Monday, February 18, 2008

No Warm Spanish Welcome For Kosovo

The newborn state of Kosovo has at least one expense less as it starts life as a nation; there will be no need for the moment to send an ambassador to Spain. The Spanish government has today made clear what was already suspected to be the case, that they are not recognising the independence declaration by the Kosovans. The main reason for this is a fear of being seen to recognise rights of self determination overseas when the same right is not recognised within Spain itself.

Although there has been a welcome for Kosovo’s independence in some nationalist circles, it is probably fair to say that this has been fairly muted too, those who would like to see independence for Cataluña or the Basque Country are unlikely to see Kosovo as the model for achieving that aim; it is an impoverished state which will depend on foreign troops to defend its frontiers for some time to come. One of the ironies of the situation is that some of the troops currently stationed in Kosovo are Spanish, a little over 600 of them. This was an irony that escaped José Bono, who despite being a former defence minister seemed completely unaware of the Spanish contribution when he said a few days ago that Spain should send no troops there.

The Spanish right is even more nervous about anything that suggests that regions of countries can break away. El Mundo amusingly claimed the other day that the declaration of independence by Kosovo is yet another sign of how Spain has declined in influence since Zapatero came to power; as if Mariano Rajoy would have been able to prevent it from happening! With support from the US and other large European nations for independence, the Spanish stand makes little difference and the government almost certainly knows it. The Kosovan ambassador will probably arrive quietly in Madrid in a year or two.


Tom said...

Vote for Mariano! Save the dolphins!

Graeme, I guess it's because you're such a foreigner, but didn't you realise that Zapatero's responsible for pretty much everything bad that happens around the world? Darfur, Cuban treatment of homosexuals, 9/11, the 'Balkanisation' of 'Spain', the sub-prime crisis, water shortages in Catalonia, child obesity, child mortality, child illiteracy, child abuse by priests, social decline, militant Islam, militant Rome, militant Bilbao & Barcelona, 11-M, Kosovan independence, Serbian intransigence, Russian bellicosity - all these are vaguely attributable to Zapatero, the man they call 'El Bastardo Malo' in his home town.

Seriously, you need to put down your copy of The Communist Manifesto and see the bigger picture.

Lenox said...

I'll grant you most of them - but Darfur?

Graeme said...

Zapatero gets elected....and Darfur hits the headlines. You're not seriously going to try and tell us it's just coincidence?

Tom said...

"Zapatero gets elected" - I see you're still pushing this fantasy.

Graeme said...

Medical note: Tom is suffering from what we doctors call Paranoid Libertadus Digitalitus. Sufferers become irritable and exciteable at the mere mention of words such as "Zapatero" or "democracy" and can end up in a permanent state of delusion. Unless the disease is caught very early, nothing at all can be done for the patient - despite the advances of modern medicine.