With a single salvo, Fernández Díaz managed to question Guardiola’s integrity and invoke the age-old stereotype of Catalonia as a region of calculating money-grubbers. For many Catalans, the statement confirmed the central government’s utter lack of understanding of and respect for their culture and identity.
On September 27, for the third time in five years, Catalonia will be holding regional elections. Many have defined the elections as a de facto referendum on independence. The interior minister’s candor showcases the bull-in-a-china-shop approach that the ruling, conservative Partido Popular (PP) has taken to Catalonia’s demand for self-determination. Spain’s federalist center-left hasn’t fared any better.
In late August, former Socialist Prime Minister Felipe González published an open letter in El País, unambiguously titled “To the Catalans,” comparing the pro-independence movement to Italian Fascism and German Nazism, implying that the Catalans had allowed themselves to be seduced by devious political leaders.
Read more: Will Catalonia’s Regional Elections Lead to the Breakup of Spain? | The Nation