The Spanish government has done its best to stop the referendum on independence in Catalonia, but it is still going ahead, while the judiciary has said that politicians and civil servants risk jail for supporting the so-called illegal poll. The government is in a difficult position and it must make some tough decisions very soon if the independence referendum, which is unofficial, is to be stopped. The issue appears to be splitting Spain, with hardliners calling on the government to take "radical" action at once. People have been changing their Facebook profile photographs to include the Spanish flag to protest at what they see as almost "treason" by the Catalan people. However, no one is too sure whether Catalonia will vote for independence in the poll, even if it does go ahead. But the majority of Catalans want the right to decide.

One million people marching through Barcelona on Monday calling for independence should get the alarm bells ringing in Madrid and obviously the issue has taken centre stage in Spain. The Spanish government has been using the judiciary to stop the referendum because it is allegedly against the Spanish constitution but so far they have been unsuccessful. It is a standoff situation and it will be interesting to see who blinks first. If Catalonia backs down and the referendum is shelved, then it is a victory for the government. But if it goes ahead, then it is a major blow for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

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Steve Riches / Hace 11 days

Madrid needs to wise-up pretty quickly - you cannot deny millions of people what they feel is their right. Do it properly and you still have a functioning united country.

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