One million people march through the streets of Barcelona calling for a breakaway from Spain, but when is the Spanish government going to get the message? These one million people are not simply going to disappear or change their views overnight. When is the Spanish government going to take the crisis in Catalonia seriously and sit down with the pro-independence regional authority and start talking? I am not saying that the Catalans should be given independence because I do believe that the majority of people living there would reject it, but obviously something needs to be done and fast.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has launched a charm offensive in Catalonia but his message is not getting through. The only way forward is to hold a referendum. I believe that the so-called "leave Spain camp" would be defeated and Sanchez must have the necessary political courage to hold a referendum or at least offer the Catalans far more home rule.

This issue could drag Spain and its economy down. The previous administration of Mariano Rajoy of the Partido Popular did plenty of damage to relations between Barcelona and Madrid and while Sanchez has tried to mend fences, he hasn't gone far enough. It would be a great pity if Catalonia did break away not only for Spain but Catalonia as well. The time has come to start speaking seriously about this issue and what the pro-independence side wants and what it would settle for.