Madrid Braces for a Declaration of Independence in Catalonia
October 6, 2017
One of Western Europe’s success stories since it democratized peacefully in the 1970s, Spain appears to be on the path to disintegration after local authorities in the autonomous region of Catalonia announced their intention to declare independence on 9 October.
Madrid is challenging the legality of last week’s independence vote on the basis of the 1978 constitution, which granted Catalans broad autonomy within Spain and was ratified by a national referendum of Spanish voters at the time. There is fear that a rupture with Catalonia could trigger renewed separatist pushes in other regions like Galicia and Basque.
But try as the Spanish government might to slow or reverse the slow creep toward independence, events thus far have shown that this is a process that’s very much being driven by the Puigdemont government in Catalonia.