What’s at Stake for Spain’s Global Image in the Dispute Over Catalonia

Catalan police officers clash with demonstrators during a general strike in Catalonia, Spain, Feb. 21, 2019 (AP photo by Emilio Morenatti).
Catalan police officers clash with demonstrators during a general strike in Catalonia, Spain, Feb. 21, 2019 (AP photo by Emilio Morenatti).

MADRID—Catalan pro-independence leaders and the Spanish government have intensified their efforts to take their family feud global as 12 Catalan leaders are being tried before the Supreme Court in Madrid. This fight now goes beyond the October 2017 referendum on Catalonia seceding from Spain, which was declared illegal by the Spanish government, and the subsequent declaration of independence from Catalonia’s regional parliament. In what has become a pitched battle between dueling messaging campaigns, Catalan separatists have upped their rhetoric, casting Spain as a “low-cost democracy” and the trial in Madrid as “an alarming act of state repression.” The Spanish government, […]

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