Spain and Catalonia have been living in a climate of open conflict since the suspension of the Estatut d’Autonomia de Catalunya (the Catalan Statute of Autonomy) in 2010 and with increasing intensity since the unofficial consultation for independence in 2014 and finally with the referendum of October 1, 2017 in which Spain sent thousands of police to Catalonia to promote acts of violence and brutality against voters, while sending to jail several political personalities who are widely considered political prisoners.

The arm-wrestling between Spain and Catalonia also involves the diplomatic field. After the referendum of 2017, considered illegal by Spain, Catalan “embassies” abroad were closed as part of measures adopted with the application of Article 155 of the Spanish constitution that virtually suspended the powers of the Catalan government and passed them onto the central government in Madrid. These embassies have the objective of strengthening bilateral relations and facilitating economic agreements between Catalan companies and companies from other countries. By 2018 some of these embassies were reopened.

Full article at International Policy Digest’s website. Date of publication: 08/08/2019.

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