The recent imposition of direct rule by the Spanish government on the autonomous region of Catalonia is having a ripple effect across Europe and around the world. Spain’s neo-fascist prime minister, Mariano Rajoy of the Popular Party – the ideological heirs of Caudillo Francisco Franco’s Falangist Movement – plunged a dagger into the cause of democracy in Catalonia by suspending the region’s pro-independence government and imprisoning eight members of the Catalonian “Generalitat” government.
The imposition of direct rule on Catalonia was a longtime goal of the Madrid regime for years. Catalonia sought the same autonomous powers afforded to Spain’s Basque region, most notably, the power of taxation. However, Castilians of Madrid and other “taker” regions that rely on Spain’s national budget for their benefits, have grown comfortable with the fact that Catalonia provides much of Spain’s budget. Catalonia’s wish to keep more of its tax money in the region and not have it distributed to “taker” regions of Spain, led the Rajoy regime and Spain’s Supreme Court to reject expanded autonomy powers for Catalonia. Catalonia’s independence referendum grew directly out of Madrid’s rejection of a negotiated agreement with the Barcelona government.
As the Madrid regime was hauling members of the Catalonian government before kangaroo courts in Madrid, the British government was moving to impose direct rule on autonomous Northern Ireland. The reason for London’s actions was officially stated as providing Northern Ireland with a Westminster-dictated budget. However, the move by London essentially stripped the Stormont Assembly in Belfast of all financial powers, a move that reversed the devolution of powers to Northern Ireland’s coalition government of the Protestant Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the mainly Catholic Sinn Fein party.
The reversal of devolution of powers in Northern Ireland and the de facto imposition of direct rule by London served as a backdrop to calls for more Northern Ireland sovereignty with Britain’s exit from the European Union.
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