The newly authoritarian tone of politics and government in Spain becomes more evident with every passing week. Following a range of laws passed by Madrid banning many forms of public protest we now have reports that the regional government in Barcelona may be prosecuted by the Spanish state following the recent ad hoc independence referendum for Catalonia where a majority of those who participated supported greater autonomy. From the BBC:
“Catalonia’s President Artur Mas has been placed under formal investigation for his role in the Spanish region’s unofficial vote on independence.
Catalonia’s High Court said it would open proceedings against Mr Mas for allegedly disobeying a constitutional ban against the vote.
The 9 November vote, which was not binding, went ahead despite fierce opposition by the Spanish government.
Catalan officials say more than 80% of those who voted backed independence.
Mr Mas, his deputy Joana Ortega, and Catalan Education Minister Irene Rigau face accusations ranging from disobedience and perverting the course of justice to misuse of public funds.”
Meanwhile in a country that was actually presented with the opportunity to vote for independence the 45% Yes / 55% No split in the Scottish plebiscite continues to have (not entirely) unforeseen consequences for the nation’s political future. From the Daily Record:
“SCOTLAND ends its momentous referendum year as a nation divided with 48 per cent backing independence and an equal number supporting the Union.
A Daily Record opinion poll has found support for independence equally split, with four per cent undecided, three months after the referendum vote.
The state of the nation poll also shows a clear majority want a referendum re-run within the next 10 years, fuelling Alex Salmond’s turn-around from his policy that a referendum would be a “once in a lifetime” event.”
With the SNP riding high in the Scottish polls and the British general election only months away the much-lauded Unionist referendum victory may look increasingly pyrrhic in the years ahead. As some suggested at the time: