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Does Anyone Want My European Passport?

But be warned: it’s made of blood and lies. Catalan blood is the latest material to be added to that construction called “Europe”. And who knows, as Britain struggles to exit “Europe”, British blood might be the next page in the passport.

It’s obvious now that “Europe” supports (and probably directs) Spain’s “war on Catalonia”. Every European institution remained silent as Spain’s National Guard beat Catalan democracy to a pulp. And Brussels and Berlin don’t really care now that Catalan autonomy is disappearing. Indeed the flag of “Europe” proudly flies behind the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, every time he attacks Catalonia.

The great irony, of course, is the fact that Spain itself – thanks to “Europe” – possesses no real autonomy. The Franco-style nationalism Madrid is currently parading before the world is completely undermined by Brussels and Berlin.

The indignados who occupied the centre of Madrid in 2011 knew this. They were indignant because the credit crunch of 2008 and the “European” bailouts and austerity that were then imposed on the country left Spain without any political, financial or moral ground to stand on. The Spanish state didn’t listen.

Spain’s repression of Barcelona today therefore is a case of Spain unconsciously hitting out at the ugly truth about itself: it is a puppet operated by foreigners – the Germans et al. And that being the case: Spain spitefully insists that Catalonia be a puppet operated by foreigners too – the Spanish et al.

In a word: the Spanish state is a coward. It acts like the main man in Barcelona but acts like a meek child in “Europe”. It’s foreign policy, currency and other strategic matters are controlled by Brussels and Berlin. Indeed it is one of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) – those countries which “Europe” has systematically robbed and ridiculed in the years following the 2008 economic crash.

Spain may have the trappings of independence. But like the other PIIGS it is dependent on the will of the northern core of “Europe”. In “European” terms Spain is second class or less. Catalonia no doubt senses Spain’s place in the hierarchy. And so it pushes for a more dignified place in the order of things.

But Catalonia doesn’t get it. Wanting independence from a politically bankrupt Spain is understandable. However, looking for that independence in a politically bankrupt “Europe” makes no sense at all.

Seeing the “European” flag fly proudly behind the Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, as he calls for the protection of Catalonia and appeals to the democratic values of “Europe” is a sick joke. Where was he the last few years?

Did he miss “Europe’s” recent treatment of small nations? Did he not see “Europe” destroying Greece and crippling Ireland? And what about the genocide orchestrated by “Europe” in “Europe’s” small neighbours: Libya and Syria (if we’re allowed to mention these little details about “Europe”). Did Catalonia miss this? And does it remember the “European” bombing of Serbia (probably not)?

“Europe” is a place where might is right. And in this Machiavellian world Catalonia means nothing.

All this blood and amoral behaviour in and around “Europe” is of course covered up by lies – the biggest there are. Take your pick: Civilisation, Christianity and Capitalism. Let’s pick Capitalism because “European” Civilisation and Christianity can’t be taken seriously anymore (thankfully).

“Europe” today is supposedly held together by the logic of the free market. The Euro however torpedoed this 1990s right-wing dream. And the 2008 banking meltdown buried it. The rhetoric of “competition and freedom” officially continues. But the reality now more than ever before is Machiavellian.

The big lie is that Capitalism is democratic in “Europe” – the market is just fine. The big truth though is that Might Is Right regardless of the logic of profit and loss.

The proof of this – since 2008 – is the never ending bailout of the “European” banking system. The lie is that the mighty north “European” core (Germany and it’s allies) has been bailing out the PIIGS. This “bailout” has been portrayed as an act of solidarity. The truth however is the other way around: the PIIGS – under duress – have been bailing out the Germans and it’s lackeys (primarily the French) – since it is the latter’s banks which ultimately made the bad bets in “Europe”.

The “European” market, in short, is pure right-wing politics. The powerful core dictate the terms and the weak PIIGS obey – or else. And when you add “quantitative easing” and the other financial tricks to this picture from hell – then the Euro and “Europe” in general is nothing but a racket.

The people are being squeezed (austerity) and duped (bailouts) in order to save a capitalist system – a “Europe” – that can’t be saved. That’s why “Europe” is politically bankrupt. It’s power base completely lacks credibility. And no doubt that’s why “Europe” walks the path to World War – behind the USA.

And Catalonia seeks “independence” within this structure that strangles common sense and the common man! If it weren’t tragic, it would be comical.

Catalonia isn’t alone however. Other independence movements are following it’s example. Sinn Féin from Ireland and the Scottish National Party also see “Europe” as an escape route.

Blindness prevails where it should not – in those places genuinely seeking freedom. If they would only open their eyes – these small nations would see that real independence means freedom from “Europe” as well as from their near neighbor. It requires great courage. And a new passport.

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Aidan O’Brien lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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