By: Nebojsa Malic
The same countries that cheered when Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union broke up and insisted on ‘independent Kosovo’ now say Catalonia’s declaration of independence is unacceptable. But they wrote the rules the Catalans are now following.
On Friday, the Catalan parliament declared independence from Spain. Madrid has refused to recognize the declaration. Anything can happen next, from a negotiated settlement of some kind to a civil war.
Tempting as it is to delve into the arguments of who is right and what should be done, this will not be an attempt to judge the legitimacy of Catalonia’s independence pitch or lack thereof. What I find interesting is the noise emanating from the capitals whose actions have enabled the crisis to arise in the first place ‒ not that they’ll ever admit it.
France, Britain, and Germany have come out against Catalan independence and in favor of Spain’s territorial integrity. So has Washington, with the State Department declaring “Catalonia is an integral part of Spain.”