Imagine if the Scottish government pushed ahead with a second referendum against the wishes of Theresa May who then used the police to stop the so-called illegal poll. Imagine if Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the Scottish Nationalists and Scottish chief minister, was threatened with arrest because she had ordered the poll. All this sounds rather unimaginable, doesn’t it. But this is what has happened in Catalonia.

I am no big fan of the Catalan independence movement but I believe in democracy and even Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy must realise that the Catalan people want a say on their future. They are not saying that they will all wholeheartedly vote for a breakaway but they want to have their say and the government should listen instead of trying to crush the independence movement and all those who believe in the referendum.

The international community has said nothing. No one really wants to get involved but secretly, I suspect, they are pretty outraged. And you can see why. A key member of the European Union is split over a region which allegedly wants to break away.

Regular readers of this space will know that I often express admiration for Spain and the massive steps it has made since the end of the Franco regime. But this is not Spain’s finest hour. In fact, I would say that I have never been so horrified by an event in Spain for many years. Dialogue is the way forward not bully-boy tactics.


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james / Hace 9 months

"The majority of Catalans wish to remain part of Spain "

false false FALSE. or at least, we do not have any prove. do you people please stop doing mental referendums, the best way to know that, is to have a referendum. then you can ensure who has the majority,, why so scared of doing a referendum in Catalonia ? I smell your fear and monocracy from here


stewart hawker / Hace 10 months

The majority of Catalans wish to remain part of Spain but are afraid to show this due to threats and intimidation by the rabid nationalists, this is bully boy tactics. Spain is a democratic country with laws and no one is denying them dialogue but within the legal framework. What if every region brainwashed their children for a few generations with false history and facts to fit their agenda, should they all just be allowed to do what they like. They are Nationalists who think they are superior and this in itself is very dangerous. Spain has the full support of the EU and rightly so.


Ron / Hace 10 months

As I see it, you can't just allow any autonomy to have an independence referendum. This would be undemocratic and against the constitution, and Rajoy can't make a decision to allow it. Changes to the constitution must be debated and voted on in the Cortes by all parties. Then if it is agreed changes can be made to allow a referendum. Catalonia may have a special case given their history, but they agreed to be part of the Spanish state and together with Pais Vasco were given special privileges when the constitution was set up in 1977. We may live in different times, but things cannot be changed by threats from extremists. Like you Jason, I worry about the future thinking back to how the civil war was started by the demos in Catalonia.