In my latest op-ed for the Netherlands’ NRC newspaper, I argue that Thursday’s election is unlikely to provide a way out of the impasse in Catalonia. Opponents and proponents of independence have been forced to take sides by the unilateralism of the separatists and the heavy-handed response from Spain.
If the separatists defend their majority, Spain may not restore home rule. But if the unionists take power, many Catalans would consider it a puppet government of Madrid.
There is a compromise to be had. Polls suggest most Catalans could live with a federal Spain, in which they are recognized as a nation and receive full fiscal autonomy.
But that is not something the ruling People’s Party in Madrid will countenance. If anything, they feel Catalonia has too much self-government already.
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