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Separatists on the rise

Catalonia's government is pushing for separation from Spain, the Scots will vote on independence in a referendum and in Flanders the nationalists are gaining ground. Do separatists pose a threat to European unity?

Main focus of Monday, 28. September 2015

Separatists win in Catalonia

The separatist coalition Junts pel Sí and the far-left party CUP won an absolute majority of the parliamentary seats in the regional elections in Catalonia ... » more

El Punt - Spain | Friday, 11. September 2015

Madrid driving Catalans towards independence

Hundreds of thousands of Catalans are expected to participate in a major demonstration in Barcelona today to mark the National Day of Catalonia, one of Spain's autonomous communities in which landmark elections are due to take place on September 27. In the end the stubborn stance of the central government in Madrid will drive the Catalans towards complete autonomy, the Catalan daily El Punt argues: » more

Main focus of Monday, 29. September 2014

Catalans want referendum in November

The Catalans are to vote on the independence of their region from Spain on November 9. The President of Catalonia, Artur Mas, signed a corresponding ... » more

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | Monday, 29. September 2014

Madrid could easily change Catalans' minds

The central government in Madrid is doing too little to dissuade the Catalans from seeking independence, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung criticises: » more

Diário de Notícias - Portugal | Sunday, 28. September 2014

Spain's government harming itself and the EU

With its ignorant stance vis-a-vis Catalonia, the central government in Madrid is only hurting itself and Europe, the liberal-conservative daily Diário de Notícias complains: » more

Público - Spain | Monday, 29. September 2014

Blocking referendum would be dangerous

The central government in Madrid wants to challenge the referendum before the Constitutional Court. But that would divide the country more than the vote itself, activist Esther Vivas writes incensed in her blog with the left-leaning online paper Público: » more

Corriere della Sera - Italy | Friday, 12. September 2014

Catalans more adamant than the Scots

Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Barcelona on Catalonia's 300th National Day to demand that the independence referendum planned for November 9 be allowed to take place. Catalan separatism is far more dangerous than that of the Scots, the liberal-conservative daily Corriere della Sera warns: » more

ABC - Spain | Tuesday, 29. April 2014

Scotland and Catalonia stand alone in Europe

The Scottish Prime Minister Alex Salmond stressed in a speech in the Belgian city of Bruges that an independent Scotland would remain a member of the EU. The separatists in Scotland, like those in Catalonia, are trying with all their might to ignore their isolation in Europe, the conservative and centralist daily ABC observes: » more

El Mundo - Spain | Wednesday, 9. April 2014

Spain and Catalonia must talk

The Spanish Congress rejected the motion put forward by the Catalonian parliament for a referendum on independence in the region by a large majority of 86 percent on Tuesday. Now the politicians must agree on a solution to the conflict, the centralist and conservative daily El Mundo urges: » more

El País - Spain | Monday, 10. March 2014

Francesc de Carreras calls on EU to fight separatism

The EU has a vital interest in putting an end to the secessionist ambitions within its member states, such as those of Catalonia and Scotland, the Catalan constitutional expert Francesc de Carreras writes in the left-liberal daily El País, arguing that the Union needs to vigorously defend this interest: » more

Corriere della Sera - Italy | Tuesday, 17. December 2013

Catalonia on the wrong path

Catalonia's government announced plans last Thursday for a referendum on the independence of the region, which the central government in Madrid promptly rejected. The liberal-conservative daily Corriere della Sera sees such separatist movements as a bad idea: » more

Main focus of Wednesday, 27. November 2013

Scotland makes bid for independence

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond presented a detailed plan for Scotland's independence on Tuesday. In September 2014 the people of Scotland will vote in a ... » more

El Periódico de Catalunya - Spain | Tuesday, 1. October 2013

Mallorcans fight for Catalan language

In what was probably the largest demonstration to date on Mallorca, around 100,000 citizens protested against the local government's education policy. They showed their support for a teachers' strike against cuts that started two weeks ago and measures to restrict Catalan as a language of instruction. José Ramón Bauzá, President of the Balearic Islands, now has the choice, writes the left-liberal daily El Periódico de Catalunya: » more

Heti Válasz - Hungary | Tuesday, 24. September 2013

Customised autonomy for Hungarians outside Hungary

Around 2.5 million ethnic Hungarians live as minorities in Hungary's neighbouring countries. In recent years their calls for autonomy have grown ever louder. The conservative weekly Heti Válasz argues in favour of different forms of self-determination: » more - Spain | Friday, 13. September 2013

Reform or break with Catalonia

After Catalonia's mass demonstration for independence on Wednesday, the Spanish government can no longer ignore the movement, Ignacio Escolar points out in his blog with the left-leaning daily » more

Diário de Notícias - Portugal | Thursday, 12. September 2013

Weak EU spurs on separatist aspirations

The lack of identification with the EU is a factor behind the separatism in economically strong regions, the liberal-conservative daily Diário de Notícias argues after the human chain in Catalonia on Wednesday: » more

El Periódico de Catalunya - Spain | Thursday, 12. September 2013

Catalonia's separatism now a social movement

Hundreds of thousands of citizens in the independence-seeking Spanish region of Catalonia marked their national day by forming a 400-kilometer-long human chain on Wednesday. For the left-liberal daily El Periódico de Catalunya this is a clear sign that the independence movement is deeply rooted in Catalan society: » more

The Scotsman - United Kingdom | Wednesday, 24. April 2013

Independent Scotland won't need the pound

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said on Tuesday that Scotland should remain in Great Britain if it wants to retain the pound as its currency, finding the idea of a monetary union being formed with an independent Scotland unlikely. The politically neutral daily The Scotsman warns against a situation like that of Ireland, which gave up its one-to-one parity with the pound sterling in 1979: » more

De Standaard - Belgium | Monday, 18. March 2013

Confederation would be Belgium's downfall

The Flemish nationalist N-VA party plans to turn Belgium into a confederation of states. But Flanders wouldn't be doing itself any favours with such a configuration, journalist Mia Doornaert warns in the liberal daily De Standaard: » more

ABC - Spain | Wednesday, 27. February 2013

Separatism threatens Spanish Socialists

The Spanish Congress of Deputies voted on several proposals put forward by Catalan separatists aimed at legalising a planned referendum on Catalan independence on Tuesday. The proposals were rejected but the Socialists from Catalonia voted in their favour, thus breaking the rule on obedience to the parent party. It's high time the party realised that regionalism is a trap for it, the centralist daily ABC jeers: » more

Blog Circumnavigatio - France | Wednesday, 23. January 2013

Spain can't afford a war of secession

The Catalan regional parliament passed a symbolic declaration of sovereignty on Wednesday. The move further paves the way for Catalan independence. These power games with Barcelona come at a very inopportune moment for Madrid, Jean-Michel Demetz writes in his blog Circumnavigatio: » more

El Mundo - Spain | Thursday, 20. December 2012

Pact against Catalonia's separatists needed

In Catalonia, the conservative regionalist CiU and the left-wing separatist ERC parties on Wednesday presented a timetable for Catalonia's path towards independence. It includes a referendum in 2014. The Spanish central government under Mariano Rajoy must join forces with the opposition to stop the separatists' advance, the conservative daily El Mundo demands: » more

La Vanguardia - Spain | Thursday, 13. December 2012

Retract Spanish education reform

All the parties in Catalonia's regional parliament - with the exception of the ruling party in Madrid, the People's Party - spoke out against the central government's planned education reform on Wednesday. The reform foresees the use of Catalan as a language of instruction being reduced to a minimum. Education Minister José Ignacio Wert would be well advised to completely rewrite his reform proposal, the Catalan daily La Vanguardia writes: » more

The Spectator - United Kingdom | Wednesday, 12. December 2012

Independent Scots would lose EU status

In an interview on Monday, EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso stated that if it decides in favour of independence, Scotland would lose its membership in the EU. The conservative magazine The Spectator puts matters into perspective: » more

El Huffington Post - Spain | Monday, 26. November 2012

Madrid should reach out to Catalonia

The Catalans elected a new regional parliament on Sunday. The Catalan president Alberto Mas brought forward the election in the hope of achieving an absolute majority for his goal of secession from Spain. Although his party remains the strongest force in parliament (with 30.7 percent), it lost votes compared to 2010, while the radical separatists became the second-largest force. Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy should now aim for reconciliation, the left-liberal online paper Huffington Post advises: » more

Lidové noviny - Czech Republic | Monday, 26. November 2012

Catalonia's independence would be unstoppable

In the regional election in Catalonia the pro-independence parties, the separatist Catalan Republican Left, known as the ERC, and the national-liberal ruling party the CiU have won two-thirds of the vote in total. Opponents of the separatists argue among other things that an independent Catalonia would not automatically remain a member of the EU. But that argument is unconvincing, the conservative daily Lidové noviny writes: » more

El Huffington Post - Spain | Friday, 9. November 2012

EU would not expel Catalonia

The election campaign for the regional elections in Catalonia on November 25 was officially launched on Thursday. The main subject under discussion is the region's potential secession from Spain. In his blog for the Spanish Huffington Post, Miguel-Anxo Murado argues that secession would not automatically lead to Catalonia being expelled from the EU: » more

La Vanguardia - Spain | Wednesday, 7. November 2012

Europe is against independent Catalonia

Regional elections will take place in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia on November 25. But if the separatist parties obtain a majority there will be opposition from Europe, the Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia stresses: » more

Público - Portugal | Monday, 5. November 2012

Independence unlikely for Catalonia

Early regional elections will be held in Catalonia on November 25. The Spanish region wants independence but according to the liberal daily Público it is unlikely to get it: » more

Vilniaus diena - Lithuania | Wednesday, 24. October 2012

Karolis Urbonas on the separatism of rich regions

The separatist trends in today's Europe are a source of concern for Karolis Urbonas of Vilnius' Social Dynamics International institute. In the daily newspaper Vilniaus diena he categorises the demands of regions like Catalonia, Flanders or northern Italy: » more

NRC Handelsblad - Netherlands | Tuesday, 23. October 2012

Europe's unity strengthens separatism

The separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and the UK have different causes but are all to a certain extent the product of European integration, the liberal daily NRC Handelsblad contends: » more

The Herald - United Kingdom | Thursday, 18. October 2012

London's austerity pushing Scots to independence

Britain's aggressive austerity policy may prove to be reason enough for the Scottish people to choose independence, the left-liberal Scottish daily The Herald surmises: » more

De Standaard - Belgium | Friday, 5. October 2012

Flemish vote for the Right out of fear

Bart de Wever's nationalist party is tipped to win the local elections in Flanders on October 14, according to the polls. He himself puts his popularity down to tensions between northern and southern Belgium, but that is too simplistic, the liberal daily De Standaard writes: » more

El Punt - Spain | Friday, 28. September 2012

Path clear for Catalonian independence

A large majority in the Catalan parliament voted in favour of a resolution on Thursday that would allow a referendum on the independence of the region after the early elections on November 25. The move clears the way for the independence of the autonomous region, the Catalonian paper El Punt comments joyfully: » more

La Vanguardia - Spain | Wednesday, 26. September 2012

Risky early elections in Catalonia

The president of the Catalan regional government, Artur Mas, announced early elections for November 25 on Tuesday. A risky step because it is aimed at sounding whether the politician has the regional parliament's support in his fight for Catalonia's independence, the Catalan daily La Vanguardia concludes: » more

Wiener Zeitung - Austria | Tuesday, 25. September 2012

British blockade very risky

In the ongoing negotiations on the EU budget for 2014-2020, the UK and Sweden are insisting on being allowed to retain their current reduced level of contributions. But British Prime Minister David Cameron's blockade is very risky from the point of view of economic policy, the state-run liberal Wiener Zeitung argues: » more

El País - Spain | Sunday, 23. September 2012

Independence would isolate Catalonia

After the mass demonstration for the independence of Catalonia on September 11, Spain is discussing the consequences of the autonomous region's cessation from the Spanish centralist state. The left-liberal daily El País urgently warns against such a step: » more

El Periódico de Catalunya - Spain | Thursday, 20. September 2012

Rajoy should reach out to Catalonians

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will meet the Catalan regional prime minister of Catalonia Artur Mas for talks this Thursday after 1.5 million Catalonians marched for the independence of their region last week. Rajoy would do well not to adopt a confrontational stance, the Catalan daily El Periódico de Catalunya warns: » more

El País - Spain | Wednesday, 12. September 2012

Discuss Catalonia's independence

Hundreds of thousands of Catalans gathered in Barcelona on their regional holiday on Tuesday to demonstrate for the independence of their region, and against the government's austerity measures. The left-liberal daily El País calls for a serious debate on federalism: » more

Polityka Online - Poland | Monday, 10. September 2012

Bullfighting apple of discord for Spain's regions

Spain's state television channel TVE broadcast a bullfight live on Wednesday for the first time in six years. But that doesn't mean bullfights are once more on the rise in Spain, the left-liberal news portal Polityka Online writes, arguing that the issue is being misused by the regions to demonstrate their independence: » more

De Morgen - Belgium | Tuesday, 10. July 2012

Leave Flemish identity out of politics

Wednesday is a national holiday in Flanders. Political scientist Marc Hooghe writes in the left-liberal daily De Morgen that the politicians forget Flemish culture in their speeches on Flemish identity: » more

Daily Mirror - United Kingdom | Wednesday, 11. January 2012

Independence would impoverish Scotland

The Scottish regional government announced on Tuesday that it will hold a vote on independence in autumn 2014, countering the resolution by the British government on Monday. But the dispute is needless, the left-leaning tabloid the Daily Mirror writes, because independence would only impoverish Scotland: » more

Il Sole 24 Ore - Italy | Tuesday, 10. January 2012

Cameron outsmarts Scottish nationalists

In the dispute over Scotland's independence British Prime Minister David Cameron has gone on the offensive. His cabined decided on Monday to hold a binding "yes or no" referendum within the next 18 months. This is a clever move by Cameron, the business paper Il Sole 24 Ore writes admiringly: » more

Savon Sanomat - Finland | Monday, 26. September 2011

Abolish bullfights in all of Spain

The last bullfight in Catalonia took place in Barcelona on Sunday. Following the example of the Canary islands, which did away with bullfights 20 years ago, the regional parliament resolved last year to ban bullfights starting 2012. Now the rest of Spain must follow suit, the liberal daily Savon Sanomat writes: » more

De Standaard - Belgium | Tuesday, 20. September 2011

Fewer Walloons good for democracy

In the coalition talks between Belgium's eight parties the Flemish liberal party is seeking to exclude the Walloon green party. That has less to do with content than with democratic principles, writes the Flemish daily De Standaard: » more

Le Soir - Belgium | Friday, 8. July 2011

Flemish destroy Belgium

The Flemish nationalists under Bart De Wever on Thursday rejected a further offer to form a government in crisis-stricken Belgium from the leader of the Francophone Socialists, Elio di Rupo. Now the Flemish have achieved their goal, the daily Le Soir believes: » more

The Observer - United Kingdom | Monday, 16. May 2011

Independent Scotland destructive

After the resounding victory of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in local elections two Sundays ago, party leader Alex Salmond has been rallying support for Scotland's secession from the UK. The actor and writer David Mitchell, son of Scottish and Welsh parents, fears in the left-liberal Sunday paper The Observer for his united fatherland: » more

NRC Handelsblad - Netherlands | Tuesday, 10. May 2011

Referendum threatens Cameron's government

The British have rejected the new Alternative Vote electoral system in a referendum. The new system was intended to shift the majority vote system in the direction of a proportional representation system, which would have helped smaller parties. This is a setback for the Liberals who initiated the referendum, writes the daily NRC Handelsblad: » more

De Morgen - Belgium | Tuesday, 15. February 2011

Belgium divided by emotions

A critical report by the Walloon television station RTBF on the funeral of the Flemish nationalist politician Marie-Rose Morel has sparked a wave of indignation in Flanders. In its report the station recalled Morel's racist views. Johanne Montay, head of RTBF's political desk, rebuffs criticism in the daily De Morgen: » more

Ethnos - Greece | Tuesday, 4. January 2011

Belgium faces split

The hitherto non-productive talks on the start of coalition negotiations in Belgium could lead to a split of the country that would also have an impact on France and Germany, writes the left-liberal daily To Ethnos: » more

Helsingin Sanomat - Finland | Tuesday, 30. November 2010

Catalonia election cranks up pressure on Zapatero

The defeat of the Socialists in Catalonia's regional elections is a major setback for Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, writes the liberal daily Helsingen Sanomat, and goes on to analyse the debate about who will succeed him: » more

El País - Spain | Monday, 29. November 2010

Election results in Catalonia accelerate independence

In the parliamentary elections in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalonia the conservative regionalist CiU led by Artur Mas emerged as the strongest party but fell short of an absolute majority. Together with more radical parties who want more independence for the region they will strive for a policy that leads to independence, the left-liberal daily El País writes: » more

De Standaard - Belgium | Friday, 29. October 2010

An independent Flanders would be democratic

The political crisis in Belgium has reignited the debate about the country splitting up. Some Flemish citizens even fear the end of democracy in their region. But cultural scientist Dirk Rochtus laughs off these fears in the daily De Standaard: » more

NRC Handelsblad - Netherlands | Tuesday, 7. September 2010

Not the end of the road for Belgium yet

After the collapse of coalition talks in Belgium on Friday there is once more talk of dividing the country. This would be tragic, the liberal daily NRC Handelsblad writes, pointing out that the Flemish nationalists and the Walloon Socialists were actually very close to an agreement: » more

NRC next - Netherlands | Thursday, 29. July 2010

Nationalism is a dangerous argument

The bullfighting ban in Catalonia is no triumph for animal rights as the main issue here is regional nationalism, writes the daily » more

Pražský deník - Czech Republic | Wednesday, 28. July 2010

Bullfighting not part of Catalan's cultural heritage

The Catalan parliament will decide today, Wednesday, whether to ban bullfights in the autonomous Spanish region. Everything points to an end to the Corrida in Catalonia, writes the liberal daily Pražský deník: » more

El Periódico de Catalunya - Spain | Friday, 16. July 2010

New pact or independence for Catalonia

On July 10 hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Barcelona to protest the ruling of the Spanish Constitutional Court in Barcelona according to which parts of Catalan's Autonomy Statute are invalid. There are only two options for soothing the citizens' discontent, writes the Catalan daily El Periódico de Catalunya: » more

Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany | Tuesday, 13. July 2010

Torn Spanish could do with more serenity

Never before have so many Spanish flags been flown as during the World Cup - even in Catalonia. But the World Cup victory will do nothing to solve Spain's inner conflicts, writes the left-liberal Frankfurter Rundschau: » more

El País - Spain | Monday, 5. July 2010

More acceptance between Spain and Catalonia

Spain is discussing Catalonia's Statute of Autonomy, which four years after it came into force has now been declared partially unconstitutional by the Spanish Constitutional Court. A group of Catalan intellectuals calls in the left-liberal daily El País for a realignment of relations between Spain and Catalonia: » more

De Standaard - Belgium | Monday, 12. July 2010

A Flemish constitution

Belgian's Flemish population celebrated their national holiday yesterday, the 11th of July. Jan Peumans, president of the Flemish parliament, used the occasion to call for a constitution for the Flemish. The daily De Standaard approves of the idea, comparing the Flemish struggle for autonomy with that of the Catalan population in Spain: » more

La Vanguardia - Spain | Wednesday, 23. June 2010

Francesc-Marc Álvaro on regionalism in Belgium and Spain

The new regionalism in Belgian Flanders is encouraging for the Spanish regions of Catalonia and the Basque country, writes Francesc-Marc Álvaro in the Catalan daily La Vanguardia: » more

El Punt - Spain | Wednesday, 30. June 2010

Catalonia is and will remain a nation

Four years after Catalonia's Statute of Autonomy came into effect Spain's constitutional court has declared certain parts of it unconstitutional. The Catalan daily El Punt is indignant: » more

De Tijd - Belgium | Wednesday, 2. June 2010

Election highlights Belgian division

Belgium will elect a new parliament on June 13. The business daily De Tijd complains that the topic of the economy only plays a role in the Flemish regions: » more

Le Soir - Belgium | Friday, 23. April 2010

A country with no reason to be

The daily Le Soir wonders whether the state of Belgium has any reason to exist at all in view of the longstanding conflict between the Flemish and the Walloons: » more


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