How many pro Spanish unity protestors were there on Sunday on Via Laietana, 350,000 or 950,000? Depends on who you speak to and which newspaper you read. Whatever your point of view there were a lot and enough to remind us that Catalonia is fundamentally divided on independence.
Spanish national broadcasters continue to report on the list of Catalan based companies that are leaving, most notably La Caixa, Sabadell and Fenosa is this a real economic problem or fearmongering by scared anti-independence campaigners? The economic impact of transferring your headquarters is limited to taxation on profit. Services don’t move, employees mainly don’t move and many of the shareholders receiving dividends were not here anyway. That being said the symbolism of Catalonia’s largest companies leaving should be a wake-up call that leaving Spain and therefore the EU, UN and WTO is a big deal and one which should and would take years to fully negotiate and implement.
If Puigdement on Tuesday formally announces the results of the referendum, for which the local press indicate 90% voted “si”, and remains true to his campaign promise, this would give him 48 hours to make a formal declaration of independence. The ball would be in Rajoy’s court to impede this, either by carrot, with an offer of dialogue or by stick by arresting, or threatening to arrest, members of the Catalan parliament.
We will all know by Thursday.