Two months on, the outcome of the messy sequence of events triggered by Catalonia’s independence referendum remains unclear: neither side has secured its desired result and, in their own ways, both have behaved badly. How did Spain arrive at this bitter impasse, and what will happen next in the Catalonia saga? If the optimism of Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish PM, is to be believed, there could be an end in sight very soon. Rajoy, who dissolved the Catalan parliament and called regional elections for December 21, says he is hoping for a restoration of ‘peace and social harmony’ in Catalonia.
Rajoy’s statement, made in a TV interview this week, was a barely-
Rajoy’s decision to press the constitutional nuclear button by activating Article
155 of the Spanish constitution, which allows Madrid to take control of a rogue autonomous
region, remains controversial. After repeated failure from the separatists to outline
their plans for secession, Rajoy claimed it was the only card left for him to play.
He sacked the regional government and pro-
Yesterday, Puigemont’s imprisoned colleagues appeared before Spain’s Supreme Court
in a bid to win their freedom in order to take part in this month’s election. Campaigning
begins on midnight on Monday and what is certain is that this will be a tense and,
most likely, unpleasant affair. Relatively uneventful as the last couple of weeks
have been in Catalonia, nationalist and secessionist passions simmer beneath a deceptively-
Cast your mind back two months to the October referendum. The Catalonia government
went ahead with the vote despite repeated warnings from Madrid that it was illegal.
The separatists’ bullishness dismayed many Spaniards, who saw the seeds of civil
unrest in their disregard for Spanish law. On October 1st, the world looked on as
national police – clad in full riot gear, as if to combat a violent rebellion – manhandled
old ladies and hauled women out of polling stations by their hair. In the end, 92
per cent of Catalans voted for splitting from Spain; but, with many anti-
Now, Spain and the world looks nervously ahead to the December 21st election. The
vote is being billed as an effective plebiscite on Catalonian independence, as was
the last regional election in 2015, which brought a pro-