Sunday was the day “Silent Catalonia” finally found its voice. After months of looking on as separatist forces dominated public debate, the majority of Catalans who oppose independence from Spain took back the streets of Barcelona, reports The Guardian.
According to the Guardian, secessionist leader and Catalan's President Carles Pugdemont’s party and its allies have consistently failed to win majority support. In both the disrupted 1 October referendum and an earlier, non-binding vote in 2014, the percentage of voters backing independence was
in the low to mid 40s.
Given the current mood in Barcelona, fresh elections could result in the pro-independence coalition losing control of the Catalan assembly, says The Guardian.
Meanwhile, Puigdemont’s evolving narrative portrays the crisis as a fight to uphold universal principles.
In his speech on Saturday night rejecting the move of Spain's President Rajoy to take back full control of Catalan, he purposefully pitched his remarks at a Europe-wide audience.
Speaking in English, Puigdemont went over the heads of EU governments, appealing directly to the “citizens of Europe”. The independence struggle was less a local rebellion and more an exemplary defense of shared democratic values, including self-determination, as embodied in the European charter of fundamental rights, he said.
But there is little discussion of what a secession would lead to for the Catalonian people and greater Europe. The Guardian provides a clue:
There is also an important ideological aspect to the battle for Catalonia.
Puigdemont’s ruling coalition has a strong leftist bent, influenced by the hardline, anti-capitalist CUP party. If he can successfully portray the crisis as a fight against the repressive authoritarianism of an uncaring rightwing establishment elite – his view of Rajoy’s conservative People’s party – Puigdemont could yet emerge as a Corbyn-max standard bearer for radical [leftist] European renewal.Bottom line, secession is a tool. It can be used for good or bad. In this case, a Puigdemon-led secession is very bad.