Is Catalonia the Canary in the Coal Mine for National Identity in Europe?

Pro-independence demonstrators wave an “estelada,” or Catalonian independence flag, in front of a Spanish police station, Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 3, 2017 (AP photo by Francisco Seco).
Pro-independence demonstrators wave an “estelada,” or Catalonian independence flag, in front of a Spanish police station, Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 3, 2017 (AP photo by Francisco Seco).
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Amid all the questions and uncertainty raised by Catalonia’s independence referendum on Sunday, one point of consensus has emerged: The government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy handled it lamentably, turning what almost certainly would have been a disappointment for Catalonian separatists into a catastrophe for Madrid. The repressive run-up to the voting and heavy-handed police response on the day of the outlawed ballot have generated outrage in Catalonia and beyond, providing a major boost to what opinion polling indicated was a minority movement. Brinksmanship on both sides in the months leading up to the vote proved impossible to walk […]

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