Few people can be in any doubt that the Spanish government’s behaviour in Catalonia has been brutal and almost certainly counterproductive (GDN, October 2).
Some argue that the Catalans have an inalienable right to self-determination. But do they have a unilateral right to tear Spain apart and abandon the solidarity between wealthy Barcelona and poor regions such as Extremadura and Andalusia? That solidarity remains integral to the Spanish constitution of 1978, which was supported by 90 per cent of Catalans.
It is easy to stoke up nationalist fervour and a sense of grievance; it’s far more difficult to find a responsible solution. Mariano Rajoy, the prime minister of Spain, may have played into the secessionists’ hands, but Catalan independence is not the progressive cause many assume.