dilluns, 5 de març de 2007

Bou per bèstia grossa

Ara amb l'excarceració d'en De Juana Chaos l'atenció mediàtica es focalitza en l'enfrontament PP-PSOE que aquest fet atia, amb la dreta espanyola sortint al carrer massivament, tal com van fer l'esquerra i altres sectors socials en contra de la guerra de l'Iraq l'any 2003. Per una banda afirmo l'absoluta desproporció de la reposta del PP, per més detestable que sigui aquell personatge estem davant d'una persona que ja va complir la pena imposada pels seus crims de sang i que ara ha estat condemnada a 3 anys per haver escrit i publicat uns articles que eventualment contenien una amenaça encoberta a determinats funcionaris que s'hi esmenten. Convertir aquesta excarceració en el fet polític més rellevant a l'estat espanyol situa el debat en la més absoluta visceralitat, un fet que no té res a veure amb el dia a dia de la gent però que és útil per excitar les emocions més primàries de la caverna i esdevé la gran arma de destrucció massiva que el PP vol emprar contra el seus rivals socialistes. Com a catalans no és un tema en el que ens hàgim d'implicar massa, ni a favor en contra, i per altra banda fóra un error veure en el terrorista aquest un lluitador per la llibertat del poble basc. És fàcil apuntar-se a aquest guirigall i deixar de banda algunes de les qüestions realment importants i urgents que tenim damunt la taula: l'estat dels ferrocarrils (rodalies però també TGV, per quan la connexió amb França?), l'assignació de la nova terminal de l'aeroport del Prat i el futur de l'estatut, ara en mans del TC.
I parlant de qüestions importants l'agenda global de "The Economist" en la seva última edició publica un article sobre els moviments secessionistes a Europa Occidental, a països com ara Escòcia, Flandes, Catalunya i el País Basc, i tot i que la predicció que fa és que de moment no es produiran processos d'independència al sí de la UE, el fet que aquest mitjà dediqui un article a analitzar el fenomen en el seu conjunt demostra que alguna cosa s'està movent. Sóc lector fidel de "The Economist" de fa uns dotze anys i mai com ara la hipòtesi de nous estats a l'Europa Occidental s'hi havia tractat amb tant d'interès i seriositat.
Aquí teniu la transcripció de l'article:
Europe's separatists
Mar 1st 2007 From The Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire.
Scots, Catalans, the Flemish and others put their faith in polls
This year promises to be a defining moment for regional independence movements in the EU. The pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) is riding high in opinion polls in the run-up to Scottish parliament elections being held on May 3rd. The following month, Belgians vote in a general election in which the Flemish nationalist party Vlaams Belang—which wants full independence from Francophone Belgians—has nearly 25% of the Flemish vote according to polls. A devolution deal for Catalonia is being challenged by Spain's opposition party, which if successful may trigger a backlash in favour of independence for the region; and attempts by the Madrid government to find a peaceful settlement with Batasuna, the political wing of Basque separatist group ETA, have broken down. Separatist pressure in Spain is likely to continue. However, all of these—and other such movements in Europe—have distinct economic, cultural or historical roots, making it difficult to discern where the impetus for regional independence is coming from, and therefore their likelihood of success.
Contradictions and inconsistencies
The existence of ethnic or linguistic differences within EU member states, in itself, provides little indication of a desire for further devolution. Federalism already works well, for example, in Switzerland, whose ethnic German, French and Italians voters support parties on ideological rather than ethnic grounds. Despite some prickliness, Hungarian minorities have been absorbed well into the political mainstream in both Romania and Slovakia (though they continue to vote for their own parties), and Russian minorities in the Baltics have never been keen to break away. Wales, which has its own language, shows far less interest in independence than English-speaking Scotland. And although Spain's Basques may view their distinct language and culture as a good reason for independence, this view appears not to be as strongly held by Basques in France.
Yet attempts by central governments to placate independence movements by granting sometimes extensive autonomy to regionally-self contained minority groups, or by increasing their representation at national level, have not always been successful. Indeed, in some cases, the process may have fuelled further demands. Broad autonomy for Spain's Basque region appears not to have dented support for independence there, although the population's backing for a strategy of violence has diminished markedly since 2004.
The motivations behind the recent rise in Scottish separatism are no clearer. In the 1970s, the debate about Scottish devolution was framed by the so-called "West Lothian question" which pointed to the fact that Scottish MPs in London could vote on English issues, but English MPs might have no say on Scottish issues. During the 1980s and early 1990s, however, when the Conservative party dominated politics in London, the fact that there was very little Scottish support for the Conservatives in Scotland heightened a sense among Scots that they were being ruled by a foreign government. This mood was expected to recede when the Labour party came to power in 1997, boasting a disproportionate number of Scottish MPs and senior cabinet ministers. The government also passed legislation devolving powers to a new Scottish parliament in 1999. Yet none of this has diminished the appetite in Scotland for independence.
Similarly, Flanders already enjoys considerable autonomy in Belgium, but the constitution is nevertheless likely to be changed after the June election to allow still further devolution. Basques are all but independent in Spain, save for setting their own corporate tax rates and foreign policy.
Conversely, France has successfully resisted moves—some violent—by Bretons and Corsicans for autonomy, and these movements have floundered.
However, Italy's Northern League—which claims to have little cultural affinity with southern Italy—shelved its campaign for independence after joining Silvio Berlusconi's right of centre coalition which came to power in 2001-06.
Left v right, rich v poor
The political hue of either the regional movements themselves or the central authorities provides few clues as to possible future arrangements. Belgium's Vlaams Belang holds extreme right wing positions on many political issues. But other Flemish parties, ranging from Socialist to Liberal, also want to stretch their autonomy as far as possible short of outright independence. Italy's Northern League is firmly on the right; Basque separatists are on the far left, reflecting in part their anti-Franco history; while the SNP is viewed as a centre left party.
Perhaps the more pertinent distinction is whether the seceding regions are the weaker or stronger party, economically, within their respective federal systems. Arguably, poorer entities will tend not to want to secede from richer states, though richer regions--or those with natural resources to grab--may feel the opposite way. The Flemish population is the stronger economic force in Belgium, and views its ties with the francophone Walloons as a brake on its own development. The Northern League in Italy had been seeking to leave a poorer South. In Spain too, Catalans and Basques earn far more than the national average. And Czechs seemed happy to see poorer Slovakia go its own way in 1993. In Scotland, income per head is below that in England, though some Scottish nationalists have in the past hoped to even the score by taking over the UK's rapidly depleting North Sea gas reserves. A sense of economic well-being may also stem from the fact that the central government spends far more per head in Scotland than in England. It is also worth noting that support for Scottish independence is increasingly coming from wealthier constituencies in England, happy to end what they view as excessive subsidies from central government.
Populism and the EU
For the moment, there are two key factors acting against a major breakthrough for regional independence movements in Europe. Most importantly, they do not command majority support from their own populations. Most voters in such regions still prefer to remain within a common state, albeit with varying degrees of autonomy. Scots voters may give the SNP a major boost in the upcoming local assembly elections, but any subsequent referendum on independence is likely to fail. In Belgium, where support in Flanders for independence goes beyond the politically-tainted Vlaams Belang party, the majority want to remain in Belgium, if only to hold onto their prized capital Brussels which lies in the French speaking part of the country. And although a sizeable minority of Basques support a non-violent path to independence, a majority of those living in Basque territory—many of whom are not Basque—prefer to remain as part of a loose federation within Spain. Were they to achieve full independence, this would create yet another unhappy minority.
The EU is also unlikely to support moves leading to any disintegration of member states. Regional movements often point to the EU as a trans-national safeguard, allowing them more easily to dispense with their nation-state affiliation. But the EU may be more concerned about any process that upsets its own delicate institutional balance, to say nothing of making it harder to gain a consensus for a new EU constitution. Having put the brakes on further external enlargement, the EU will not welcome a form of internally-generated expansion.
A hard look at the position of all the regions discussed above, suggest that even if some grievances have a historical basis, under present circumstances they enjoy considerable privileges. Although it is always possible that one successful secessionist attempt in coming years might trigger a "demonstration affect" spurring others, these movements, on their own, still lack the political momentum or popular legitimacy to realise their ambitions in the foreseeable future.

1 comentari:

Jesús Cardona ha dit...

La diagnosi de l'Economist és discutible en alguns punts, sobretot en el cas de Transsilvània, on hi ha persecució als hongaresos. Els "signes dels temps" són claríssims, però. I tots són casos de l'Europa occidental, d'estats importants dins la UE. En el cas nostre intueixo un desig que el TC faci una bona retallada a l'Estatut per muntar un bon sidral. I home, em preocupa que haguem d'actuar més reaccio que per conviccions.