I get the impression that the crisis in Catalonia has brought Spain closer together; well, it is a question of the rest of the country against those Catalans who want to leave Spain. Spanish flags are being flown from balconies and cars across the country in a sign of a patriotic unity. The Catalan move for independence appears to have united the country but of course there are dangers. The Catalonia crisis may end in nothing but it hasn't shown Spain in a good light. While the Spanish government will win the day, I don't think that it has been a victory for democracy even though the referendum had been declared illegal by the Spanish government. The fact that Catalans were unable to vote on their future will strike many people outside Spain as odd and certainly undemocratic. Also, the Catalonian push for independence is not going to go away; in fact I suspect that support for a breakaway from Spain has actually grown.

The only way forward is dialogue. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is either going to have to offer the Catalans more autonomy or the possibility of holding a referendum in the near future. He can't simply brush this issue under the carpet. He must have a credible plan for Catalonia which takes into account the wishes of those who want to stay in Spain and those who want to leave. I would say that the Catalans have given the Spanish government plenty of food for thought but now is the time for action not thinking.