Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

1. Five End Game Scenarios

American-born economist and blogger Fernando Betancor today published a remarkably thorough analysis of the five different avenues left to the Catalan government on its independence struggle.

Betancor has studied the different scenarios and has awarded them an estimate of their likelihood of the following five outcomes:

  1. End the referendum process and accept the status quo (the “Collaborationist Option”): 0%
  2. Hold an unofficial referendum (the “Veneto Option”): 10%
  3. Hold an unauthorized referendum (the “Crimea Option”): 45%
  4. Call for elections on a single platform of separation, which would serve as a de facto referendum: 40%
  5. Unilaterally declare independence without further ado (the “Jefferson Option”): 5%

This is Betancor’s prediction:

Catalonia and Spain: End Game Scenarios
The most likely outcome is that of passive resistance to a solution imposed from Madrid, with probabilities between 55% and 65% in every scenario. This involves the dissolution of the Catalan government and a suspension of the charter of autonomy, followed by passive resistance. In greater than 1 of 3 of these endgames, there is either a police crackdown or military intervention. There is a small chance of the Catalans buckling under the pressure immediately, on average a 6% or 7% probability. It seems unlikely to me, however, that the Catalan people would be willing to fold without some demonstration of resistance, passive or otherwise. This last outcome, active resistance, occurs in 16% of outcomes on average. – Fernando Betancor, Common Sense

2. Catalan Diplomacy Council starts countdown to November 9 referendum

Regardless of Mr. Betancour’s predictions on whether the Catalan government will succeed in holding the referendum, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat) has made public a new website: CataloniaVotes.Eu, which features a countdown to the planned November 9 referendum, plus plenty of useful information on the process.

CataloniaVotes.eu homepage

The site is rich with contextual information (with sections about Catalonia, ) and features also video interviews with a range of different political actors.

Diplocat president Albert Royo told the English-language daily The Local:

Independence website pushes Catalonia cause
“We set up the website after receiving feedback on how hard difficult it was to obtain information about the Catalan side of the independence debate. It’s hard to get this message across to an international audience because much of the media is controlled by Madrid”. – The Local

3. Mr Rajoy’s circular reasoning

El Pati Descobert, perhaps Catalonia’s best-known political blog, recently analyzed the stance of the Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, regarding Catalan independence, to find out that it is based on a circular argument:

Rajoy’s sovereignism (II): Circular sovereignty (in Catalan)
If we question why is the Spanish people sovereign [as opposite to the Catalan people], we’ll be told that it’s because the Constitution says so; if we ask why should we comply with the Constitution, we’ll be answered that it’s because it was voted by the Spanish people; when we ask why should we comply with what the Spanish people votes, we’ll be asked that it’s because the Spanish people is sovereign; and when we ask why the Spanish people is sovereign, we’ll be asked again that the Constitution says so. – El Pati Descobert