Barcelona, Spain, September 28, 2015: pro-independence coalition leader Raul Romeva and Catalonia's President Artur Mas (R), at a post-election news conference (source: dpa)

EU waiting game may work with Catalan separatists

The success of separatist parties in September’s regional elections in Catalonia sent jitters throughout Europe, as many wondered whether other independent-minded regions around the continent would follow its lead. However, Brussels’ response – essentially remaining silent – deprived the separatist movement of a casus belli, allowing it to degenerate into infighting. If the drive for Catalonia’s independence succeeds, it could spell significant trouble for the European Union, but some natural limitations make that unlikely to happen.

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Professor Enrico Colombatto
Brussels is clearly betting that the Catalans will eventually reach a compromise with Madrid, giving them some kind of autonomy without forming a new country
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