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If you are going to talk about something, it would be a good idea that you inform yourself first.
Mr Puidgemont is going to face 30-year jail terms not for organizing a peaceful vote. He is facing 30 year jail terms for breaking all the rules of the Parlament(of Cataluña), making their own laws, and trying to impose it to millions of people that do not agree with them, along with a declaration of Independence.
First, those people had 50% plus one of the seats of the Parlament, but more people voted other parties. One day they enacted the law of the referendum without permission not just of the central Government of Spain, but breaking all the rules of the Parlament itself. They did something that requires two thirds of the Parlament, with just simple majority. The central Government should have acted immediately, the king of Spain wanted to do something at this moment, but the weak prime minister that we have did nothing.
After this law was enacted, they also broke all the rules for the opposition to do something about the law, and they close the Parlament.
Then after that they organized a voting system for voting something that is also illegal in Spain. Cataluña was never independent, like Scotland(or Navarra, Asturias or Aragon in Spain were) was for example and the right to decide is on Spanish people as a whole. The conditions of Independence were also pie on the sky(we will be independent and be part of Europe, Spain will have to face 100%of our debt, will have open frontiers with no duties, will confiscate Spanish accounts and companies).
If those conditions were possible, hey! I will want Independence too! It is like telling to a person that he could divorce, get the home, the kids, the car, a maintenance pension and call the other person when he wants to have sex with her. Spain with 42 million non separatist people will surrender to 2 million separatists, could be a good dream, but not realistic.
After that, they counted the votes, themselves.You know, like Stalin said, the important thing in a democracy is not those who vote, but those who count the votes. They said that almost three million people voted and 90% of those said yes. They could have said five million as well. Remember what they told each other in the preparations to the coup(that were recorded by investigating police):”When we count the votes, we put a million more if they are too few”.
Then during and after that Referemdum the central Govertment did very little, again, while separatist threw stones at police, police run, local police looked to the other side, and three Guardia Civil cars were destroyed by “pacifist”, while hotel owners were blackmailed by phone with death threats if they lodge the police. Very democratic.
The world at large saw “the brutality” of police because the people that we have in Central Government is so incompetent and were not prepared, while the separatist have prepared for decades. They managed to order local Hospitals to consider everybody that have gotten an anxiety crisis after watching local TV (again controlled by them) “injured”. And that alone made for officially 200 injured people by police out of people that had not gone out of their homes.
A woman said police broke all their fingers and sexually assaulted her. Of course the woman herself was a separatist profiter herself acting ala Bart Simpson:
Even after that Central Government did nothing and even declared that they did not want to act.
They waited and after some time the separatist did a semi declaration of independence based on their Referendum data. Central Government again did nothing but ask if they have declared Independence, they did not respond. After that the Central Government humiliated again saying that people please tell no because if you say yes we will be “forced” to react with the 155. And so they were force to declare a weak 155 that does not even get control of local radio and TV media, controlled by separatists.
It is only after that that the separatist declare Independence. And THAT is what is punished with 20 years, not following the law is over 10 years. Because you could not tell millions of people that they are now under your control without consequences. You could not tell people that one night they had their money in euros and now they are Catalan francs(with debt in Euros) without consequences. You could not break Catalan society with parents not talking with their children without consequences. You could not take the taxes of the State without consequences.
And they were also warned that what they wanted to make was against the law before they did. 40 years ago Puyol father directed a company that went under and what is now 12 million euros(stock owners money) simply “disappeared”. When the police started investigating Puyol son the politician managed to redirect the investigation as an “attack on Cataluña” in front of lots of people. Central Government panicked and stopped the investigation.
It is a happy coincidence that 12 million euros later appeared in the bank of Puyol son. After that Puyol “reigned” over Cataluña and started demanding a 3% bribery that increased as he felt safer and safer over time, sometimes even getting 10% of everything that was done in Cataluña. Central Govertment did nothing again.
So this people simply believe that rules are not for them. And who can blame them? if they had been over the law for 40 years. Even today central Government is doing nothing, the only people acting being judges on their own. The Puyol family is outside jail even after discovering their hundred or thousands of millions of dollars.