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The big question; what does Spain do about Catalonia? The Spanish government sacked the regional government when it voted for independence and called early elections, but parties who support independence won the vote. So what does the Spanish government do next? Well there is no simple answer. The Spanish government can’t overturn the election result because it called the elections in the first place. It can’t call new elections because it would be seen as undemocratic. The only real solution left for prime minister Mariano Rajoy would be to allow a referendum. It would be a high-stakes, winner takes-all-move, but it is the only real solution to the problem.

Rajoy and the other political parties, which oppose independence, would then have to hit the campaign trail and try to convince Catalans of the benefits of being part of Spain. If Rajoy doesn’t go down the referendum route, the crisis will just continue and start to eat into Spain’s economy because it must be remembered that Catalonia is one of the driving forces behind the Spanish economy. His tactics have so far failed miserably and Catalonia remains divided. The only way forward to settle the matter once and for all would be with a referendum. I am not saying that it would resolve the problem or even end it, but it would prove a point. As I have said on many occasions in this space dialogue and a referendum are the only viable solutions for this problem.