Catalonia Nears Autonomy From Spain: Region’s Plan for Self-Rule Seen as Alternative to Full Independence (John Ward Anderson, January 28, 2006, Washington Post)
They have their own language, their own culture, and a history of rebellion going back more than 500 years. They have had periods of semi-independence punctuated by brutal government crackdowns. They have a vibrant economy that is the envy of their country. And they’re determined to become their own nation.
It is a picture that fits any number of armed separatist movements around the world. Here, it describes a peaceful drive for more autonomy in the Spanish region of Catalonia, and it is nearing success with the backing of the country’s Socialist prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Opponents say the plan for more self-rule is a Trojan horse, paving the way for full independence, striking at the foundation of Spain’s 28-year-old democracy and threatening to break up the country.
While the transnationalists alll dreamed of world government the reality is that states are just going to keep devolving into smaller units.
Premiers in hurry to craft fiscal deal (IAN URQUHART, 1/28/06, Toronto Star)
The phone lines are starting to burn up as premiers call each other and prime minister-designate Stephen Harper about striking a new deal that could dramatically alter Confederation by strengthening the provinces and reducing Ottawa’s role.
At issue is the nation’s “fiscal imbalance,” which sees Ottawa awash in surpluses while the provinces struggle to make ends meet. Paul Martin, the outgoing prime minister, denied the very existence of a fiscal imbalance; Harper, on the other hand, has promised to fix it.
In his election platform, Harper said he would “work with the provinces in order to achieve a long-term agreement which would address the issue of a fiscal imbalance in a permanent fashion.”