11:28 GMT11 May 2021
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    Spanish State Violence Changes Everything in Catalonia

    Hard Facts
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    In this week's Hard Facts John unpicks the fallout from the referendum, and ponders what the future holds, in the company of Dr Paul Monaghan of the Scottish National Party (SNP), who was in Barcelona and witnessed the violence up close in his official capacity as an election monitor.

    The decision by Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, to unleash violence against unarmed civilians in Catalonia for the 'crime' of attempting to cast a vote on their constitutional future will forever stain his political legacy, rendering his government's writ among the Catalonian people null and void — certainly morally if not legally. He is now the best friend Catalonian separatism has got and the worst enemy Spanish unity could have.

    Meanwhile, the silence with which the ugly scenes of police and state violence were met in Brussels on the part of the EU was deafening. Does anybody doubt for a moment that if Spain was not an EU-member state and part of NATO that in response to the violence it unleashed its government would already find itself being described as a regime with a clamor in the West in support of sanctions and various other punitive measures to be leveled against it?

    To ask the question is to answer it.

    Despite the determined attempt by the Spanish state to disrupt the referendum in Catalonia it still went ahead — returning, according to the Catalonian regional government, a decisive majority vote in favor of independence.

    With the Catalonians set to declare unilateral independence on the back of this result, and with the Spanish government adamant that the referendum had no basis in Spanish constitutional law, the stage is now set for a deepening rather than lessening of hostility between both.

    Hard Facts is out every Wednesday. You can join in the conversation here.

    independence, Catalonia Independence Referendum, Mariano Rajoy, Catalonia, Spain
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