Freedom News

Catalonia: On referendums and government spending

Writing for Spanish anarchist website A Las Barricadas, Acratosaurio rex explores the bizarre spectacle of Spain’s central government spending tens of millions of Euros on preparations for an extreme police crackdown against Catalonia, partly on the grounds of saving money that would otherwise be “wastefully” spent on an independence referendum by the regional administration.

All this craziness over Catalonia proves again and again that they swear one thing and do another. The government has adamantly asserted that taxpayers’ money should and will not be spent on a referendum in Catalonia, and that it will ensure the pulp extracted from our taxes is instead engaged in useful things, like carrying out evictions.

It turns out that they have moved several huge ships with over 6,000 police, they say, to Catalonia, to ensure that the referendum is not held. From what I see in their salary tables, talking conservatively, a 6,000 cop cruise would cost €1 million a day, just on travel allowance, accommodation and meals. Not counting wages. Come on, don’t come to me with stories that those guys, who are civil servants, will move a single finger if you do not pay them their €150 euro bonuses(2).

Apply to this the salary costs, with the employer’s contribution will be at least €2,000 per month. How many days will they be quartered? And how many more will remain in the Port of Barcelona as occupation troops, supporting the jokes and outbursts against dockers?(3) Apparently the forecast is 15 days before returning home.

In total, shooting low, the operating of displaced guards, for 15 days will cost a whopping €30 million. And there I have not included the rental cost of the cruise, the expenses of officials who are intervening in the accounts of the Generalitat, gasoline and transportation to bring armored vehicles, water cannons etc to Catalonia, rubber bullets, stun batons, spies, divers from the Navy to prevent any crazy jihadist with a torpedo …

Given that the Catalan government has budgeted €8.9 million for the referendum(4), it is clear that economic arguments that Spain would not spend taxpayer money on the consultation are false. Rajoy being dropped millions on the fucking referendum. When all this is over, I say that the bill will be €100 million. And we’ll pay everyone, of course. Much cheaper and more elegant would have been to just allow the question, instead of mobilising tens of thousands of officials.

One thing is clear: the government doesn’t give a fig about Catalonia in particular. The government works alone, pickpockets living a golden age, and we could do without a mafia that manages the accounts, spending handfuls.



(1)  Interior chartered cruises to accommodate about 6,000 police sent to Catalonia

(2) Interior tripling the amount of allowances to displaced civilians and police guards to Catalonia

(3) The longshoremen who have denied the police service are hard workers whom they called in the press and talk shows “privileged” when they wanted to privatise.

(4)  The Government budgeted 8.9 million to hold the consultation

Pic: Activists in Barcelona have been mocking the (notoriously reactionary) national police holed up on the docks by turning rightist anti-migrant slogans against them.

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