Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has stepped back from declaring independence, telling lawmakers in Barcelona that although the region has won the right to break away from Spain he is prepared to hold talks:
I propose suspending the effects of the declaration of independence to undertake talks in the coming weeks without which it is not possible to reach an agreed solution.
The climbdown avoids a worse constitutional crisis but is unlikely to satisfy the central government in Madrid. Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister, has refused to recognize last week’s referendum and conditioned dialogue on Puigdemont renouncing secession altogether. Read more
Highlights from Dutch Parties’ Coalition Agreement
Catalonia and Kurdistan couldn’t seem farther away. One is nestled in the peace and prosperity of Western Europe, the other swims in the chaos of a dissolving Middle East.
Yet the two independence referendums of these would-be nation states are revealing. Both raise questions about the meaning of their regional orders and have provoked pushback from the status-quo world. Read more