Raphael Minder's book shows why the struggle for Catalonian independence is only one of the questions Spain facesby Ian Irvine / September 13, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in October 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
On 1st October Catalonia’s regional government plans to hold a binding referendum on independence from Spain. There are many parallels between Catalonia and Scotland—their distinctive cultures and institutions, their populations and the relative size to those of their respective polities, their incorporation into those larger states in the early 18th century, their successful industrialisation, and their collections of historical and current grievances (of varying degrees of legitimacy) which have fuelled the rise in nationalist politics. (As in Scotland before its referendum, polls currently show the anti-secession camp 10 points ahead.)
But there are also stark differences. Most notably, unlike Westminster’s uncomplicated assent to an independence referendum in 2014, the government in Madrid is implacably opposed to a vote on independence and Spain’s supreme court has ruled it unconstitutional. An irresistible force is about to meet an immovable object, and the outcome is entirely unpredictable.