The referendum could cause a crisis in Europe, but Spain is not the oppressive centralised state the independence movement alleges

How is it that a country whose economic performance, human development and democratic integrity have improved so vastly over the past four decades is now dealing with one of Europe’s worst territorial and constitutional crises?

The answer isn’t the economy. Spain, and particularly Catalonia, is growing faster than most European countries. It isn’t a deep ethnolinguistic conflict either. The relationship between Catalan and Spanish speakers is exemplary.

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