Spanish Analyst believes that Catalonia referendum is an illegal consultation, which not only contravene the Spanish constitution, but also Catalan law.
Fernando Casal Bertoa is assistant professor in Comparative Politics of Nottingham University. In an exclusive interview with ILNA, he talked about Catalonia referendum and its impact on EU existence.
ILNA: Some analysts believe that that the “separation” referendum in general is not a democratic step and would cause gap between nation, What do you think about that?
I totally agree. It was an “illegal” consultation, which not only contravene the Spanish laws, starting for the Constitution, but also Catalan laws. Democracy is not only about elections, but also rule of law. In the Catalan case, the latter was certainly not present.
ILNA: How do you evaluate the possible spread of such referendum in other European counties such as Italy? How does it affect the Euro integration?
EU officials are certainly afraid that the Catalan illness might spread to other EU countries like Italy, UK or even Belgium. Some have already consider it a “declaration of war” on the European project. One clear proof of the danger the Catalan crisis supposes to European integration is the resolution of a German court against the Catalan ex-President Puigdemont, putting into question the existence, and even usefulness, of the “common judicial space”.
ILNA: What would be the possible effects of Catalan crisis on Euro value, European and global markets?
The Catalan issue certainly constitutes one of the most important crisis the EU has had to confront recently. It is embedded within the rise of populist movements we have seen in Europe in the last decade, especially after the Great Recession in 2008, questioning the “democratic” grounds of the European project. The continuation of the Catalan “crisis” will certainly serve as fuel to the fire of Europe’s enemies (e.g. Russia, Venezuela, Brexiters, etc.)
ILNA: Some analysts suggest that the best solution for Catalan crisis is to form a federal government like Belgium, What do you think about that?
Well, Belgium is certainly not the best example. In Spain, since the restoration of democracy, no minority community has been discriminated at any time. Catalans, like Basques, Galicians, etc. have their own institutions (government, parliament, etc.), which have important legislative competences in matters like educations, justice, taxes, etc.; their language is co-official…Spain is one of the most de-centralised states in the world, no doubt about that. I wish all problems would be solved by simply including the term “federal” in the Spanish Constitution but, unfortunately, that will not do, I am afraid. The Catalan society is currently too polarized, and none of its elites seem to be willing to compromise, at least in the short term.
Interview: Kamran Baradaran