Spain’s political showdown with Catalonia is set to reach a new level on Thursday when political leaders in Madrid and Barcelona are expected to make good on pledges made to their supporters to stick to their tough positions over the region’s future.
In an unprecedented action since Spain returned to democracy in the late 1970s, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will impose direct rule in Catalonia unless president Carles Puigdemont retracts by 10 a.m. (0800 GMT) an renouncing declaration of independence he made after Catalan referendum on the issue.
Both sides multiplied political and diplomatic activities, attempting to attract supporters to their positions, however in three weeks there is no major breakthrough. Madrid insists the relation with Catalonia is an “internal issue” of Spain, however it is evident, that the crisis projects on EU.
There is a major confusion about Catalan position, after declaration and suspension of independence, and further obscurity about the aims of the ‘dialogue’ Catalans offer to Madrid. However there is a general discontent with the immobility of the EU institutions, continuing to pretend the Catalan crisis is a national problem of Kingdom of Spain.
Puigdemont has already expressed his opinion to members of his Catalan Democratic Party that not only he would not back down but that he would press ahead with a more formal declaration of independence if Rajoy suspends Catalonia’s political autonomy.