The war between Spain and Catalonia rests on the gun issue


Война между Испанией и Каталонией упирается в оружейный вопрос

A stalemate in Catalonia makes us think about the worst outcome of the conflict is armed confrontation between a supporter of independence and Federal authorities. How likely is a bloody scenario, which may count each of the parties and one of them was the first to take the step that would be fatal?

On Monday, the deadline a three-day ultimatum, which Madrid set Barcelona. And everything goes to the fact that the government of Catalonia and does not comply is out of the Spanish laws. The General idea of Western Europe do not seem to give reason to even imagine that it will end the war or another form of confrontation that involves a lot of blood. But in theory everything is possible.

As small children

In 2003 in the Basque Country “to exchange experience” visited the delegation from South Ossetia, who was then in limbo. Remember the statement of one of the members of this delegation to the Basque return to Moscow: “Children, mere children”.

Indeed, for a representative of the tiny country on its own (but some help from individual citizens) the “self-made” at the end of the armed conflict with a much stronger enemy, complete disarmament, and THIS renunciation of national control over local security forces looked as the change in the sandbox – you iPhone, you the wooden horse. The Basques were talking only about budget autonomy and still pretend that the details of the Spanish Constitution, providing for the abolition of any Autonomous movement of the finger of a king, they don’t care about.

It turns out, the 60-year armed struggle THAT (as strange as it may seem at times) is just an unfortunate episode. As if the Basques all the time fought for the redistribution of budget revenues.

Same story with Catalonia. The Catalan separatism is almost no military component, even at the level of street leftists and anti-globalists, and local police to such are not ready even at the mental level. This is perfectly demonstrated by the events in the day of the referendum, when the Catalan police didn’t do anything at all. Formally, they had to enter sewn polling stations, but such order of the local interior Ministry, they have not received because the local interior Ministry has actually been abolished from Madrid. And collected in the Barcelona police and civil guard (it’s kind of a cross between the internal troops with Riot police – the legacy of Franco’s dictatorship in its pure form) was presented by the natives of other regions of Spain and had orders to disrupt the event. If the local police really tried to “protect the polls”, it could be regarded as an armed rebellion.

Some element of aggressive self-organization can be considered as youth group, whose members hid from police the ballot box. This on its own is fascinating, and really gives the youth a sense of belonging, but not like the rudiments of self-defense. In addition, Carles Pujdeme and some other Catalan officials successfully hid for several days, but it was probably a case of “the elusive Joe”, in Madrid too hurried with the arrest of several Catalan Ministers, which caused the indignant reaction in Brussels, so to arrest Pokdemon don’t want.

By the way, hiding Pujdeme in Girona – the region of Catalonia, where support for the idea of independence is absolute. In the cosmopolitan and wealthy city of Barcelona Catalan government feels uncomfortable. However, Madrid’s policy has not yet run the risk to come there in order to direct Catalonia after the abolition of its Autonomous status.

However, Madrid looks much more combative and organized. In the port of Barcelona for a couple of months worth of amphibious ships and cruise ships with the soldiers of the Civil guard with light armored vehicles. Initially they were placed in city hotels and centrally paid for billeting. Since the outbreak of violence during the referendum of hotel administration evicted the guards, and they were forced to even leave the Ministry building, having moved under the hooting on the landing ships.

The only Catalan group, by default, ready for armed resistance is considered (including the Spanish secret services), the youth wing of the ultra-leftist party CUP. They are Trotskyites, Maoists, whatever, but not fighters for independence, pure and simple. The apotheosis of their activities – throwing stones at tourist buses last summer, and program provisions strongly resemble quotes from Mao. Separately baffled their demand to nationalize all public services, which sounds contradictory, even for the Maoists: how to nationalize what belongs to the state?

And yet they are the ones who do not deny violence as a means (even if in the end you will not be able to blow up the birdhouse). The day of the referendum around their office chain built the Catalan police, not the feds. This is the first sign that Barcelona are afraid to “go first”. If young people from leftist groups started throwing something guards at Madrid would be free hand.

For this reason, not taken any action, retaining the independence of physically. No roadblocks, nobody touches the border crossings on the border with France, it is not visible attempts to establish control over the airport and sea port, even the Spanish flag from the building of Generalitat these “children” did not shoot. Not even visible signs that such plans are, and they likely do not exist, as no institutional centre within the Catalan government and Parliament, which would have such plans provide. By the way, the Parliament is in this respect much more promising than the government and personally Pujdeme. There are people with very strong will and radical ideas about the future.

In General, it is unclear what and whom you can rely in that case, if the Catalans still need to establish full control over the authorities, including law enforcement agencies, throughout the region.

The Spaniards are able to beat the

Franco was not a fool, though a fanatic, and after the Civil war moved into industrial development, but severely damaged by the bombing of Catalonia of around 2 million farmers from the Central regions of Castile. Initially they lived in barracks around Barcelona – now it’s satellite cities, a ring surrounding the local capital (the so-called “ring work”). Their descendants in the second and third generations consider themselves Spanish and speak mostly in Spanish. Paradoxically, they are willing to vote for separation from Spain, but solely for economic reasons. They are not interested in the preservation of the Catalan language or independence “as character”, and the radicalization of their sentiments in recent years is related mainly to the clumsy actions of the government in Madrid, personally Prime Minister Rajoy and the king.

Catalan youth willingly fueled by the stories of grandparents about the horrors of the battle for Catalonia winter of 1938-1939. But ultimately a social layer, ready to take up arms more significant than a rock, just missing. In the region there are these very “boys-heroes”, “good guys” and the “armed humanitarian intelligentsia” acting as the pioneers of this, not a “word paper” independence in the Donbass, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Karabakh, and Transnistria.

Bravery and recklessness in the broadest sense of the local is, as a rule, a flash of pride. And so it happened: infringement of the rights of autonomy through partial cancellation of the constitutional Statute in 2010 was radiculitus requirements up to secession, but the process still does not go beyond the legal wrangling, during which Barcelona and Madrid are waiting, who was the first out beyond that.

Madrid, again, more prone to violence. It is, of course, care about the opinion of the EU, but European countries are so stunned by what is happening, what else can’t formulate anything more coherent than “we are against separatism, but we are against violence”. So, it is possible to put before the fact at any event, and they will swallow any result, if it can be justified by the law.

Do not forget that Spain is a country with a controversial history of violence. Not forgotten even the memory of the so-called anti-terrorist liberation group (GAL), operating in the Basque Country in the 80-ies (that is, not so long ago). These “death squads” terrorized the population of the Basque cities, which support THIS and the party Erie Batasuna was almost open.

The investigation, which led a popular judge Baltasar Garzon, proved 27 corpses. While it is believed that the GAL was standing by the then Prime Minister Felipe gonzález márquez’s socialist and Catholic (normal combination for Spain). That is terror against its own civilians sanctioned by the Federal government.

On the eve of the Catalan referendum columnist OPINION appeared in the company of politicized Spaniards and Spanish-speaking expats in Moscow, passionately experiencing what is happening. Discount mentality and Mediterranean expressiveness of the conversation was only about that and nothing else, and with tears in the eyes in the truest sense of the word. Openly voiced the question: “when are the tanks?”, but he rested in the typical for such situations the answer: “If you believes the Catalans are the same subjects of the king, as, say, the people of Seville, how you will shoot their own citizens?”.

In Ukraine and in Georgia, this did not stop anyone, but in Spain leads to serious disputes with the use of Jamaican rum. This psychological drama will balance to first blood, and even considered a strong man Rajoy is not ready for a military solution first. This stalemate, zugzwang – you can choose any of these chess analogies, fit both.

A farewell to arms

Weapons Catalans have. Control of the Armory rooms in the building of the interior Ministry and police stations in Barcelona is in the hands of the feds and local police are actually isolated from a gunshot wound. The situation is somewhat different in Girona, but there to provide armed resistance, or at least to demonstrate the real independence you need physical control of the arsenals. And this requires synchronized operation to seize police stations and buildings of the regional Directorate of intelligence, the Highest center of information and defense (CESID). By Royal decree this system is directly subordinated to the Prime Minister, in spite of its originally military in origin.

Do not take it for “training manual for armed insurrection,” but the seizure of buildings of law enforcement agencies and arsenals – the first thing done in such cases. Moreover, other sources of “Samovodene” in terms of Barcelona no. In the Catalan case, it is urgently necessary to block seaport, but the local police is in deep thought, and independent of the militia is not in the foreseeable future is not expected. To capture objects and to isolate the landing ships no one and nothing.

The situation is complicated by the fact that the organization of the Spanish army is very peculiar – in Catalonia in General and specifically in Barcelona there are no significant military units. It’s amazing, but it’s a fact. And for the Federal government this is not a problem: until they are faced (and will face for a long time) with the organized armed resistance, the army’s participation simply not required. Enough presence of the Civil guard anti-terrorist units and special operations group (GEO).

From the point of view of the law, which is based in Madrid, the current situation is already enough for the introduction of paramilitary regime and the restrictions of civil rights by patrolling the streets. From the perspective of Barcelona legal situation is the opposite. And while both sides are measured by views on the legislation (and it is in Spain, as has been said, ambiguous and sometimes does not fit into the European standards), the Civil guard will miss on landing ships and training center marine corps in Cartagena to be at a loss.

By the way, the local supporters of a unified Spain was quite ready to isolated acts of violence. Objects to stoning steel prosatanica media, especially Radio Catalunya, which is considered the conductor of separatist ideas. But control over media is important is not critical, since in the absence of a clear plan of action (even without violence and actual demonstration of separation) independence is only a symbol and an emotional outburst of pride. Even the characters and emotions are fueled by just information and journalism – “the printed word” in a broad sense.

The situation may hang in limbo for quite a long time. You can make fun of Pokdemon for inconsistency and excessive caution, you can mock the Russian vocalization of his name (“demon of revolution” is definitely not about him), but the behavior of the “chief separatist” while that may not lead to an uncontrolled development of events. But Madrid may exacerbate the situation with their own hands.

It is tempting to solve the problem in one motion the Civil guard or even Marines, while in Catalunya began a spontaneous process of formation of the more radical and completely independent groups, not focused on decent-looking government Pokdemon. Outwardly, they look like THIS time 60 years and qualify as a “terrorist organization”, which will give Madrid a formal pretext for repression. But this term, vague in the absence of real access to weapons and “real violent”.

Another thing that carnival attitude instantly disappears with the first shot, and a General disbelief in the inability of modern Europeans to radicalization based on exaggerated ideas about the victory of political correctness.

The foreign Minister of South Ossetia Dmitry Medoev, by coincidence caught up the other day in Barcelona, have already announced that Tskhinvali is ready to consider the appeal of Catalonia on the recognition of its independence, if it can do that. It is, of course, will not do, and everybody understands it, it is only another illustration of the absurdity of the situation. But the paralysis that has been Barcelona, and Madrid, is so dull and impenetrable that almost any accident can change everything. Evil no one wants, but now no one is safe.


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