The 1st October, in the expression of several observers and media, will go down in history as the day “Spain lost Catalonia”. The Catalan Referendum, as it turned out has been a major success for the cause of independence. It has placed Ctalonia on the International agenda in no uncertain fashion. The violent reaction of the Spanish Police to what was ostensibly a Referendum over independence has undoubtedly been a strong reason to believe this may have been Rajoy’s undoing. But not only Rajoy’s, but the whole state’s, because the leading opposition party in Spain, Mr Pedro Sanchez’s PSOE, has done nothing to stand aside from Rajoy other than use mild expressions of “sadness” and the absurd calls for “dialogue” that those blind to Spanish polítics in the last few years still harp to as a middle-of-the-road appeal to “both sides”, when it is clear for a child to see that Rajoy’s reaction of any call for dialogue from Catalonia has long been an intolerant NO to everything.
I say this before having seen any global results. In the heat of the moment. A glance at local results extrapolated -in a night that final results will take hours because the State hacked Generalitat Communications- certainly suggests this. Yet it is not so much looking at the percentatges, but rather at the headlines of major world press, that the significance of this Referendum become clear. For papers such as The Guardian or Liberation, the results speak of nothing short of defeat for Mr. Rajoy. All media have portayed scenes and descriptions of the extreme Police brutality that the Spanish government has deployed as a means of showing whowas “boss”. But this unspeakable strategy -with the whole world watching and
Later as official results come in -later than usual due to the intensive hacking of Catalan government Communications that Julian Assange has been denouncing during the course of the day- the extraordinary success of the Catalan cause became evident: 49.5% participation -despite the huge Police harrassing experienced- 90% YES and 7% NO. An overwhelming victory for democracy and for the hopes of a forthcoming Catalan Republic.
One of the strongest arguments in favour of the of the Referendum’s validity was the position of the International observers monitoring the event presided over by the ex PM of Slovenia. In a report he presented at the International Press centre in Plaça Catalonia not long after the first results were trickling in, he spoke of the guarantee of fairplay offered by the Catalan government in the Referendum’s Organization and deplored the violence deployed by the Spanish Police in trying to stop the voting.
In the wake of the victory for the indy cause that this Referendum represents, the fact that Angela Merkel should have phoned Rajoy to complain about the violence used by his Police to attack the polls. Similar protests have been aired in dozens of EU countries, a factor that may well be the paving to future suports for the development of events in what is now seen by many as the forecourt to Catalan independence and the birth of a new Republic in Europe.