Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended the nonbinding referendum, opening a potentially volatile phase in a dispute between the central government and the country’s most important industrial region.
This is super interesting and I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t seen anything about it here.
ETA: for those not keeping up, to the best of my knowledge the situation is this—correct me if I’m wrong.
The central government in Madrid has a long history of ignoring and/or failing to respect Catalan language and culture, despite depending on Catalonia’s wealth and industry (Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and Catalonia supplies a quarter of Spain’s exports). Between this, a generally tone-deaf handling of the situation, and the recession, resentment in Catalonia has grown until the Generalitat passed a law allowing the president of Catalonia to hold a vote on whether Catalonia should 1) be a state, and 2) an independent state.
Under the Spanish constitution (post-Francoist, I think?), the communities of Spain are not actually permitted to vote on independence, which has been pretty much the Spanish government’s only reply to the entire situation. Prime Minister Rajoy seems to be under the impression that if the courts declare the referendum to be illegal, the problem will magically go away.
While only about half of Catalans support independence, an overwhelming majority support the right to vote on it (self-determination is a crucial right according to the UN and EU), particularly in the wake of Scotland’s recent vote. Over a million citizens have marched in pro-independence protests.