Amid riots in Barcelona after a disappointing suspension of the Declaration of Independence, Catalonians have expressed mixed reactions. Some are worried about the economy and their investments while others believe there’s nothing to lose.
The Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont opened doors for negotiations with Madrid on Tuesday after calling for a halt in their secession bid last Tuesday. The decision was met a massive demonstration on the streets of Barcelona as has been the case for months now.
Spain PM says Catalan independence is “good for nobody,” adding that the referendum was part of a plot by some persons who want to impose independence on others.
A large number of people who had waited for the formal declaration of independence felt a tinge of pain, anger and disappointment considering the huge efforts and how close the region had come.
Although there are speculations that the Spanish government has less options at the moment, having found itself at a round table with Catalan leaders, a 55-year-old concerned citizen Jordi Sanchez said he nervously watch the national broadcast on a big screen and was defeated. He believes Europe had been lax and should take blame for the delay.
‘Europe has not given our leader Puigdement the needed support. He has been under significant pressure,’ Sanchez said, adding that the political head showed visible signs of frustration and uncertainty during the announcement.
According to The Washington Post, Mr Puigdement was threatened by the central government which boldly rejected and suppressed the prospect of Catalan independence by deploying armed troops to interrupt elections in violent clashes with protesters.
The Catalan leader was also warned that he’d be thrown in jail if further moves were noticed.
In a shocking revelation from the news outlet, only 50 percent of Catalan residents took part in the referendum.
Mr Sanchez said it was really painful because Catalonia had never been this close to gaining independence since the early 1930s.
‘No state can be created in a day. There’s hope. It is possible that we can get a binding referendum like Scotland did,’ he added.
Pro-independence groups gathered for demonstrations around a location referred to as Arc de Triomf on Tuesday night. Their slogan was “Hola Republica,” translated in English as “Hello Republic.”
Spaniards who rooted for Catalonia cheered with enthusiasm as Mr Puigdemont took to the stage for his lengthy speech. However, when it became obvious that his review of the nation’s modern history and its contributions to the democracy was a deviation from the expected declaration of independence, a large number of disgruntled observers left the scene in disappointment. No one cheered.
In Maria Borras’ opinion, the Catalan leader did his best to avoid chaos without losing his dignity.
‘I was also disappointed,’ said the 58-year-old, ‘and I would have loved to hear about the declaration of independence.
‘However, I believe our leader applied what we prefer to call “Catalan common sense. It was a good decision – a sensible one that retained our bond.’
A netizen who used identified himself as Overseas wrote, “30 years ago there were no independistas in Catalonia. And maybe 30% of the people spoke Catalan. The Government gave Catalonia huge autonomy with the result of open suppression of the Spanish language and culture. The provincial and corrupt politicians played their blackmailing game until now with the situation we are living now. Puigdemont is a populist like Trump or Farage. There is no freedom fighting, there are only hate and manipulation. If the government in Madrid now really opens a round table about the constitution like it said this morning, with full support of all democratic parties (except Podemos who side with the rebels), then Spain has a chance for reforms. More financial autonomy for Catalonia? Yes. But also take back education and stop indoctrination of the children with post-truth history.”
Another Facebook user Neil urged people to talk a bit about the language used by Catalan leaders around Spain.
Neil quoted the vice president Jonqueras as saying that Spaniards are genetically different from Catalans.
“There is also an ongoing theme that we now have first class Catalans whose grandparents live here and who vote for independence, and second class Catalans who were born here but whose parents weren’t, and who prefer unity with Spain,” he added.
“This is a gentle approach to the language of the 3rd Reich, and ethnic cleansing. When the Independence coalition discuss their peaceful desire to vote, they ignore that detail. Rajoy may be about to call for regional elections in Catalunya and surprise, the Independentistas don’t want to vote this time. The CUP plan to return to civil disobedience and Arran will return to attacking tourist buses. Ah, democracy….”