750,000 Protesters Clog Barcelona Streets, Demands Release Of “Political Prisoners”

Here's what this looks like on the ground pic.twitter.com/7uZP1EUbk0
— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) November 11, 2017

Hundreds of thousands of people – 750,000 according to Barcelona police – backing Catalonia’s bid to secede from Spain clogged the streets in downtown Barcelona Saturday to demand the release of jailed separatist leaders.
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Close to a million people filled the length of the Avenue Marina that runs from the beach to Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia church, while the jailed leaders’ families made speeches.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 11, 2017.

The Price of Chaos Rises in Spain

The longer the toxic process between Catalonia and Spain drags on, the wider the gulf grows.
During a visit yesterday to Barcelona, the organizers of the Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest mobile event, warned the City Council that unless the political situation stabilizes in Catalonia, they will be looking for an alternative venue after 2018. Barcelona has hosted the annual event every year since 2006 and it brings in billions of euros to the city each year, much of which ends up in the pockets of local taxi drivers, hoteliers, owners of bars, restaurants and brothels, Airbnb hosts and, last but not least, the thousands of professional pickpockets that flock to the city for the four day event.
John Hoffman, the chief executive of GSMA, the association that organizes the Mobile World Congress (MWC), could not have chosen a worst day to visit Barcelona. As part of a general strike to protest the incarceration of pro-independence ministers and leaders and the imposition of direct rule from Madrid, thousands of picketers had blocked dozens of roads across the region including the main freeway connecting Spain with France, causing massive traffic jams.
High-speed train links between Barcelona and France and Barcelona and Madrid were also put out of action after hundreds of protesters moved onto platforms and railway lines in Barcelona and Girona chanting ‘Freedom, Freedom.’

This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 9, 2017.

Ousted Catalan Leader Turns Himself In To Belgian Police

Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and four ex-ministers on Sunday turned themselves in to Belgian authorities to start the process of their possible extradition to Spain. Puigdemont was accompanied by four other former Catalan officials who are also wanted by Spanish authorities after they fled to Belgium last week after their removed from power by Spanish authorities as part of an extraordinary crackdown to impede the region’s illegal declaration of independence.
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According to AP, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor’s office, Gilles Dejemeppe, said the five presented themselves to federal police and have been in custody since 9 a.m. (0800 GMT; 3 a.m. EST). He said that they have not been arrested and that Puigdemont and the four ex-ministers will be heard by an investigative judge Sunday afternoon.
The judge will have to decide what the next steps are within 24 hours. They could vary from arrest and imprisonment to conditional release. On Saturday, Belgian federal prosecutors said that they were studying the warrants and that they had shared them with city counterparts in Brussels.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 5, 2017.

Another Earthquake Swarm: ‘These Types Of Swarms Are Common In ACTIVE Volcanoes’

Twenty-two earthquake in four days have rocked a famous tourist location. This recent swarm has sparked more fears that yet another volcano could be on the verge of erupting.
Mount Teide last erupted in 1909 and is the highest mountain in Spain and a huge tourist attraction. The flurry of tremors struck the village of Vilaflor on the slopes of the 12,000-foot mountain volcano between October 28 and October 31. Mount Teide’s summit is the highest point in Spain and a major tourist attraction located in the Canary Islands. Mount Teide boasts around three million tourists visiting every year.
Several days ago, officials were monitoring a separate volcano on the Canary Islands after thousands of earthquakes rocked the La Palma island sparking fears that the Cumbre Vieja volcano would violently erupt soon. The Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan) have been trying to calm people over the fears that Cumbre Vieja or Mount Teide could explode.

This post was published at shtfplan on November 2nd, 2017.

Spain Invades Catalonia – Nullifies the Democratic Vote

The Spanish Police have invaded Catalonia and the rigged high court of Spain nullifies its independence. It really is astonishing when you compare these actions to Russia and Crimea. At least Crimea the population were Russian speaking and not Ukrainian. Here we have Catalonia has had its own language from before the existence of Spain and have always regarded itself as separate and autonomous.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 1, 2017.

Europe Will Reap What Spain Has Sown

Authored by Wayne Madsen via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
The Spanish government decided to reach back into its history and borrow from the playbook of longtime Spanish fascist dictator Francisco Franco in dealing with Catalonia’s decision to declare independence from the Spanish Kingdom as the Republic of Catalonia. The Catalan government’s decision to declare independence followed an October 1 referendum in the region that resulted in a ‘yes’ for independence.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose Popular Party is a direct political descendant of Franco’s fascist Falangist Party, wasted no time in invoking, for the first time, Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, which allows the Spanish Kingdom to impose direct rule on regions not adhering to the whiplashing from Madrid. Catalonia is the first, but possible not the last victim, of Spain’s neo-fascism on display for the entire world.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 31, 2017.

EU Support Madrid Refuses to Acknowledge Catalonia

Madrid has seized Catalonia by force and the EU, of course, backs Madrid saying they do not recognize Catalonia as a free state. This is demonstrating that human rights in Europe mean nothing when it comes to protecting the jobs of those in Brussels. This is clearly sending a statement to the rest of Europe – shut up or you are next. That statement should surprise nobody since the rising separatist movements in Europe are against the power of Brussels.
Meanwhile, Spain is proposing to change the President of Catalonia with treason. They threatened him before that he would end up like the last attempt to break away – dead. The Catalan regional president, Carles Puigdemont, who has been deposed by the central government in Madrid, has called on the population to ‘democratically resist’ the seizure by Madrid. In a televised address on Saturday, Puigdemont said he would continue to work to build a ‘free country’.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 31, 2017.

The Catalan Revolt of 2017

Catalonia is vying to become Europe’s newest nation-state, but this is a battle Catalonia ultimately can’t win. On Oct. 27, Catalan lawmakers voted to declare independence – barely. Only 51.8% of members in the Catalan parliament supported the declaration. That means even Catalans themselves are divided over whether Catalonia should secede from Spain.
Spain has threatened to do whatever is necessary to maintain the rule of law in Catalonia, and it has both the will and the means to follow through on that threat. Catalonia also has very little international support it can depend on. Even so, the Catalan revolt of 2017 will have ramifications in Spain and in Europe that will be felt for generations to come.
For many observers outside of Europe, the Catalan issue came out of left field. Sure, the Catalan government said it would hold an independence referendum, but it held a similar referendum in 2014 and nothing came of that. Surely, all the Catalan government wanted was a bargaining chip it could use in its negotiations with the Spanish government over taxes and other issues related to the region’s political autonomy. Catalonia has more to gain economically by remaining a part of Spain, so why would it want to embark on the arduous and violent process that usually accompanies declarations of independence?
But no one should be surprised that Catalan independence has become a major issue – it has been for many centuries now.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on OCTOBER 30, 2017.

Spain Demonstrates to the World Democracy Means Nothing

The Madrid government sacked Catalonia’s president and dismissed its parliament on Friday, hours after the region declared itself an independent nation in Spain’s gravest political crisis since the return of democracy four decades ago. The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who seems to think he has the power of Franco, called for new elections and fired the Catalan police chief. The crisis in Spain is a reflection of the crisis in the EU as a whole. This unprecedented dictatorial array of measures to seize control of the administration in Barcelona is so undemocratic, it is guaranteed to send warning signals to many other regions of the EU especially Italy.
Armstrong Economics

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 28, 2017.

Catalan Leaders Face 30 Years In Jail As Spain Brings “Rebellion” Charges

Earlier in the week, The Express reported that Spain’s ‘attorney general’ gave a blunt message that if he declares independence for Catalonia he will be charged with ‘rebellion’ and could face 30 years in prison, to the President of the north east region and said he would call on the Catalan police – Mossos d’Esquadra – to detain Mr Puigdemont, who has been the focal figures in the region’s push to break away from the rest of Spain. Mr Maza, speaking at an event on cybersecurity in Madrid, said:
‘I am surprised that this is surprising. This is normal and natural in a state of law and, therefore, it is logical to pursue. The rebellion crime is punishable by 30 years in prison if it is a crime of considerable gravity, of course.”
And now that Independence has been proclaimed, The Independent reports that Spain’s top prosecutor will seek rebellion charges for those responsible for a vote in favor of declaring an independent Catalan republic, an official spokesman said.
The spokesman said the prosecutor is looking to determine if the charges should be limited to the Catalan cabinet, including President Carles Puigdemont and Vice President Oriol Junqueras, or if they should also include members of the parliament’s governing board and lawmakers.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

Spain PM Fires Catalan Government, Calls Snap Elections In Retaliation For Independence Vote

Update 4: In a live TV address to the nation, Spain’s PM Rajoy just announced that it is a “sad day” in which Catalans showed “contempt” for democracy, and ignored the general interest; that the Catalan declaration is unacceptable to majority of Catalans, and that, as a result and as expected, he is firing Catalan president Carles Puigdment, the Catalan police chief, and the entire Catalan government as “prudence” and “serenity” are now needed: “we never wanted to reach this situation”.
Ministries in the central government will assume powers of the Catalan administration.
The Prime Minister also announced he has dissolved the Catalan Parliament and called for snap elections to be held on December 21 which will be “free, legal and clean”.
As The Spain Report adds, the central government also ordered all of Catalonia’s “embassies” abroad closed, along with the region’s publicly funded Diplocat diplomacy service, and sacked the director general of the Catalan Police (Mossos), Pere Soler.
Rajoy also said Spain has enough resources to “recover normality” in Catalonia within the law and thanked the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) and Ciudadanos for their support.
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Update 3: Spain’s top prosecutor will seek rebellion charges for those responsible for a vote in favor of declaring an independent Catalan republic, an official Spanish spokesman said according to The Independent. The spokesman said the prosecutor is looking to determine if the charges should be limited to the Catalan cabinet, including President Carles Puigdemont and Vice President Oriol Junqueras, or if they should also include members of the parliament’s governing board and lawmakers.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

Catalonia and Spain Enter Dangerous Uncharted Territory

Emotions are high on both sides of the divide.
Today was one of the strangest days of my life. I woke up in a constitutional monarchy called Spain and will go to bed, the same bed, in a newly proclaimed republic. Catalonia’s impossible dream has finally come true, but it could be extremely short lived, and it could have very damaging long lasting consequences.
Spain’s Senate responded to the Catalan parliament’s declaration of independence this afternoon by ratifying the activation of Article 155 of Spain’s Constitution, the nuclear button everyone has been waiting for. This will allow the central government to take full rein of the region’s institutions and levers of power, including parliament, the police force, the exchequer (already done), public media, the Internet, the education system, and telecommunications – at least in theory.
There is no telling just yet how Mariano Rajoy’s government intends to stamp its authority on 2.5 million of the Catalans now in open rebellion, or for how long. Given the law’s ambiguity, there are few constraints on its application, but trying to subdue a region where most of the 7.5 million-strong population are hostile to the basic notion of direct rule from Madrid is going to be a tall order, especially if the EU, which refuses to recognize Catalonia, expects Rajoy’s government to bring Catalonia back into line through ‘the force of argument rather than the argument of force.’

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Oct 27, 2017.

Chaos Unleashed: Catalan Parliament Votes For Independence, Spain Activates “Nuclear Option”

S. Hem guanyat la llibertat per construir un nou pas.
— Oriol Junqueras (@junqueras) October 27, 2017

Update 3: Spain’s top prosecutor will seek rebellion charges for those responsible for a vote in favor of declaring an independent Catalan republic, an official Spanish spokesman said according to The Independent. The spokesman said the prosecutor is looking to determine if the charges should be limited to the Catalan cabinet, including President Carles Puigdemont and Vice President Oriol Junqueras, or if they should also include members of the parliament’s governing board and lawmakers.
The official, who spoke under condition of anonymity in line with internal rules, said the charges could be brought as early as Monday. As Mr. Maza warned,“The rebellion crime is punishable by 30 years in prison if it is a crime of considerable gravity, of course…if the Catalan police did not comply with the order, Spain would take over control of the force.”
As a reminder, and as The Spain Report tweeted what happened the last time the Catalan republic was declared, in 1934:, there was i) State of war; ii) Lasted 10 hours and iii) led to 46 dead in Barcelona.
Puigdemont has called on fellow separatists to remain peaceful ahead of the expected crackdown by Spanish authorities. Facing a crowd of hundreds of supporters packing Catalonia’s parliament building, he said: ‘In the days ahead we must keep to our values of pacificism and dignity. It’s in our, in your hands to build the republic.’ Good luck.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 27, 2017.

Spain Showdown: Catalan Parliament To Decide On Independence Tomorrow, Chaos To Follow

A dramatic rollercoaster of a day for Catalonia and Spain is ending ominously, with the Catalan president Puigdemont announcing that he would let the region’s parliament decide the fate of the Catalan declaration of independence from Spain, capping off a day of furious reversals. The announcement follows a dramatic reversal from the Catalan leader who until just a few hours ago, was expected to announce that he’d call an early election in the region to avoid Spain’s takeover of the Catalan government. In the last moment he decided against it, saying there were no guarantees from the Spanish government it would be implemented while facing rebellion from his separatist allies at home; as a result he has washed his hands and decided to leave a decision on independence to his parliament.
Puigdemont made the announcement before a scheduled appearance before the Catalan Parliament on Thursday evening. According to the NYT, he said he made the decision after he had failed to secure a commitment from the central government that it would not take control of the region if he called early elections.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 26, 2017.

If You Want to Understand the Next 10 Years, Study Spain

Some of you may be confused as to why a U. S. citizen living in Colorado has become so completely obsessed with what’s going on in Spain. Bear with me, there’s a method to my madness.
I believe what’s currently happening in Spain represents a crucial microcosm for what we’ll see sweep across the entire planet over the next ten years. Some of you will want to have a discussion about who’s right and who’s wrong in this particular affair, but that’s besides the point. It doesn’t matter which side you favor, what matters is that Madrid/Catalonia is an example of the forces of centralization duking it out with forces of decentralization.
Madrid represents the nation-state as we know it, with its leaders claiming Spain is forever indivisible according to the constitution. Madrid has essentially proclaimed there’s no possible avenue to independence from a centralized Spain even if various regions decide in large number they wish to be independent. This sort of attitude will be seen as unacceptable and primitive by increasingly large numbers of humans in the years ahead. Catalonia should be seen as a canary in the coal mine. The forces of decentralization are rising, but entrenched centralized institutions and the bureaucrats running them will become increasingly terrified, panicked and oppressive.
As I’ve discussed, this isn’t coming out of nowhere. Humanity’s current established centralized institutions and nation-states have become clownishly corrupt, merely existing to protect and enrich the powerful/connected as opposed to benefiting the population at large. As such, legitimacy has been shattered and people have begun to demand a new way. Whether we see this with the rising popularity of Bitcoin, or the UK decision to leave the EU, evidence is everywhere and we’ve already passed the point of no return. This is precisely why EU leaders are rallying around Madrid. They’re scared to death and fear they might be next. They’re probably right.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Oct 23, 2017.

Spain Won’t Arrest Separatist Leaders, Blames “Fake News” For Catalan Crisis

#Catalonia will be governed from Madrid by ministers of a party that got 8.5% of the vote at last Catalan elections. pic.twitter.com/W6avedq3ZS
— Kate Shea Baird (@KateSB) October 21, 2017

Following Catalan President Puigdemont’s address yesterday accusing Madrid of “the worst attack since Franco,” the Spanish government has urged Catalonians to accept direct control from Madrid and ignore seditious instructions from the pro-independence leaders.
Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis responded on Sunday with the call to obey Madrid.
‘We are going to establish the authorities who are going to rule the day-to-day affairs of Catalonia according to the Catalan laws and norms … I hope everyone will disregard whatever instructions they will be planning to give because they will not have the legal authority to do that.’
However, Dastis sought to calm nerves in the region, saying Madrid would not conduct arrests among the pro-independence leadership, though two prominent secessionists were detained on court order this month on allegations of sedition.
‘All the government is trying to do, and reluctantly, is to reinstate the legal order, to restore the constitution but also the Catalan rules and proceed from there,’ Dastis told BBC TV.
“We are not going to arrest anyone.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 22, 2017.

“It’s A Coup”: Catalan President Slams “Worst Attack” By Spain “Since Franco Dictatorship”

Update (1510ET): Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont addressed Catalans, Spaniards, and the rest of Europe on TV saying that the Spanish states’ imposition of Article 155 means “liquidation of our self-government and cancellation of the democratic will of Catalans”. Puigdemont said Rajoy had set out to “humiliate” Catalonia in an “attack on democracy” and said removing powers from Catalonia was the “worst attack against the institutions and the people of Catalonia since the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco”.
Puigdemont also said Spain “closed the doors ot a request for talks, and should set a date to discuss the attack” and “Catalan institutions cannot accept attack by Spain.”
In a striking accusation, the Catalan president said that “Catalan institutions dealt a coup by Spanish state.” Puigdemont then switched to English to appeal to Europeans, says democracy also at risk in Europe: “Catalonia is an ancient European nation”. He also announced a session in Catalan parliament to debate “the attempt to liquidate our self-government”.
Puigdemont concluded by saying “Long live Catalonia” to which a silently listening crowd suddenly burst back into cheers and chanting.
However, Puigdemont did not specifically declare independence, but said Catalonia will not accept Madrid’s plan to curb region’s powers, leaving one tiny, final loophole…
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As we detailed earlier, with Spain officially pulling the trigger on Article 155, and activating the Spanish Constitutional “nuclear option” this morning, when PM Rajoy said he would seize control of the Catalan government, fire everyone and force new elections in six months, attention has shifted to the Catalan response. And as we waited for the official statement by Catalan separatist president Carles Puigdemont, expected at 9pm local time, we found him taking to the streets, where he led hundreds of thousands of independence supporters in protest around Barcelona on Saturday, shouting “freedom” and “independence” following the stunning news from Madrid earlier on Saturday.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 21, 2017.

Spain Activates “Nuclear Option”: Will Seize Control Of Catalan Government, Force New Elections

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy asked lawmakers to grant him unprecedented powers to force leaders of the Catalonia region to cease their independence push, a dramatic escalation in the confrontation between Spain and the separatist region, which the WSJ – and virtually everyone else – has said will be a major test for Spanish democracy. According to The Spain Report, this
is the first time in the modern democratic period that a central
government has suspended home rule in one of Spain’s 17 regions.
Spain's PM Mariano Rajoy unveils plans to curb powers of Catalan government pic.twitter.com/KbKgHnqPv1
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) October 21, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 21, 2017.

Spain To Activate Article 155 Process, Suspending Catalonia Autonomy

Spain announced it will trigger the so-called “nuclear option” of Article 155 under the Spanish Constitution, and move ahead with the process of suspending Catalan autonomy and the powers of the local government, after Regional President Carles Puigdemont for the second time in four days refused to comply with a Spanish ultimatum to clearly drop his claim to independence.
Spain deployed the ultimate constitutional weapon after Puigdemont said the regional parliament may declare independence unless the government in Madrid agrees to talks. Puigdemont’s response came to an ultimatum from Madrid to renounce his claims to full autonomy by Thursday or face the consequences. “It’s not that difficult to reply to the question’, but there is still no definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Consequently, Madrid is poised to trigger Article 155 this Saturday, suspending the autonomy of the breakaway region.
As previewed last night, the “final” deadline passed and the Catalonian leader failed to satisfy Madrid’s demands.
Puigdemont had sent a new letter to Mariano Rajoy minutes before the second Article 155 deadline ran out at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning. That new letter did not provide the clarity the central government was seeking about the status of the independence of Catalonia, the Spanish Prime Minister’s office said.
‘The suspension remains, it’s up to the Spanish Government to enforce article 155 with the authorisation of the Senate… If the central government persists in blocking dialogue and continues its repression, the Catalan Parliament may proceed, if it considers it appropriate, to approve a formal declaration of independence,’ Puigdemont said in his letter to Rajoy.
Puigdemont also said that his request for a face-to-face meeting had been ignored, and that Spanish ‘repression’ of Catalonia was being stepped up with the jailing of two separatist activists on Monday. ‘My request for the repression to end has not been met either,’ Puigdemont said. ‘On the contrary, it has increased.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.