German CDU think tank urges solving of Catalan issue before ‘it’s too late’
Konrad Adenauer Foundation openly criticizes the People’s Party for not offering political solution to Catalan question
The Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation argues in a paper published on Thursday and signed by political analyst Wilhelm Hofmeister that the situation in Catalonia is a political challenge that cannot be solved only by appealing to existing constitutional laws and regulations.
The think tank of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, the CDU, lays out the Catalan government’s referendum plans and offers an analysis of the rising tension between Catalonia and Spain. The analysis of the CDU foundation links the growth of independence support to the "inequalities" between Catalonia and the Basque Country foreseen in the Constitution and politically accepted for decades. The paper criticizes Mariano Rajoy’s government for having refused negotiations with the autonomous authorities.
The think tank points out that these inequalities are no longer tolerated but sees constitutional reform as unlikely due to the People’s Party’s refusal to consider it. This is despite the fact that any reform would receive the support of the PSOE under Pedro Sánchez, and most likely the Podemos and even Ciudadanos parties.
“By then, even if those who are still opposed to reforms today are willing to making concessions, it might be too late"
Wilhelm Hofmeister · Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
As a result, the analyst of the think tank expects the conflict between Catalonia and Spain to continue in the next few years and does not see any short-term solution.
Moreover, for the think tank, calling the referendum on October 1 is a "serious" problem "for the unity and stability of Spain". "It is legally correct for the Spanish government of president Rajoy to stick to the constitution, but this way the political conflict will not be solved," the text reads.
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation also warns of the possibility of the pro-independence movement gaining in strength, especially if the October 1 vote cannot be held and early elections have to be called.
Even though the think tank does not see a clear majority in favor of Catalan independence and predicts a defeat of independence supporters should the vote in October go ahead, it argues that the lack of solutions and the path of legal confrontation chosen by the Spanish government could see support for independence eventually reaching a clear majority, it warns.
“This would inflame the conflict even more,” the analyst Hofmeister states in the paper, and the CDU foundation goes on to warn that “by then, even if those who are still opposed to reforms today are willing to making concessions, it might be too late.”
Link to the KAS paper (in German): http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_49399-544-1-30.pdf?170629104918