The Spanish government calls the Catalans’ bluff

IT WAS a case of trying to have your cake and eat it—and the cake’s owner may end up with nothing. On October 10th Carles Puigdemont, the president of Catalonia’s devolved government, told his parliament that he was “assuming the mandate” of the people to proclaim an independent republic and thus leave Spain. But seconds later he asked the parliament to “suspend the effects of the declaration of independence” to allow for negotiation. All clear?

This baffling manoeuvre followed an unauthorised referendum on independence held on October 1st in which, his administration says, 2.3m (around 43% of the electorate) voted, 90% of them in favour. Those numbers are not verifiable. But for many of the thousands of flag-waving demonstrators who gathered outside the parliament in Barcelona, the Catalan capital, they were enough to declare independence straight away, and the speech left them deflated. Mr Puigdemont’s tortuous formulation reflected the conflicting pressures…Continue reading
Source: Europe Economic News