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Catalan separatists hope migrant vote will rescue them

The Catalan separatists hope their open border policy will bring in enough votes against the "fascist" Spanish state.

Published: October 29, 2017, 11:25 am

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    The power struggle between those who support Catalonia’s independence and those who dismiss its legitimacy, is heating up, with police chief Josep Lluís Trapero being dismissed from being Catalonia’s regional police.

    The Mossos d’Esquadra are Catalonia’s police force but after Spain voted essentially for direct rule, they are now seeking to get rid of those they deem to have allowed the independence movement to take control of the country.

    Tensions continue to rise in Catalonia, as separatists have begun to pull down Spanish and EU flags from buildings following the vote for independence.

    The flag of the European Union was also removed, because the EU has not recognised Catalonia’s independence movement as having any legitimacy even though Catalan separatists have embraced open borders and unlimited immigration.

    Europe is seeing a widening split over Brussels’ insistence on countries being forced to take in quotas of migrants.

    The Catalan population has changed dramatically during the last 15 years, AlJazeera noted. While in 2000, only about 2 percent of Catalonia’s residents were of foreign origin, in 2010, migrant numbers reached an all-time high of 16 percent.

    One fifth of the foreign nationals that live in Catalonia come from Morocco, and a similar proportion hail from South America. There rest are from Romania, Pakistan, and China.

    Nigel Farage described the situation as a “nightmare” for EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker. The former Ukip leader told The Express: “This is Mr Juncker’s worst nightmare. The European Union backed Spanish brutality and turned the Catalans against the EU.

    “This makes Brexit look like a Sunday afternoon picnic.”

    Madrid had been more concerned by the secessionist threat from the Basque country than from the Catalans, but now it is common to hear Catalan nationalists refer to the Spanish government as “fascists”, the British Financial Times reported, as Catalonia has one of the highest percentages of immigrants in Spain.

    The Spanish government faces a divided Catalonia, with around 50 per cent of the Catalan public thought to oppose Catalan independence.

    If Prime Minister Rajoy overplays his hand by using force, it would create the clear majority for Catalan independence that currently does not exist. But Spain need not fear Catalan “nationalism”.

    Separatist campaigners have been encouraging migrants without the right to vote to vote as well as advocating Catalan nationality for all migrants living in the region if it leaves Spain. “I want to call on everyone here to stand with us and to vote ‘yes’,” Zuhair Altayeb said as quoted by Reuters. Altayeb fled Syria in 2011.

    “All those who are officially registered as living in Catalonia will have the right to Catalan nationality from day one of independence,” said Uruguayan Ana Surra, Spanish member of parliament for Catalan pro-independence party ERC.

    The Spanish Minister of the Interior has accused a pro-independence group called “Nous Catalans” (New Catalans) of promising “paradise on earth” to the more than half-a-million Muslims living in Catalonia in exchange for their support.

    Spanish media too, have suggested that the introduction of Islam and Arabic and Berber studies in certain Catalan public schools was part of the strategy to buy off these communities.

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