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I suspect that Madrid will try and bring Catalonia "under control" today by declaring that it will now come under direct control from the central administration in the Spanish capital. It will be the end of regional rule in the province and it could mean the end of the pro-independence regional government. It is a dangerous step by the Spanish government and it is a move which will lead to widespread protests across Catalonia and will add even further tension between the pro-independence movement in Catalonia and the rest of the country.

Prime Minister Rajoy has to act and he has the full backing of the socialist opposition. But will this mean an end to the "crusade" for independence which has been launched in Catalonia? I sincerely doubt it. Rajoy should remove "regional rule" but at the same time open up dialogue with the independence movement. This is the only way forward. An estimated two million people want Catalonia to be independent from Spain and they are not simply going to change their view overnight. Now is the time for the Spanish prime minister to show some leadership. He must have the necessary courage to open dialogue with those who want a breakaway. The eyes of the world are watching the crisis in Catalonia and many do not like what they see. The Catalans do have some public opinion on their side outside Spain. Rajoy must remember that at the end of the day the Catalans only want to have a say on their future.