Catalonia: The Start of a European Spring?

Given the elite’s worship of the violent overthrow of Middle Easters leaders you would think that self-determination of the Catalans would be met with the praise typically lavished on a fledgling democracy. Instead we see the wailing and gnashing of the teeth from a group who can see their potential Day of the Rope rapidly approaching. “Democracy for thee, but not for me,” should be the tag line of the petty Madrid bureaucrats who are walking back their words about democracy and freedom to explain why those terms seemingly don’t apply in their own backyard.

Located in northwest Spain directly below the Pyrenees, Catalonia is an economic powerhouse. The primary driver for independence is the cost of Spanish rule. The region pays out 14 billion more Euros than it gets from Madrid. The current financial crisis has intensified the disparity as infrastructure cuts have been greater in Catalonia than elsewhere in Spain. In addition, the Catalans have a distinct language and culture and are held together by bonds stronger than mere geographic proximity. The Catalan population of 7.5 million would give them a nation larger than Austria, Norway, Finland, Denmark, or Ireland. So why do the elites hate democracy in this case? Should the US support them like it has in other regions around the globe?

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