Signals – Spain and Catalonia: Constitutional Court Order, Media Polarization…

Impact on Issues

➚➚ Catalonia vs Spain

The situation continues to escalate in terms of political dynamics between Catalonia and Spain. The signals are so numerous that rather than presenting them one at a time, we shall list them below, and assess them as escalating or stabilising.

Note two main points in terms of perception and handling of the situation.

The perception that actors may have of an appeasement following the decision by the Spanish Constitutional Court not to authorise the Catalan parliament to hold its Monday session, which would, in turn stop them to declare Independence runs… completely contrary to the highly likely political dynamics that are currently unfolding. To declare independence against the will of a central power shows a resolve, which has been growing out of escalation, to finally get out of that central political authorities’ power. As a result a court order by that very central political authorities has no appeasing power, on the contrary. Furthermore, by denying existing rights here autonomy, it is escalating.  Other factors can play that would delay declaration of independence or lower the tension, and undoubtedly many actors are trying to obtain this result. But the Spanish Constitutional Court order itself is an escalating factor not a stabilising one


Businesses and Geopolitics (1): Caught up in the Whirlwinds?

Second, it would seem that many businesses and the corporate sector in general has again been caught unaware by an issue that has been long-standing. They have again failed to anticipate and prepare for all possible scenarios. Surprisingly, it does not seem that they are able to learn from very recent lessons over the last few years. Now as they enter into the realm of likely overreaction, because they have no proper perspective on what is happening, their odds to take wrong decisions is heightened, while they may also easily become pawns into the hands of other stakeholders.

➚ Escalating

Catalonia media reflects polarised Spanish society

The front page of Barcelona’s La Vanguardia newspaper on 4 October was dominated by the ongoing Catalan crisis. An aerial photograph showed tens of thousands of people demonstrating in the city centre the previous day, when a region-wide strike had been staged in protest at attempts by Spanish security forces to stop people voting in Sunday’s independence referendum.

➚➚ Strongly escalating

Spain court bars independence move by MPs

Spain’s Constitutional Court has suspended next Monday’s session of the Catalan parliament, in a bid to pre-empt a possible push for independence. The court said such a move would be “a breach of the constitution”. Earlier Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned Catalonia’s regional government against declaring independence after a disputed vote last Sunday.

Reuters: Spain to make it easier for firms to move base from Catalonia as business alarm deepens

➚➚ Escalating

Catalonia’s police chief faces sedition charge for ‘allegedly failing to follow orders’ ahead of referendum

To be found guilty of sedition, the accused must be proven to have “risen up publicly and in tumult to prevent, by force or unlawful means, the application of the law [or] by impeding any state official in the exercise of their duties”.

Published by Dr Helene Lavoix (MSc PhD Lond)

Dr Helene Lavoix, PhD Lond (International Relations), is the President/CEO of The Red Team Analysis Society. She is specialised in strategic foresight and warning for international relations, national and international security issues. Her current focus is on the war in Ukraine, international order and the rise of China, the overstepping of planetary boundaries and international relations, the methodology of SF&W, radicalisation as well as new tech and security.

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