Spain's caretaker Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, may have well and truly got his political fingers burnt in Catalonia.
Barcelona, and other major cities in the region, have become a European Hong Kong with nights of serious violence expected to continue in the wake of the sentencing of nine secessionist leaders on Monday morning.
And, million of Spaniards, including supporters of Sanchez’s Socialist party, across the country are furious with the court ruling and how the would-be prime minister has handled the situation. Politically, Sanchez has been damaged, any support he did have in Catalonia has fizzled away and he is under pressure from opposition parties to activate the National Security Law in Catalonia, a piece of legislation that lets “the relevant authorities contribute the necessary human and material resources” to maintain public order as protests continued yesterday bringing Barcelona to a stand still.
With the general election just a few weeks away, the ruling and the violence could not have come at a worse time for Sanchez and he is going to be made to pay for it at the polls.
A sizable number of Socialist party supporters already felt let down by their leader after he failed to form a coalition government and tackling Catalonia may be Sanchez’s final political challenge. He is blaming a minority for trying to impose violence on the streets of Catalan cities, he just doesn’t get it.