Are we going to go the way of Slovenia, Scotland or Quebec? Or none of those three? How will Spain choose to act? Like Serbia, the UK or Canada? Catalonia’s path will likely be her own, unless the wealth of credibility amassed to date by the pro-independence movement is squandered, grassroots support declines and it is radicalised by the lack of unity and the prevailing political confusion.
The Catalan way has always been about demanding an internationally recognised referendum, rejecting violence and staging mass demonstrations that are exemplary and peaceful, not about fringe groups wearing hoodies who jeopardise the Catalan police force. Independence support in Catalonia has risen to 47.5 per cent in just a few years on its own merit —it has managed to build an alternative based on republican values— and on the mistakes of the other camp, whose scorn, violence and politically-biased judicial crackdown on the independence leadership have fuelled Catalonia’s grievances.
Catalonia hasn’t flirted with violence and it is precisely its massive, peaceful nature that affords the pro-independence movement the credibility it enjoys today in a context where the EU sets the standards of acceptability. We will not be Slovenia and our future cannot be “tragic”. President Quim Torra must make a lucid, courageous interpretation of how far the Catalan leadership managed to go on October 27 and the reasons for that. His interpretation must prioritise our nation’s overall interest and the dignity of Catalonia’s institutions over partisan self-interest.