A Watershed Moment for Spain and Catalonia

Rajesh Trichur Venkiteswaran

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain was ousted in a no-confidence motion and the new successor Pedro Sanchez was sworn in.


Mr. Rajoy was confident of completing the term. But the no-confidence motion came out of the blue, vacuuming the confidence of political party to support his cabinet.

Mr. Rajoy’s popularity has been waning for the past several years. There were serious allegations against him, about the illegal payments he received as kickbacks. Also, his government was accused of providing contracts without the proper bidding process, especially to lenient contractors who were generous in financing the party and bribing its representatives.

It was when, Audiencia National, a high-level anti-corruption court, declared that Mr. Rajoy ’s party had for years been financed through illegal funding, a crack developed in the coalition and there were many dissenting voices. His popularity among the people went to the lowest ebb.

This was an opportune moment for Mr. Pedro Sanchez and his party to pull the ministry down. When they initiated the motion, the major party Basque Nationalist Party which supported Mr. Rajoy‘s cabinet found it too costly to remain in the coalition, lest its name be tarnished in the melee.

Two main Catalan National Parties (Pdcat and ERC) supported Pedro’s mission. Now the rest is history. The new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is in his office.

Catalan Issue

The new Catalonian President Quim Torra was keenly watching the no-confidence motion and the subsequent developments that happened in Spain. He was to have discussions regarding the “secession of Catalonia”, with the former Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy, when this lightning motion took place.

On May 17, Mr. Torra was sworn in, since then, he has been very active in safeguarding the interests of people and furthering the fight for independence. He has been voicing his concern about the step-motherly attitude of the Spanish government.

Despite winning through a fairly democratic process and showcasing the citizen’s will of seceding from Spain, there was not even the slightest indication of affirmation, leave alone discussion.

There is justification to their claim of independence, having suffered under the Spanish rule, they have tried hard not to dilute their culture and language and now democratically they have shown that they are a force to reckon with.

But at the same time, the territorial boundary of a country is bound to be safeguarded at any cost. The strength of the country lies in integration, dividing it based on language or culture will weaken the basic foundation of the country. There is some rationale behind Spain’s tepid approach towards the Catalan government’s proposal.

Finally, if the democratic version fails, it is against the people’s will, the citizens cannot be trampled in the name of territorial unification.

Spain has to tread an uncharted path, every decision they take will become a page in the annals of history, even the bloody revolution that follows after the assault against democracy.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

Rajesh.T.V is a freelance journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]