Thus:As both the GOS and the PP predicted privately to post, Kosovo's independence has prompted numerous provocative statements by nationalist parties in the Basque Country and Catalonia.
PP has maintained staunch unity in its position against Kosovo's independence. PP founder and elder statesman Manuel Fraga said February 19 that Spain must not support Kosovo because one could "draw the same conclusions about Spain in (the Basque town of) Galdakano or in a Catalan town. Spain cannot accept that any group whatsoever can declare itself independent with all the complications this has implied" in the Balkans.
Of course, as I have maintained, people will read into an event whatever they want. Separatists in Spain would, of course, be encouraged by Kosovo independence. But the key point is that these groups existed before the recognition and the recognition would not really change things in Spain.
Ah, but wait: the problem was not so much separatists in Spain but the timing:
Indeed, the funny thing about this cable is that it mentions Spanish support of UN resolutions, arguing that UNSR 1244 does not endorse a unilateral declaration of independence for Kosovo, and Spanish folks then mention withdrawal from Iraq as part of being in accord with the UN. More importantly, the Spanish participation in KFOR suggests some contradictions, as the US diplomat notes:Sancho told the DCM that it was politically impossible for the GOS to support Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence in the middle of a hotly contested campaign, and to have expected otherwise was not realistic.
So, perhaps Spain refrained from recognition because of its vulnerability. Does this falsify my argument? Maybe, but the vulnerability argument faces some serious challenges from reality as well: plenty of countries vulnerable to secession supported Kosovo's independence, and not just the US (with Alaskan separatism), but the UK, France, Italy, Albania, Canada, Croatia, Belgium, Latvia, Afghanistan, Macedonia, and Somalia (?).the GOS is caught in a logical trap - how to reconcile their continuing military and civilian presence in Kosovo with their refusal to recognize Kosovo's right to independence.
Of course, I am probably just suffering from confirmation bias.