See here for essential background: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/catalonia-votes-for-independence.html.
The President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont has made a long-anticipated public address following the independence referendum of October the 1st. It was a strange speech which was very equivocal, but he did say in as many words that the referendum does give
the right to be an independent country. This is not the same as an immediate
declaration of independence; in fact this is a deferral of that. He calls on
the Spanish government to begin negotiations. This could be interpreted
negatively by hardliners on both sides. Extreme nationalists might accuse him
of selling out while unionists will claim he is bullying the Madrid
government. Simon Harris, a local journalist with British roots, has appealed
for calm, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgvJOv-3yFQ.
What Puigdemont is doing is a standard Catalan political tactic. He is
committed to independence and will not back down, but he knows that if he is
too hasty he will merely escalate the situation and we'll have a repeat of the
scenes on polling day where the Guardia
Civil beats people and drags them off. Puigdemont is trying to avoid civil
war, a war he knows he cannot win. He does not wish to provoke Madrid
to the point where they invoke "Article 155" and suspend the Catalan
parliament; the very fact Spain
can do that proves that devolved government is as much a confidence trick in Catalonia
as it is in Australia
and Scotland. He
has called on the United Nations and other countries to recognize Catalonia
as a sovereign state. Unfortunately he has also asked the European Union to "intervene";
this is not wise. Never encourage the EU to support you in anything; they only
do that when they want to take you over.
See here for more information: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/freedom-for-venice.html.