Signals: Catalonia Answers Spain, Spain Jails two Catalan Leaders…

Impact on Issues

➚➚ ➂  Civil Unrest in Catalonia against Spain

 ➁ Secessions and deep changes of nations within the EU… and globally

On 16 October 2017 morning, Carlos Puigdemont answered Madrid’s ultimatum (see previous signal) through a letter (as displayed below).

The letter shows a resolve to remain on the positions expressed on 10 October, while trying to abide by all external actors’ wishes to see negotiations. It did not bring much change to what had been said on 10 October.

For previous and other signals check the

Horizon Scanning Board

It fails to directly answer the question of “declaration of Independence or not” and was written with a style that shows, most probably willingly, refusal to bow to Madrid. Indeed, Puigdemont asked as gesture of good will, a reversal of the policy of repression against Catalan People, notably the release of the two separatist leaders.

This was unlikely to satisfy Madrid and Prime Minister Rajoy’s government. A few hours later, Spain High Curt jailed, pending investigation and without bail, the two said leaders, which may be seen as a first answer from Madrid to Barcelona.

Catalonia now has until Thursday to stress it does not declare independence, and short of that Madrid will use art. 155 of the Spanish constitution to take control of the Catalan government.

Escalation is thus at work, both sides having irreconcilable positions. We are progressively but surely moving towards “civil unrest”, to use words that are less frightening than civil war.

The two major questions and uncertainties are now the willingness of the Catalans to fight – i.e. to use violence – to obtain their independence, and the capacity of Spain to deter and stop any use of violence by Catalans.

Published by Dr Helene Lavoix (MSc PhD Lond)

Dr Helene Lavoix, PhD Lond (International Relations), is the President/CEO of The Red Team Analysis Society. She is specialised in strategic foresight and warning for international relations, national and international security issues. Her current focus is on the war in Ukraine, international order and the rise of China, the overstepping of planetary boundaries and international relations, the methodology of SF&W, radicalisation as well as new tech and security.

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