Where now for Catalonia? After a chaotic independence referendum (which Catalan leaders say was a resounding vote in favour of secession) how can the current crisis now be resolved? Could the region unilaterally declare independence from Spain? Is there any way to avoid that outcome? And, if not, how will Madrid react?
Catalan officials are reporting that 90% of voters in the referendum on 1 October backed independence, with a turnout of 42.3%. However, figures are unlikely to be entirely accurate as even Catalan officials admit the vote was severely disrupted, with hundreds of thousands of ballot papers uncounted. The Spanish government has – following the opinion of the Spanish Constitutional Court – dismissed the entire vote as illegal.
Media reports have shown Spanish police tackling and pulling demonstrators and voters, and Catalan officials say that over 800 people have been hurt. The BBC is reporting that “the majority [have] minor injuries or suffered from anxiety attacks”, yet images of riot police attacking protesters have indeed been shocking.
What’s the best way to resolve the Catalonia crisis? How can tensions be defused and calmer heads encouraged? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!