More than a million people according to official sources marched the streets in Barcelona demanding the independence of Catalonia.
“Catalonia, new state in Europe” said the banner. This has been the biggest demonstration ever in Catalonia.
If Catalonia was part of the UK, Denmark or other countries that respect the right to Self-Determination, Catalonia would organise a referendum in order to ask catalonians whether they want to be independent or not. Like Scotland will do in 2014 or the Faroes and Greenland in the future. Same goes for the Basque Country. If our right to Self-Determination was acknowledged by France and Spain there would not be a conflict like the one we are dealing with today.
In my opinion the main difference between stateless nations in Europe is the different democratic standards existing in the “metropolis” states. While some stateless nations have the right to decide upon their future democratically recognised others don’t.
And this lack of democracy in nations such as Catalonia, Basque Country, Kurdistan and others are the origin of conflict.
I have no doubt that if we want to solve the conflict in the Basque Country and elsewhere this issues have to be tackled. The reasons that have originated such conflicts have to be issued in a dialogue and negotiation process. A new set of rules has to be agreed in which the right for the people to decide upon their future democratically has to be acknowledged.
The people of Catalonia has shown in the streets that they want to have a say on their future. If this is not guaranteed by authorities protests and mobilisations will increase. Europe can not look elsewhere and should guarantee that the democratic rights of the peoples within the EU are respected.