President Rajoy’s position is inflexible. He will invoke Article 155 of Spain’s constitution to take over Catalunya should it declare its independence. He may even arrest pro-independence Catalan leaders.
King Felipe seems intractable as well. As my students and I concluded from his speech in which he did not mention the violent force used by the Guardia Civil to prevent voting on October 1, the king calls for unity but does not offer mediation or dialogue at this time.
The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Calau, has requested mediation to no avail.
The president of Catalunya, Carles Puigdemont, who has also been asking for mediation after his early announcement last week that he would call for Catalunya to separate from Spain this week, is set to speak to the Catalan parlament October 10.
I believe any viable compromise will come first from Puigdemont, and I do hope that he provides an opening for dialogue, by not unilaterally declaring independence.
This term, “unilaterally,” which appears widely in the news covering the story of Catalunya, can be interpreted and contested differently.
I believe the referendum vote was invalid because it was disrupted.
Spain’s central government believes it was illegal from the outset, and therefore unconstitutional.
So “unilaterally” means that Puigdemont might declare independence without a voter or legal base for doing so.