Three years after Catalonia held a historic referendum on
self-determination, we are still a long way from resolving a conflict
that continues to deny Catalonians the right to determine their future.
The Spanish state, immersed in an institutional crisis of a depth not
seen since the death of dictator Francisco Franco, has been unable to
come up with political proposals to solve the dispute.
Several recent developments are standing in the way of progress.
The country’s highest office, the monarchy, has lost all credibility.
Public support for the institution is at an all-time low following the flight of King Juan Carlos I,
who has sought to escape a corruption investigation. His son Felipe
VI’s decision to align with the right-wing, conservative branch of
politics is another blow to the royal family’s reputation. In Catalonia,
some 71 percent of people say they would prefer a republic; only 14 percent prefer a monarchy. The fact that dictator Franco was the one to appoint
Juan Carlos to be his successor as head of state, and thereby restored
the monarchy when he died, no doubt plays a part in people’s growing
rejection of the monarchy.