Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has lost Catalonia, I argue in the Belgian newspaper De Standaard today.
Sunday’s violence, and the possibility that Catalonia will declare its independence unilaterally, could have been prevented if only Rajoy had shown a little good will.
He’s right that the Spanish Constitution doesn’t allow regions to break away, but when three out of four Catalans want to vote on independence, sticking to the letter of the law is not a solution.
It’s doubtful a majority would have voted to secede in an official referendum. The polls suggest most Catalans don’t want their own state. But they do want more autonomy. A reasonable offer from Madrid could have won broad support.
Now I worry it’s too late.
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