‘Catalonia’s nationalist leaders are well aware their project is fragile’

But Spanish PM Rajoy could also find his bluff is called when the 21 December election results are in

During the rapturous celebrations in Barcelona’s Sant Jaume Square following the pronouncement of Catalonia’s independence on Friday, there was a nagging little detail in the background. Many demonstrators noticed it and there were shouts of “Fora, fora, la bandera espanyola! [Out with the Spanish flag!]” Indeed, even hours after the birth of the new Catalan Republic, the flag of what was now deemed a foreign country kept flying on top of the presidential palace.

Whether this was due to a technical difficulty or an oversight, it looked like a Freudian slip. For those in the square, independence was a long-held dream: but was it now a dream come true, or just a mirage?

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