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The EU will not help the Catalan secessionists’ cause

  • Fri, 13 Oct 2017 04:51

SEPARATISM in Europe these days comes draped in a blue flag with yellow stars. “If in Europe you’re not a member state, you’re nobody,” said Josep Huguet i Biosca, a Catalan politician who favours independence, back in 2004. His quote appeared in a now-dusty manifesto for “An Independent Flanders within Europe”, published in 2005 by a group seeking liberation from the yoke of the Belgian state. The Scottish bid for independence, in 2014, was similarly shrouded in European aspirations. For some of its more starry-eyed advocates, the European Union was supposed to dissolve atavistic nationalisms. In some places, it seems instead to have encouraged them.

The post-national argument was always overdone. The powers that voters mostly care about—taxation, public services, welfare—remain largely in the hands of national governments. One Catalan grievance, for example, is that the rest of Spain lives high on the hog by spending more of their tax revenues than Catalonia...Continue reading Europe

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