Catalan independence on a collision course

Dhaka,  Sat,  24 June 2017
Published : 12 Jun 2017, 13:20:08
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Catalan independence on a collision course

The irresistible force of Catalan separatism is on a collision course with the immovable object of Spain’s central political and legal authorities, reports a global media Monday.

In naming October 01 as the date for what Madrid regards as an illegal referendum on secession from Spain, Catalonia’s regional government set the stage on Friday for a showdown from which it seems neither side can back away without loss of face.

Whether the referendum will take place remains to be seen, but the confrontation is shaping up as Spain’s most acute constitutional crisis since the death of the dictator Francisco Franco in 1975 paved the way to the restoration of democracy.

Spain, historically one of Europe’s most diverse lands, owes its post-Franco stability in no small measure to a system of autonomous regional governments, notably those in Catalonia and the Basque Country, established under the 1978 constitution.

Although Madrid and the Catalan nationalists have framed their dispute largely in legal terms, and have avoided displays or threats of force, one mis-step or provocation by either side over the next three months could narrow the space for compromise.

Opinion surveys regularly indicate that most people in Catalonia favour holding a referendum. According to two recent polls, however, 49 per cent of Catalans oppose secession, with only about 44 per cent in favour.

- SZ
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