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Former Newton man faces huge fine for role in failed Catalan independence movement

The Times of London reports: Outcry as retired Catalan minister faces multimillion-euro ‘independence’ fine.

Andreu Mas-Colell, 76, who helped organize what the Spanish government insists was an illegal referendum on independence for Catalonia, lived on Temple Street in Newton until the mid-1990s, when he taught economics at Harvard, Ryan Grannan-Doll reports.


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When someone engages in a decades long attempt to subvert the power of a state and eventually secede from that very state, using public funds no less, if they are not successful in the attempt the state in turn will activate its self-preservation mechanisms and use its power to punish those who sought its destruction.

This has been happening since times immemorial so it should come to no surprise to a world-renowned economist, former Newton resident and very expensive textbook author that FAFO is more than just some obscure social theory.

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She lost the referendum on Scottish independence, yet continues to lead both the Scottish National Party and the Scottish government.

She isn't exactly best buddies with Boris Johnson, but he's not about to have her arrested and tried.

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There is no parallel between what happened in Scotland to what occurred in Catalonia.

Whataboutism aside, when SNP were advised that holding an independence referendum was outside of their legal purview, they sought and obtained that legality through the UK's constitutional process with approval from both houses of Parliament and royal assent. In other words, they sought to obtain their constituents' view on Scottish independence through a legal, supervised mechanism where the non-binding results would help shape policy, as they are not legally binding in the UK. 84.59% of eligible voters turned out, SNP observed the legalities and while respecting the results and constitutional order, continues to advocate for an independent Scotland yadda yadda ya.

The folks in the Catalonian government on the other hand, decided to go it alone. They did not have the legal authority to conduct a referendum, there was no legal mechanism by which they could conduct it, it was deemed unconstitutional by the Spanish Constitutional Court and accordingly it was banned. Not to be deterred by simple legalities when trying to setup a socialist republic on someone else's property with someone else's money, the Catalonian government proceeded with their farce and were met by low turnout, voting irregularities, no electoral supervision and allegations of widespread fraud. The leaders have been jailed and the co-conspirators in the whole effort, including one former Newton neighbor, are facing a mix of jail and fines. As is how the rule of law operates in a democracy. The leadership are also expected to receive pardons in the coming weeks and will probably return to banging their independence drums but that's the only similarity that one can draw between them and the SNP.

I'll also note that both Scotland and England were independent, separate sovereign nations until 1707, when they entered into a union. Catalonia has never been independent, sovereign or anything of that nature, does not co-exist in a union and as an autonomous community, derives its powers from the current Spanish constitutional framework of 1978, which wouldn't you know, was approved by a public referendum with a 95.15% favorable vote in Catalonia alone. This entire "referendum" was nothing but poorly construed brinkmanship politics brought about by years of agitation by a part time nationalist movement supported by state funding.

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You cited the rule of law. Put a dollar in the jar.

Legality is not the definition of morality. You make a fair argument with "someone else's money", but a succession movement is hardly interested in the permission of the incumbent government. That's the opposite of the point.

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This "JayF" seemingly appears from nowhere with this convenient screed and then doubles down on all the talking points.


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Distinguished economics professor faces large fine for his role in failed independence movement. His son complains on Twitter. The world doesn’t care.

If there was a semblance of morality in what they were doing it would be self evident. But there isn’t and neither you or anyone else can prove it.

What transpired was nothing but an incompetent experiment executed by a spoiled, elitist political class designed to produce leverage in future, albeit fantastical, negotiations with a legitimate government that has no need or desire to negotiate with a minority separatist movement. The esteemed professor knew this and while advised against it and well informed of the potential consequences, decided to continue with his behavior.

Facing the music isn’t a morality play, it’s simple consequences for one’s actions.

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The U.K. government agreed to allow Scotland to hold a referendum on independence. Madrid did not agree to the Catalan referendum and in fact the Constitutional Court of Spain declared the referendum to be unconstitutional.

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What’s the reason? If it prospers, none dare call it treason.

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