Posts Tagged

Spain

More than two million Catalans voted on October 1st in a referendum on self-determination previously declared illegal by the Spanish constitutional court and violently repressed by the Spanish government led by Mariano Rajoy. The response of the Spanish government has been condemned internationally. For instance, Amnesty International described the action of the Spanish police forces in Catalonia as “excessive and disproportionate”. Despite prohibition and violence, which affected participation and the accurate counting of the votes, the referendum took place thanks mostly to the organisation, efforts, and inventiveness of different sectors of the Catalan civil society. In the thousands, citizens engaged in a strategy of peaceful resistance against the aggression of the central state. The ‘yes’ option won with 90% of …

The key principle of Republicanism is to minimise domination wherever it is found. The Zapatero governments in Spain, for example, showed how this idea can shape the policies of nation states. Is it possible to extend Republican principles to the global arena? I’ll start with what everybody knows. We live in hard times. There is much more suffering in Europe right now than just five years ago – much more domination too. Arguably, a sort of global redistribution is benefiting ‘developing’ countries to the detriment of the ‘developed’ world. But Western democracies are doing badly, and their prospects are not promising. [This post is part of the Democratic Wealth series, hosted by Politics in Spires in partnership with Our Kingdom.]

Spain has now been in recession for almost five years, and has had to face challenges and tackle each of them in very different ways. In the beginning, the concern with national public spending, led to severe budget cuts in 2011 and 2012. Later, the need to reform the labour market emerged in order make it more flexible and competitive, prompting a general strike in March of this year. A few months ago doubts about the health of the Spanish financial system surfaced. Would Spain be capable of recapitalising its banks without putting its overall solvency at risk? European partners stepped in and structured a bailout of Spanish banks that attempted to de-couple financial and sovereign risk. Today we read …

Manuel Fraga Iribarne, who died on the 15th January (at 89), was a lion of modern Spanish conservatism. Born in 1922 in a small Galician town, he was the son of Spanish immigrants who had spent a year working in Cuba. His mother was a French-Basque teacher. In his early academic career he excelled in degrees in law, politics and economics and passed several of the most competitive exams for recruitment in Franco’s Public Administration before becoming a professor of state theory, a lawyer to the Congress and a diplomat. Highly cultivated, prolific and hardworking, he wrote approximately 80 books on history, politics and law. His encyclopaedic essay ‘La crisis del Estado’ (The State’s Crisis), influenced by Carl Schmitt, is arguably …