Hello Palikari. I've numbered the paragraphs in your response to me so it should be clear which part I'm responding to and when.
1. Most of those newspapers aren't conservative at all: Público is far-left, El Confidencial is centrist, La Marea is left-wing, ABC and La Razón are center-right, La Gaceta is right-wing, La Voz Libre is center-left and Te Interesa is centrist.
So very politically conservative?
2. If Catalonia became independent, it would be out of the EU authomatically. The Treaties (TEU, TFEU...) would not be applied on Catalonia, because the Agreements have been done by the Government of Spain and the EU, not the Catalan government. This is what EU leaders such as Durao Barroso have said many times, and also it's in the Treaties; read articles 4.2, 49 and 52 of the TEU.
3. Why would the EU give benefits to a non-EU state who voluntarily left the EU secceding?
4. Decissions in the EU are take UNANIMOUSLY. So if Catalonia became independent and all EU countries agreed that Catalonia gets the benefits without being in the EU and/or that Catalonia should enter the EU (*), if Spain doesn't agree, if Spain says "no", it's NO.
(*) Something almost impossible, given that many EU countries also have separatist problems.
So all would be in Spanish hands!
1. I didn't say that all of the links were to conservative newspapers did I? I just said that a lot were, and I stand by that. Aside from that my point still stands that the stories that provided were not the type of evidence that I was looking for (I was looking for a little bit more than the results of a Google search for corruption in the ciu). My other point, that many of the titles are designed to shock Spanish-speakers in Catalonia, still stands too so you haven't really attacked the meat of my argument there have you...
2. There is no factual basis or precedent for you to say that Catalonia wouldn't be immediately allowed into the Union upon succession, since there has never been such a case in EU history, and since it was never written into the treaties. So you're telling me to read the treaties, when I think you possibly need to do a better job of that yourself.
However, here again you've misrepresented my post. I never said that Catalonia would automatically be allowed in to the Union. Read my post properly before you quote it please next time -- I merely said that he wouldn't be able to prove that other countries would stand in the way of Catalonia, and that there would be very little opposition to them gaining many of the benefits of membership without actually being in the EU. I also said that Spain would not be able to prevent Catalonia from being de facto in the Schengen area, which is also true. But, not once did I say that Catalonia would automatically become a part of the EU if it declared independence -- you said that precisely so you could argue against it; tear down your straw men and we can have a proper debate.
3. Because EU countries trade with Catalonia already and it would make sense for them to sign a bilateral agreement (which does not require a unanimous decision to pass, only a qualified majority (15 countries, I believe. Although I'm not sure on that)).
Additionally, Catalonia wouldn't leave the EU -- it would leave Spain. Whether or not that would lead to leaving the EU is dependent on many other factors. Probably the most important factor will be Spain's stubbornness: Will they be able to put away gripes and do the sensible thing, which would be to vote Catalonia into the EU as soon as possible?
4. As I've said above, decisions on membership are taken unanimously but decisions on bilateral trade agreements are not. There is a precedent (Kosovo) for countries to sign trade agreements with the EU even if they are not recognised by Spain since such agreements only require a qualified majority.
And as for many EU countries having separatist problems, which ones have come out and said that they would veto Catalan membership of the EU? Spain seems to be the only country that has dragged its feet on similar issues in the past (namely that of Kosovo), so to say that the UK would care, or Italy, is at best fudging the issues, and at worst absolutely misrepresenting the facts of the case at hand.
Next time could you also not bother underlining and placing in bold certain words. I can read perfectly well, and I'm reasonably good at finding out what's important in a paragraph -- so don't embarrass yourself by appearing childish and petulant...
In Chechnya and Kosovo wars and violations of human rights have taken place. Catalonia is an autonomous region of a sovereign, democratic and very decentralized state, not a colony or an occupied country. It's not even a nation!
To call your comparisons "pointless" is to give them a dignity they don't deserve.
Chechnya wasn't a nation either before independence, but a part of Russia. His comparison was totally valid, because he gave examples of scenarios where countries declared independence against the wishes of the state which they were a part of.
And of course it isn't a nation, because if it were then it wouldn't need to declare independence. What a bizarre thing to say...
Exactly. I wish i could invite all of you to Barcelona and show what it feels like to be a stranger in your own country just beacuse some lunatics want to become independent for economic reasons even though the EU has said that Catalonia would be out of the Euro Zone if they declare independence.
I'm going to Barcelona in the summer for a couple of weeks; I can't wait to see how much like Belfast it looks and feels...
Regarding being out of the Eurozone, there is nothing that the EU can do to stop Catalonia from using the Euro as a temporary measure after independence. Montenegro has been using the Euro as a de facto currency for over 5 years and while the ECB is a little annoyed there is very little that they can do. Nor can they do anything to stop Catalonia from 'pegging' their own currency to the Euro when they do decide to mint their own currency.
Besides, this is very much a non-issue because do you really think Catalonia would declare independence straight after a referendum? There would be enough time to sort out all of these disputes before a formal declaration took place.
And finally, it's a little bit more than "some lunatics" when it looks like around 1/2 of the population of the region would vote for independence. You could always move back to Spain if Catalonia were to declare itself independent...