessions to the regional Catalan bourgeoisie, which has whipped up Catalan secessionism as a diversion from its own savage austerity measures. Its threat is to establish a mini-state that will deprive Spain of tax revenues from what is the wealthiest region in the country, and serve as a major competitor by offering the global corporate elite tax cuts and stepped-up exploitation of the working class.
Although the Times does not…