Goodbye Mr. Rajoy; you proved to be a leader of much bewilderment in all of the autonomous regions of Spain, but after the “mocion de censura” past the true loyalties of your friends in the chamber of deputes were shown.
You won’t be missed by anyone, it’s a shame because you did manage to do a lot, you managed to get everyone to hate you, you were the face of a party that is being accused of being the most corrupt party on the country if not Europe, and you’re Galician and some of my family members are proud of that I guess.
You have also proven that the Spanish have short memories; why they do not remember why you ended up in the hot seat oh-so many years ago anyway! Well, now that Spain is back in control of the Socialists, we’ll see how they manage the country, after learning from their housing bubble crisis and asking the idiot to the left in the picture to get the fuck out of their party.
But Pedro Sanchez of the Socialist Worker’s Party of Spain (PSOE) began his term with a turbulent address declaring that Galicia, the Basque Country, and Catalonia deserve recognition of their nations. Which is the topic today.
Spain has a complex relationship with some of these Autonomous Communities, specially the Basque and the Catalonians. These tough relationships go all the way back to Francisco Franco and Hitler basically using those areas as their personal test sites and a clear cultural division between these communities and the rest of the nation. But Spain is no longer a country where you could be shot for speaking Galician or Catalan, in the case of the latter you’d notice that their language and their culture is widely respected and promoted, yet they feel misrepresented by the central government of Spain, the one in Madrid.
You’d understand it if you look at this map, that tries to guess the GDP of each Autonomous Community:
What the map shows is how rich Catalonia and the Basque Country are; these ACs are economical powerhouses. Throughout the banking crisis, the Euro crisis, the housing bubble, and the Socialist/conservative Parties stealing so much money they might make Mexican politicians proud, these ACs basically paid for all the debt, unemployment, and welfare of the poorer communities. That’s where I call Dingo.
Because if you look at the secession movements, the strongest ones are the Basque and the Catalan. Galicians (which is one of the few revenue neutral ACs) don’t really give a shit about independence. Galicians tend to be older folk, and as such they remember (and reminisce) the era when Franco finally quit and there was a huge focus on keeping the country united. They are proud to be Galician, but most of all, of being Spanish too.
Whether they are subsiding poor people in the south or not doesn’t really matter to them because they believe in unity. Now, when it comes to the younger people in the Basque Country and Catalonia it’s a different story.
Because they never lived through it, and similarly to Neo Nazis in America; they seem to focus on trying to extrapolate their own identity, no matter how toxic it really is. I call dingo on it because to me it seems like behind the proud flags and voting pins there are Taxes; which is what Puigdemont and the others were really behind, if they became more autonomous they would no longer have to pay for the poor folk in the south. Now, you could say “well, fuck poor people” and you might be in your right to feel that way specially if all you see is conservative politicians with 12,000 euro suits. But you need to remember that everyone in Spain chipped in for the remodeling of Barcelona for the 1992 olympics; the preparation for the event drastically changed the city and helped settle it as the avant garde place that is known today.
Catalonia owes the most debt to the central government, 52.5 billion euros to be exact, and one has to wonder what would happen to that debt if they became independent, and how would tax revenue in Spain would be distributed, how much poorer the south would turn, so on and so forth.
We also need to look at other secession movements and where identity comes from. From what I can recall most secession movements are about money and not representation, and really, my family is Galician; they speak it, they have their flag, they have their Xunta, but that doesn’t mean their get to avoid their commitment to their fellow countrymen and countrywomen to the south.