A bad result for Spain and a bad result for Catalonia. The weekend poll may have given the nationalist parties in Catalonia a slim victory but the result was really a stalemate which doesn’t push the cause of independence but at the same time doesn’t let the Spanish government off the hook. If the situation in Catalonia was complicated before the election it is even more so now. So what next? Catalan nationalist leaders say that they have a mandate from the people to push for a breakaway, the Spanish government says that they can dream on. It is a political stand-off and the stakes are very high. I think it is probably best now to leave the issue of Catalonia until after the general election in three months time. The Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy of the Partido Popular has failed in Catalonia and failed badly. Not only did their share of the vote fall dramatically in the Catalan elections at the weekend, the growth in support of the nationalist parties was probably as a direct result of their bully-boy tactics. The best thing to do now is to wait. Whoever wins the general election will then have the rather difficult job of sitting down with the nationalists to try and find a solution. Perhaps even greater powers for Catalonia? Perhaps, a state within a state status? But what is evident is that almost half the population of Catalonia supports a referendum on independence and that state of affairs is not going to go away despite the efforts of the government.

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