Moroco News Board. Catalonia’s Sovereignty and Spain’s Shifting Diplomacy in North Africa. 04.06.2013
- HASSAN MASIKY
- Written by Hassan Masiky
As Catalans’ national aspirations grow, so does Madrid’s distrust of international separatist movements including the Algeria based Polisario. The PP concluded that a flagging Polisario would thwart Catalonia’s efforts to gain international recognition for its drive for independence.
Spain’s central government believes that a referendum in Catalonia and the eventual independence of this economically vital region will be devastating to the nation. As such, Madrid chose to distance itself from Algeria’s push for a referendum on self-determination for the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony.
After years of disregarding the political ramifications from of the cozy relationships between the Algeria backed Polisario Front and the indigenous Catalan and Basque organizations, Spain’s central government finally recognized that such activities are dangerous to the “unity of Spain.” In their efforts to internationalize the Catalan drive for self-determination, Catalan nationalists began to adopt political and diplomatic practices used by the Polisario and Algeria against Morocco in the Sahara conflict, pushing Madrid to identify with Rabat’s positions.
In a sign of alarm among the Centralists, former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar (from PP) announced his intention to seek office again. Aznar, who likes to portray the image of a tough politician, promised to crush “the rising movement for independence in Catalonia”. He accused the Catalans of ‘violating constitutional agreements and refusing to abide by legality in making a secession bid.”
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