'Catalonia and the government in Madrid are headed for a big confrontation', says editor

'Catalonia and the government in Madrid are headed for a big confrontation', says editor

Protests stormed the streets to protest the government's move to shut down the independence referendum

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A leading editor has said the Spanish and Catalan governments are headed for a major clash as the ongoing row of independence grows.

The Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, has called for Catalan separatist leaders to end the rapidly escalating tension as thousands marched on the streets of Barcelona. 

The action was taken to protest the attempts by the authorities to halt a referendum on Catalonia's independence. 

Police officers had earlier raided a series of Catalan government offices and made 14 arrests in order to impede the vote on October 1, which is banned under Spanish law.

John Peet, the political editor for The Economist, said both sides were being "inflexible" in the dispute

He told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "Catalan says they want an independence referendum, Madrid says it’s illegal to hold one.

"Where Spain [the government] has failed is refusing to discuss it, and funnily enough, it’s popular in Madrid, they’re fed up with the Catalans always wailing about their condition.

"I don’t know if there’s any evidence the majority of Catalans want independence, but they feel angry about how Madrid has been treating them.

"At the moment, they’re headed for a big confrontation."

Listen above.

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