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THE NOTE

A decalogue amid the strain

For the first time in history, the conflict between Catalonia and Spain can only end in a ballot

1. For the first time in history, the conflict between Catalonia and Spain can only end in a ballot. There is no room for a civil war or a coup.
2. Spain is not the UK.
3. The Partido Popular’s strategy does not seek to woo Catalonia or its parliamentary majority, with a view to transform Spain. The disconnect goes both ways.
4. Yesterday’s session in the Catalan parliament should have never happened. Filibustering and trickery have replaced politics. A regrettable session.
5. Pandering to emotion is a dangerous enemy in politics.
6. Today’s conflict did not begin yesterday. In June 2006 Catalonia voted a new Statute that had been negotiated and approved by the Catalan and Spanish parliaments. It was later struck down by Madrid’s discredited, politicised Constitutional Court.
7. All these years Madrid has refused to engage in talks and, whenever you corner a nation, there are consequences.
8. On Wednesday, Catalonia’s majority in parliament failed to broaden its moderate support, but arguing for a referendum is giving both camps a chance to be heard.
9. Trust is essential in any negotiation and there is no loyalty from the Spanish government, which treats Catalonia as if it were an anomaly that must be ironed out.
10. It is bitterly ironic to hear Spanish VP Sáenz de Santamaría preach about democracy. Holding a referendum is supposed to be a crime. The alternative is resignation and humiliation.

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