Catalans vote

CATALANS vote tomorrow in a quasi-referendum on independence from Spain. 

The poll will be the latest step in a process that, according to Artur Mas, the head of Catalonia’s regional government, will lead to a unilateral split from Spain unless central government agrees to call a binding referendum on independence.

The country’s prime minister Mariano Rajoy has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of the wealthy northeastern region seceding from Spain.

A resurgent nationalism fuelled by the kind of disenchantment with central governments now so common across the West is, obviously enough, the driving force behind the desire for independence.

A vote for independence is anticipated as it was in the Scottish independence referendum just over a year ago. How Madrid would react to such a result remains to be seen but it is hard not to think that a single, unified entity would be, or should be, the best option for all Spaniards.

Whatever the result, the possibility of a vote to leave Spain should be seen as a shot across the bows of the establishment politics that have disappointed voters right across Europe.


Lifestyle

We catch up with Bushmills’ master distiller, who tells Sam Wylie-Harris more about this liquid gold.Irish whiskey masterclass: 11 things you need to know

Temples, beaches, and several nations with new names.From Bhutan to Costa Rica, Lonely Planet reveals its top countries to visit in 2020

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman who’s unsure how to manage her mother’s dying wishes.Ask a counsellor: ‘Is it appropriate to notify my mother’s friends of her death by email?’

‘The Big Yin’ talks to Luke Rix-Standing about living with Parkinson’s, the power of forgiveness, and why he will never, ever stop swearing.Billy Connolly: ‘You don’t wake up famous, you wake up scratching yourself like everybody else’

More From The Irish Examiner