How the Spain-Catalonia Standoff Has Evolved

Katrina Barker
October 6, 2017

"And I'm not surprised anymore about what the Spanish government is doing".

Though Catalans have wanted to engage in a dialogue around the distribution of powers for some time now, the Spanish government has refused.

European Union: According to The Washington Post, the European Union saw the independence referendum as a violation of Spanish law, and anxious about how the move would affect relations between Spain and Catalonia.

"With this speech, the king opens the door to all measures included in the Constitution to restore constitutional order", said Fermin Urbiola, the author of books on the Spanish monarchy and other European royal families.

Interviews with five pro-independence politicians in Osona county, a patchwork of farming towns, reveal an uncompromising mood after Sunday's violence which, according to Catalan officials, injured around 900 people across the region.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont has attacked Spain's King Felipe VI for "deliberately ignoring millions of Catalans", after a disputed vote was held on its independence from Madrid, the media reported. A protracted dispute could shake Spanish investors' confidence in markets and plunge Spain into economic recession, yet again. Whatever leverage it once had in mediating conflicts in countries such as Colombia and Guatemala could be lost.

The law said that there will be no minimum turnout requirement to make the referendum results binding. Spain's conservative government has said it will respond with "all necessary measures" to counter Catalan defiance, and is holding talks with opposition leaders to forge a consensus over what to do in response.

"I don't remember any of these people referring to the sacredness of constitutions and sovereignty of existing states when it came to the breakup of Yugoslavia", said Kevin Ovenden, British author and political activist.

But are there peaceful steps that can be taken?

Rajoy raised the possibility of a negotiated settlement this week, though he ruled out independence and praised the police crackdown on the referendum.

Sunday's independence referendum has sparked a major political crisis in Spain. CC OO and UGT, Spain's two main labor unions, will not take part.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index index and Germany's DAX were both down around 0.15 percent by 0724 GMT, while Spain's IBEX was up 0.6 percent.

Other politicians called on the European Union, now facing a huge challenge to its unity in Britain's impending exit from the bloc, to intervene in a deepening crisis that has shaken the euro and Spanish stocks and bonds.

The government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy - who called the vote a "mockery" and whose position has been supported by the Spanish king as well as other European Union leaders - has so far expressed little desire to involve a third-party negotiator.

"And yet - and yet! - in the case of Catalonia, Mr. Juncker tries to go through the whole debate [in the European Parliament] completely ignoring it".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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