Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Torygraph believes a Basque nationalist blog has misquoted a conversation between him and a Catalan nationalist journalist. Unfortunately he struggles a bit with the Spanish, and since his articles often bear a sketchy relationship to basic fact - if fisk is still a verb then maybe someone would like to employ it here - mewonders whether he doth not protest rather much.
If you want to read something sensible about Spain's constitutional crisis from a generalist, you could try Gideon Rachman, a journalist of vastly superior calibre, but I think that even he doesn't fully understand the implications of Catalan independence and exit from the EU, which would immediately be followed by the Basques.
Leaving aside the imperialist ambitions of both new entities, one aspect rarely mentioned is that, despite efforts in the past decade to increase the role of sea transport, roughly 70% of Spain's European exports continue to travel by road and to an insignificant degree by rail via those two regions, and there is no alternative to hand - central Pyrenean connections are a joke. An armed, vengeful, bankrupt, unproductive rump (when did the aftermath of 1898 cease?) being held to ransom (some of the locals have been impressed at the success of miners' blockades of motorways in Asturias and León) by an unarmed, bumptious, bankrupt, unproductive mini-state isn't exactly a formula for peaceful coexistence. Referendum or no referendum, I continue to think something rather nasty's going to happen.
Labels: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard