- Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy maintains “no self-determination referendum” was held in Catalonia on Sunday, although millions voted.
- Regional president Carles Puigdemont claims the region has “won the right to be an independent state”.
- Hundreds of Catalans were injured in altercations with Spanish riot police. Read more
The unstoppable force of Catalan separatism is about to meet the unmovable object that is Mariano Rajoy.
The Spanish prime minister and conservative party leader has vowed to prevent an independence referendum in the northeastern region at all costs. The Catalans are determined to vote anyway.
Neither side will be able to claim victory on Monday.
Rajoy may succeed in blocking the vote, but his intransigence has already convinced moderate Catalans there isn’t a future for them in Spain. The separatists may manage to organize a referendum, but it will be so marred by illegality and irregularity that the outcome cannot possibly be considered a mandate to break away. Read more
The British struggle to understand why, if they could manage two referendums in three years, Spain is so desperate to prevent the Catalans from voting on Sunday. Read more
Catalonia is unlikely to declare its independence from Spain even if a majority votes to break away on Sunday.
The law that made the referendum possible — and which has been suspended by Spain’s Constitutional Court — calls for a declaration of independence within two days of a “yes” vote.
But Carles Puigdemont, the regional president and separatist leader, has told French television he wants to open up a transitional period of talks after the plebiscite. Read more
Spain’s latest attempt to prevent the Catalans from voting on independence next week risks making the situation in the region more dangerous.
Prosecutors have ordered the 17,000-strong Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police force, to report directly to the Interior Ministry in Madrid as opposed to Catalan authorities in Barcelona.
Spanish officials had accused the Mossos (troopers) of not doing enough to disrupt preparations for the October 1 vote.
Spain claims it is protecting public safety, but its power grab could have the opposite effect. Read more
The Dutch aren’t sure what to make of Catalonia’s independence bid. Only in the last few days have their news media started paying attention to what’s happening in the region.
Flemish media are more interested. Maybe because they have pragmatically managed their differences with the French-speaking Walloons for decades and are wondering why the Catalans and Spanish can’t do the same? Read more