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.

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Richard Pearson / Hace over 3 years

Yes, and if the do rejoin the EU instead of subsidising poorer parts of Spain they will end of subsidising poorer parts of Europe like Romania where Puigdemont’s wife is from. Maybe that is why they want to leave.

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TGNT / Hace over 3 years

James, the point not about the vote. It is about Catalan Independence. If after leaving Spain and re joining the EU Catalonia will not be independent as the EU governs the member states. It will loose more independence than it would have if staying part of Spain. Happy New Year.

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Richard Pearson / Hace over 3 years

Foisted ? Are you being serious ? It was a legal referendum where the Catalans voted freely and on masse approving same constitution ( check google if you don’t believe me ).

And it can be changed when two thirds of the MP’s in the Spanish Cortes vote for a revised or new constitution.

Explore other options. Do you mean that some Catalan parties will try and become independent from Spain ( and the EU) against the wishes of the majority of its inhabitants ?

I don’t think so, nor do most sensible people who live there, especially those with multinational companies and businesses.

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James / Hace over 3 years

Richard, rightly or wrongly, the Catalans had the Spanish constitution foisted upon them and are unable to change it. They are in a forced marriage and being told that divorce is illegal... If there is no hope of change using democratic processes then some may choose to explore other options. That is the ultimate danger with Rajoy's current approach.

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Richard Pearson / Hace over 3 years

James, what you, I or anybody else, in particular the Catalan politicians think, has nothing to do with it. The Spanish constitution, as it actually stands, does not allow it, as don’t the German and French ones. One either obeys the rule of law or one doesn’t, something the Spanish are not always keen on doing, as Brussels will confirm.

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James / Hace over 3 years

Richard, I am not advocating a case for, or against, independence. I am advocating that the two election results be respected; twice the independence parties.have won. Pretending otherwise, as you would like to do, is ignoring the democratic process. I have no preference on how they vote, but I do respect their right to vote and to have those votes respected.

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Richard Pearson / Hace over 3 years

James, Catalonia has voted twice for independence governments from Spain, not from the EU.

Having said this, the last election was won by a party that is against independence. Only the coalition of two losing ones would give the independence votes a majority.

Not very sound foundations to base your independence claims on.

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James / Hace over 3 years

TGNT, you may well believe that the argument is ridiculous, but a large number of voters in Catalonia disagree with you; Catalonia has voted twice now to form 'independence' governments. Are you saying that they should not be allowed to have a referendum because YOU think their arguments are ridiculous? You appear to have a very high opinion of your own opinions!!!

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TGNT / Hace over 3 years

Who in their right mind thinks a Catalan independent vote really means independence. It is a vote to be independent from Spain but also to totally loose all Catalan independence as to survive outside Spain, there will be a need to re join the EU, loosing far more independence than ever would be lost if remaining part of Spain. It’s a ridiculous argument.

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Richard Pearson / Hace over 3 years

Ultimately it may be the only solution, but there will be no point in holding one until a new Catalan government has been formed, which may turn out to be less independent minded than expected,and the conditions agreed, the most important being the interval of time before another one should be held.

We can all remember Alex Salmond saying that this should be a generation and what his ally, Ms Sturgeon, thinks should happen. Regarding independence, it’s only the Republican parties that are demanding it, not all of them. One wonders what would have happened if Spain had been or was a republic and not a parliamentary monarchy.

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