On the First of October 2017

On the first of October 2017, the Catalonian president Carles Puigdemont held a succession vote to declare the territory of Catalonia as independent from Spain. Ninety percent of votes were in favor for independence (Catalonia). Later in the month, on the 27th of October, Puigdemont declared the northwestern territory of Spain as independent. The Spanish government responded by suspending the Catalonian government and managing the region under the central government, which is justified under Article 155 of their constitution which entitles that the government of Spain can “take the measures necessary” to “protect general interests” (The Spanish).

But the succession forces in Catalonia are trying to challenge the Spanish Constitution over the illegality of their independence. The question is if these blockades imprinted in the Constitution are moral to be put into place. This situation of political chaos has escalated to the extent where the former regional leaders of Catalonia are either in jail in Madrid or in exile in Belgium and if they were to return to the region of Catalonia, they would face prosecution for treason (Minder).

However, this has not stopped the succession forces in the region to try and put Puigdemont and his cabinet back into office. The controversy in these situations lies on a case to case basis. The campaign in territories seeking independence is based on the prosecution and legality of the laws set in place by the mother country. In Kurdistan, the Kurds want to succeed from the Iraqi government due to the oppression the people have had from historically being manipulated by other governments. The debate on the independence referendum in Scotland is based around the kingdom’s decision to remain part of the European Union or leave with the rest of the United Kingdom.

To reach a decision in these debates, one must look into the social, political, and economic viewpoints for the morality of the independence situation for these territories. Initially, “the Kurds have long fought for their freedom, and have faced unimaginable oppression as a people”. This is the view of the 35 million Kurdish peoples long fight for independence starting back in World War Two. However, this movement has found conflict both in this region of Iraq and in the Western powers. In the case of Kurdistan, the debate if the territory should have their own state and if the United States and the other Western powers should support the Kurdish independence movement. Mohammed Ali’s opinion on this, the referendum in 2014 followed disputes on the sharing of oil proceeds between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Government.

This has had lukewarm reception by the Western governments. The Kurdish people have just reasoning and have proven reliable, so why would governments want to inhibit this process? So why, would the vote for independence in the region be condemned. Overall, Mohammed Ali is a journalist for the Independent and has articles about the situation in Kurdistan. Ali’s bias, as formally stated, makes his statements very questionable and focused on his side of the argument. Krishnadev Calamur is a senior editor at The Atlantic and focuses mostly on news reports in the Middle East and Asia and on the United States involvement, which adds a sense of bias for Kurdistan to his articles.Subsequently, “Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against our will,” and this underlines the need for Scotland to have self-determination (Clock).

The issue in Scotland and their movement towards succession is based around the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Some of the nationalist parties in Scotland are organizing a referendum after the parliament of the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union. These parties say that Scotland had little say in this matter and they think that Scotland would have better hopes of governing itself inside of the European Union (Clock). The increased following on the nationalist parties and the formation of a referendum would need to happen sooner than later if any movement is to happen in this territory. To analyze, The Herald newspaper in Scotland backed a no vote in the independence referendum but proclaims itself to be unbiased from any political belief. The newspaper is the eighth oldest newspaper in the world and has political bias depending on which authors are working for The Herald.

With all of this noted, it can be inferred that the bias of this article is to the nationalistic side of the Scotland argument due to bold statements against leaving the European Union.In Catalonia, the constitution instituted Article 155 in Catalonia to stop the region from leaving Spain. This independence movement has hurt Catalonia as a whole. “Unemployment, retail sales, and tourist numbers all came in worse than expected for the end of 2017 while the growth of the Catalan economy lagged behind the nation as a whole” (Savitsky). This economic situation did not trouble Catalonia before this active movement for succession. Catalonia has added up to sixteen percent of the population and twenty percent of the Spanish economy, which is 223.6 billion euros as of October 2017 (Bosch).

If the government of Catalonia is able to succeed, the tensions between the two sides would reduce, and the governments could focus on more important issues, like the economy, and be able to progress further separately.To evaluate, this side of the Catalonia issue shows that if the region of Catalonia is able to succeed, it would allow both Spain and Catalonia to progress from their currently regressed economic situations. From this position, it would be the best for both sides for Catalonia to become independent. From the opposing viewpoint, Kurdistan would have a struggling economy if they became independent. An Iraqi trader mentioned that “the market would die” if the Kurds threats became reality . The economy in the region is based on oil sales that add up to ninety percent of its revenues

This could bring a problem of self-reliance for the Kurdish people. Also, the majority of the oil goes to Turkey, which questions to the viability of the economy of an independent Kurdistan arise . Despite this, even Turkey is against the independence of the Kurds. The President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned the Kurds vote for independence as “treachery” and that the region would “not find food or clothing” if independence ensued. This threat has kept the Kurds from becoming independent is due to the one dimensional economy of oil and the fact that basic goods in the region need to be imported (Dziadosz). Based on the facts, should Kurdistan become an independent nation with the knowledge that it cannot support itself economically. To evaluate, Alex Dziadosz is a freelance journalist currently based in Lebanon and has been awarded the New York Press Award for his reporting in Iraq.

Based on this, Dziadosz has seemed to take evidence of his findings from the Middle East to make his own credible statements and this article seems to be no exception. Moreover, Scotland is seen to be better off if Scotland stays with the United Kingdom. As a whole, the United Kingdom is a world power that is both relatively small both geographically and in population. Scotland benefits from being considered a world power. Scotland also values the United Nations, where the United Kingdom is one of the five permanent members on the world security council. This makes Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland stronger together than in their separate ways. As well, the complaint that Scotland is not represented in the United Kingdom is not true. Based on evidence, Scotland has more money spent on public services per person than that of England, a £1,460 difference.

As with that, the general public opinion in Scotland is that they are “equally Scottish and British” and many Scots have family across the border .In analysis, Ross McCafferty is a writer for the Scotsman that talks about his views on politics and sports in the United Kingdom and Scotland. The fact that McCafferty states his views in his articles could make them have questionable bias if they are not backed up with facts and not recognize the other side of the issue.

McCafferty’s article has a bias for continued union with the United Kingdom but is no less reliable based on the facts and evidence proposed in the article. Furthermore, the issue of the independence of Catalonia is a risk of uncertainty for the region. Economists at Berenberg Bank, one of the leading private banks based in Germany, mentioned that there was no practical way for Catalonia to become an independent nation inside of the European Union (Kottasová).

With independence, Catalonia would not be a World Trade Organization member, and would face major trade barriers. With these blockades, the price of imported goods into the region would rise, and would result in more unemployment . The region could also use the euro as a currency, but with no representation, as they would not have a seat in the European Central Bank (Kottasová). With this, the region of Catalonia would face barriers far larger than the ones that they currently have with Spain.

This would most likely result in the loss of the rest of the Spain as a trade partner. With this, would they be able to risk the uncertainty that would ensue with independence? To evaluate, Ivana Kottasová is a reporter at CNN Money that covers European business and economy. The article covers both sides of the issue in Catalonia but focuses mostly on the perspective of Spain. The author’s credentials and the evaluation of both sides of the case makes the case of the economics seem credible.

Thus, after the evaluation of the cases, one can decide the logical perspective that each case should be placed into. Initially, my perspective on the issue was for the independence for these territories. But after extensive research and contemplation on the subject matter, my perspective has changed. Currently, with the Kurdish people, there is evidence of an inefficient economy based solely on oil with an unestablished government. Secondly, in Scotland, the country would be better prepared, both economically and politically, to stay with the rest of the United Kingdom. No matter what the nationalistic politicians claim, they are receiving help from the rest of the union. However, I still believe the circumstance in Catalonia is still under debate.

The Catalans have a diverse economy in a territory around the size of Belgium. The territory also has the political leaders ready to take the next step from Spain with the public opinion of the region on their side. In final analysis, the information presented is still very limited. There is a need for the evaluation of the individual bias of the leaders of each government to ensure that their beliefs are for the best. Along with that, there is the need for the analysis of past territories that have either become independent or have stayed with their union. The issue at hand is very complex and is in need for further review for each case independently. Overall, I stand that the territories should be able to show their protest, but in the cases provided, these territories should stay with their current nations.

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