Catalonia and Spain – Two Opposed Views of Legality


Spain is a unique case in Europe because it has never distanced itself from the 1939 coup d’état by a group of fascist generals and the ensuing forty year dictatorship. In fact, the legality of the current Spanish democracy derives –through a slight reform– from the thread that binds the current regime with the military uprising of July 1936, this being shown by the permanent presence of the current head of state (the king,) who was anointed by the dictator.

This is not the case in Catalonia. Artur Mas is President of the Catalan Government as the legitimate successor of Francesc Macià and Lluís Companys, and Josep Tarradellas returned as President in office by virtue of the original legality of the February, 1936 elections. In fact, all Catalan parties—with the exception of the two unionist parties PP and Ciudadanos—consider themselves to have links to this republican legality.

These two legalities have coexisted, in parallel, over the last three decades, and that inevitably marks two different levels of democratic feeling and two very different ways of working out the political narrative. For this reason there are people in Spain like Rodríguez Ibarra—who thinks it’s to say that anyone who tries to skip the Constitution is subversive, and that subversion is what Catalonia is trying when it wants to hold a referendum in which only the Catalans will vote; and he has compared President Mas with Hitler and Mussolini.

This is fortunately a rarity in democratic Europe.

Read @ Help Catalonia