Lest you think the problems in Europe are all about Greece, refugees, austerity, or even German versions of "unipolarism", there has been quite a crisis going on in Spain - the fifth major European power and economy. This important article, shared by Mr. G.L.R, gives a rundown, and suggests - between the lines of course- what the real problem is:
What concerns us here are these lines:
Catalans are fiercely proud of their own distinct language and culture. Many who favor breaking away from Spain say their region, which represents nearly a fifth of Spain's economic output, pays too much in taxes and receives less than its fair share of government investment. Independence sentiment grew during Spain's near economic meltdown during the financial crisis.
If the secessionist alliance join forces with the radical pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy party known as CUP, which won 10 seats, they will have more than the 68 seats needed to try to push forward their plan to make Catalonia independent from Spain by 2017.
Spain's government has also said secession by Catalonia would disrupt fragile signs of economic recovery for the country struggling with unemployment of 22 percent.
The ruling party's candidate to lead Catalonia, Xavier Garcia Albiol, acknowledged that Sunday's result was a blow.
"These are not the results that we expected or wanted," he said.
Catalans from both sides of the independence divide extol their Catalan language, spoken by most of the region's residents and suppressed during Spain's 1939-1975 dictatorship under Francisco Franco.
Jordi Perez, a 50-year-old civil servant said he voted for "Together for Yes" because he feels Spain has historically disparaged Catalan culture and the region's language.
"I have wanted independence ever since I was young," Perez said after voting in Barcelona. "During three centuries they have robbed us of our culture. We have reached the moment that the Catalan people say `enough is enough.'"
It does not take much reading between the lines to see that Spain is, in a sense, a microcosm of what has happened in every western country, and what is happening especially in Europe. Long policies of entitlement have created generations that feel and think themselves entitled. Coupled with this, has been a government policy in recent years that can only be expressed as "industriously welcoming" to all and sundry who simply want to come to Spain and live off the largesse of Madrid. The result has been, for quite some time, and in advance of the growing refugee crisis, an influence of Muslim populations into that nation, which has only exacerbated the already inherent tensions within the regions of Spain with unique cultures. Under the onslaught of cultural invasion, the secessionist impulses are only fed.
If one has been following various internet assessments of why this influx has been covertly and quietly fostered, one encounters the idea that this is precisely to generate a backlash against the entire Islamic world for a massive and united injection of western military power, and a massive ejection of the populations that have hitherto been welcomed. In Spain, the welcome long ago wore out, and to ignore this as one of the principal and fundamental reasons for the growing secessionist sympathies in that nation is to attempt to treat the symptoms, and not its cause. And it's spreading - quickly - to the rest of Europe, where what was once, just a few years ago, quietly a taboo subject, is now being openly, and in many cases vociferously, stated in public organs and parliaments. In Spain, it's gone way past vociferous statements in parliaments and is now close to open revolt against central government that, as in so many other countries, is so corrupt it cannot see the suicidal path it is on. The secessionist backlash is definitely not the intended goal of the exercise. Similar movements have been heard from Scotland to Italy.
Even M. Hollande and Frau Merkel finally got the message.
Let's hope they do in Madrid as well.
See you on the flip side...