Will Catalonia Secede from Spain?
September 22, 2012 • 10:00AM

On the back of Spain preparing to sign away its national sovereignty to the European Union in return for a monetary so-called bailout, the threat of the country breaking up has become a real possibility.

City of London mouthpiece Ambrose Evans-Pritchard takes up the secession crisis between Spain and Catalonia. The Catalan government has already asked for guidance from Brussels on the legality of secession from Spain, requesting a roadmap for membership in the European Union as an independent state. Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia issued a statement declaring secession illegal and lethal.

While Catalan leader Artur Mas even admits he is playing a high-stakes game, even Evans-Pritchard said the situation could get out of control. He reports on an interview given by Colonel Francisco Alaman Castro, an active-duty military officer, who is quoted as saying, "Independence for Catalunia? Over my dead body! Spain is not Yugoslavia or Belgium. Even if the lion is sleeping, don't provoke the lion, because he will show the ferocity proven over centuries."

Evans-Pritchard also quotes retired Chief of the Army Staff, Lieutenant General Pedro Pitarch, who said the colonel's words reflect deeply-rooted thinking in large parts of the armed forces. He also attacked the government saying, "Are we looking at a failed state?"

Reports of Colonel Alaman Castro's statements are all over the Internet, including English-language blogs. He made the comments in response to the fact that the small town of Sant Pere de Torelló declared itself a free Catalan territory. The officer called for the arrest of the town's Mayor, Jordi Fàbrega, for the crime of treason. He gave the interview to Alerta Digital, quoted by mainstream La Vanguardia. He criticized the current decentralized model of Spanish governance and said that tensions are similar to 1936 (when the Spanish Civil War erupted), only without blood.